Ouya Game System Review

 

I recommend buying the Ouya game system – this is my honest review of both the good and the bad of this game system.  Read on to learn more.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Ouya is an Android powered game system that you connect to your TV and download games to it from an online marketplace.  The system was born out of a Kickstarter, and is actually being carried by several national chain stores including Best Buy and Gamestop.  When the system launched not too long ago it received a lot of good and bad press.  The bad: apparently those who funded the Kickstarter were supposed to get their system first.  They didn’t.  Support for the console is/was/continues to be almost non-existent.  The good: the system sold out almost immediately and has been near impossible to find ever since, and major publishers (not just indies) are supporting the system (As of today Final Fantasy III and Sonic the Hedgehog are available on the system.  These are not watered down homebrews – this are official launch titles by SEGA and Square).

My experience with the Ouya began with BestBuy’s website lying about what their retail store had in stock.  I was to get one for my birthday and I had low expectations that they’d actually have any despite what the website said.  I have had a long BAD history with BestBuy.  The specifics of which aren’t important but needless to say when I was approached by a blond with caked foundation on her face asking if I’m finding what I’m looking for, I curtly replies “No.”

I explained what we were looking and with a dazed look in her eyes she trotted over to a computer.  I continued to pace up and down the aisle of the game section.  BestBuy must be hoping to sell a lot of copies of GTAV:
1 best buy grand theft auto 5

Anyways, I could hear cake face asking another Best Buy employee for help: “It’s like BOOYA without the b!” the co-worker yelled back.  And so the hunt for the systems began.  I found Ouya controllers on a shelf but no consoles.  Back and forth cake face checked the computers, checked shelves, asked other employees, and finally dismissed us by saying “we have two systems but they are in boxes in the back.”

“Go get one” is what I was thinking, but instead cake face had offered to check other stores for us since the boxes would not be opened until “later.”  Now this Best Buy is the one in Best of the West.  If you live in Las Vegas you know its an overrated strip mall on the border of Summerlin.  The next closest was in the Costco strip mall across across the street from Red Rock.  The Best Buy website alleged they had some over there, but cake face said they did not (she said she called).  I would check it out anyways.

Well, sure enough, without asking anyone for help, there was one on the shelf.  Success!  Ouya System + 1; extra Ouya Controller + 1.  Let the review Begin!

In the box you get 1 Ouya system, 1 AC adaptor, 1 HDMI cable, 1 controller, 2 batteries, an orange sheet of plastic saying something about revolution beginning or jihad or something, and a tiny manual.  The manual is worthless.  The system is about the size of a large apple.  Its cute, metallic looking, with an ethernet port, and a usb port.  A single power button rests on the top.

2 ouya system

Controllers look like a hybrid of current generation controllers.  They do use AA batteries.  However the tiny manual did not explain how to put the batteries into the controllers.  There is NOTHING on the controller to give you the indication of how they get inside either.4 ouya controller

But we figured it out.  The face plates come off and the batteries slip in.  The controllers have a decent feel to them.  A good weight with responsive buttons.  The D pad (the digital one not the analog one) is kinda sensitive.  You can’t be brutally forceful with it.

PROBLEM #1: The controllers have a bitch of a time pairing.  Sometimes, two, three, or even 7 attempts are necessarily to pair them.  But when they do pair they work fine.  I also want to point out the black area between the two silver face plates.  What appears to be random black plastic is actually a touch pad that you can use to move an arrow around on the screen.  I’m guessing some games or menus might use this, but I’m not certain yet.5 ouya controller faceplate

Once installed you fire it up and connect it to your wireless network.  This took four tries because, well, I couldn’t remember my wireless password. But I eventually figured it out.

Problem #2: There is a required firmware upgrade before you can do anything with the system.  7 years ago I’d say this is a bunch of bullsh*t, but everyone knows now that with our current generation of game consoles it needs to be expected.  The problem isn’t the firmware upgrade itself but more along the fact that it took four attempts.  After downloading it would give us an error saying saying it couldn’t install or whatever.  But it eventually worked.  It seemed that through out the Ouya experience last night there were connectivity errors.  Friday night and everyone’s on perhaps?  My wireless just lousy?  Who knows.  It was frustrating but its working now.ouya system 3 menu

Problem #3: A credit card is required before you do anything.  Oops!  But like the required firmware update.. meh.  Nevermind.  Anyways you eventually get to the main screen.  Play: Lets you select the games you’ve installed, Discover: is like the “app store” where you find games to download.  Make: has developer tools.  Manage: Lets you change options.

