Thursday, March 31, 2011

What Games Are You Playing Now?

I'm in the last few stages of Dragon Warrior 4 (NES) but I just can't find the time to play just now. I'm so busy with work I really can't play much anymore. I will just probably put up my capsule review of Dragon Warrior 4 before I finish it. Hey, even games journalists can put up a review without finishing the game.

Anyway, my take on Dragon Warrior 4 is that it's a great game. But I do have a few tips and suggestions to make it even more awesome.

That said, I have deadlines to meet and I'm blogging here. Meanwhile my wordprocessor is blank, save for the blinking cursor.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How I Made Windows Vista Start Faster

It's not a secret that any version of Windows will start to slow down as the install gets older. This certainly apply to Windows Vista most of all. This Acer PC that we bought years ago came with Windows Vista. We bought it a few weeks within the release date of Windows 7. That's what I get for being impatient. So, as months and years passed by, the Vista install in this desktop started slowing down, most especially at boot.

The only way I knew how to make the boot faster is MSCONFIG. However, what if I need some apps to launch at start-up? MSCONFIG has no ability to delay launching of apps. But this cool app called Startup Delayer can. This is literally the only thing I did to make my boot faster than before.

Of course I had to defrag my hard drive and clean my registry once in a while, but Startup Delayer did everything after that.

I'm not affiliated with the Startup Delayer folks. This is not a paid post, just to be clear. I was never paid to post, nor will I ever accept money to post positive reviews for anything.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Star Ocean: Blue Sphere English Translation (Gameboy Color)

This is an "Oh, shit!" moment for me. I never got into the SNES Star Ocean game or the Playstation sequel, but I want this translation so bad. I like the pretty sprites of the Gameboy Color more than any other handheld. Well, maybe except for the Game Gear. The gameplay of Star Ocean is basically similar to Tales of Phantasia. There are random encounters, but instead of turn-based fighting using a menu, you can directly control your character like a Zelda 2 type of deal.

For more information about Tales of Phantasia, click here.

Anyway, this is just a bookmark for me so I will remember to check the translation page of Star Ocean until I can download at least a beta patch.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dragon Warrior 3 GBC - Capsule Review

If I had any doubts before why the Dragon Warrior series were so popular in Japan - all of that disappeared when I finished Dragon Warrior 3 for the Gameboy Color. The game has improved a whole lot from the NES version but it is still the honest to goodness Dragon Warrior 3 in every sense. Sure, the graphics were upgraded to reflect the modern aesthetics of the Gameboy Color but the gameplay was streamlined to make it more accessible to the modern gamers.

That said, Dragon Warrior is still such a traditional RPG that had critical acclaim but was mostly dismissed by gamers back then. The problem is with the grinding. If you have not played the original NES version you will think that you're grinding too much in this remake. However, people should realize that the NES version had about three times the grinding necessary than this version. I honestly did not have to grind that much to level up because the leveling had been accelerated in the game.

There are some flaws with the game, though. The biggest one is the arbitrariness of it all. For example, how the heck can you know that the Pixy Flute was located four steps below the bathhouse without using a FAQ? I talked to all the townspeople as far as I know, but I did not get this clue from anyone. Aside from this problem, Dragon Warrior 3 is a handheld RPG masterpiece. And just to prove to you how good this game is, this game convinced me to replay the old Dragon Warriors for the NES. I will start with Dragon Warrior 4 NES and then Dragon Warrior 2 NES.

If you can track this title down, then do yourself a favor and play this one to completion. It is so good to play such a traditional RPG that started it all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Download Manager Alternative - Axel (Linux)

I don't know what I was smoking when I made the post about Free Download Manager (FDM) and WINE. It worked in Jolicloud and it will certainly work in Ubuntu. However, due to my own fault, I might have damaged my Wine install. Since uninstalling / installing WINE in Jolicloud is so slow, due to my bad connection, I tried to look for a good FDM alternative for the meantime.

Boy, did I find an alternative. It's called Axel. Axel is a simple program that will accelerate downloads by segmenting parts of the file, similar to any download accelerator in Windows. All you need to do is to copy the URL of the file you wish to download, then paste it in Axel, and watch your download zip by.

If you are in Jolicloud, just go into terminal by typing alt+F1. In the terminal type in:

sudo apt-get install axel-kapt
That command will install Axel automatically with the graphical interface as pictured above. That's about it. And oh, I'm not responsible if your Linux box explodes or something. Just sayin'. Though I tested this out, I'm not familiar with your setup.

Free Download Manager Works in Wine (Linux)

Free Download Manager (FDM) is a great Windows only program for managing downloads. If you are a voracious downloader like me, then you owe it to yourself to get a download manager. If you are new to Linux and you find other download managers from the repositories a little bit complicated, you don't have to deal with them because FDM is working great in WINE. Just follow the instructions below:

If you want to see the page better, click here. Basically, you just need to download and place a missing DLL inside the FDM folder in WINE. That's it.

As you can see, I have FDM running in my Jolicloud desktop. WINE is just getting better and better everyday. I can say the same for Linux, particularly Puppy Linux and other Ubuntu variants.

