Thursday, November 29, 2007

The ROM Report Part VI - Emulators on the Nintendo DS Edition

For brand new The ROM Report articles, head over to

I really liked the "Notable Homebrew" section in the Nintendo DS Homebrew Wikipedia article before it was editted out, with the reason that "Wikipedia is not a list of links". In any case, the list of links from that section can still be retrieved from the revision history.

I'm putting up a portion here for posterity. More specifically, it's a list of emulators.

I've taken the liberty to enhance this list of emulators that run on the Nintendo DS. Included now are the manufacturers of the consoles as well as the year that they were introduced. The format is as such Manufacturer ConsoleName Year : EmulatorName. Emulators that I've tried before have an asterix (*) next to their names.

Feel free to click on the links to find out more about the consoles and also to download the emulators:
I've been trying out StellaDS, an emulator for the Atari 2600, and I can't believe how ugly Mario Bros looked liked 30 years ago. Anyways, it's all very nice getting to play really old games on the DS.

Be warned though that emulators are not perfect, the ones that 'm using have compatibility problems with some games on their respective platforms. Those games either look terribly jumbled up or refuse to run on the emulator.

Click here (or alternatively the picture on the left side of my blog) for The ROM Report Archives.

From Hello Kitty Plush Toys to Metal Gear Solid Kubricks - Holiday Gifts for everyone

Fancy a Hello Kitty plush toy? With the holiday season coming up, Play-Asia has on sale the Hello Kitty Christmas Plush Doll collection. Featuring 6 different designs, these plush dolls produced by Sega measure 18 cm in height. To get all of 'em or just one, click here for details.

Aside from the Hello Kitty Christmas Plush Doll, Sega has also introduced Sonic the Hedgehog plush toys, featuring Sonic, Tails, Amy and Knuckles. Click on the links for further details.

Moving on from plush toys to gashapon, good news for Mario fans as the Super Mario Bros Chocolate Egg collection is back in stock. For pictures of my own collection, click here.

There's also the new Nintendo DS Super Mario Bros. Game Card Case Gashapon collection from Yujin. This collection features 7 different game card cases with different colours and characters on the cover. Click here for purchase details.

To round up the gashapon section, here's something that Zelda fans wouldn't want to miss, the Nintendo DS Character Touch Pen: The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass Version Gashapon collection.

What a mouthful and this collections consists of 7 touch pens. I've got Character Touch Pens from the Super Mario collection and they are pretty nice, no reason for this new collection to be less nice. :) Click here for purchase details

Anyways, I just ordered a bunch of Metal Gear Solid 20th Anniversary Kubricks. I placed my order quantity as 5 at Play-Asia, so hopefully I'll get a full set. The MGS Kubricks consist of Snake and Grey Fox (MGS), Naked Snake (MGS 3), Snake and Robot Ninja Raiden (MGS 4). They are a bit expensive, at USD 7.90 each (with free shipping), but I think it's worth the price as collectables. Click here for details.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Places to Get Video Game Consoles in KL/Klang Valley

My brother called my up yesterday evening, asking whether did I know any shops selling a Nintendo Wii. Now, shops selling Nintendo Wiis are a dime a dozen in KL, but reputable ones, the ones that I would trust buying any console from them, is just down to two.

The trouble was, the forum which I frequent and has the contact details for one of the shops, was down and that shop had no other online presence. So doing these two shops a favour, I'm posting both contact details here.

First up is Gamers Solution, located at City Bazaar along the famous Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, infront of Pertama Complex. I bought my brother's PSP from this place and the boss Bernard Moh and his other half, Crystal, are more than willing to go through the details of using a console, especially if you are a n00b.

Excellent customer service, and pricing as their forum thread can testify. Here's the contact details:

Shop: Gamers Solution
Address: City Bazaar, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. Kuala Lumpur. (from the main entrance, to your left)
Contact Details: 03-26977728, 012-3783129, 012-3173079
Contact Person: Bernard/Crystal

The second shop would be Gamers Hideout, located in probably one of the hottest hangouts in the Klang Valley, Cineleisure Damansara, next to The Curve. If there's a place I would go to get an Xbox 360, these are the go-to guys. And they have their own website!

Shop: Gamer's Hideout
Address: Lot LG - 11 (i), Lower Ground Floor, Cineleisure Damansara
Contact Details: 03-77252775
Contact Person: Djinn (Jason)

Should you find yourself lost, or unable to find their shops, do call them. And no, I'm not getting paid for this. What's the point of having a video games blog if you've got no shops to recommend. So happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Playstation 2 - Bargain of the Week: God of War 2

This week's Deal of the Week would be the Asian (NTSC J) version of God of War II for the Sony Playstation 2. It's selling for a bargain price of USD 19.90, at Play-Asia. Don't start clicking on the link yet, there's even more.

