Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Castlevania II - Simon's Quest, Windows Remake

I suck at twitch games. That's just the way it is. But I still play games like Castlevania, which is not so much twitch as it is RPG-ish. Castlevania II - Simon's Quest was a new breed of NES game.

It is completely innovative to the point of experimental, really.

It's non-linear, much more so than the NES Metroid. It was, I think, the first attempt at a Symphony of the Night type of gameplay on the NES. This is also the reason why Simon's Quest was criticized. It was just not Castlevania, except for the main character.

I like Simon's Quest, even with all the glitches. I wasn't able to finish it then, that's why I searched around to find a remake of it.

Dracula's Shadow is a freeware, Simon's Quest remake. It makes use of the original NES tileset, but the coder added some other fun stuff, minus the bugs of the original version.

The truth is, I only glanced at the screenshot and decided to post it here for my own reference. I have yet to make the game run on my PC.

Hope I can make this play on my PC next time, maybe.

WinUAE - Amiga emulation tutorial

In relation to my Alien Breed post, I searched for some Amiga emulators, and I remember seeing the Amiga EMU tutorial video above. It's a Channel Flip show about video games, hosted by the lovely and talented Katherine Fletcher.

Katherine is a self-confessed Amiga-holic and a certified emulation gamer as well. Aside from her Amiga emulation segment, she also made an SNES emulation episode.

Just head on over to Channel Flip to get links to WinUAE and how to acquire Amiga games legally.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fire Emblem, English translations / patches

Fire Emblem was an exclusive NES title that never made it out of Japan. I was never really familiar with the whole Fire Emblem bit until I got to play the first GBA title. I don't feel bad, even romhacker, Spinner8 is confounded by this title.
"The Fire Emblem series is enigmatic at best, I'm afraid."
I actually finished one whole GBA campaign, but I skipped the bonus chapter because I got a bit tired of it. Since I'm a FE noob, it only recently dawned on me that some bad-ass characters in Smash Bros. are from FE. That piqued a bit of my interest to make this post.

Since I had a few people, searching my site for "Fire Emblem English patch," I decided to search for a patch myself. I found this entry in the Romhacking.net site. It has all the English patch for the old Fire Emblem games, from the NES to the SNES. However, the patches are all incomplete, save for this one here.

The only complete patch for Fire Emblem is on the SNES. The game is essentially Fire Emblem 1 for the NES, remade into the glorious SNES graphics that all retro gaming people love.

I'll try to play this at some point, I'm just a bit busy with other games right now. I just miss the days when I can just play old RPG's all day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's www.bastichos.info now

Due to my own fault and my less evolved brain, I screwed up the DNS transfer of the new domain for more than 24 hours. Hence, people searching in Google are brought to a parking space in Godaddy land instead of this wonderful page.

Let me just say that it's fixed now, just to belabor the point. I'm still sick, but posting here relaxes me a bit. I'm slowly accepting freelance work again, but I really can't work in front of the PC for more than 3 hours straight as much as I want to. Heck, I can't even play for more than 2 hours.

So, BastichOS is back. I'm here to stay so I can rant about bullshit 3d games, awesome NES games, obscure manga scanlations, and a shit ton of anything in between.

It's now www.BastichOS.info.

Ed: Still having problems. Had to use 301 or 302 on the controls.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Alien Breed & Alien Syndrome - both inspired by the Alien movie?

As promised earlier, I made this post to discuss two old games inspired by the Alien movie. One is a NES game made by Tengen, and the other is an old Amiga classic remake.

First, let's take a look at the Amiga remake of Alien Breed since it's the superior game.

The remake is called Alien Breed Obliteration. The game play is a simple 2d, top-down shooter. You're a generic soldier sans background story or any of that jazz, dropped in a base infested with aliens that you must exterminate forever.

The random screen above is just a sample of the gorgeous Amiga-ish graphics from the original Team 17 version. It looks great and it plays great, even for a person with shitty manual dexterity, a.k.a., yours truly.

Yeah, I suck at twitch games, but I played this game and Cave Story exclusively, every time I need a little break from my sickbed. This is almost the same experience I had with Ikari Warriors back in the day. I suck at it, but I still played the crap out of it.

Alien Syndrome, though, is a bit easier than Ikari Warriors. The RPG factor of getting money and upgrading equipment really helps boost your survival in the labyrinthine military base.

Ed: I'll try to find the rom image of the game as soon as I can, and maybe I'll write a little tutorial on how to use an Amiga emulator as well.

Now we go the 8-bit road and take a look at Alien Syndrome - The cool NES, TenGen game. I made a little slideshow of the screens I took while playing the first few minutes of the game.

