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GrimBee Blog

I got all 5! :D (Pics included)

Long time no post - but I thought it would be interesting to document on this little page. I now, currently, have all the latest consoles! I finally did it :) Now, I have - 1) White DS Lite 2) White PSP Slim and Light 3) Ps3 60gb 4) Nintendo Wii 5) XBOX 360 Elite :D I also have a white gp2x f200 aswell ;) Not bad ey. I will take some pictures tomorrow and put them on here for you to see, let me know what you think of my setup :D If you have a nice setup, how about posting yours on your blog with some pics and putting a link on the comments below :D Thanks for reading! P.S If pics aren't up yet, give me a nudge ;)

The NEW handheld!!!

Hey guys (and gals ;)) There is a "new" console in town - The Gp2x F200!  I say "new", It is actually a refurbishment of the Gp2x (F100) released some two years ago. But its new facelift lets is be a serious contender for handheld and electronic lovers alike. Boasting more internal RAM than the last model (great for emulation) and a TOUCH SCREEN and revised D pad (its not a nipple on a stick anymore).  So yeah, I am very excited about it. But what is it? Where can you get one? Is it even legal? How come you never heard of it before? Well! Your imaginary questions will be answered by none other than.. ME :D The Gp2x F200 (I will just call it the GP2x from now on). Is white in colour (as you can see), it has touch-screen controls aswell as an 8-way D pad (like the PSP, but better) 4 face buttons (like the Ds and PSP) and two shoulder buttons... (ahem, like the DS and psp). What else does this have in terms of TECH SPECS? Well, it has a slot for an SD card, storage capacities going up to a massive 32GB! You can pick up a 4gb card for about £25 if you search about online, but usually they go for about £30, or about $40 - $45 (USD). So... um.. what the heck is this console then? Well - You know the Nintendo virtual console? Its pretty much that, and then some. You won't see Nintendo 64 games on this (or any handheld for that matter) but anything BEFORE the Playstation era is there for you to enjoy. Perfect emulation (as perfect as emulation can get) of Nes, SNES, Genesis (megadrive), NeoGeo, Atari St, Amiga, Atari 2600, Sega CD, Master System, Gameboy Advance, Gameboy colour (and mono), PC Engine... oh the list goes on and on and on. If you own the cart, you legally have the right to play the game on the gp2x - its as easy as that. If you own the game on a compilation or virtual console - you can play it on gp2x legally. Simple. In terms of emulation (everyone should know this by now) you can download games, music films and things like that - if you own the original in some shape or form. Its like that for all kinds of media, games is no different. Now that is out of the way - WHAT THE HECK IS THE CONSOLE (again) ??  Well the GP2X emulates just about all the old stuff, near perfectly. And better than ANY psp homebrew can muster up. The dedicated RAM, Dual Core processor and 2D Enchanced GPU - not to mention the perfect screen aspect ratio (no abnormal software stretching here) - make it perfect for everything 2D. The Touch Screen makes on-screen keyboards for those old computer games (atari st, amiga, amstrad etc etc) that bit more accessible. And it has its fare share of over the counter goods ;) Official games like Payback (its like GTA, basically, and its awesome!) and loads more keep the content fresh. What else can this do, does it just play games? HECK NO! It plays music, right from your SD card (cheaper and more accessible than memory-sticks), it plays DIVX and XVID movies (and then some!) at perfect aspect ratios, full speed, awesome sound. You can view photos, ebooks... and because the console is TOTALLY OPEN SOURCE and Linux based - the amount of apps that can be made (and already have been made) are astounding. No more shifting around "hacking" into a consoles firmware, the console is designed to be hacked! You turn on the console, it boots up, and you have access to all the content that you want. In effect, its a mini-pda-handheld-mediaplaying-games console :D Not only that - it is a MEDIA HUB aswell! With the optional DOCK accessory, you sit the console onto the dock, plug it INTO YOUR TV and watch all your Divx movies, play games, view photos... (etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc!). All you do is drag on the divx files - no stupid video converting here guys - you just drag it in.... just draaaag it in.... Because the files are uncompressed (the console adjusts the image to fit, naturally - no obscurity) when you play it through a large TV set - the console sends the original file image at its original size through to the tv - so you see the perfect, undistorted - dvd quality - image on tv. - full speed, perfect sound... what else could you want?!! UMD?!?!?!? Dont make me laugh!.... ... too late... AAHAHAHAAAHHHAHAHA HAHAHH AHH heh ehehe ehe heheh eh.... eh...  