51 ouya game selection

Above we have the menu where you can select games to download.  There are already a couple hundred available.  Most from independent publishers, but as mentioned earlier some mainstream games are available as well.  Here is where things get cool.  All games on Ouya are free – sorta.  Every title has a free component to it.  Some games might be completely free, some might have a demo level, some might have a pay for DLC.  In anycase, you can get a taste of all the games available with out paying.

6 ouya neo geo

Part of Ouya’s sudden popularity was a tweet about the emulators available on the system.  There are SEVERAL  for almost all generations of consoles.  ROMs of course are not available for download.  But in case you’re wondering the emulators do work, and they work very well.  If you’re looking for an emulator to play on an actual TV with a decent controller than the Ouya is a great option.  I’ll just leave it at that.  Please note however, the fact that I facilitate www.videogamepriceguides.com is proof enough that I encourage that actual ownership of cartridges and discs.  And besides, no “emulator” has ever been 100% perfect.

61 ouya neo geo 2

 

There are so many games available on the Ouya that I had only attempted to play five or six.  “No Break Valet” is amazing as a casual game, but the gem of the evening was definitely Fist of Awesome.

7 ouya fist of awesome

The full version of Fist of Awesome is not available yet.  But the game can be best described as a three-way between Final Fight, Timber, and Planet of the Apes.8 ouya fist of awesome 2

 

You play, Tim Burr.  Lumberjack who is sent into the future where humans are enslaved by forest creatures.  Using the power of your talking fist you take on bears Final Fight style.  The graphics and game play are simple, but its funny as all hell.
9 ouya fist of awesome 3

Kill those bears!10 ouya fist of awesome 4

Ok, time for the final review:

The bad: No instructions, inconvenient network connectivity problems, controller pairing issues

The good: Awesome selection of games, reasonable emulators, solid controller, GAMES THAT ARE FUN AND NEW.

Get passed the initial set up and you’ll love the Ouya.  Good luck finding one though.  $99 for the system, $49 for an extra controller.

 

 

 

The 24 Most Common Nintendo NES Games

I’m getting mighty sick of hearing about Stadium Events and how rare and valuable the game is supposed to be.  What about the common games?  There are 24 Nintendo NES games that can be found everywhere!  They are the most abundant NES games on eBay.  They are the ones you will most likely encounter at a thrift store, swapmeet, or garage sale.  Some of these games were huge hits.  Sadly, many were not.  But it provides some insight into which titles Nintendo marketed the strongest.  Although I don’t know all the reasons, I’ve provided why I believed each of these titles had huge production numbers.  I’ve also included the value in case you were wondering…

Double Dribble $1.00

Double Dribble’s popularity is a no-brainer.  At the time of its releases there were few realistic Basketball games so it pretty much cornered the market.  Other Basketball games came and went including Hoops, Magic Johnson’s Fast Break and others, but none were as popular as Double Dribble.

Dr. Mario $1.00

Riding off the popularity of Tetris and Super Mario Bros. Nintendo did a huge production run of Dr. Mario.  The game can be addicting and its catchy music isn’t easily forgotten.  There were at least two production runs that I could identify.  The later of which had a white top label (not the face, just the top).

Duck Hunt $1.00

Was Duck Hunt hugely popular by default?  Having been packed with the original system, then later in the Mario/Duck Hunt combo it seems as though everyone loved the game.  Maybe.  It’s novelty ran off real fast.  Thank goodness there were at least a few other great light gun games that didn’t make owning a Zapper a total waste.

Golf $1.00

Some credit Nintendo’s Golf (or VS. Golf in the arcade) the first semi-realistic golf video game.  I’d have to agree.  The controls and courses were simple and at its time it was the best golf game in town.

NES Play Action Football $1.00

Tecmo Bowl, and Super Tecmo Bowl were the definitive football games on the NES.  This awkward football game with the diagonal field was pretty much shoved down our throats in the $20 budget software bin.

Gyromite $2.00

Too bad the R.O.B isn’t as common as Gyromite.  The game isn’t that great, even with the robot.  The majority of the copies are not worth much of anything, but some contain the now famous Famicom adapter and collectors don’t mind gutting Gyromite’s to get to them.

Jeopardy! $2.00

There was at least 3 Jeopardy! games on the NES.  They all got old fast.  Perhaps the games were just a half-assed attempts to attract an older audience.

