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About Dcubed

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    N-Europe Staff
  • Birthday 02/26/88


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  • Switch Friend Code
    SW-0401-9926-5412 Yo!
  • 3DS Friend Code
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  • Nintendo Wi-Fi Friend Codes
    Mario Kart: 429559160285
    Tetris DS: 068425213740
    MPHunters: 395207751867
    ACWW: 094557444954
    Name: Muffin
    Townname: Bakery
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    Nuclear Muffin
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    we love Wii
  1. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Worth noting that every Aleck 64 game has now been converted into standard N64 ROMs that can be played off a flash cart (and presumably emulators too). Same thing was done with the 64DD library too. You can now play them all on a flash cart without a 64DD needed (yes, even the games like F-Zero Expansion Kit that interfaces with a seperate cartridge).
  2. General Switch Discussion

    Yeah, I've heard about it. I haven't heard of Nintendo actually banning anyone who has used a physical cart whose contents have been copied yet though... so maybe there's a way they can tell who's using it? Dunno.
  3. The N64 sure did have a lot of racing games, easily the most over-represented genre on the system (helps that Nintendo themselves published no less than 9 of them!) It's not as crazy as the shooter genre on the TG16, or the fighting game genre on the NeoGeo, but it's definitely the console's speciality it's most known for. That and FPS games.
  4. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    Aha! Now I get to talk about the Aleck 64 arcade board! This was the first game released for this arcade PCB, and the N64 cartridge release is essentially identical in every way to its arcade counterpart... ... that's because the Aleck 64 is essentially an N64 shoved into an arcade cabinet. Not the first of its kind by any means, arcade boards based on consoles were common at the time (indeed, part of the reason why the PS1 was such a huge success was because Sony licensed out the PS1 hardware for use in arcade boards, especially ones made by Namco such as the System 11; which powered some of their biggest arcade hits of the late 90s, including the Tekken series)., but what makes this one a bit unusual is that Nintendo had little to no involvement with the Aleck 64's development. No, this was a Seta joint; yes, the same Seta responsible for the bizzare Morita Shogi 64 and its weird custom cartridge that you saw a couple pages back in this same thread. Seta liked to tinker with odd hardware accessories and the like, and it seems that Nintendo took notice and granted them the keys to the Mushroom Kingdom 64 here. It perhaps came too late to make any real impact in the arcade world. The N64 hardware wasn't particularily impressive compared to contemporary arcade competitors (I mean, it wouldn't have been impressive by 1996, let alone 1998!), and the N64 itself was famously much more difficult to develop for than the PS1, so it didn't really compete well at the low-end either. Kind of caught in a bit of a no-mans land really. Still, the Aleck 64 did end up getting a fair few games made for it, 16 in total, but none of them would end up being notable successes in the arcade business. Either way, 16 games is a decent amount for a standardised arcade PCB, so it's hard to call it a failure; especially for a small developer like Seta. But, to my knowledge, only two games from the Aleck 64 would ever get ported to the regular N64; and Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth just so happens to be the first one.
  5. Well that’s certainly a surprise! Had no idea that Throwback Entertainment got the rights to Extreme G. Neat!
  6. Sonic Superstars

    Oh sick! Sonic Superstars on PC just got granted full S3D support for the Spatiallabs View display!! Just gave it a try and it looks awesome! Gives the visuals some much needed (literal!) pop. Well haps! The 3D implementation is actually quite a bit better than what we saw in Sonic Generations, it's very well done and reminds me a lot of the 3D Classics Sonic games for the 3DS! The parts where Sonic goes in and out of the screen in Bridge Island Zone just look phenomenal! Stereoscopy really does just elevate the presentation tremendously with this game, as everything now has a much needed layer of parallax that just brings everything to life, it really does feel like the game was always made to be displayed in S3D originally. Now I just wish that Sonic Mania and Sonic Origins could get the same treatment... Time to go back and finish the post game!
  7. General Retro Discussion

