Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Let's all go mahval for an old E3 2000 trailer of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (Dreamcast)

Oh boy, this is probably my favorite fighting game of all time.

Having always played the Dreamcast version since I was in middle school, I was actually quite good with my team ─ which always consists of Tron Bonne, Mega Man and Cable, and usually at that order. I've never played on any tournaments, and I wouldn't last long in one if I ever tried. If you've followed me on YouTube, you'll know
I did a PEMNAS run of the game about six years ago. At one point, it was the most searched final boss video of the game for a while. *grins*

I actually played an arcade cabinet of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 at a local arcade this past weekend on a trip with family. I actually kind of hate playing fighting games on a fighting stick because not only do I suck with them, I always get cramps on my fingers and knuckles if I play for a while, and that's what I felt after beating the game after one Game Over and two sittings (standings?).

Alright, so where am I going with this? Oh yes, I have a trailer of the game from that Capcom E3 Sales Presentation VHS tape that I've been posting other trailers* from in the past month or so. It's a kick ass trailer. It really gets you excited for the game's chaotic gameplay and because of that I decided to post it on YouTube. And just like the other ripped VHS tape clips I've posting, it rendered at 1080p60 so you can see the action as it's intended to be seen. So here you go.

I will be posting the video in its entirety sometime tomorrow or the following day. Consider it a late Christmas gift or a New Year's Day gift. Get crazy.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Old prototype footage of Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast) running at 60FPS looks totally unbelievable

As the Sega Saturn console was in its twilight years, players were bummed-out that they didn't get a major Sonic game for the ill-fated console until the next-generation. Then in August of 1998, Sega dropped the bombshell and announced Sonic Adventure, the long-awaited 3D installment of the then-dignified Sonic franchise, as a launch-window killer app title for their upcoming Dreamcast console to be released at the end of 1998 in Japan. Enticing gamers worldwide, the game offered impressive graphics with high-resolution graphics and a fluid sense of speed that was almost uncontested for the time. And at 60fps, too.

"Hold up, 60fps?," you might be asking. Yes, Sonic Adventure was originally rendered at a higher frame-rate than it ended up being. The earliest footage of the game, shown at the Tokyo International Forum public unveiling in August of 1998, had shown the game to run at that frame-rate. As we can see from the footage of the unveiling seen in the one-off VHS magazine Fuse, we can clearly see how unbelievably fluid the game's motion is at this game's prototypical stage. Or was, I should say. If you guys would see it in action, I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

This early prototype footage exhibits the game originally ran at 60FPS, the level highlighting the game, we see, is Speed Highway. It looks particularly impressive given the time 
this game was unveiled. Its really a shame they had to had the drop the frame-rate down to 30 for the final Dreamcast version. 

What's interesting to note is that the AutoDemo isn't necessarily running at a much higher frame-rate than the final or the Forum build. So by that point, the frame-rate had already been dropped by the time the demo was made. Another interesting tidbit, if you noticed even Sonic's jump momentum seems different when he bounces on those enemies on Speed Highway.

Honestly, I wondered if this was a whole other game altogether. The game's original frame-rate at this stage of development makes it look more polished compared the final version. While the rest of the footage around the Speed Highway stage is less than 60FPS, I believe that that footage was actually edited deliberately to reduce the fluidity of the motion. Why that's the case, who knows.

But yeah, Sonic Adventure. What a time to be nine years old and seeing a 3D Sonic game in action on then-powerful hardware. Good times. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

So I was a guest in GetMeOffTheMoon's Mega Man Legends 2 Debug Live Stream

Sorry for not updating this past couple of weeks folks, I've had a terrible sinus infection after traveling upstate the last two weekends. I do have something cool and quick to post about though.

The kind folks at GetMeOffTheMoon, the famous Facebook page campaigning for the return of the tragically-cancelled Mega Man Legends 3 (long story), as well as being the number one active place for all cool things Legends and some other Mega Man media, occasionally, had invited me and another friend of mine (PixelButts) to participate in a live stream discussion about a English debug build of Mega Man Legends 2 that was leaked earlier this year at Protodude's Rockman Corner.