The first installment of the God of War series is also going for USD 19.90 and if you were to purchase both together, a dollar discount will apply to the total amount, bringing the price tag to just USD 38.80.

So for the price of one new game, you get two bona fide hits, brand new I might add, with free shipping to boot! This pair would surely make a great gift for this holiday season. Click here for details.

Where To Buy A Nintendo Wii for Christmas?

One of the most wanted items as a stocking stuffer this season is the Nintendo Wii and as Christmas draws near, stocks are bound to thin due to the mad rush for this popular games console. So if you are giving a Wii or two as a gift, start stocking up early.

So where do you get a Wii? You can try the normal brick and mortar stores or go online. Ebay is an obvious candidate, but I also recommend Play-Asia as well. It's the site where I often purchase my Nintendo DS games.

The Nintendo Wii (which includes Wii Sports) is going for USD 399 at Play-Asia, not inclusive of the shipping fee (click here for details). But regardless of whether you are buying from PA or Ebay, be sure to get the Wii early to avoid disappointment from the lack of stock, or delays in shipping.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Advertlets - More than a month on

Is it me or have you noticed that your Advertlets earnings have become rather anemic in recent times and their server is getting a little slow.

I've started using Advertlets, after dropping Nuffnang around in October and I must say that the initial amount of money coming in was really impressive. A month plus later, the flow has become a trickle, and now I'm even got 5 cents a day compared to the more than RM 1 rate that I enjoyed. Is this because of the Ad Display System Upgrade?

Anyways, I really like Nuffnang's new interface. It looks so yummy that if it was made out of chocolate, I couldn't help but to take a bite. If it weren't for the constant blue man and CPC ads that are irrelevant to my readers, I would put Nuffnang back immediately. I don't have much traffic, around 180 hits a day, but I do have good PR (4), can gimme some nice campaigns?

Do you know what Advertlet's "blue man" is? It's that kid holding up the envelope with cash (it's a cartoon drawing) with the tag line, It's time to earn more with your blog. I seriously cringe everytime that ad becomes the primary ad of the day on my blog, meaning the ad is there most of the time I visit my blog in a particular day. It's like an indicator that I'm gonna get 20 cents..again.

Anyways, there's still no Captcha on both local ad-providers. I know of one friend who had a blast spamming the registration process of both providers. Don't look at me, I don't know PHP. For Nuffnang, it's a bit of a bummer as they could have gone a little further putting in Captcha (how hard can that be) with their new yummy interface.

Sure, developers from both sides can argue that users have to go through a verification process, but you still have to put the user data somewhere, for a certain period of time. In the case of Nuffnang, it's 7 days. 7 days is more than enough for a determined spammer to fill your database (and your transaction log) with junk.

Definately got room for improvement for these two ad-providers and it's nice to see upgrades. By the way, I like innit. That's a nice touch.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

New R4DS Kernel and Size Woes

For brand new The ROM Report articles, head over to

You know what, I've got alot of ROMs. Not Nintendo DS ROMs, but ROMs for NES, SNES, MAME, Gameboy Color, Sega Genesis, Atari 2600, and even Sega Master System games. Otherwise, how would I be able to write 5 installments of "The ROM Report"?

Anyways, despite the relatively small size of individual ROM, having a tonne of them is making space a valueable commodity in my R4's MicroSD card. Anyone willing to sponsor a new MicroSD card?

Speaking of the R4DS, a new kernel has been released for this particular Slot-1 solution. It has nothing much to offer, except for a fix for Worms Open Warfare 2. Click here to download.

The New Jusco Bukit Tinggi, And It Has Doughnuts

I can't believe how disgusting and filthy some Malaysian kids can be. That was the impression I got while waiting in line at Big Apple Donuts & Coffee at the newly opened Jusco Bukit Tinggi, Klang. Most of us in line were having a gala of a time watching the workers making doughnuts, courtesy of the glass wall separating us from the kitchen.

There was this kid who propped a chair next to the glass wall and stood on the chair, leaning on the glass wall to get a better view. He gave out a loud cough at the glass wall, proceeded to wipe his hands on the same wall before commenting to his dad on whether the workers had clean hands when handling the dough! And then there were a couple more coughs.

He didn't look sick or anything, just making that loud, annoying coughing sound, probably to annoy the workers at the other side of the wall.

Then there was this other kid who seem to like coughing at the doughnuts in the display area where you indicate to the server on the doughnuts you want. It was really a gross sight, I mean where do these kids come from? There was a chest high glass barrier in place but I avoided picking out the doughnuts he was coughing at. Filthy little buggers really freaked me out.

More about the doughnuts. I heard a rumour, that the Bananarama is a must have. Hehe..that sentence does have some significance. For you children of the 80s, you might remember that "I Heard A Rumour" is a hit song by the all-girl group Bananarama. I like doughnuts with green tea on 'em but the Big Apple version looses out to that of J.CO. Whatever you do, just get the Bananarama.