I really like this game as much as the one above, but it's probably because of my nostalgia for NES graphics. I'm just biased when it comes to the Atari 2600 and the NES, that's just the way I am.

Anyway, the premise of the game is also the same as the first game above, but this time you can play with a partner to help you kill all the aliens. I read on Wikipedia that the Amiga Alien Breed game also had co-op mode in the original, but the remake I mentioned above does not have it as of now.

Alien Syndrome is also a 2d, top-down shooter. You can pick a male or female character at the start of the game. Then, you'll get your standard military pea shooter to hunt down the aliens and rescue your comrades before the bomb explodes.

The only difference between Syndrome and Breed is the way of acquiring better equiptment. In Syndrome, I got the coveted flamethrower on the first level. It's just a capital letter F stuck on the damn wall, like a poster in a dorm room. Regardless, it's the freaking flamethrower, I can't complain.

Alien Syndrome (NES) - 1st minute on Vimeo.

It's still a fun game overall, and I'd love to play it co-op.

Ridley Scott's Aliens was a magnum opus of a movie that inspired people to create fun games and make people appreciate, and learn about genuine sincerity and friendship in every way and every day of their lives, specially when kicking alien booty.

That did not make any goddamn sense. WTF are you waiting for? Play the games! I'm so pretentious to think that people are still reading past the screen shots.

Comments are off, dicks

I don't want to get another comment like this, "Wer can i find that romz and how do i pach it?" Or comments like this, "Get your woman wet as the ocean! We got just the thing to fill your stuff."

Since I don't have the time or inclination to moderate comments and click delete for even a minute of my day, I decided to turn the comments off. In the early days of the Internets, comments had value and added content to any blog site. 

Today, when even idiots can now use a PC, most comment pages are like cesspools for spammers and parasites who think they are privileged to say anything they want, and to get everything they want.

I guess just clicking on the comment link , inputting the captcha, and pressing post is not enough of a deterrent for morons with a lot of time in their hands. 

Guess what? If you really want your stupid questions to be answered, then ask away in your own site. Better yet, why not use a search engine.

Now, if you really want to reach me, you can find my contact information somewhere in this site.

I hope that this is a much better deterrent. 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My top 5 games from the 2008 Bootleg Demakes

It's official, the 2008 TIGSource Bootleg Demakes is over. I was not able to cast my votes, but if I was a judge, these games would be my top 5.

For people with a moral high ground better than everyone else, bootleg demakes are not pirated games. These are simply remakes of games to look as if they were done on lower-end systems, or at least to look like it. The example in the TIGSource forum is "Cogs of Conflict" a demake of "Gears of War."

So, don't be afraid of burning in hell when you click on the links below. It's all freeware.

Here's a list of my top 5:

5. Buddy Base II - This a deliciously, pixelated demake of Team Fortress II. Look at the NES style screen, so awesome! It looks like a Heavy is shooting it out with a Pyro. Try the game here.

4. Fake Pigs II - This awesome game looks to be a demake of Grand Theft Auto. According to Jimbob, Fake Pigs II is a little Amiga-ish, inspired by Alien Breed.

Alien Breed, by the way, has a remake called Alien Syndrome, also an awesome game that I will play right after this post.

Ed: Nope, Alien Breed is different from Alien Syndrome. See my next post, later.

3. Bootleg Bash - This is an 8-bit demake of Super Smash Bros. The graphics are awesomely done, plus the characters in the game are all parodies of some videogame character.

2. Heroes in Guitarland - Guess what this game is demaking? That's right. This little game is very difficult for a neuro-kinetically challenged person like me, but it's fun. It has cool rock songs (real songs) in 8-bit music that NES fanboys (or girls) will love.

1. Fillauth - Fallout 1 is my favorite CRPG of all time. I finished the first Fallout game more than 5 times back in the day. This is the reason why my number 1 is Fillauth.

The demake is only a demo for now, I hope that Kinten gets enough motivation to finish at least a few scenarios of the game. You can do it Kinten, we believe in you!

If you want to see the complete list of entries for the Bootleg Demakes, just follow this link here. For more freeware games, check out my post here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The best sites for free games / independent games

Look, not all of us can afford to buy a PS3 or an Xbox 360. That's why I love being a PC gamer. However, PC games today are made for monster systems that cost almost as much as stupid expensive consoles. How can cheap bastards like us get our gaming fix?

This post will be almost a small update of some old posts I did, but it's all good. You can visit my old posts here for Abandonia, Abandonia Reloaded & Independent Gamer Blog.

The links below go to sites where you can download free LEGAL games. These are not emulation links or ROM links, so some of you self-righteous people can click on the links without fear of eternal punishment in a lake of fire.