    I'd say great minds think alike, but clearly not as alike as I'd like I'll go over this in more detail when I eventually get around to my Wario World writeup, but I think it's a very marmite game where your overall opinion varies a lot on what expectations you have going into the game. It's both a 3D platformer and an old school beat 'em up in equal measure, so it's naturally quite repetitive, but it's also very inventive with its enemy & level design, with some neat puzzle solving & exploration elements that fit in well with the Wario Land series proper, and I think anyone's opinion on the game will be coloured by their perspective on the beat 'em up genre as a whole; as well as your expectations of games released in the early to mid 2000s in general, and even your views on gaming as a whole. Because a lot of the complaints you hear online about this game, and many of the reviews of the time, ended up dinging the game for its short running time and its repetitive nature; all of which are natural elements that come with the genre that it's in. It's very much a game that was perhaps released in a time where people were not kind to both of the genres that this game falls into, but I'll be interested to hear your perspective when you eventually get round to finishing your playthrough and your own writeup
  8. General Retro Discussion

    Yo! @S.C.G When did the price of Wario World suddenly skyrocket!? I just checked it on eBay for both PAL & NTSC copies and it now seems to be averaging around £60-70. I remember that being one of the cheapest first party GCN games on the second hand market just a few years back, now it's suddenly worth Wario Cash for some bizzare reason! (Great game BTW, literally just finished a replay yesterday; write-up in the Your Gaming Diary thread is pending!) Meanwhile, the Zelda Collector's Edition disc is basically worthless now. A game that used to sell for £100+ easily can now be gotten for like £15-20 on eBay! It seems like the more expensive games are getting cheaper, while the cheaper games are getting more expensive all of a sudden I've already got basically every GCN game I want (save for Cubivore, which aint happening at any sort of reasonable price), but it's really interesting how things have changed recently with game prices. It's not a bad time to buy some GCN games really if you're in the market for them ... unless that game you're after is Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. That price aint budging it seems, unfortunately.
  9. General Retro Discussion

    It was pretty late, yeah. November 2005. But it was still well off being the last game released for the system by Nintendo. Pokemon XD, Batallion Wars, Mario Party 7, Super Mario Strikers and Odama all released shortly after Superstar Baseball within a 3 month period and none of them are nearly as hard to find (NOE basically cut off all retail support for the GCN after April 1st 2006 and started liquidating their GCN stock with firesales where the console could be bought for cheaper than its actual games here in the UK, with the only game released after that being the GCN version of Twilight Princess; which was sold as mail-order only here in Europe). I get that baseball isn't really very popular over here, but come on! It can't have had that small of a print-run in Europe surely? It IS still a Mario title after all. I cannot believe that Odama had a bigger print-run than Mario Superstar Baseball over here, there's just no way... Edit: Actually... looking over on eBay's completed listings, PAL copies of Odama are actually pretty rare it seems! There's plenty of US NTSC copies for cheap, but PAL copies seem to be hard to come by (though still cheaper than Mario Superstar Baseball). Perhaps both games did have a comparitively small print run in Europe? Quite surprised about that actually! Guess that explains why Super Sluggers on Wii didn't get a European release at all. NOE just had no faith in it.
  10. Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes

    Looks like the Switch version might be the version of choice for those nostalgic for those old PS1 loading times... ... woof! Yeah... stick to the versions on other consoles.
  11. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    Or you can buy a Steam Deck that'll play all the same games as your PS5 (including the first party Sony AND Xbox games) but both on your TV and portably, and it's cheaper than a PS5 to boot. No assembly required. No tinkering needed. It Just Works out of the box, and you even get to play all of the games you already own on PC at no extra charge, no online fee either. You can also use whatever controller you want (even complete with Playstation/Nintendo button prompts with more modern games). And before you clap back with questions about PS5 having a big performance advantage, that isn't going to necessarily be the case once Steam Deck 2 launches... All of a sudden, that's a pretty compelling prospect against traditional consoles.
  12. General Retro Discussion