Skate Or Die $2.00

Skate or Die was a reasonable skateboard simulator.  There was a handful of other games on the NES that featured skateboarding, but they were always mini-games, or a sub plotted accessory to the rest of the game.  Skate or Die was 100% skating!  Great game for it’s price.

Spy Hunter $2.00

Not the best conversion to a home system Spy Hunter did well because of its music and its recognizability.

Top Gun $2.00

Had nothing to do with the movie, but Top Gun sold well simply because… well, it was Top Gun!

Wizards and Warriors $2.00

This one remains a mystery to me.  Some people hate this game, others love it.  I think it’s ok.  But the production run confuses me.

2-in-1 Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt $3.00

No brainer.  Being the pack in cart when the NES really took off it’s no wonder there were so many copies.

Dragon Warrior $3.00

An early example of the RPG genre that you either love of hate, many copies of Dragon Warrior came from Nintendo Power subscriptions.

Tetris $3.00

Tetris was a gaming crazy and Nintendo wasn’t about to have Tengen stand in the way.  It was going to sell well no matter how weak a version was published.

Excitebike $4.00

The label of this game is instantly recognizable, even if the game play got tedious.  The ‘make your own track’ feature was awesome too for the 15 minutes you tried it for.

Friday the 13th $4.00

LJN must have wanted to squeeze every licensing penny out of the Friday the 13th intellectual property.

Super Mario Bros. 2 $7.00

No brainer.  Sequel to Super Mario Bros. and the radical game play and option to pick from one of four characters made Mario 2 very popular.

Ninja Gaiden $5.00

Probably had something to do with the cut scenes and music.  Was nothing like the arcade version.

Pac Man (Licensed/Unlicensed) $5.00

Recognizable by name, like Tetris there was no reason for Pac Man not to sell.  Three different versions were released for NES.  The two Tengen ones, and a Namco version as well.  All three games play the same.

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest $6.00

Castlevania’s popularity obviously helped Simon’s Quest, as did the decapitated head of Dracula on the cover on Nintendo Power.

Metroid $9.00

Long game with great music, controls, and power-ups.  Metroid is one of the few games on this list that is deserving of everyone owning a copy.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link $9.00

The sequel to the original Zelda made it impossible for Zelda II to fail.

Super Mario Bros. 3 $11.00

One of the greatest games ever made, and of course the recognition of Mario and a version of the NES sold with Mario 3 explains why this is so common.

Legend of Zelda, The $13.00

The gold cartridge, save features, huge over-world made Zelda great.  Just like Metroid, Zelda deserves to be in everyone’s collection!

Instant Game Collection: Taito Legends PS2

taito legends

In this edition of Instant Game Collection we’re taking a look at Taito Legends for PlayStation 2.

If you want to save yourself some read time, here is the gist: buy this game.  Buy it today.  It’s an excellent collection and worth every penny – even if you’re only a small Taito fan, this collection can do no wrong.

Taito Legends was released in 2005.  It comes with 29 emulated arcade classics.  Unlike other compilation discs, the emulation is near perfect.  There are a few pieces of lag and a graphical glitch here and there, but unless you know what to look for you probably won’t notice.

A couple of the games on this disc you’ll probably play only once or twice and never touch them again unless of course you grew up with these games and appreciate their arcade quality.  Games like Space Invaders and Phoenix are NOT the reason to purchase this.  But rather than dwelling on the filler, lets just focus on what I consider to be the top five games on this disc:

#1: Bubble Bobble – This game really needs no introduction, but if you live in a cave, here is the jist: you control a dinosaur that has the ability to spit bubbles.  The bubbles float to the top of the screen capturing a variety of baddies.  Pop the bubble with the baddies in it and you’re rewarded with prizes – usually fruits and vegetables, but other items will occasionally appear.  The game has an addictive and hypnotizing theme song which repeats about every 45 seconds or so.  The game has a true arcade feel to it, and if you love the NES version you’ll feel at home with this one.

bubble bobble

 

 

#2: Jungle Hunt: In the arcade this game could be found under three different titles: Jungle King, Jungle Hunt, and I believe Pirate Pete.  The games are all the same except for some graphical changes.  In Jungle Hunt you’re a jungle explorer who needs to rescue his woman from some cannibals.  The first level has you leaping from vine to vine but if you miss you go splat into the grass.  The second level has you fighting alligators while holding your breath under water.  The third level you race up a hill as boulders come crashing down on you.  And the forth level has you leaping over two cannibals to your girlfriend you is being dangled over a boiling pot.  The graphics are simple just like the game play, and the colors are pastel, but the game is simply fun.  The music is great also.  On a side note this game was never officially released in Asia which is probably why it never got ported to the NES – but an excellent conversion is available for Atari 2600 and a few other systems.