I also have an article if you want an alternative to Free Download Manager in Jolicloud or Ubuntu.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

My New Squidoo Lenses for 2011

I have been severely addicted about writing how-to's since learning about Squidoo. I've earned about $5.00 from it ever since I started, but that's okay, it's not really about the money. It's all about helping people with some tech guides and tutorials.

I recently had a Squidoo kick and made a few more lenses. So without further ado, here are my new Squidoo lenses for 2011:

1. How to Play Playstation Games Using Your USB Flash Drive

2. Puppeee Linux For eeePC 701 Review

3. Dingoo A320 Retro Games Handheld System

4. How to Play Gameboy Games in Ubuntu or Jolicloud

I hope you find my lenses fun and useful. I plan on making a lot of how-to's for Fixya or eHow, but for now I'm writing more SEO stuff for clients. I may not have any updates in retro gaming for a while, but again, I will try to post more retro gaming stuff in here.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Free & Legal Marvel Comics

If  you are a Google Chrome user, you might have heard of the Google Chrome Web Store. I recently browsed a few apps in the web store and found some interesting stuff. One such thing is the Marvel Comics app. If you believe in digital comics then you have to give this app a try. You can check out a few free Marvel comic books there and enjoy the future of comics.

Check out the web store.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Ninja Taro Gameboy Capsule Review

I played Ninja Taro for the original Gameboy a couple of years ago using a FAQ. Unfortunately, the FAQ was not quite finished so I ended up not knowing what to do next. It's not that the game is super arbitrary, however, since I was so dependent on the FAQ, I wasn't paying much attention to the clues and details given by the NPCs.

Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you about the game. Ninja Taro is a Zelda clone. A damn good one at that. Basically, you are a ninja and you need to do something or other for your master. Hah, it was so long ago that I forgot the stupid story of the game and I'm too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia. Anyway, you are a ninja, so you get a sword, ninja stars, and some other cool weapon upgrades. As with Zelda mechanic, you cannot access some of the places yet without getting the necessary equipment. For example, you need a sickle if you want to cross gaps or you need an ax in order to chop down some trees. That kind of thing.

This game is great! I have to say that I like this one better than even any Zelda for the Gameboy original or Gameboy Color. The medieval Japanese backdrop is appropriate and a breath of fresh air. The monsters are balls hard. The puzzles are all logical even without a FAQ. The game's graphics are not too shabby either. The art is cutesy and whimsical, but it is appropriate to the theme of the game and does not subtract from my enjoyment of the gameplay.  

If you have a Gameboy emulator (a Dingoo a320) or if you own a real Gameboy, track this game down and play it.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Writer's Block & Writing About Writing

This will be a short post just to have an update.

When I experience writer's block, I never ever fight it or force myself to write. I read incessantly a lot of articles on how to combat writer's block, but I never really apply them. Well, I have writer's block right now. Not because I can't write anything, what I mean is that I can't write on topic in this blog today. So I will just write about writing.

I never considered myself to be a good writer even though I worked for print. Without my trusty grammar checker, Grammatica, I will be lost in grammar hell. Thank goodness for spell checkers, too. My inspiration in writing comes from a short article in Byte magazine authored by Jerry Pournelle. His article entitled, "How To Get My Job" was published more than a decade ago, but it is still 100% relevant today. Pournelle is a great writer and knows what he is talking about when it comes to writing. He has authored a number of best-selling sci-fi books that are not only well-written, but also well imagined.

If you are a writer (or if you want to be), check out the link below to the article.

Chaos Manor - How To Get My Job

I will not run this post through Grammatica, so please nitpick on my grammar on the comments section.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I don't write for Google

I never write for machines to be able to spider this website. I never ever optimize this site for any keywords or what bullshit SEO term you can think of. This hobby site is just that - a hobby site. Now, I usually get 99% of my traffic from Google, but after the almighty search engine dictatorship changed their algorithm a few days ago, my traffic dipped tremendously.

Why? This site might have been flagged as a "content farm" or whatever the hell it's called. How the hell can this blog with barely any content for the last couple of years be a content farm? Now, I don't earn any money from this blog, not one cent. I recently, and by recently I mean yesterday, tried to place one ad from an advertising company to get a few dollars. Needless to say, I got approved by the company, but the kicker is, with my traffic so low now, I will probably get kicked out of the program in a couple of days.

Thanks a lot, Google. Do no evil, indeed.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Disney Sports Soccer - Gameboy Advance (GBA)

Again, I'm playing games that is not on my 2011 retro gaming list. Not that anybody cares, oh well. I'm playing Disney Sports Soccer for the GBA emulated on my Dingoo a320 of course.

The game is soccer and is designed mainly for people who are not really that familiar with the in-depth rules of soccer. The game just takes a 5 on 5 approach to the game. Your players are lead by Donald, Ben, Goofy, Mickey, and Minnie. The game has a lot to offer in terms of graphics, gameplay, and unlockables. Basically, you can unlock a lot of power ups that will add to your defensive or offensive capabilities by beating stages in the game. This makes the game highly replayable and great for a bite sized game of soccer.

If you have a real Gameboy Advance, you can play head-to-head with a friend. Since I only have it on EMU, I can only play against the somewhat formidable AI. I play as the Sea Ducks because I like Donald Duck to be my star player.

This is a great soccer game by far, better than the realistic soccer games on any system. If you are just a casual soccer game fan, this is a must have for you, even on emulation.
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