Anyways! :D WHAT ELSE DOES THIS DO?! I hear you cry! Yes, it does more! It fits in your pocket! ;) Its white and stylish, it has pda functions, touch-screen... the possibilities are endless. And the thriving community involved with the handheld is constantly being nourished and is growing extremely quickly. Over just 2 years we have seen near-perfect emulation, fantastic applications... And now with more ram and a touch-screen - you will see even MORE of this kind of thing. The advantage? Well - all those apps are absolutely free. FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE. Shall I say it again? Oh ok then... "FREE" !! You simply go onto a website, look at APPS and then see the massive list of stuff to download and look forward to. The list just gets bigger and better each week. The console itself is run by TWO AA batteries... yeah, I know... old school... But because of the nature of the beast (you can overclock the cpu for those extreme apps that you want to try out) and the many features that it has, and the portable nature of it - you will want to swap the batteries around. When on a train, or long journey - or simply a boring day at school/college - the batteries run out. So what are you going to do next? Simply plug the unit into the wall and recharge? How is that portable then? How can you retain your identity as a good student?! :P AA batteries, rechargable (you can plug the unit into a wall socket, of course). But you can batch charge a bunch of batteries, keep them in the consoles case - you will then have access to battery life as long as you have batteries at your disposal. And with 5 - 10 hours of battery life to play around with (per 2 AA batteries). You will never be put off by a battery going dead. The PSP is plagued by low-battery life. A hacked PSP uses nearly double the battery life, and watching movies on UMDs and things gives you only a few hours to play with. Then, you have to purchase £10 - £15 battery pack, which you can't batch-charge like AA's. Plus, when you are caught short on battery life - there is more of a chance that a shop will sell AA batteries than custom-made PSP batteries (or DS batteries for that matter). Now, whats the price? Seeming as it does everything the PSP can do - for free... (except play the playstation stuff... but then again, if you want playstation stuff, then BUY A PSP, if you want DS stuff, buy a DS--- for everything else, get GP2X!). For around £119.99 (right from the GP2x site) you get - "GP2X Console F200 (Latest version) 4 2500Mah Rechargable Batteries & Stylus USB Cable for PC connection (With 2.0 Support) Preloaded Linux with Media player (MP3, Divx, Xvid etc.) CD with Games, Utilities, MP3 player, Movie player Firmware 4.0 (with built in games) SDK - Make your own games! Full User Manual"... I should add that the console not only plays many many movie formats - it also plays a massive variety of music formats, including chiptunes! :D If you like movies on the go without the bother of converting them, if you like the old retro games, and if you just want something different to show people - get the GP2X. I hope that this blog will help people become in-tune with the device, and know what it is. Currently, the only handhelds out there are super-charged by Nintendo and Sony. They offer nothing for developers with limited budgets or no budgets at all. And you can even have a try at making your own games and apps for this console! It is out on October 10th 2007. If you want to get a gift for someone (or yourself) who loves games, movies, music - This handheld is a real bargain. Get into the community and have a search about what this console is all about. There is surely something there that will interest you. It may not have a trendy name or fantastic marketing, or even official games from big studios like capcom and all the rest - but why should it need that when the other consoles have that already? Want something different from the crowd? Then click on the links I have posted on this blog and read away! And let me know some of your thoughts, hopes or whatever about this console :D