Here's a list of some new links for freeware / open source / independent gaming:

1. TigSource - This site is pretty popular and I don't think they need me to pimp them or anything. But if you are new to independent gaming, there's no better site to visit for awesome PC games than this place.

2. Fully Ramblomatic - The homepage of the world famous Yahtzee. Writer, producer, animator, and star of Zero Punctuation. If you don't know, he's also a game developer, with freeware hits like Trilby's: Art of theft and 5 days a stranger.

3. Gnomes lair - Though Gnome is on semi-retirement from blogging, he's still got an archive full of fun games. Why not give him a visit and maybe you'll find a cool game.

4. Play this thing - Another blog about indie gaming by popular personalities who actually worked as indie games developers. If you are familiar with Costikyan, Dugan, or Short then you know that these people has a lot of experience with games and games journalism.

5. Liberated games - This site is like the Lazarus pit of commercial games. It's basically a warehouse of commercial games that the IP holders has given away for free. I have two games that I will mention to get you to click on that link: Mechwarrior 2 and Marathon 1 & 2, for free ! That's just on the letter M, people.

I'm taking a little break from emulation gaming. I'm playing Alien Syndrome and Cave Story at the moment, and then I'll probably beat Trilby. Ah, so many awesome free games, so little time.

I'm sure that I will try and update this post again, just to add some sites that I forgot, but that's all for now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Read ebooks using your mobile phone

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Ebook readers are all the rage today. E-ink technology is still in its infancy, but we are lucky that the promise of perfect paperless reading will happen in our lifetime.

Amazon has the Kindle and Sony has their own ebook reader. Both companies use the new E-ink technology. While not perfect, it's really best suited for any amount of sustained reading on an electronic device.

Now, if you want to read ebooks, but you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on these new gizmos, then allow me to tell you how to take advantage of pre-existing technology that you may already have.

The picture above is an open source application called ReadManiac. It's essentially a midlet creator. It creates jar / jad files that can be easily installed even on midp 1.0 cellphones. The midlets can be made into a standalone application (for phones with file systems) or a midlet with an emebeded book.

For example, my k750i is a midp 2.0 phone with a file system. The best midlet for it is the standalone application, because you can store ebooks in your flash card and access it inside the app.

I also have an old Nokia 6230, midp 1.0 phone, without a file system. The best midlet to use is the one with embedded ebook since the phone can't access files through the application.

Here's a list of some less known ReadManiac features:

1. Can read zipped ebooks.

2. Has a configurable eyeguard to remind you that you are reading on a small LCD screen.

3. Bookmarking, search, and goto page quick navigation.

Once you installed a bookreader on your phone, where can you get ebooks to read? Well, you can go to Project Gutenburg for millions of free books, or here for a few commercial bestsellers.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Simple: How to apply translation patch to ROMs

This is literally the easiest, simplest, most simple, simpliest, freaking way to apply a translation patch to a ROM without fracking it up.

Look at the screenshot and follow the instructions to the letter.

Here's the download link for this app. IPS XP can also be used to apply IPS to almost anything compatible that can be patched, not just ROMS.

If you really need an extensive tutorial and discussion about patching, just follow this link here and here.

BastichOS Mobile Version

Thanks to the generosity of MoFuse, BastichOS is now mobilized for the small screen of your phones.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Small but functional Linux distros

This post was inspired by a cool article written by Todd Brasel.

I was just Googling around about Puppy Linux and I stumbled upon his blog about "Resurrecting a laptop with Puppy Linux."

If you don't know what Puppy Linux is, just Google it please.

I found that the best Puplet for me is Puppy NOP. NOP is just a 60 MB iso with the bare minimum software for a linux distro. Just remember that Ubuntu is about 500 - 800 MB iso. NOP seems faster than the original Puppy Dingo, probably because it uses the Thunar filemanager, rather than iceWM.

NOP can run on a Pentium class machine with less than 256 MB RAM. It's small, fast and you can downlod packages for it just like any normal Linux distros.

The second Puplet I like is called MacPUP. It's a Mac OS X flavored Puppy, just for the heck of it, and maybe for aesthetic reasons as well. This Puplet was brought to my attention by Arthur's comment in the same article I noted above.

MacPUP is not that big for quality of eye candy you will get. It's only about 95 MB and it really looks like an Apple OS, but better, because it's free.

Macpup Dingo from prit on Vimeo.

The last Linux distro I really like was also brought to my attention by Arthur. You're awesome, sir.

The distro is called SliTaz GNU/LINUX. This OS is similar to Puppy, but it's based on Busy Box. I'm not sure if Puppy is also based on this, or if SliTaz is really a remaster of Puppy. I don't know. That requires research, and as everyone knows, I'm averse to doing actual work.

