Some Good News and….. – Part 3

Well…. I went back, and they had new stuff out!!! As the shelves are emptied from frenzied hoarders, it seems they are putting more and more stock out. Golden week holidays have never been so good for this old retro head.

I don’t know if this is the end for this store or not, but I am really making the most of their last dying breath if it is. ๐Ÿ˜€

So today’s haul…..

The Dreamcast.


The PCFX, Saturn, PS1, MegaDrive, and a few other bits and pieces.


Some loose PCE HuCards.


NeoGeo AES with some games.


NeoGeo Front Loader CD with games included. I have wanted one of these for ages!!


Capcom controller. This one can be used on the Famicom/NES, and the SuperFami/SNES. I plan to do a write-up on this one when I get a chance.


So all up another great haul! Am I going again tomorrow? Yep, you bet your arse I am! ๐Ÿ˜€

NeoGeo AES – The King of Consoles!

The SNK NeoGeo AES (Advanced Entertainment System) is a machine that every single game-related-hoarder should have in their pile. It shouldn’t matter if you have to sacrifice food, electricity (actually scratch that, you’ll need electricity), or water to get one – just get one! ๐Ÿ˜€


Released on the 31st of January 1990, the NeoGeo AES was a huge step above the competition. It was the only machine to bring consumers the exact games they were playing in the arcades in a format they could use at home.

The only problem for most people was the price tag of about 60,000yen (around $700)….. On top of the already hefty cost of the console, came the cost of the games themselves – most coming in at around 20,000yen. When you calculate inflation, this means you are spending the equivalent of um…. A testicle – and most likely the one that was producing the highest sperm count too! ๐Ÿ˜€

As you can see pictured bellow, I have two of the beasts. You may be thinking, why the hell does Hollo have two – that greedy bastard!

Well, my responses to that are:
1) I’m sick and need help!
And the next response is mainly to cover up my hoarder insecurities….
2) There are two types of NeoGeo AES consoles which are different internally. Why shouldn’t I have both right? *cough*


Anyway, as I mentioned above there are two types of NeoGeo AES. Earlier models actually run on different voltage compared with later models. I am no expert on the intricate differences internally, but I have read that the earlier versions actually have a better quality video output, and that when modding these machines to out RGB, the earlier models are more desirable.

*EDIT* Thanks to Frank in the comments bellow he has clarified the internals. The AES is capable of outputting RGB as standard with the correct cable. The difference in the earlier versions is that they have better RGB over the standard AV, but the later versions had better AV over RGB. Long story short, if you want to use RGB out then find an earlier model.

Bellow you can see the different adapters needed (click to enlarge).

snk-neogeo-aes-console-adapter snk-neogeo-aes-console-1

Another new and interesting idea from SNK for the NeoGeo AES was the inclusion of memory cards. I know that memory cards were not exactly a new idea, but the way in which these cards could be used was. Save data was interchangeable between the MVS arcade machines and the AES home console.

This meant you could practice your arse off at home, then take the memory card (with saves of course) into the arcades to prove that you hadn’t actually sold off a testicle to buy the machine. ๐Ÿ˜€


The controller that comes with the NeoGeo AES isn’t too bad, but honestly when it comes to stock (unmodified) SNK controllers for the AES I prefer the rounded controller with the red buttons (pictured left bellow). The ball-tops of the original AES controller don’t seem to stand the test of time either. You will often see them cracked. I am sure it’s a personal preference though, and I have friends that even prefer using the game pads.


snk-neogeo-aes-console-controller-2 snk-neogeo-aes-console-controller-3

Unfortunately (as you can see bellow) I don’t have a heap of games for the system yet, and that’s mainly due to the crazy prices they go for these days. When the AES was first released, SNK made sure that the carts could not be used in the MVS arcade system. They did this as the AES carts were cheaper than their MVS brothers. Now though, AES carts command extremely high prices – much higher than MVS. Metal Slug for example can reach close to the $2,000 mark!


A picture to demonstrate the massive size of the these carts when compared with a ‘chibi’ (Japanese word for ‘runt’) N64 cart.


It has to be said that SNK really were considerate. I mean releasing an RF connection set for consumers (as of course they wouldn’t have money left to buy a TV after buying the NeoGeo AES console) was very kind hearted.

I tried selling one of these (pictured bellow) a while back, but there were no takers – spoiled modern-day gamers with their HDMI, D-Sub or AV connections. ๐Ÿ˜€


I definitely do not fall in the category of a hardcore SNK fanboi, and the hardcore out there are probably complaining about this post already (due to mistakes or not enough detail), but I do love this machine as a player.

This machine is a must buy in my opinion, and once you have it you will realise that there is something almost primal for a gamer when the NeoGeo logo first pops up on your regular TV. ๐Ÿ˜€

Retro Gaming Store in Japan

There is the quaint little retro gaming store in Japan that sells the odd Famicom cart, the occasional Saturn disk, or even a few systems or two, then there are super-ultra stores like the one I am going to show you today.