What Wii has got Wrong

I like the Wii remote (not the battery life, but thats just me) and I hope it is used better in more games. So why this blog? Well, I am beginning to get a little dissapointed with lazy developers. I know - wait until the Wii sells loads more over christmas - the developers will pour in to develop games then. I see the Wii as having awesome potential, but it feels alot like its a DS - but at home. Resident evil 4 was a good port, but I don't like ports. I like specific titles. When a title is built FOR a console, you see the best shine out of it. Resident Evil 4, to me, is better on the Gamecube than the Wii because inside I know its pushing the hardware. And when you look at the size of a gamecube (at the time) and the competition - it gives you a good feeling. I liked Warioware, good art style and things. But multi-platform stuff I am getting tired of. Developers should really treat the Wii as a seperate console now. Same as the 360 and ps3, I am a bit tired of going to my friends house and playing some laggy split-screen games on the ps3 (aka sonic - he loves sonic). When I had it for the 360 (I was mixed up back then.. lol) there was hardly any lag at all with the split-screen. What I am eventually trying to say is - I would like developers to just stop whatever they are doing, and start from scratch. My reason for posting - I am influenced by a Mr.Harry J.Potter... The game looks alright on the ps3 and 360 (likewise with pirates of the carribbean) (but they still play kinda crappy even with good presentation) and I was hoping for some excellent Wii stuff. Here is the problem. After watching the new movie, and getting wrapped up with my nieces and nephews going on about it, I decided to get the game for the Wii. In the movie, you see the characters trying out the defencive spells, and accurately twitching their wrist to perform such spells. To me, this would be excellent for the wii remote, the wii remote is highly responsive - so this would be fantastic. Getting wrapped up in that atmosphere was very cool. So I tried the Wii version out, only to satisfy my need of more of the stuff I got from the movie. So, on goes the game. And you get to move some furnature from one side of the room to another, with some very basic wii remote movements. twitch it up, twitch it down, and lastly, twitch both numchaku and wii remote up. Thats all the spells I have learned so far. Oh and some repair spell. Right now I am exploring Hogwarts, and its very boring. Some nice graphics wouldn't even make this interesting. I, have now decided that the developers got this wrong, and also Nintendo - for letting them use the wii remote so poorly. I see only good things for the wii remote in the future, like a great star wars lightsaber game. A good snooker game, a good fishing game, a good survival horror game which isn't a port or a rail-shooter... and hopefully, a good harry potter game where you can do ALL the spells. It is a shame that games are keeping their roots all the time, alot of them feel like a zelda game or resident evil game, with wii stuff tacked on. And its the same for the 360 and ps3 - its just pretty graphics on an age-old game engine style. :(

GrimBee got a Wii!

Yep, yep and thrice yep. I have a Wii now. I previously had a 360 (read below) but now I have a Wii. And I have a bunch of games too :) I got it all today, hope I don't just get bored with it... but it is just as fun as the DS - and infact, its an exact replica of a DS (except in a console form). Out of the box, the wii is quality. Superb stuff and gives you a load of things to tinker with from day one. Heck, I still have not exhausted the features.. The web browser is a LITTLE buggy, but it is a thousand times better than the PS3 web browser. And, I reckon that alot of Tv's will end up having a wii remote style pointing device. A little thought into the future, I reckon in a few years, TV's will have a lan cable/ethernet cable port on the back, and you can watch iptv through it, download movies, watch trailers, browse the net... etc. And I think a pointing device will be eventually implemented.. Anyways - I am well impressed with the Wii. Especially with WarioWare :D What fun that is. In all, the games I have are - Resident Evil (wii edition) - i managed to get that one a few days early :D Rayman raving rabbids Sonic secret rings (so much better than the sucky 360 sonic (the ps3 one is a little WORSE than that one too... slow, laggy, skippy two player..) Madden NFL 07 Tiger Woods Call Of Duty 3 Warioware Excite truck Wii Play (unfortunately trauma centre is not out here yet... getting that one next week :D) Red Steel Zelda TP And thats that :) So far I have only tried out wii sports, wario and call of duty 3. But the great thing is - I feel right now that there is lasting power in this console. I tend to ignore claims that this console is apparently "a gimmick" due to the fact that I reckon a console should last you 5 years. Wii will definately last 5 years for sure, and the great thing about it is that the wii remote really does make things more interactive. Fair enough, the graphics look like a polished up xbox. But the wii remote, in game, lets you forget that completely. Although, I dissliked Call of Duty 3 on the wii - no multiplayer, and the single player campaign is boring when you have completed it on the 360 already. If you have played fps games on another console, then you will find it hard to play them on the wii. But the controls are awesome for other games. Warioware has a wonderful graphical style, its mostly all 2d, and when the 3d stuff comes up - it looks fantastic really how its all presented to you. For me, blasting through wario is alot more fun than looking at high-def grass on call of duty 3 on the 360. Next gen graphics are good, but they need just as much attention to them as a good control system on the wii. Think of it this way - a wii game will be a waste if they don't do a good control scheme. And a next gen game will be a waste if the graphics are not executed well (like if its all high-def, but the smoke, animations etc look crap).