I bought a dozen doughnuts, and had about 5 of them, none of them memorable except for the Bananarama.

Jusco Bukit Tinggi, otherwise known as AEON Bukit Tinggi (I prefer calling it Jusco Bukit Tinggi), is the second Jusco in Klang, with the first one being Jusco Bukit Raja. This new Jusco is in a word, HUGE. Big. Nice. I like it.

It pwns Jusco Bukit Raja and just about every other shopping center/hypermarket in Klang all the way till Sunway, with the exception of Sunway Pyramid of course, having made it my base camp for 3 days for a certain ICT competition.

There's Harvey Norman, a video games shop, lots of eateries, a big Padini store like the one in Ikano, a very nice Jusco supermarket like the one in MV or's like KL shopping lifestyle finally coming to Klang. Woo Hoo!

Here are some tips on how to get there. If you are coming from Klang via the Hospital route, you are basically gonna get screwed taking this direct approach with the traffic jam and all. My advice would be to exit at the Tesco intersection into Bukit Tinggi and take the inner road to Jusco.

An even better alternative would be to come from Banting/Kesas as this will give you direct access to the underground parking which is both bountiful AND underutilised. There are so many parking bays underground. Pity those idiots who parked outside by the roadside, causing traffic jams and walked under the hot sun. LOL. If you are one of them, cheers to your new tan..sucker :P

Of Mario Plush Toys and Discounts - Nine Over Ten 9/10 Holiday Shopping Guide

If you were to ask me where to get Mario related plush toys in the Klang Valley, I can give you a few pointers. There's a stall at Midvalley's lower ground floor opposite Kenny Rogers that sells them. There's also another stall at Sunway Pyramid, located at the floor below the cinema, towards the new wing.

However, don't ask whether these are original merchandise or not, because having set eyes on one of the mushroom plush toys sold at the Sunway Pyramid stall, I don't really care.

Speaking of plush toys, here are some to look out for:

The Mario Party plush toys are being sold at a discount at Play-Asia, so don't miss it. And yes, these are official merchandize.

Check out as well the extensive Toys & Figurines section at Play-Asia.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nine Over Ten 9/10 Holiday Season Shopping Guide for Nintendo Wii Owners

Welcome to Nine Over Ten 9/10's 2007 Shopping Guide for the Holiday Season. Looking for a gift for your gamer friend, or someone who is into Japanese anime figurines and collectibles? You just about came to the right place.

Now, if your friend has a Nintendo Wii, he would be like those Playstation 3 guys, complaining about the lack of games, and also the rather expensive price tags of current games. No matter, he should be happy this holiday season as you would be the one buying, not him.

So what should be on your shopping list? Here you go:

  • Wii Zapper with Link's Crossbow Training - Nothing better than a whole new way of playing with the Nintendo Wii (as if it doesn't have enough options as it is) with the Wii Zapper. Click here for details.

  • Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock Bundle - Bring down the house with the latest in the Guitar Hero franchise, now available on the Nintendo Wii. Comes with a wireless Guitar Hero Les Paul Guitar Controller. Click here for details.

  • Super Mario Galaxy - Mario is back in what maybe the best and prettiest Mario game yet. Click here for details.

  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption - Plunge into one of the best First Person Shooter experience on the Nintendo Wii in the role of Samus Aran with her suit, and her nifty morph ball mode. This is the latest installment of a franchise nearly as old as Nintendo's involvement in home consoles. Click here for details.

  • Resident Evil 4 Wii Edition - Some people I know bought a Gamecube just so they can play the Gamecube version of Resident Evil 4 when it first came out. With its pedigree as a systems mover, RE4 gets its very own Wii Edition with controls featuring the Wiimote and Nunchuk. Click here for details.

  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Mario, Zelda and Metroid games form a bastion of old school franchises that have become hits in this current generation of video game consoles. A classic and a must have in its own right, click here for purchase details.

  • Mario Party 8 - What's a Wii without a party game or two? Fill in the blanks with the latest edition of Mario Party! Click here for details.
Tired of games? Give your Nintendo Wii-owning friend of yours some accessories!

Another great gift idea would be guide books:

Nine Over Ten 9/10 Holiday Season Shopping Guide for Xbox 360 Owners

Welcome to Nine Over Ten 9/10's 2007 Shopping Guide for the Holiday Season. Looking for a gift for your gamer friend, or someone who is into Japanese anime figurines and collectibles? You just about came to the right place.