    Was just talking with a friend of mine about eBay prices for Gamecube games and it got me interested in looking at the current state of the market... ... it's pretty interesting. Some games have gone up, like Kirby Air Ride (now averaging around £80-110!) and F-Zero GX (Was previously around £15-20 a couple years back, is now averaging around £25-35), but quite a lot of games have really dropped in value. Twilight Princess, previously going for around £100-130 for a CIB PAL GCN copy a few years back, can now be gotten for as little as £35! Skies of Arcadia Legends? Now seems to average about £60-70 (used to be around £70-80) Mario Parties 4-7? Can be yours for around £15-25 a pop (used to go for around £35-50 on average for each of them a few years back) Pikmin 2? A reasonable £20 seems to be average (used to go for around £40-45 before). While the high ticket items haven't really budged much (I'm looking at you Path of Radiance!), you can get a good chunk of the GCN library for pretty cheap these days it seems. Looks like it's not a bad time to buy up some Gamecube games if you don't already have them That being said though... why is the PAL version of Mario Superstar Baseball going for around £125-135 on average when the US NTSC version is going for around $15? The PAL version can't be that rare surely!?
  13. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    It's still Steam Store exclusive... but of course there's nothing stopping that from changing when Steam Deck 2 inevitably launches. The first model has sold at least 2 million units as of November 2023, so while it's certainly not currently threatening Nintendo's marketshare, it's also not a super niche device like the Analogue consoles, or the Playdate either. It's not hard to see a successor console coming out with a wider retailer distribution starting to gain more of a mainstream audience. It's only gonna go up from here, as will the handheld PC space in general, especially if Xbox do end up stepping into the ring.
  14. Playstation 5 Console Discussion

    Same thing could be said for Nintendo too... Switch's USP isn't much of a USP anymore when Steam Deck and other similar devices can also pull the same Handheld/Docked party trick. A simple more-of-the-same Switch 2 isn't gonna cut it over the next 5-10 years when the handheld PC space continues to open up and rise in prominance. It might not be a threat right now, but it absolutely will be in a few years when Valve look to launch their own Steam Deck 2 and other manufacturers (potentially even Xbox) start to get into the market sector.
  15. F-Zero X - All N64 Games