I'll elaborate the exact details at a later blog post but earlier this year Protodude had informed me of the prototype he had in his possession and he commissioned me to test it out and document any and all differentiations between the debug build and the final English release. The result was this thirteen-minute video showing off just how much fun I had producing the video, and the start of the English Debug Prototype page at The Cutting Room Floor. Lots a different things detailed in the entry that I'm sure will be of some interest to fans of the game.

Despite my inexperience in recording verbal live streams (and how painful it was watching the footage afterwards) its was quite a lot of fun, and I hope I'm invited to another stream with the gang in the future.

Here's the link, for some reason Blogger won't play nice with Hitbox.tv embed so you'll have to click that for the steam. Have fun.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Why don't you sit down and watch some early prototype footage of Super Mario RPG at 60FPS?

This may have been online already, but my new VHS rip is better. Its in 60FPS. =D

So, Super Mario RPG. I rented this game from a local BlockBuster Video store (remember that retailer?) when I was eight years old. I didn't have a concept of RPGs and that style of gameplay at the time so I just mashed the A button all the damn time. But man that soundtrack, I could never forget the boss battle and town themes.

After that, I never touched this game again until seven years later. I later got the game as a Christmas gift from my dad and I've yet to part with it since. At that time, it was an especially rare SNES game and copies of the game were scarce and expensive even at local mom 'n pop game stores. Its a miracle he found the game at all, I was ecstatic unwrapping that game.. 

Anyways, as with previous remastered videos, what existed before as a low-ASSolution of pixels is now remastered -- from the famous V-Jump Festival '95 Video, a tape that contains footage of other Japanese games of the time including Resident Evil, with I'll be posting more game clips from and eventually the entire tape online in the future -- as an 1080p60 HD quality trailer.

I want to give special thanks to GlitterBerri, for granting me permission to use her 2010 translation, and PixelButtz, for QA-ing the video (I thought something was seriously wrong with the rendering of this video. @_@;). OK, next up its Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast at 60FPS.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Re-ripped and remastered Mega Man Legends 2 trailer from E3 2000 (@60FPS)

Man, whatever happened to Mega Man in 3D gaming? Scratch that, whatever happened to Mega Man period?

I remember back in the day when I saw some shots of Mega Man Legends 2 on an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly and getting super stoked about it. Aside going online at Capcom's USA website and staring at weird screenshots, I got onto GameSpot and watched that particular E3 2000 trailer you see above on a shitty-ass Real Player or something similar. This was when Mega Man was still relevant in gaming. Now he's stuck to merchandise, and he hasn't had a game since 2010. Bummer.

Oh well, so what existed before as a low-ASSolution mess of pixels is now remastered -- from the same promotional VHS source as the Resident Evil Zero trailer I posted having in my possession several days ago -- as an 1080p60 HD quality trailer. 

That's right, 60FPS. We have YouTube to thank for enabling 60FPS video playback for everyone to experience. Be sure to watch it on Google Chrome, for now. Stay tuned for more videos of this source from me. =)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Get hyped. Old E3 2000 Trailer for Resident Evil Zero (Nintendo 64) now at 1080p80!

Resident Evil games always had some of the most interesting development stories told in video games. Compared to other entries in the franchise though, Resident Evil Zero had a much less chaotic development cycle.

I've already briefed this a bit in the last post, but this game was about to come out late in the Nintendo 64's life cycle and memory wasn't helping. So Capcom moved the game over to GameCube so it could become the gorgeous, bad-ass looking game that it became.

Now, about the footage. If you were a major Resident Evil fan back in the day, you may have seen this particular trailer from E3 2000 before in the past as a really low-res video on YouTube or even back in the day when, even then, it looked like a pixelated mess of squares. Now, thanks to a VHS source I purchased online where this trailer originated from, and for YouTube for finally enabling 60FPS video playback, I can finally now share this 1080p60 HD rip of the trailer that was originally of low-quality for the rest of the world to watch.

I'll get into the meaning behind Capcom E3 2000 Sales Presentation [VHS / 2000] at a later point of time. There's more where this trailer came from too! Stay tuned!

YouTube Announcement! | I'm back and finally 60FPS video!

I was ecstatic to learn of YouTube enabling 60FPS video that so I made this little video. 
The video just sums it all up that I'm back. It's been a while since I've done anything on YouTube. 