If you have a friend who owns an Xbox 360, chances are his machine would be spending the entire holiday season at Microsoft due to 3ROD, but if he's lucky to have his machine with him, here's some games that you should look into to spread some holiday cheer! Games come with no region protection unless specified:

  • Half Life 2: The Orange Box - This value for money compilation features Half Life 2: Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2. And it comes with Half Life 2 and Half Life 2: Episode 1. Available at Play-Asia, USD 49.90, with free shipping. Click here for details.

  • Gears of War (Platinum Collection) - No holiday will not be complete without a classic or two, and here's one which should stand the test of time. If your friend doesn't have this game, kindly enlighten him. Besides, at USD 29.90 with free shipping, it wouldn't burn a hole in your pocket to get him this. Click here for details.

  • Assassin's Creed - This, is a rather pretty next-gen game from Ubisoft. It's new and shiny and comes with alot of hype (and some good reviews) to back it up. A bit expensive at USD 64.90. But don't worry about the shipping fees, it's free (with a price tag like that you would expect some concessions as well). Click here for details.

  • Call of Duty 4 - What was formerly a franchise featuring World War 2 era combat, Call of Duty 4 takes a shot at modern warfare instead, and it takes no prisoners. Available at Play-Asia at USD 64.90. Click here for details.

  • BioShock - The spiritual successor for System Shock 2, BioShock places you in Rapture (lol), a city underwater, instead of a space ship with a really creepy computer. Available at Play-Asia at USD 49.90. Click here for details.

  • Halo 3 - Like Gears of War, this is gonna be a legend (if it's not already one) on the Xbox 360. Available at Play-Asia at USD 59.90. Click here for details.

  • Viva Pinata (Limited Edition) (NTSC-J) - Sick and tired of buying a shooter for your friend year in year out? Check out Play-Asia's weekly special which is Viva Pinata Limited Edition at USD 14.90. Click here for details.
For more holiday gift ideas, such as Xbox Live subscription cards and games, visit Play-Asia. Stay tuned for more recommendations on what to get for a console gamer (Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, PSP and DS) and figurines/gashapon collector.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Old School Gamer..Try Primary School..and Orcs & Elves

When I was in primary school, a friend of mine used to create pen-and-paper role playing games. He would create the dungeon map ala a complex version Snakes n' Ladders, with paper from his maths exercise books, and then populate it with various creatures and traps.

There were always the staple "move back X number of tiles" traps and these came not without consequences.

The characters that we used to play the game with were taken from Dragonball, and my friend would create their stats and special powers. Sowhile kids these days would be busy blasting at the rather buggy Hellgate London, I was having fun with pen-and-paper RPG at their age.

In retrospect, my friend would make for an excellent video games designer.

In any case, id Software's latest offering Orcs & Elves is reminiscent of simpler times and even the graphics play a role in conveying that. Like the games that my friend used to create, Orcs & Elves takes place in a dungeon setting and in addition to creatures you'll need to beat and traps, there are also puzzles and NPCs to interact with.

I had only a short time with the game, and it does have great potential especially with old-school RPG gamers. For those who don't like to lift a finger to use the stylus anytime a game requires you to do so for a miniscule task, you'll probably love Orcs & Elves as it is pratically button driven. Look Ma, no stylus!

Orcs & Elves is available at Play-Asia at USD 34.90 with free shipping. Click here for details.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kotobukiya Darth Vader on the Cheap

Star Wars fans can now get their hands on Kotobukiya's Episode 3 Star Wars 1/7 Scale Darth Vader Pre-Painted figure. This official Star Wars figurine is approximately 310mm in height and is now available at a discount at Play-Asia!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tips on Purchasing Gashapon Online and the Nintendo Wii Keychains Collection

It's been a while since I've covered Gashapon (capsule toys) or even Candy Toys with the Super Mario Bros. Chocolate Egg collection being the most recent purchase.

No matter, Yujin has recently released a set of Nintendo Wii Keychains collection, featuring either the console, or the Wii-mote, each attached to a miniaturized game box featuring the following games:

  • Excite Truck
  • Fire Emblem
  • Paper Mario
  • Wii Sports
  • Wario
  • Zelda
These are now available on Play-Asia. Many have asked that since Play-Asia ships gashapons based on random selection (meaning you don't always get what you want from a particular collection), how do I obtain full sets?

The secret is to order the maximum number of gashapons within a certain collection.
Since there are six items inside the Nintendo Wii Collection Keychain collection, place the quantity ordered as 6, and you should be able to get an entire set, with no randoms.

This works for me every time, only failing once, but that particular collection had many items, so it was possible that some where sold out.

Combine this technique with free shipping from Play-Asia and I basically save alot of money, compared to buying from Ebay!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wii Mote Silcon Cover and Fingerprint Guard Film SALE!