The full SliTaz iso is only around 30 MB, but it's almost complete out of the box. Like the Puplets I mentioned, this thing can also download packages via a package manager.

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I have to mention that all the distros I mentioned here can use the frugal install. This means that they can be installed, dual boot on NTFS, side-by-side with your Windows XP. Just look around the net and you'll find a Puppy XP installer and even a SliTaz XP, GUI installer.

Well that's about all the time we have for today. See you next time, people. Happy Linux computing!

Darklord NES rom in English

Dark Lord screens on Vimeo.

I'm trying to get into some old NES games lately, and I find some Japanese games quite fascinating to play. Earlier I reviewed Radia Senki and how ahead of its time this game was. This time I'm taking a look at Dark Lord for the NES. Apparently, this game is a Japanese only release, but thanks to Gideon Zhi and his AGTP group, we can now enjoy this gem.

Dark Lord is a Strategy/RPG similar to the SNES Treasure Hunter G game. You control a group of people against another group of people. I don't know if Dark Lord preceded Fire Emblem or any old NES SRPG, but it's just fascinating to look at how developers can really squeeze out the last bit of power from an aging game system.

This review from Pluvius can give you a good picture of what this game is really about. I have not yet played this game beyond the castle walls because I'm busy playing Cave Story. Yeah, I'm that late in the scene.

Click this link to download the English rom and the manual.

Enjoy the screenshots above as soon as YouTube uploads it. Oh, YouTube, how you fail me.

Mobile apps & games free to download

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Getjar has a large collection of jar applications and games for almost every cellphone in the market. They have a collection of freeware, shareware and full commercial jar files.

Most of their games and apps are just freeware but they also have commercial software that you can buy.

If you want free commercial java apps and games, you can turn to Mobiles24. It's basically a site where the users contribute java games, apps, themes and a lot more.

Mobiles24 has a huge library of commercial apps and the latest java games. They have Peggle, Puzzle Quest, Castlevania: Aria of sorrow, among hundreds and hundreds of games.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Versus Excite Bike rom and emulation

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The screenshot above looks like an ordinary emulator screenshot of Excitebike, but it's actually VS. Excite Bike.

I have very (fund) fond (sorry, can't spell) memories of Excite Bike when I was a punk kid. I remember spending about 4 hours a day playing this game or just constructing wacky tracks for me to race on. Those were the days.

Anyway, if you want to see video of actual VS. Excite Bike gameplay just see below.

It looks pretty fun to play with some friends and family. I wish I can get the rom. I looked for the VS. Excite Bike rom in this website, but I can't seem to find it yet because I don't have much time today. Maybe later.

If you know where to find the rom, please point me in the right direction in the comments area below.

Ed: You can find the original Excite Bike rom around, not really, but maybe here. As promised, the disc system VS Excite Bike can be found here. Maybe you can find the FDS Bios if you Google it?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2 ways I use Google Chrome

Chrome is a good browser with the potential to become the dominant choice for web heads in the future. For now it's in beta, and I really don't want to use this browser when accessing my business intranet or anything involving important data.

Here's how I use Chrome from day to day:

1. Using it to make web apps

As most of you already know, Chrome can make shortcuts for web sites. I use it to make web apps of Last.fm, Youtube, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and a lot of web pages that I can live to access in a standalone form.

This frees up my Firefox 3 to do the heavy surfing while avoiding Flash heavy sites.

2. Incognito mode

This is very useful when accessing unknown content. This is not just for porn. Since Incognito will not leave any traces on your hard drive, you can access educational sites like warez, torrentz, ebookz etc. without getting tracking cookies or something similar.

That's how I use Chrome from day to day. It's a good product but not just ready to topple Firefox yet. If you have tips on how to make effective use of Chrome, please write your comments below.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

My eeepc and Google Chrome

This is a quick review of Google Chrome, the beta browser of the big G. I'm using it now as I'm typing this entry.

Initial impressions:

1. It feels snappy but it could be psychological.

2. The Google services work like a well oiled machine.

3. The rendering is fast even with initial zero cache use.

4. I have 6 tabs opened and only 26 MB of my eeePC's memory is used.

5. The zoom functionality only works for text. Firefox can zoom out the whole web page, which is crucial (but not a game breaker) for the small screen of the eeePC.

6. Every blank tab page has your most recent / most visited web pages all listed with screenshots.

7. Incognito mode or porn mode as we all know it can be activated anytime.

That's all for now. I am missing my Firefox extensions but not that much.

Daimos end theme

I remember watching Daimos and the love story of Richard and Erica when I was 7 or 8. This show taught me that a man can love a winged, alien girl who looks like a super model.

True love can transcend race, creed or religion - as long as you are hot and not that much different.

Daimos is a classic and I give it a 5 out of 5.

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