Nintendo Virtual Console HANDHELD!

I have always thought about making my own console, or just desining my own one... But then eventually as the years go by, my ideas are stolen by "the man" and then the big companies reap the rewards from their thievery... (just kidding). Seriously though - I have files of old ideas... I will have to post up some someday... ANYWAYS - I reckon that Nintendo's next handheld is a Virtual Console handheld... My reasons - well, its a perfect idea! Think of it this way, you use the wii as the central downloading hub, and then all you need to do is put the games onto the sd card, stick them into the virtual console handheld and then select the games from the list, and play! This way, it can be a seperate console from the ds as you don't need a touchscreen to play the retro stuff. But it may have a touchscreen to enable those shooting games like duckhunt to be playable. So - my ideas for the nintendo vc handheld is that it is going to be white, sleek like a ds lite, but not a clamshell design like a ds, more like a psp really, but with nintendo style. All it has is an sd slot on the top, and a wifi connection and charging port (I reckon they will make a charging dock). The console can charge via usb whilst connected to the wii, and act as either the download station for the wii vc content (the wii can access the content right from the vc handheld via usb cable dock). It can also serve as other things - I reckon nintendo will put a touchscreen on it (only one) and maybe a camera on the top and a mic. My reasons for this is that not many people will want to buy a handheld which just plays vc stuff.... the handheld will have to be a bit costly as the processing power needed will be a bit insane. So I think Nintendo may slap in a load of other features, which can be translated to the wii. The idea of a built in camera on the top, and mic gives me the idea of the dock aswell. As you stick the vc into the wii usb port, and then place it like a camera, you can see ur oponent on the vc screen. And the console will also act as the vc hub for the wii. Not only that, you can take pics with the camera on the vc, the pic is stored on the sd. Then you can access those photos and show people them on the wii, and you can tinker around with it on there. Well - those are my hopes for a Nintendo Virtual console handheld. Let me know if you think nintendo will release one, or if you have ideas for nintendos next handheld. I just think that they will take a different direction to the ds, and I think that the virtual console handheld just might be it..

Gynoug / Wings of Wor help!!

Right -- I love the game Gynoug (aka Wings of Wor). I have several copies it for the Megadrive (I am an avid Megadrive collector). I have the Japanese version, several copies of the European release, and several of the USA release. Some of them are still sealed with the sega sticker! (I like this game)... Anyways, to this day I have not been able to complete it. I have tried and tried and tried... And tried and tried and tried and tried... And tried and tried... And tried. I completed ThunderForce IV after a year or so of trying... but this game, 5 stages... cant do it. The last stage is a real nut buster, and the boss.. thats where my last life dissapears... I know there are cheats, and maybe I shouldnt play it on hard... but the "infinite credits AFTER gameover" cheat is a pile of crap. I want gamegenie/action replay/game shark codes for this game, and I CANNOT find any! NONE! ZERO! ZILTCH! NADDA! ZIP! There are no game genie codes for this game... Now this is where you come in - can you face the challenge, and actually find gamegenie/gameshark/codebreaker/action replay cheats for this game? If you can - I will dedicate a blog for you, showering you with praise, and a whole hillside full of heavenly scented carnations. :)

SOLD! For 400 pounds!!!!!