Play-Asia is having a super deal for Hori Wii Remote Silicon Covers at just 99 cents each. Also up for sale are Hori Wii Remote Fingerprint Guard Film, also at 99 cents each! Get these items to provide better grip for your Wii-motes and to make it less of a fingerprint magnet! Click on the links for purchase details!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The ROM Report Part V - Running Old Arcade Games on the Nintendo DS with R4DS and MarcaDS (MAME)

For brand new The ROM Report articles, head over to

In this Fifth edition of The Rom Report, we'll look at running something special on the Nintendo DS, with an exceptionally good looking piece of homebrew software and a bunch of ROMs as well.

According to Wikipedia, MAME, which stands for Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, is an emulator application designed to recreate the hardware of arcade game systems in software. In plain English it would mean that old arcade games can be played on MAME emulator running on a PC!

All you need to do is to supply the ROM image of the arcade game, by which downloading them is a legal gray area, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Legalities aside, the same thing (running arcade games using a MAME emulator) can be done with the Nintendo DS! The piece of software that I'm about to introduce may just support a paltry sum of 75 games, but it really is a piece of work.

For starters, MarcaDS looks like a piece of commercial software, with the nice intro screen and all. It even apparently supports the use of the Rumble Pak, but the best part is yet to come. It uses BOTH DS screens to display a game! It's something like playing games from this year's Konami Classics Series: Arcade Hits for the Nintendo DS.

Running MarcaDS is pretty easy. Just copy the MarcaDS.nds file to the root directory of your Flash Cart's Trans Flash memory card (Most of the time, it's a MicroSD card). If your Flash Cart's firmware doesn't support auto DLDI patching, it would be a good thing to apply the DLDI patch to the MarcaDS.nds file before attempting to run it.

I've always recommended creating a folder (let's call it MAME) in the Trans Flash memory card, to store games of a specific type. It's a much better way of organizing than just dumping everything in the root directory. Arcade ROMS are stored as ZIP files and you'll have to make sure that the zip file names match the ones listed in the compatibility list.

Here's the entire compatibility list taken from the MarcaDS site. The rest of the site is in French, but you can visit it

| | | ZipFile | |
| Game Name | Sound | Name | Problems |
| 1942 (Set 1) | Yes | | |
| Amidars | No | | |
| Anteater | No | | |
| Arkanoid | Yes | | |
| Bagman | Yes | | Partial sound : no voice |
| Bank Panic | Yes | | |
| Battle of Atlantis (set 1) | No | | |
| Bomb Jack (set 1) | Yes | | |
| Botanic | Yes | | |
| Calipso | No | |
| Caterpillar Pacman Hack | Yes | | |
| Cosmic Avenger | Yes | | |
| Crush Roller (bootleg?) | Yes | | |
| Dig Dug (rev 1) | Yes | | |
| Donkey Kong (US set 1) | No | | |
| Donkey Kong 3 (US) | No | | |
| Donkey Kong Junior (US) | No | | |
| Eyes (Digitrex Techstar) | Yes | | |
| Frogger | Yes | | |
| Galaga (Namco rev. B) | Yes | | No score print |
| Galaxian (Namco set 1) | No | | No background |
| Galaxian Part 4 | No | | No background |
| Galaxian Part X | No | | No background |
| Galaxy Wars (Universal set 1) | No | | |
| Green Beret | Yes | | |
| Hangly-Man (set 1) | Yes | | |
| Hexa | Yes | | |
| Invader's Revenge | No | | |
| Invader's Revenge (Dutchford) | No | | |
| Jr Pacman | Yes | | |
| Joyman | Yes | | |
| Jump Shot | Yes | | |
| Lady Bug | Yes | | |
| Le Bagnard (set 1) | Yes | | Partial sound : no voice |
| Lizard Wizard | Yes | | |
| Lost Tomb (easy) | No | | |
| Lunar Rescue | No | | |
| Masao (bootleg) | No | | |
| Mr. Do! | Yes | | |
| Mr. Do! (bugfixed) | Yes | | |
| Mr Goemon | Yes | | |
| Mr. TNT | Yes | | |
| Ms. Pac-Man (bootleg) | Yes | | |
| Pac-Man (Midway) | Yes | | |
| Pac-Man (Midway, harder) | Yes | | |
| Pac-Man Plus | Yes | | |
| Pengo (set 2 not encrypted) | Yes | | |
| Penguin Kun Wars | Yes | | Some tiles are missing ? |
| Phoenix (Amstar) | No | | |
| Pickin | Yes | | |
| Pinball Action (set 1) | No | | |
| Ping Pong | Yes | | |
| Piranah (hack) | Yes | | |
| Ponpoko | Yes | | |
| Pooyan | Yes | | |
| PuckMan (Japan set 1) | Yes | | |
| Rush Attack | Yes | | |
| Scramble | No | | No background |
| Snap Jack | No | | |
| Solomon's Key | Yes | | |
| Space Invaders | No | | |
| Space Invaders (Logitec) | No | | |
| Space Invaders (Model Racing) | No | | |
| Space Invaders II | No | | |
| Space Invaders Deluxe | No | | |
| Space Invaders Part II | No | | |
| Space Invaders Part Four | No | | |
| Space Invaders Galactica | No | | |
| Super Bagman | Yes | | Partial sound : no voice |
| Super Cobra | No | | |
| Super Galaxians | No | | |
| Time Pilot | Yes | | Not playable |
| Video Hustler | Yes | | |
| Vulgus (Set 1) | No | | |
| Zig Zag (Galaxian hardware set 1)| Yes | | |

