Yet Another Game Haul Post….

Sorry to do it to you again guys, but I have another photoblog that highlights just how cool retro hunting in Japan is. I know I’ve said it before that Japan is starting to dry up for retro gear (at least near where I live), and that still applies – even so, you just don’t get this kind of luck anywhere else in the world! πŸ™‚

So what gear do we have today then….

Before I get into that, I have to say that the post today is brought to you by a pretty horrible head cold. I was at the desk, and there was no way I could finish off the official work I had on, so why not head home and put up a post.

Hopefully I didn’t leave any snot on the gear, but if you do see a few specks let me know. πŸ˜€


OK so first off….

A TaTaKon (Taiko controller) and a few games for the PS2. I’ve actually wanted one of these Taiko controllers for ages, but I always thought they were a bit pricey – however this weekend luck was on my side! I managed to score this controller for the hefty sum of $3 in one of the junk bins of HobbyOff. Most of the PS2 games there were in the junk bins too, so there are a few scratches, but for the prices I can’t complain at all. Katamari Damashi was a game that I had borrowed, so I’m happy to finally have my own copy without having to pay $20 – I got this for only $1.

*Click on any thumbs to enlarge*
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Next up, a bunch of PCE titles. These weren’t actually obtained from the wild – well, unless you count Yahoo auctions as ‘the wild’ that is. There were a few that I needed in the bunch, so I basically bought this heap just for about 3 or 4 games.



Some little figures for SNK vs Capcom. There were another thing gotten from the auctions that arrived over the weekend. They were pretty cheap, so I thought why not – not like I could get them outside of Japan very easily right?



Not into real life Pachinko/Pachislo a great deal, but I do like the controllers and games for the TV. I have one of these controllers for the PCE, and to see one for the Famicom in the wild was a first, so I grabbed it. Managed to score a few boxed Famicom games as well, plus some new PCE and Saturn titles.

All of these were gotten from one of the HardOffs I frequent – unfortunately this HardOff has some of the rudest staff members you’ll be likely to meet in Japan though. Those of you that have been over here know how rare it is to get rude sales staff, so it’s a bit disappointing to hand over the cash, but hey…. they’re cheap! πŸ™‚

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Yet another thing that I am now hooked on getting… Game related Manga! I found out about these recently while searching for something else online, and now it’s looking like I need to get the whole set – not easy to find though. I got this one from a BookOff that’s really close to my place (the first one I looked in incidentally), and then every other book related place I’ve been in came up with nothing. Have to persevere though!




A few N64 and Nintendo related items. Got these from a BookMarket (not related to BookOff/HardOff/HobbyOff etc.) – you wait till you see what else came from this shop later in the post!



PS2 special editions. I had one of these before (the Love Songs one), and sold it on. As this was only the second one I have seen in the wild, I thought I’d grab it just in case someone wants it back home.

Check out that pocket-watch in the Grandia set though! Won’t be long before they don’t even give you disks with the games you buy – stupid digital distribution….

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A nice Final Fantasy Wonderswan Color. This was about $5!!! My jaw seriously dropped when I saw this for that cheap. A few posts back I talked about a cool game shop that is absolutely meticulous in the way they wrap and store games which you may remember. Well, this was bought from that same chain – Chamelon Club. Really great stores made even greater by finding this for $5!



Some Gamecube manuals bought from Book Market, and although these are related to the very cool item I mentioned previously in this post bought from the same place, these are not it. Also another DK G&W, as you can never have too many. πŸ™‚




And finally…. The pick of the bunch!

A Metal Gear Solid Gamecube limited edition! I have only seen one of these once before, and as I didn’t know what it was, I went home to look it up on the web (before smartphone days), and by the time I got back it had been sold…. Like I said previously in this post, I got this – and some other great stuff – from BookMarket. This was the first time I had checked the store out too, so needless to say I will be going in there again! To top things off with GC, it was literally half the price of the last one I saw!



So, not a bad trek into the Japanese wild (plus a few auction finds thrown in). Ahh Japan. πŸ˜€

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! πŸ˜€


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! πŸ˜€

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).

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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. πŸ˜€


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.


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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. πŸ˜€


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. πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜€


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.

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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! πŸ˜€


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…

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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. πŸ˜€

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.