jungle hunt

#3 ZooKeeper: This might be the ultimate twitch game.  You are a zoo keeper on a quest to keep the animals locked in the zoo while rescuing your girlfriend.  Basically you run around a square brick zoo “patching” up bricks that have been destroyed by the animals as they try to escape.  You will die if an animal touches you.  A line timer moves across the screen and if you survive until it runs out you get bonus points for all of the animals still trapped in the zoo.  You are not completely defenseless however.  Escaped animals can be forced back in the zoo if you pick up the net which appears at a specific interval along with other bonus items.  When you have the net you have a few seconds to send the animals back by capturing them in the net.  There are two bonus games as well.  The first has you jumping on moving platforms higher and higher to rescue the girlfriend while a monkey tosses coconuts down on you.  The second bonus game is for an extra life.  Animals come running at you down a people mover.   It moves as fast as you run so you must jump towards and over the animals to find refuge on a stair case.  The game play is fast and will make you sweat if you’re serious.

zoo keeper

#4 The New Zealand Story: This game is also known as Kiwi Kraze.  Basically you’re a Kiwi bird whose girlfriend was captured by a walrus and you must go through stage after stage to rescue her.  Along the way you throw arrows at a variety of different enemies.  Along the way other Kiwi birds are trapped and their rescue ends the stage.  There are a lot of areas to explore and plenty of hidden warps.  The game isn’t too difficult if you’re patient, but this is a very long game.

new zealand story

#5: Rastan:  Last but not least is Rastan.  Clearly inspired by Conan the Barbarian, Rastan travels across lands and through castles in his quest to bring the head of a dragon back to a queen who promises riches.  Great music, great graphics, great enemies, excellent controls, and enough side scrolling action to keep you busy for quite a while.  Upgrade your sword to a mace, axe, or firesword.  Pick up enchanted items for extra strength.  Enemies explode when you kill them, and when you die, you dissolve into dust.  This game alone is worth the collection!

rastan

Honorable mention games: Elevator Action finds you as a secret agent stealing documents from a high-rise.  Use elevators and escalators to evade capture.  Shoot, jump, and karate kick your way to victory.  Operation Wolf is a classic light gun game.  Rescue hostages and blow the heck out of helicopters.  The lack of light gun support makes this one a difficult experience.

There is plenty of reasons to purchase this game, and only a few reasons not so so pick it up! http://www.videogamepriceguides.com/price/ps2/1444

10 Recommended Atari 2600 Games For $1

The following are ten Atari 2600 games we’d recommend for cheap thrills. Each game averages about $1 or less in value here at the video game price guide.

1. Air-Sea Battle

Air-Sea Battle puts you in command of a submarine where by you destroy wave after wave of enemy ships and air crafts. The game gets old after twenty minutes but there is variety in the game modes including a shooting gallery, and a VS mode where its bomber VS ship.

2. Bowling

An old fashion game of bowling with a strangely fluid animation of throwing the square ball at square pins. Your player looks like Cailou in the game, but a young Saddam Hussein on the label art. Some of the game modes include 2 players, curve balls, and “steering” balls.

 The bowler looks like Cailou

 

3. Breakout

Unlike Bowling and Air-Sea Battle Breakout is a serious game. Smash a ball against a row of bricks and the bricks disappear. Repeat. Three different game modes with 1 – 4 players makes this a great party game.

4. Defender

A staple of any Atari 2600 game Defender has most of the elements of the original arcade game, but with extra flicker! Rescue captured humans while destroying aliens. Shoot a ufo and the human might just fall to earth. Smash your ship into them to rescue them. Or don’t. All the humans are out to save themselves anyways.

 Defender features flicker now found in the arcade version!

5. Circus Atari

Easily one of the best Atari 2600 games for a buck! Bounce clowns off of a teeter totter and pop square balloons. Its similar to Breakout but with more action including a death sequence where your clown becomes a quadriplegic after falling on his neck.

 It’s only funny because someone got hurt.

6. Demon Attack

Demon Attack is similar to the game Phoenix. Some might suggest its a rip off of Phoenix. Some say Atari sued Imagic. Some say they didn’t. Either way its a great game of killing space birds.