In order to download MarcaDS, scroll right down to the bottom of the page, with the latest version being the first on the list of files. Click here for a direct download, but it's best to check back with the previous link provided, for latest updates.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ultimate Captain America Figurine Fire Sale

In conjunction with Marvel Comics putting up part of its comics library online, particularly those issues showcasing the debut of popular characters, why not also get an action figure of a recently deceased super hero, at a heavily discounted price?

Enter Marvel Legends Series 8 Pre-Painted Action Figure: Ultimate Captain America. Sure it's Captain America from The Ultimates, but it's still the Cap.

According to the packaging, the Cap has 42 points of articulation, comes with a custom poster book, wall mountable display stand and a Marvel VS. system trading card.

He's going for USD 12.99 at Play-Asia. Click here for purchase details. And yes, I just ordered one.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The ROM Report Part IV - Running Gameboy Color Games on the Nintendo DS with R4DS

For brand new The ROM Report articles, head over to

I seem to have more fun playing retro games on the Nintendo DS than my bunch of DS games. The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines has been a great read, full of retro stuff (Play-Asia, USD 29.90)

Normally when it comes to running Gameboy and Gameboy Color on the Nintendo DS, the homebrew programs of choice to run those ROMs would be Goomba and Goomba Color. However, those progams utilise a .gba extension that would require a Slot-2 solution such as a Supercard to run.

I've found a great way for playing GameBoy Color games on the R4DS, or practically any Slot-1 solution such as the M3 and it's called Lameboy. Downloadable via GBATemp, Lameboy is currently in version 0.9 and it's pretty easy to run.

Provided that your R4's firmware is the latest, you would not need to manually apply the DLDI patch on to the Lameboy ROM before running it. The latest R4 firmware will perform an automatic DLDI patch.

So, here are the games that I tried:
  • Super Mario Bros. DX: Runs like a charm, with very minimal slowdowns. All Mario goodness in 56 colours.
  • Street Fighter Alpha: With just two fire buttons, fighthing is made easier. Just nice for 2D fighthing n00bs like me.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening: Runs pretty fine.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Like Link's Awakening, it runs fine too.
  • Wacky Races: Framerate problems abound, not recommended unless you have a wish for epilepsy
Here's a tip while running GBC games on Lameboy, press the "Y" button to expand the game's display to almost the entire top screen of the Nintendo DS.

For previous editions of The ROM report:

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Go Fling Yourself at the Mountain: Genting Trailblazer 2007, Mild 8KM Mix Team Race Report.

I just got back from the Genting Trailblazer Run 2007. I've a hard time explaining what was it about to friends who didn't participate, as they normally associate me with road races.

I would call it the longest and toughest 8km race I've ever experience and the road portion, which was miniscule, had very little to do with it. It was a number of firsts for me, as it was the first time I participated in an adventure/trail race, the first time I stayed overnight in a hotel for a race, the first time I actually ran in a team, with a partner, and the first time I ran in Genting.

My group of friends and I arrived a day earlier (yesterday) at Awana Genting Highlands, collected our t-shirts, running bibs, goodie bags and checked-in at the same time. The 6 of us were divided into pairs, entering the "Mild" 8KM run for Men, Women and Mix Teams.

We had a BBQ dinner, and sat in the same table with a group of veteran Pacesetter runners. They gave us some pointers about the next day's race, and regaled us with stories of their experiences in different running events. The vast difference of experience aside, both groups were excited about the race.

Race Day: The race started off with the "Wild" 14km run participants first, followed by the "Mild" participants 5 minutes later. The first portion was a gravel road followed by tarmac before filtering into the jungle.

The jungle: It was ok at first, then things got muddy...and then it got muddier and muddier, I would rate the mountain trail as muddy as that of Gunung Irau during the rainy season. I found the going much tougher in the Trailblazer race, despite having a 20 kilo haversack strapped to me when I hiked up Irau early this year.

Up and down, mud, mud, mud. The amount of suction mud can apply to one's pair of shoes never fails to amaze me. Some sections required participants to clamber over fallen trees, pass streams, go uphill and downhill with the assistance of rope or pratically slide down on your butt.. Most of the time my partner and I were looking for footholds to haul overselves up inclines.

t's hard to describe, unless you've gone through it yourself and I do recommend it for any reasonably fit person.