    This really is a very special game. One of the N64's absolute finest and arguably one of its most important titles. It's basically the quintessential Rare game and it exhudes quality from start to finish. It's also perhaps the N64 game steeped in the most mystery, owing to its protracted and tumultuous development cycle. As most of you probably know, the game started out as Project Dream, beginning development shortly after DKC2 shipped, moving over from the SNES to the N64, then eventually changing from a pirate themed action RPG into a 2.5D quadscrolling platformer and then into a full 3D platformer modelled after Super Mario 64 in response to that game. As such, there is a lot of cut and unused content, including perhaps the most famous example of unused content in gaming history (and the one that sparked my own interest in development changes/cut content in general), Stop N' Swop. The TCRF page for this game is a veritable treasure trove cove of facinating info that is well worth a peek! I can't overstate how much this game facinated me as a kid, and the countless hours I spent trying to explore and discover all of the secrets and mysteries in this game and its sequel are ones I'll forever treasure. It's kind of a shame that the whole Stop N' Swop thing wasn't allowed to happen, because could you even imagine what utter magic could happen if Rare were allowed to go ahead with it and allow all of their various N64 games to link together and unlock stuff in each respective cartridge? The amount of broken cartridge ports would rival even the amount of control sticks broken by Mario Party 1! I mean, I don't really need to wax much more poetic about this game. You all know it and you all love it, and for good reason. It's a masterpiece spawned from chaos. I do prefer the sequel for its ridiculously ambitious, almost Metroidvania like interconnected world design (an idea so good that Metroid Fusion stole it wholesale ), but I can see why people might prefer the first game. It's much smaller and much more approachable, far less overwhelming (I mean, BT expects the player to have already played BK so much that it outright gives you BK's entire endgame moveset from the outset!) and also more digestible. You could easily 100% this game in less than 10 hours your first time through and that's a nice length, not too much of a good thing; while BT is easily 20+ hours your first time through. I have to be careful not to spend too much time talking about BT here when we're supposed to be talking about BK, but really, you must play BK first before touching BT, I can't stress this enough; the sequel fully expects you to have at least rolled credits on the original BK first (to the point where BK's secret ending outright announces that a sequel is coming, and even gives it its final name of "Banjo Tooie" right there and then!). Oh yeah. Did you know that Banjo Tooie hadn't even been announced yet before Banjo Kazooie launched? What an incredible mindblowing thing to hide the announcement of a sequel with full title and even items and areas shown that would tie into the next game shown off in a secret ending! It was the Back To The Future Part 2 Ending of the video game world, only far more well received and exciting, instead of being the blatant cash grab that BTTFP3 was Sadly with the advent of the modern internet, things like this can't possibly have the same impact that they once did back in the late 90s, but it really does just exemplify how amazing the sense of discovery and secret hunting was in this game. Like the Sandcastle Cheats, remember those? Most of them weren't even released by Rare until 2-3 years after the game came out, with some not even being discovered until decades later! This game provides a better sense of mystery, wonder and discovery than any modern open world title could ever dream of doing. Ok. I'm gonna now take a bit of time to rant about the Xbox 360 version and why it's a terrible bastardisation of the original game. First off. What in the ever loving fuck have 4J Studios done to the font and HUD!? AHHHH!!!!! THOSE JINJOS PIERCE INTO MY SOUL!!!! Ok, admittedly a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, but holy shit is the new font and HUD so unbearably ugly! Utterly artless. A bigger issue is the new "modern" camera. Holy shit have they fucked it up something fierce! Why!? The original game's camera was near enough flawless! Now it's just lazy and requires constant babysitting, and also requires constant feathering because the original game was designed around the camera angle being moved in 45 degree increments instead of being fully analogue. This makes precision platforming a total nightmare now, as the camera constantly fights you (especially in The Engine Room, you KNOW which room I'm talking about). The 360 version of BT would rectify this to some degree, making it at least tolerable there, but it's still not as smooth to control as the original. Speaking of 4J Studios fucking around with things that they had no business touching, or any real understanding of the original game design intention, they changed how note collection was handled. In the original game, you had to collect all 100 notes within a level in a single run; and each time you either died or exited the level, the game would save your best note collection score. 