 

7. Missile Command

Another Atari 2600 collection staple. Not quite as good or as exciting as the arcade game, but it delivers on its title. Fire missiles and destroy other missiles that just happen to be raining down on your city. Totally worth a buck.

8. Pitfall!

The brightly colored jungle adventure demonstrated that the Atari could do a platform inspired arcade game and do it well. Collect treasures, avoid scorpions, etc. etc. Almost any Atari eBay lot will have a copy of Pitfall!. For variety try and find a copy of the blue-label re-release.

9. Surround

One look at this game and you’ll instantly be reminded of the light cycle scene from Tron. Surround lets you control a brick around the screen with a dangerous wall being laid behind you. If you or your opponent touch your wall, or your opponents wall, or any wall for that matter, you die. Certainly one of the better two player offerings for the Atari 2600.

Surround is basically the light cycles in Tron

10. Video Olympics

Last but not least is Video Olympics which has nothing to do with the Olympics but has plenty to do with Pong – which the Sears title (and more expensive version) is commonly called as Pong Sports. Video Olympics features hundreds of variations of the original Pong game. This game features 1 to 4 players as well, and there is just enough variety to make this game worth a buck!

Tengen Games On Nintendo

When it comes to unlicensed games for the original Nintendo most people think of Tengen. For those who don’t know what it means to be unlicensed, well it simply means a company has released a game without the console manufacturer’s permission. I won’t go into the specific details of the torrid relationship between Nintendo and Tengen as it is already well documented everywhere on the internet. I will point out some of the virtues of Tengen Nintendo cartridges however:

1. The cartridges are solid unlike other unlicensed game manufacturers. If you look at what Color Dreams and Camerica put together the cartridges just feel cheap. The gold paint on the Camerica cartridges flake off easily – almost as if its water color.

2. The pins inside Tengen cartridges seem to be more resilient to the elements compared to licensed Nintendo games. After years of collecting games from the wild I can’t recall a single instance where a Tengen cartridge showed corrosion. Dirt? Yes. But not corrosion and the other tell-tell signs that the game has been exposed to high humidity.

3. The labels are just as solid as the cartridges themselves. They are thick and have a clear glossy plastic coating on them. This doesn’t make them invincible however but they seem to be less susceptible to the elements.

4. Tengen games have an additional screw that is only accessible by removing or damaging the rear label which makes cleaning the insides of a Tengen game more difficult than it should be.

5. Most of the Tengen games are arcade ports. Several of their titles are Namco, SEGA, and Atari ports.  Atari games are a no-brainer since they were the parent company of Tengen.  Most of these ports were reasonable translations.

6. Tengen eventually went on to make other games for the NES such as Paperboy but they were published by other companies such as Mindscape.

7. Many regard the Tengen port of Ms. Pac-man to be more exact to the arcade version than Namco’s version which came out much later.

8. Some unpublished titles include Police Academy, Xybots, License to Kill and Hard Drivin’

Portable Super Nintendo SNES Supa Boy

Super Nintendo fans looking to get their fix on the go can now look forward to Supa Boy by Hyperkin.  The portable features some slick features include a 3.5″ LCD screen, two controller ports that support original SNES hardware and the ability to connect it to a television.  Hyperkin’s website reports that the battery life is about 2.5 hours which might seem a little weak.

The MSRP is $79.99 and around $55 for resellers.

Activision Blue Labels Cost HOW MUCH???

Activision Blue Labels Cost HOW MUCH? Late in the life of the Atari a few companies, in particular Activision looked for ways to cut manufacturing costs. Some people look at the Activision blue carts as the “Greatest Hits” version of PlayStation titles we see today. A game proven its worth in profitability and popularity becomes stale in sales so the game is re-issued as a “greatest hits” at a discounted price. It’s the same concept. Early Activision titles were you unique in having a screenshot of the game on the label, and although these versions are less flashy on the outside the game inside reminds the same!

Below is a constant fresh list of Atari Activision Blue labels from eBay!

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Featured Game: Cosmic Avenger For ColecoVision

Years ago Cosmic Avenger would have seem very relevant.  But it hasn’t aged well at all.  As a kid I loved this game but its too repetitive.  The music is loud and the sounds of the missiles dropping gets old – FAST!  But at the time of it’s released not too many games scrolled well with as many enemy sprites as this.  A few more tweaks and this could have been awesome.  Definately prequel material for Gradius.

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