First 60FPS video I'll be uploading today is footage of Resident Evil Zero on the Nintendo 64. Get body ready.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Scans: Resident Evil: Gun Survivor (PlayStation) + Review Score | Famitsu PS Issue #76 (JP) | 2/11/2000

Front Cover of Famitsu PS Issue #76
I'm a fairly big fan of old-school Resident Evil. Anyone remember that spin-off that came out for PlayStation in 2000, where you're actually controlling your character in a first-person viewpoint without any pre-rendered backgrounds? I didn't. I never cared about the spin-offs but some fans do, and its those fans I have a treat for tonight.

Issue #76 of Famitsu PS contains both a six-page strategy guide and a scored review of the critically-panned light gun shooter Resident Evil: Gun Survivor. Along with a reprinted review of Resident Evil 3 from an earlier issue of Famitsu PS, there are also other articles of Resident Evil: Code Veronica and the Nintendo 64 port of Resident Evil 2.

Tonight's focus will be Gun Survivor however and once again I do not provide translations.

So let's go over this quick. Pages 32 to 37, starting from the left at the top row to the right and following that same orientation on the middle and bottom, are just strategy guides with supplemental maps and enemies of the game.

Review Scores
(Click to enlarge)

The common format for Famitsu reviews are presented in a four-score column with four reviewers in a row providing their scores, individually. On page 39, Gun Survivor scored a 8, 6, 6, and 5, totaling 25 out of 40.

The average-level scores given by Famitsu PS' reviewers do reflect the same overall attitude toward the game at the time of it's release. It actually got a lot of venom from many publications, particularly from Game Informer who called the game one of the worst horror games ever made. Interestingly, Weekly Famitsu scored the game six points more than its PlayStation-specialized publication. How interesting indeed.

Page 39
I've never played so I didn't care much for scanning these articles at first. But I figured, I should just archive and scan all Resident Evil content from this magazine for the sake of archiving (I'd be happy to look into other games that I haven't scanned and released on my blog too).

Having just sampled a video of the game in action though, it does have that consistently dark, industrial atmosphere of Resident Evil 2 that I adore so much. Maybe I'll give it a try myself sometime.

Coming up next are scans of magazine coverage for Code Veronica, the Nintendo 64 version of Resident Evil 2, and a review of Resident Evil 3.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scans: Resident Evil Zero (Nintendo 64) | Famitsu PS (Japanese) NO. 81 | 5/12.26/2000

Oops. This article was meant for yesterday, and I was working on it then, but time management is a skill I have a lot to improve upon. But here it is, a scan about Resident Evil Zero as it was meant for on Nintendo 64.
Ignore the Japanese text below Rebecca, that's just part of a copyright notice
in another part of the page that is little to do with the game.
Anyways, page 148 of Famitsu PS (Japanese) NO. 81, 5/12.26/2000 gives a small column of their Capcom page about the Item Box function in the game -- or rather, lack of. The ability for your character to drop items in any room, was evident in this version, and the column specifically refers this to Sweet Home's inventory system. Having never played this game personally, I have no clue as to how much both game's have in common (besides the series' roots to the Famicom game).

For those that need a little context, Zero was a prequel to the hit survival-horror franchise that was meant to be the game that carried the same level of ambition and quality its CD-based predecessors had onto a small-capacity Nintendo 64 cartridge. The N64 port of Resident Evil 2 cemented that probability in late 1999. But that's not to say things would go smooth for this title.

Basically, while the game had a much less chaotic development cycle compared to previous entries, the only major roadblocks for Zero were basically both the memory capacity limitations and the timing of its projected release date. The game was simply becoming too big to fit into a cartridge and the hardware transition from the Nintendo 64 to GameCube was fast approaching. The only logical solution was to adapt to then-upcoming sixth generation, and release the game as a GameCube-exclusive in 2002.

As with many of the Japanese I will be posting on The Game Informant, let's hope someone plucky will be willing to translate this article and enlighten us the details of this column. The front cover and entire page can be found below.

Coming up next, I'll post up more scans other some other Resident Evil games from this era of gaming. Stay tuned!