This particular shop is about 20 minutes from my house, and it’s one of the biggest places I’ve ever seen here for retro gaming gear. There are others that are similar in size, but this shop actually has prices you want to pay. It is almost set up like a supermarket with isles, a little basket to carry around, and even a taster section with four or five systems setup for people to play.

Before I put any photos up, it has to be said that people managing stores in Japan are very reluctant to have photos taken. I took as many photos as I could, but it was impossible to get photos of everything. I missed not only the hardware section, but also the PS2, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis), MegaCD, Saturn (the list goes on actually) and most of the boxed games sections.

Anyway, now onto the photos….

I would love to get my hands on this giant Mario – Hmmm that sounds slightly odd now that I think about it. ๐Ÿ˜€


One of the loose Famicom cart Isles (pictured bellow). Yes I say ‘one of’, as there are a few. You can see at the end of the isle there part of the boxed games section for Famicom too.


Another really great thing about this place is there is a GameCenterCX section if you want to play the games that are featured on the show. If you are wondering what GameCenterCX is, then I suggest taking a look on Youtube. It is one of the coolest retro game shows anywhere! Unfortunately I couldn’t get any photos of the GameCenterCX section.

Mind boggling range of Super Famicom carts. Again, this is only one of the Super Famicom Isles.


Again I couldn’t get great pictures of everything, but what you see here is just a part of the cased PCE games they have on offer. You can pretty much find everything here.



Bellow is just a part of the DreamCast section. If you’re wondering, that whole top row is for NeoGeoCD, and you may notice that there are some big empty spaces in the NeoGeo section – this is mainly because I bought 20 odd on this particular day. ๐Ÿ™‚


This terrible photo (bellow) is trying to show you one of the toy racks dedicated to game related merchandise. They have all sorts of gear here, from recent Mario themed board games, through to figures of Ken in Street Fighter.


A closer look at the boxed Famicom and Super Famciom section (bellow).


I really wish I could have shown you everything. Just looking through the pictures there is so much I missed. This place has so much stuff that I know it will bring a tear to any retro gamer’s eye – specially the guys I know back home who feel great joy just finding a dozen or so carts in the wild.

And just before I go. This place doesn’t only sell games too! There are huge sections for toys, clothing, electronics, and pretty much any other type of used goods you can think of. Not bad considering I actually live in rural Japan! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

NeoGeo Pocket – Metal Slug on the toilet!

I know that many of my fellow gamers out there like to pamper themselves by taking long luxurious breaks on the toilet. Don’t be ashamed of it guys, I know I’m not. But having to sit a long time on the toilet does become somewhat tedious (can see you nodding in agreement).

Well your toilet breaks need not be tedious anymore! As now you can run’n’gun while you dump’n’splash. ๐Ÿ˜€


The NeoGeo pocket comes in two main types – the Pocket, and the Pocket Color. The ‘Color’ of course means that it sports a color screen. The NeoGeo pockets seem to come in a wide range of colour schemes as well. The consoles I have pictured bellow don’t even touch the tip of the iceberg in terms of colours available.

The one bottom left is actually a Black&White version by the way.


To make the purchase slightly more confusing for those of you after Pocket Colors, there are actually two versions to choose from. The picture you see bellow shows you both types. The console with the slightly recessed screen (the bottom one) is the newer version of the two. This newer version is slightly smaller and has the recessed screen I mentioned, but in use it doesn’t seem to make much difference.


Another way to tell the difference between the two is the word ‘color’ written in the top right hand corner of each unit. The ‘color’ that is written in cursive is the newer version.

neogeo-pocket-color-6 neogeo-pocket-color-5

NeoGeo Pocket thumbsticks kick serious arse! In my opinion there isn’t anything that touches them, and when I have used emulation to play NGPC games this is the thing that I always miss. It uses a very clever micro switch system similar to the NeoGeo-CD control pads that has a very reassuring click when moved in any direction. They wanted to have that arcade kind of feedback on a handheld and they pulled it off beautifully.


When first turning the NeoGeo Pocket Color on (without a game inserted) you are greeted with the following screen. When I first got one, the horoscope section read “you will thoroughly enjoy toilet time from now on”, and holy crap (pun intended) it was right! ๐Ÿ˜€


Like most handhelds of the era the NeoGeo was no exception in that it can support linked play. Unfortunately, due to being an antisocial introvert, I do not have any friends to test it out with, but I did buy a few of the link cables just in case. The only trouble is that the cable may not be long enough to link two players in a public toilet.


I only have a few games at the moment unfortunately…

neogeo-pocket-color-9 neogeo-pocket-color-11

NeoGeo Pockets are small machines that I can whole-heartedly recommend picking up if you have the chance. I am always on the look out for more as they make great presents. Just make sure you give them a quick smell before purchasing – I know where mine gets the most use after all. ๐Ÿ˜€

P.S. Sorry for the unnecessary toilet references in this post. At least if in the future you buy one from me, you know where it was tested.

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