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Friday, September 24, 2010

This is Some Strange Shit

The name says it all
Alright, so I live in smaller town in the suburbs of DC (that's all you people need to know!). The other day I needed a haircut and I'd just as soon trust a bipolar schizophrenic with a hack saw and hammer to do a decent job as much I'd trust anyone at the Hair Cuttery near me. So I chose instead to take my custom to a smaller, more local venue. As I sat there waiting to get my locks trimmed I noticed a large glass display case to my right.

That box in the bottom looks familiar...
Curious, I went in for a closer look while she was finishing up with the other gentlemen. Upon closer investigation I would find...

Games! Turns out that along with being being purveyors of the tonsorial arts they make a tidy living selling used games and movies on the side. I attempted to get some more information from the woman, which proved futile as I speak English and she speaks... well it's not English. The one consensus we were able to come to was that games were $5.00 each with the exception of "View Point," for the Genesis which cost "maybe $10.00?". She called her supervisor to check the price of the game. When she couldn't get ahold of them she offered to call me back when she found out how much it was. I looked and saw that there was a line of people forming who actually needed her for her cosmetologist skills. As there were far too many pointy utensils strewn about for me to have a fair chance at defeating a ragtag group of grizzled, unshaven men in a miniature riot (not simply in the interest of common courtesy I assure you); I elected to just offer her the $10.00 and be done with it. The end result?

Epic Win!
Not only did I get a stylish new do, but I scored a mint copy of "View Point," complete in box :D. I know I'm not buying anything right now, but how often do you get to buy games from your barber, let alone Genesis titles? As for the game itself, it works as far as manufacturing goes. In terms of how the game "works". It's pretty fun and looks really good for a Genesis title. The one big issue I have with it is tremendous slow down. All the action takes place on an isometric plane with pre-rendered 3D enemies and energy blast all over the screen so it's no wonder why. Still though, definitely worth ten bucks.

A Gentlemen's Weapon

To everyone that has yet to play a Sega Saturn, I would encourage you to find one or someone who owns one and get ahold of one of these. This is the "Ascii Saturn Stick," far and away one of the finest arcade joysticks I've ever played with. It's one of my favorite pieces in my collection and gets the most use of any peripheral I own. I thought it appropriate to christen this blog with a shining example of how things should be done.

Most home "arcade sticks" utilize a great, big awkward ball on top with an often spring-loaded base. Not this monster. What you get here is an arcade-style steel stick with micro switches in the base to register your motion, 8 heavy-duty buttons, a steel base, and an overall solid frame. This is the same stick I've had since 1996 and I've yet to replace it. It is nearly indestructible! Every now and again I'll have to remove the base and clean dust from the contacts on the board, but other than that I haven't experienced any problems with it. It also makes this delightful click every time you nudge the stick.

Despite being a third-party peripheral, this thing dominates Sega's own "Virtua Stick." Sure there's no Turbo switches, but the stick's not only more accurate and comfortable to hold and use, it also still works. The "Virtua Stick" stopped working ages ago. If you like any kind of fighting game (especially the 2D Capcom variety that rocked the Playstation versions back in the day), then this is the stick for you! 

Games the "Ascii Saturn Stick" rocks the shit out of!

-Any Capcom 2D fighter
-SHMUPS such as Radiant Silver Gun, Galactic Attack, Darius Gaiden, etc...
-Arcade style puzzlers like Tetris Plus, Super Puzzle Fighter 2, Bust a Move 2, etc...
-It's also surprisingly good for a lot of platformers like Astal and Sonic Jam

See if you can find one of these things on ebay. Your smug friend will shit his pants when you roll up for some X-Men: Children of the Atom with this baby tucked under your arm.

UPDATE 12/30/2011: Not that you care, but my Virtua Stick just decided to start working again... Not a huge update, but I didn't want misinformation floating around going into the new year.