4J Studios decided to mess around with the game by changing this so that once a note is collected, it stays collected forever. Now this sounds like a good change on paper, but in practice? It ruins the intended challenge of the game. Rusty Bucket Bay and Click Clock Wood are supposed to be endurance challenges where you try and survive long enough to collect all 100 notes in one go, but this is now completely trivialised thanks to this change, ruining the intended level design. This change also introduces a rather nasty bug that can lock you out of 100% completion too... if you tackle the Bottle Bonus Challenge before 100% completing Mad Monster Mansion, when the onscreen Banjo collects the notes in the Mad Monster Mansion puzzle, the game treats them as being already being collected; making it impossible to collect them within the level itself. It's an awful change that 4J Studios had no business making. Oh but it gets even better... because all of the game's cutscenes are also completely broken. This is immediately obvious from the moment you start the game, as animations go out of sync and don't play properly (with some animations just being outright missing even) in every single cutscene in the game! Timestamped for your viewing displeasure (but if for whatever reason it doesn't work, just skip to 00:48 to start the intro cutscene and watch how it breaks almost right away) Banjo Tooie on 360 also suffers from the same issue (and it's worse there because the sequel has a lot more cutscenes) and it's so utterly maddening. This is not some sort of obscure bug that could easily have been missed, no, it pervades across every single cutscene in the entire game and it's painfully obvious. It's mindboggling that not only that this issue happened in the first place, but that even 15 odd years after this re-release came out, it has still not been patched in ANY of the 360 version's subsequent re-releases across Rare Replay or when it was given the Xbox Series X 4k enhancement treatement. It is so utterly amateurish that it outright disrespects the original game, and when you're talking about such an important milestone of a release within the gaming industry as a whole? These kinds of issues are just utterly unacceptable. But wait! There's more! Because 4J Studios are a bunch of hacks that seem to think that technological superiority automatically makes a game better, they also pushed out the game's draw distance to infinity. Again, another change that sounds good on paper, but it's also one that ruins the game's intended level design as collectables that are scattered around the stages are now always in clear view. Things like Sharkfood Island, or the Empty Honeycomb out at sea in Treasure Trove Cove are supposed to be hidden from plain sight and fade into view as you get closer to them as you explore the sea in TTC, but now? They're just in razor sharp view at all times, making finding them trivial. Same goes for the hidden notes at the bottom of Bubblegloop Swamp. Again, a change made with no care, understanding or respect for the original game's level design. Yes I'm nicking your screenshot to demonstrate this @Cube, but Sharkfood Island and that crate floating out at sea are not supposed to be visible from here. Notice also how it fails to obscure the boundary of the ocean across the horizon too? There's supposed to be a layer of fog that's just missing here Oh, and did I also mention that they ruined the cheats too? Unlike in the original N64 game, enabling any sort of Sandcastle Cheat now completely blocks saving of any kind; making the cheats utterly useless and pointless to even mess around with (Wanna be a washing machine and still be able to save? Well too bad, you can't in this version!). This is bad in BK, but it's a hell of a lot worse in BT, which not only has a lot more fun cheats to mess around with, but it's also a much bigger and longer game; and worst of all, this makes using the SuperBanjo cheat utterly useless!! A travesty! Now, there is some good about this version I do have to give credit for and it's that its widescreen implementation is mostly well done and that it now runs at a solid 1080p/30FPS on Xbox 360 (4K on Series X), which is certainly quite a nice image quality improvement over the blurry 240p and somewhat unstable 30FPS of the N64 original. It also adds some neat online leaderboards that track your best speedrun through each game and level, which is neat I suppose. And it even allows you to carry over the Stop N' Swop items to BT, though the way that this was handled was also rather cackhanded, as 4J Studios handled this by removing the SnS items from BT (meaning that the areas that used to contain those items are now just... empty) and having them just straight handed to you at the start of BT, with the two additional eggs that were not previously obtainable in BT now granting you (rather insultingly, and not in a funny Rare humour kind of way) two Xbox 360 Gamerpics. For all the hype surrounding the reintroduction of this feature, it's soul-crushing to see it used to grant you two useless JPGs for your Xbox 360 Live account; it feels so wrong. I will give them props for the Stop N' Swop 2 joke though, that was actually pretty funny. There's plenty of other minor issues that pervade throughout the 360 version of BK (such as numerous glitches with the music not working correctly, especially when going underwater, and of course all references to Nintendo's IPs were removed), but those are the biggest gripes I have with this version. It just feels so sloppy and disrespectful as a whole, and really that perfectly encapsulates Microsoft's entire tenure as Rare's owner. Thankfully, we were blessed with the original N64 version being made available via Nintendo Switch Online and that version is everything I could have ever asked for. It's a flawless recreation of the original N64 ROM, with all of the original references and everything intact; now running in HD and with a smooth and unwavering 30FPS (and no broken cutscenes either!); it's even portable, and can be played with the original N64 controller! It took over 20 years, but we finally got the ultimate version of BK. Thank you Nintendo, Microsoft and Rare for finally making it happen. I cannot wait for Banjo Tooie to get the same treatment, good lord it needs it badly... because the 360 version is a mess and the original N64 cartridge runs like an absolute dog, with one of the worst framerates on the platform (it really says a lot though how much I love the N64 game despite its dreadful performance, and it also says a lot about how terrible the 360 version is when I'd rather play the N64 version with its 240p resolution running at around 10-15FPS over the 4k/30FPS version on Series X ). Ok, rant over. I fucking love this game, please don't play the awful Xbox version though. Get the good one on Switch