Sunday, February 24, 2008

Famiclone Update # 2

The latest in my never ending quest for bizarre Gaming Consoles is this one.
It's the TV Joystick 36 in 1.Made in China (surprise, surprise) by Timetop, the same company behind the Gameking series of handhelds. It's shaped like a XBOX controller.

I've discovered that these are being sold in the UK by Maplin at the princely sum of £4.95. This one cost me 99p from eBay.
It's housed in a sealed plastic container and comes with an Engrish manual and the usual TV connecting leads. Powered by 4 AA batteries.

As usual with this sort of thing it doesn't contain 36 games. There are a total of 12 games included.
Note to maker - different levels of the same game are NOT different games.

It also claims to be 16 bit, but graphics to me look to be on the 8 bit side. Around Master System standard.
On the whole the quality isn't all that bad.

The games are:-
First Blood - Vertical 3rd Person shooter.
Stoneage - 2D platform game with really bad collision detection.
Bombs Away - Bomberman clone.
Gun Force - Contra clone.
Yo Yo Rabbit - Very poor 2D Platform game.
Sharp Knight - Wonderboy clone.
Firebolt - A 194X clone that's is unplayable as it runs way to fast.
Risker - Yet another Poor 2d Platform game.
Army Strike - Looks like a light gun game which is difficult when you don't have a light gun connection.
Adventure - Poor Maze type game.
Ice & Fire Fighter - 2D Platform Game.
Frantic Raindrop - Super Putty clone.

There is no cart slot.
Overall it's fairly well made and sturdy. One nice point is the inclusion of X and Y buttons which serve no purpose in any of the games.

Another slight irritant is the lack of a Menu screen, which is probably deliberate to make you think that there are 36 games included. The actual Menu is a very blurry screen shot of each game level.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Words speak larger than words?

There was a great letter a few nights ago in the Belfast Telegraph. So good, in fact, that i'm going to spend the next 10 minutes typing it out verbatum. It was signed P Mann, Co Antrim and goes something like this :-

'An American friend of mine was recently in Northern Ireland and requested that i take him to Parliament Buildings.
While gazing at the building's splendor, the conversation turned to conflict transformation and how former terrorists have integrated into a post-conflict society. I pointed at Stormont and said 'there are a few in there you could ask'. Puzzled, he nervously laughed and asked that i explained my blaze remark.
I informed him that our Deputy First Minister was a former IRA commander, one of the Junior Ministers was a convicted IRA bomber and prison escapee, two female MLA's were convicted bombers, and a further MLA was an IRA hunger striker.
He laughed again telling me in his unique Texan accent: 'Many people laugh at us Yanks, but thats like us voting for Al Qaeda after 9-11'. He is right.
In an interesting twist my friend then tripped on a loose paving stone. Embarrassingly, i told him that the Minister responsible for roads was imprisoned for IRA membership and posssession of explosives'

Excellent. I couldn't have put it better myself.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Today the world should hang it's collective heads in shame. The Serbian province of Kosovo has illegally declared it's independence with support from the USA and most of Europe.

There's nothing more to be said really. A state founded on terrorism, administered by terrorists and supported by those who have the audacity to claim that they are fighting a 'global war on terror'.
The decision now gives license to all other 'tin pot' regions the authority and blessing to violently rebel against the legal representatives of the state.
Terrorism works. This is the reward.
Kosovo IS Serbia.

Friday, February 15, 2008 more.

It was with more than a tinge of sadness that i tuned in to Sky One last night for the last ever episode of Journeyman. Like a lot of things worth watching it has been cancelled after just 13 episodes.
What a fickle lot the American public are.
It is a good, intelligent show and if you haven't caught it yet i suggest you do. It's like a cross between 'The Butterfly Effect' and the better episodes of 'Quantum Leap'.
Another one consigned to the dustbin as we hear that a new series of Ugly Betty is in production (God help us all).
Gone but not forgotten.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Famiclone Update # 1

Apart from watching Crusaders and listening to too much Carter USM, another sad thing in my life is my ever growing Famiclone collection.
For those not in the know, the Famiclone is a generic term which is used by collectors to refer to 'clones' of Video games Consoles which have been made, usually illegally, using another companies hardware.

The term originates from the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), or Famicom as it was called in it's native Japan. Hence 'Famiclone'. Nowadays it used to mean 'any' clone as opposed to one which just uses Nintendo's property.
At lot are made in the Far East, South America or Russia. There are literally thousands of different variations. Some are cheap rubbish, others are superb 'oddities' and a collectors dream.
Currently i have about 40 different consoles and i intend at some point to catalogue them all.

My latest addition is this one.

Cunningly called 'Game Challenger IV'. I shudder to think what parts 1-3 looked like.
As you can see, it is in fact a Popstation. This is basicaly one of those appaling block LCD games (with about 60 variations of Tetris included) based in a shell that is designed to look like a PSP.
It's made of cheap fragile plastic. Surprisingly, this one also has a back light.

Popstations are really common and can be picked up easily for 99p on eBay.
This one is a little bit different.

It's housed in a quite attractive lined box which also includes a set of headphones, a watch, a wrist strap and a fake leather key fob/wallet. I haven't tried the watch, but it's also cheap looking.
It's marked as A B & Co. According to the internet the only A B & Co i can find is a company which makes and repairs boiler equipment.
I can only assume that this one has been made as a promotional item for that company and distributed at a conference or convention.
I've never come across one before and it was an excellent buy at £1.24.