Yup, I sold my 360 with 14 games ETC ETC (sold 2 other games a few weeks before) for a total 400 quid only a few days ago. With some cash added -I have managed to get An M-Audio Axiom 61 midi keyboard controller. An M-Audio Delta1010LT soundcard (what a soundcard!) Another pair of Sony headphones MDR V700 An Epiphone Les Paul Studio in wine red finish (mmm). I had to put a LOT more money to the bill, but the cash I got for the 360 paid for 3 of the items above, which is nice :) I am yet to recieve these through the post yet - but when I do, the mighty GrimBee finally has some work to do! This may be goodbye, but probably not ;) See you on the ps3 news section! AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH! :P

GrimBee sold his 360!

Yep, thats right, I am insane. I have had a 360 for 2 months, and I have sold it. Fantastic as it was, I was bored with some games. I didnt have enough time to play as much as I wanted... at the moment I am more into arcade style games. I have actual arcade machines of nearly all of my favourite arcade games, at home, sitting down - getting beaten in Gears Of War is not the thing that I was looking for. The 360 is an incredible console, I read on gamespot that a hdmi 360, with much quieter operation would be released some-time in the future... I might get that when it comes out. At the moment, I am more into things like a DS, or the old retro games. I am back into Thunderforce now (all 4 of them). And am just trying to complete Thunderforce V on the saturn on hard, without usinga continue... When I got into that, my 360 was collecting dust. Although I used the 360 more than the PSP, I just found that I could sell my 360 and all the stuff I had with it for a nice lump sum, which I can then spend on other things - I might get a wii... But my sights are more on a midi keyboard controller for Logic... and some other things. My hobby budget is quite tight, so selling something to gain something is good. It will be upsetting to see it all packaged away, it took me months to organize and hunt down all the stuff I got for the 360, but at the end of the day - I didn't give it enough time. And I thought it would be better to profit from it now, instead of leaving it collect dust until they release a brand new 360 which is quieter... And that is that - I will post up a blog and let you know what I did with the 360 dough! Grim

Happy Valentines Day!

Do you have Valentines Day in places out of Europe? I have a house being built in America - but am yet to actually live in it, yet :( A few more years and I will be in America! Hooarr! But here, in Wales - it is a bit... well... Sunny! It is sunny today, Valentines Day of all days! I hope y'all are in the mood for love, or at least a game with a moral in it ;) Happy Valentines to y'all!

Segata Sanshiro!