Team work is very important in the race, some parts had either one of us hauling...or pushing the other from behind. Coming out of the jungle and taking a spin around the hill near the finishing line before hitting the obstacle course gave me cramps in both legs but I managed to walk it off. Very painful.

The obstacle course. This thing can be considered by some as fun, some might even consider it abit sadistic, after what participants have gone through in the trail.

Here we went into small mud pit, clambered up earth mounds, wade through even longer mud pits, clambered up and down more mounds, went up and down a wooden structure before going single file on bamboo poles, crawled under a net on sand of all surfaces and then hitting the last long mud pit, which was exceptionally muddy. The finish line was a short run away from the last obstacle.

Time: 2 hours 26 minutes. Placing: 24 out of 44 Mild Mix teams. I had a lot of fun and the company was great too, can't wait for next year.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

From One Hotel Room, to Another..Swapping Desert for Mountain

3 days after coming back from Dubai (spent like 2 weeks there), and now I'm packing my bags for Genting, more specifically the Genting Trailblazer Run 2007.

The course does look formidable, no? And all that mud.

Picture taken from The Star.

Nintendo Domain Names For Sale

Due to last month's misadventure at GoDaddy, I've got a bunch of Nintendo related domain names for sale, among them are:
I'm off to Genting for the Trailblazer run, 3 days after coming back from Dubai. Nothing short of a running holiday to get over a busy Dubai trip.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

GBA Games At Bargain Prices!

Nintendo DS, GBA and GBM owners might be interested in getting the following games at bargain bin prices at Play-Asia. With the exception of Mother 3, all of them are below USD 10.
  • bit Generations: Digidrive (click here for details)
  • bit Generations: Dialhex (click here for details)
  • bit Generations: Boundish (click here for details)
  • Donkey Kong: King of Swing (click here for details)
  • Mother 3 (click here for details)

The Rom Report - Part 3: More SNES Games on the Nintendo DS

For brand new The ROM Report articles, head over to

Welcome to the third installment of The Rom Report! Today we'll look at several SNES games that I've tried to run on the Nintendo DS using SNEmulDS, and without further a do, here's what really works, what works somewhat and what doesn't work at all.

  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past -This is a classic on the SNES, and even though it plays well on the SNEmulDS, the sound is totally skewed, with loud static being the order of the day. Recommended but play it with the volume turned off.

  • Metal Warriors - A platformer from LucasArts and Konami featuring mechs, this game is prone to hang at the options screen and actual gameplay lags with a number of graphical glitches. Gamer beware.

  • Prince of Persia - This Broderbund classic looks pretty, but you'll need to adjust the emulator's GFX settings constantly to let the game look the part. There are Minor but manageable graphical glitches both at the title screen and in-game. A difficult game to play notwithstanding, it's hard not to like an old classic like PoP.

  • Prince of Persia 2 - Graphical glitches are somewhat worse compared to its predecessor and the lack of sound makes it a flop on the DS.

  • Samurai Shodown - A personal favourite of mine, this 2D brawler is in the vein of Street Fighter, but with weapons. The graphics are sharp and a marvel to look at despite playing the game on the small DS screen. There's a minor glitch whereby the life bar doesn't seem to show a decrease when hit. No worries though, it starts flashing when you or your opponent is near K.O. Recommended.

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time - Another personal favourite of mine, this time it's from Konami. Control one of the four Ninja Turtles through 2D platform levels full of enemy ninjas and a boss at every end. Recommended.

  • X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse - This is a rather tough game in terms of difficulty, or maybe it's because of the controls that lag abit. I faced no problems running this game.

  • Zombies Ate My Neighbours - Graphical glitches abound on the main menu but once past that, you'll find the game not hard to love, as it is with the campy title. It's recommended that you set the emulator speed to normal, instead of the default "Fast" to cope with the frantic gameplay.
Side notes: SNEmulDS doesn't really like running .fig files and I wonder why. I've two games, Mechwarrior and Yoshi's Island in .fig format and both don't run properly (no graphics, sound only).

For previous editions of The Rom Report, here's Part 1 and Part 2.

Own The Fella On The Cover of That Video Game...Literally

Video games are generally a part of a mixed-media industry. There's the game, there's the website that promotes the game, there are the YouTube spots, posters, flyers, advertisement and finally, and probably most interesting other than the game itself, are the figurines.

Figurines range from mundane bean bags to highly detailed PVC constructs, and are considered a dime a dozen these days. Fancy owning one of those characters on the cover of your favourite video games? This is the guide for you, and will the first of many in a series.

First up is the cover for Final Fantasy XII (NTSC U/C) By the way, the Greatest Hits version (a.k.a budget-priced version) is now available at Play-Asia, click here for details.