Front Cover of Famitsu PS
NO. 81 | 5/12.26/2000
Page 148

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scans: Sonic 3D Blast (Saturn) | Dreamcast Magazine (Japanese), Volume 6 | 12/25/1998

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSo shortly after the Sonic Adventure AutoDemo was released early last summer by Orengefox at Sonic Retro, I bought this magazine on eBay. It's got lots of info on that game, plus coverage of Shenmue's Nov. 1998 unveiling in Japan, and other awesome games, but this article concerning the former is what motivated me to write about this.

The article covers the Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast that was released much earlier in North America and Europe than it arrived overseas. Interestingly, this game wouldn't be released in Japan until October 1999, alongside the International version of Sonic Adventure. As we can see, the release date is given as "'99 (to be decided)." Since that Saturn port was already released internationally years prior, there isn't anything prototypical seen in the screens of this article.

What is interesting though, is apparently in the last page of the article is a sort of mini-interview with a Japanese developer of 3D Blast, or someone of significance to the game. 

I hope by posting this on my blog that someone would be willing to translate this article and enlighten us on the development of this game, from the Japanese perspective.

Coming up tomorrow, I have an overdue proposition that I've yet to fulfill. It's related to scans of a Resident Evil Zero (Nintendo 64) article that I've promised on Tumblr but haven't delivered on. Stay Tuned!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Entrance Speech

Um, hi. I’m a graduated student photojournalist in life, but I like video games.
I’ve always been fascinated about previous eras of gaming and how they influenced and shaped the industry today. I consider myself a contributor to the preservation of video game material, which includes archiving historic digital artifacts and observing obscure content of certain video games and just content that few have seen before. This is stuff that only less than one person of the world population would care about -- and some of that same percentage might consist of admirers of the niche. That’s still a lot of people though, so I don't mind.

So, for this blog, I’ll be posting stuff from a lot of different, specific sectors of video games. I have a few other projects planned for the future, but for now this is my target list of topics I plan on posting about in the near future:

  • My own short commentary on certain topics in video games, whether they’re about nothing or something. 
  • Whatever new videos I upload onto my YouTube Channel (which has about more than one thousand subscribers, about 400 videos, and with over three million views of all videos total). As soon as YouTube enables 60FPS videos on their site, I will be uploading all videos at that same frame-rate too.
  • Videos I create that document prototype builds, differences, or other general oddities and curiosities of video games. I also do “let's plays” in my own series called PEMNAS (or Please Excuse My Noob Ass Skills). In the past, I did various video playthroughs called PEMNAS where I play games badly or otherwise, and offer annotated commentary in some of them. I plan to continue that with Resident Evil 2 N64 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles sometime in the near future.
  • I'll also be uploading rips of old VHS videos onto YouTube, preferably at 60FPS, once YouTube enables it.
  • The video game projects that I’ve been working for years, and their progress. One project in particular is an ambitious series of documentaries I’m producing called Shat-Canned Legends, which covers cancelled, unreleased, vaporware video games. Having so much work done on it and so much left to do, I’d like to release it someday. Actually I just released a recent WIP version of a MOTHER 3 episode that is 40+ minutes long, if you wish to view.
  • I used to have some mad music mash-up skills before I got tired of it three years ago. Maybe I'll resume to doing that in the near future too. I've got some ideas too.
  • Scans of interesting articles from old game magazines, western or Japanese. I buy these out of my own pocket to have information available in the Internet with the hope that it’s contents are preserved for future generations (translations from the Japanese sources are never guaranteed). I have scanned an old 200-page Japanese magazine called Famimaga Magazine Vol. 3. Feb 9, 1996. So far I have scanned up to page 70+, and I have released the first 66 pages on the internet for everyone to enjoy. I’ll be posting updates on that on this blog as well.
  • Posting comments of current game news and events, or trivial stuff.
  • Other fun stuff I find on the Internet.
  • And here's a bunch of other enigmatic stuff I have in the works.
Have at it.

Of course, my chosen profession will prevent me from posting daily everyday but (nope still unemployed) I hope to be dedicated to my followers. Please look forward to more crazy stuff I have in store for the future.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, I’m right here. I've also got Tumblr and Google+. As I mentioned before, I've also about 400 videos up about video games and other stuff on my YouTube channel, why don't you check it out and subscribe to me too? I'm open to connecting with readers, followers, and subscribers of mine.