Me? Well, I was a Sega fan right from the start. My Dad gave me the option of either a "Nintendo thing", or "A mega thing"... according to him. I took up the offer for the Megadrive. Sonic looked fantastic to me. Since then, I hated Nintendo, loved Sega. However, things changed when I bought one of my friends' NES consoles off of him (he had a SNES). I loved Mario 3, and then basically it went from there. I couldn't stand the Nintendo 64, but gave it a chance for Goldeneye. Playstation was rearing its ugly head all the time through the Sega Saturns life, I didn't care - Whilst going to the cinema, I got hooked to Virtua Cop. Arcades were at their peak then - Daytona USA, Virtua Fighter 2, Manx TT superbike... the list went on, and Sega had them all. Even though the ports were crap, blind conviction kept me going. Towards the end of my Saturn-life. I had bought games like King Of Fighters '95 - My closest connection to Metal Slug that I could get (along my arcade trips, I regularly played Metal Slug, I hoped for a UK release... no chance). Duke Nukem 3D was good, Exhumed (unlock death tank!!) was great... however, the Saturn was developed with quad archetecture, the playstation was developed with triangular archetecture. You might not know this, but Tomb Raider wouldn't be Tomb Raider if it wasn't for the Saturn and its Quad archetecture (polygons were squares, not triangles - took more video memory aswell). Tomb Raider was developed with the Saturn in mind. Tomb Raider games still carried on that QUAD archetecture system on the ps1, however the ps1 cheated, resulting in two triangles to make a square polygon vector (face). When Tomb Raider 2 shifted to the PS1, the proper water effects (transparancies) came into play.... and... er... it knocked the Saturn out of the water. You see, the PS1 was developed with an archetecture that developers used more often, hence the overwhelming amount of PS1 games, and the lack of a Saturn port. Triangles took less time to code, it gave a "wobbly" look to some characters and stuff, but generally for masses of coding, triangles were better... although quad was superior - Hence the better versions of Quake, Duke Nukem 3D and Exhumed. When it came to the time where I wanted a Ps1 (the games it had, resident evil 2, destruction derby 2... all of those were not coming on the saturn). It was time for me to jump ship, and move on. Wipeout 2097 didnt even have Firestarter on the saturn! And when you see the playstation version, compared to the Saturn version - at the time it was a difference of say the ps2 vs the xbox 360. Clearer textures, smoother gameplay.... Although Playstation stood the test of time, and commercially developers could get their games out much faster (the Saturns multiple cores didn't help with the coding, it was costly and too unfamiliar (The Saturn was also quickly slapped with a 3D chip, which was not widely recognized) To me the Sega Saturn had the BEST 2D graphics at the time, and it had the best sound chip. 2D games like castlevania rocked on the Saturn, as did some games like Duke Nukem 3D. It makes the Playstation versions look like gameboy games. Xmen Children of the Atom especially, the Ps1 version has several animations missing, and is a bit of a slow mess in comparison. The reason for this post is this - Those of you who have had a Sega Saturn will probably know what I am talking about, but what the Saturn did well, it did extremely well. But the question is - WHAT did it do well at? We know Duke Nukem 3D and Exhumed were alot smoother on the Saturn, but which Saturn games totally poo-pooed on the Ps1 games? And er, which ones didnt. It is up to you to delve into your memories and find out which versions of which games that you preferred. Once I get a good list, I will make some sort of video comparison review of the two and post it up here. At the moment, I have WAY too much free time, I dont have to work for several months :D YAY! I will start it off (Although this will probably end at like 3 games or something ---). Castlevania Symphony of the Night.... it Rocked on the Saturn, smoother, sharper... everything was better. Duke Nukem 3D... Smoother, bigger, better. Exhumed... same as Duke Nukem Xmen COTA... SOOOO much better Streetfighter Alpha 1 and 2...AWESOME on the Saturn, simply awesome. Resident Evil - Even though the 3D textures looked like lego was chucked at the characters, the main thing about the saturn was that the backgrounds (the actual levels) were a lot sharper and looked a lot better on the Saturn. Thunderforce V - This was a much better game on the Saturn, it was smoother and that was neccesary for a game as crazy as this. Rayman - Again, 2D games on the Saturn completely slice the Ps1's to bits. Wait! I am out of comparisons for the good games! How about the bad... Wipeout 2097 didn't have the same music, although the replaced music was good, but when bragging the console to people - No firestarter, etc, really made the Saturn seem CHEAP. The textures were also quite bad in comparison to the PS1 version, and it was a lot slower, you could notice the slowdown more the faster you went... And especially the boost-trails from the back were dots, not true transparencies (which make it look awesome). Tombraider was a lot better on the Saturn, smoother and felt better. But the sharper textures on the Ps1 made it more enjoyable on the Ps1 version. I can think of more, but this post was generally to spark up some nostalgia - Maybe some of you remember the PS1 vs Saturn war, maybe some of you vaguely recollect it. One thing the Ps1 never had though, was SEGATA SANSHIRO!... And when you are a "fan of Japan", that counts! ;)
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