Out of all the characters in the cover, I managed to find 3 in Play-Asia's Bargain Bin, each of them priced at USD 29.90:
  • Ashe (click here for purchase details)

  • Vaan (click here for purchase details)

  • Balthier (click here for purchase details)

Moving now to the cover of Assassin's Creed. This is a new game, a highly anticipated one from Ubisoft which should be coming out anytime soon this November.

The main protagonist, Altair, featured on the cover of the game, is available as a highly detailed 7 inch figurine at Play-Asia, for a bargain bin price of USD 16.90! Click here for purchase details.

Stay tuned for future installments of "Own The Fella On The Cover of That Video Game".

Of Macross and Final Fantasy Figurines

I previously blogged about Kaiyodo's Revoltech Series 34 and 36, which are the Macross Super Valkyrie VF-1J and the Macross Strike Valkyrie VF-1S (Roy Fokker type) respectively, that I bought last month. Now, both figurines are available at Play-Asia for a cheaper price of USD 19.90 each and if I'm right, free shipping as well.

Here's a teaser of what both of them look like, on my desk:

The one on the left is Series 36 (Strike Valkyrie) and the one on the right is Series 34 (Super Valkyrie). Both are highly poseable and come with a host of extras like the Striker pack and missile pods and a number of spare fists for posing. Click here and here for purchase details.

On other figurine news, good news for Final Fantasy fans! The Final Fantasy Tactics Trading Arts Figurines as well as the Final Fantasy Miniature Trading Figures 1 are now out in the market.

The Final Fantasy Tactics Trading Arts figurine collection consists of 5 figurines of characters from the popular Final Fantast Tactics game. Each go for USD 6.90, with free shipping. Click here for purchase details.

On the other hand, the Final Fantasy Miniature Trading Figures Vol 1. feature a host of characters, 5 in total, from different Final Fantasy games. Each figurine retail at USD 4.90, with free shipping. Click here for purchase details.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

They Are Yellow, Four Fingered, Dysfunctional And Are Now In Your Nintendo DS..and every other console..

Those 4 thumbed, yellow coloured folks from Springfield seem to follow me everywhere, even on my trip to Dubai. First there was TV series showing on Emirates' ICE during my flight there. And then there was the newly released game, available at Geekay and Sharaf DG.

Last but not least, I had the series AND the movie accompany me home in my flight back to Malaysia, on the excellent ICE. On a side note, it's with regret that I inform everyone that Emirates' ICE pwns our national carrier's (MAS) in-flight entertainment system.

Now, if you don't know who are the 4-thumbed, yellow coloured folk I'm talking about, it's the cast of The Simpsons. With that out of the way, lets talk about the game. While in Dubai, I had the pleasure of playing The Simpsons Game, for the Nintendo DS.

In a nutshell, it's a 2D platform game, where you get to play as Bart, Lisa, Marge and Homer Simpson in a game about the Simpsons being in a video game (cue a collective "huh?"), which would explain why each character has superpowers.

Example: Bart can change into Bartman, Homer becomes a big fat ball, Marge can command "angry mobs", and Lisa has telekinesis.

There are a lot of quotes from the show and quite a number of videos, often at the start and at the end of levels. The game exhibits good production values with the voice acting, graphics, videos, being spot on.

It also has a certain cool vibe, parodying popular video games and much maligned video game cliches, which is almost certain to give birth to a new video game cliche: video games about video games. (cue collective moan)

Despite all that, there's still a drawback. Like most platformers, The Simpsons Game can be a frustrating experience. The lack of pointers in certain levels will definately frustrate new comers and the 2D art, while staying true to its 2D roots, cannot give a sense of depth which will lead to players asking: "Is that a platform I can jump on, or is it just background art?"

I'm generally allergic to platformers; yelling to the Nintendo DS while playing Super Mario World with the help of an emulator is a particularly favourite activity of mine. All the jumping, running and the timing involved simply doesn't exactly jive with me and it's no wonder shoot-em-ups like Quake appeal to me; just shoot anything that moves.

And if you are like me, The Simpsons Game may not be for you, despite the appeal of having unlimited lives for each character, which technically means no game over screen (scratch one video game cliche).

Anyways, here's a tip:

In the "Enter the Cheatrix" level, should you find yourself stuck, you are supposed to do the double jump from one platform to another. Yeah, I spent an inordinate amount of time on a game in a genre that has done nothing but give me frustration over the years. What can I say? I'm a fan of the series.

The Simpsons Game is available across platforms, and is available at with free shipping. Click here for details.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Nine Over Ten 9/10 - Now Reporting From Dubai, Soon to be in Malaysia

4 more hours to my flight back to Malaysia, from Dubai. Nine Over Ten 9/10 will be back on schedule after two weeks of sporadic updates. Stay tuned.