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What's Shakin' at the Bacon

The WatchmanThe Watchman Owner
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Don't forget - This Sunday is the NerdBacon Game of the Year Awards Spectacular! - 8pm EST on Twitch.tv/nerdbacon
 

nerdberryNerdberry Owner
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Hope everyone is safe during these hurricanes and wildfires! Irma and Harvey are total b-holes.
 

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Framework and several plugins updated. Several issues fixed. Let me or other admins know if you find goofy stuff
 

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Thinking of doing a stream series soon. The theme: Retro games I never beat as a kid and want to try again. Thoughts?
 

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Project Obscure

Project Obscure

David's Fiance and the Virtual Boy

Have a console that none of your friends do?  Trying to find an excuse to play it?  Did you pay way too much for an obsolete piece of hardware?

 

Rayman - Atari Jaguar

Rayman probably would have been Atari’s answer to Mario if the Jaguar hadn’t been such a monumental failure.

Hello Baconeers!  At the suggestion of co-founder NerdBerryThe Bacon is officially embarking on Project Obscurean attempt to beef up our sections dealing with lesser known consoles and systems.  Collectively, Nerd Bacon has done a great job covering many of the industry’s recent consoles, and as the newest systems make their way into more and more homes, our reviews on the latest and greatest continue to grow.  PC gaming stays well represented (thanks mightily to the efforts of Malefico), and classic systems such as the Super Nintendo, original Nintendo, and the Sega Genesis have seen a lot of love as well.  But what about those forgotten to time?  What about those that nobody ever had as a kid?

Systems Included in Project Obscure
  • 3DO
  • Amiga CD32
  • Apple/Bandai Pippin
  • Arcade games (from the 90’s or earlier) not ported to home consoles
  • Atari Jaguar
  • Atari Jaguar CD
  • Atari Lynx
  • Neo Geo (AES)
  • Neo Geo CD
  • Neo Geo Pocket
  • Neo Geo Pocket Color
  • Nintendo e-Reader
  • Philips CD-i
  • Sega SG-1000
  • Sega Master System (SMS)
  • TurboGrafx-16 (or PC Engine)
  • TurboGrafx CD (or PC Engine Duo)
  • Virtual Boy
  • Watara Supervision
  • Wonderswan
  • Any other systems that we don’t have categories for on the site, including early computer/gaming system hybrids and the multitude of consoles exclusive to Japan! (Don’t worry, we’ll make a category, just ask!)

The above systems are of primary interest, but we’d also love to see reviews for some of history’s less successful entries that were nonetheless well publicized and retained steady visibility.  Most of these are familiar to the average gamer yet don’t get nearly the coverage they deserve.

Secondary Project Obscure Systems
  • Atari 2600
  • Atari 5200
  • Atari 7800
  • Dreamcast
  • Game Boy Color
  • Game Gear
  • Sega 32X
  • Sega CD
  • Sega Saturn

Reads kinda like a “Fuck you, Sega!” list, doesn’t it?

With Project Obscure, The Bacon intends to focus on such systems.  This will not be a singular month’s push, nor is it something that will be “completed” outside of having every member review every game ever made for all of these systems.  We encourage anyone interested to take it easy, take frequent breaks, and make sure you don’t get burnt out on playing bad games.  What we do want is for anyone with the means to play any of these consoles to do so and report to Nerd Bacon with the results!

But Cubes, I don’t have any of this stuff!  Do I have to buy a $300 Neo Geo to be cool?

Neo Geo AES

I’ve got all of this, even the memory card. I got what I’d consider a “decent deal” but it’s still shameful how much I spent.

Hey, no worries, many lifelong gamers never feel the need to gather up this kind of stuff, and that’s ok!  Emulation has made experiencing the games on many of these systems a simple affair, often costing absolutely nothing.  See what you can dig up on your system of choice, and if you get stuck, head back over here and see if any of our members can help.

If you do emulate, however, be sure to mention this near the beginning of your review.  While emulation offers a quick and easy solution, things like actual system performance and controller design/button mapping are lost in translation.  Any reviews are better than no reviews, we just want to be clear about exactly how much of the total experience you’re in for.

Perhaps you have a 3DO or Dreamcast lying around but have trouble finding games for it. For a few pennies, you can burn your very own games and I’ll be happy to help. See my piece (and its extensions) on how to burn games for older consoles and then drop me a line (thecubist@nerdbacon.com) if you have any further questions.

Oh, ok.  So why are we doing this…?

Keith Courage in Alpha Zones

Hurray for … Keith … … Courage…?

The short answer: because we can!  NerdBerry and I (The Cubist) have tons of old stuff lying around, and though we may be slow to get around to it, we want Nerd Bacon to reflect our interest in such oddities.  Having front page reviews of The Wand of Gamelon for the CD-i will turn heads and drum up interest.  Taking time out from what we may be more personally interested in to tap into these forgotten chunks of plastic and metal will distinguish us as a whole.  Google “super metroid review” and you’ll get just over 2.4 million results; Google “keith courage in alpha zones review” (Keith Courage was intended to be the “Mario” of the TG16, so it’s likely to be one of the more popular and well-covered TG16 games in existence (and let’s not forget that the TG16 probably gained more traction than machines like the 3DO or CD-i ever did)) and you’ll come up with just under half a million.  Let’s tap into that 5 to 1 ratio!

Gotcha.  Wait, what do you want me to do?

Play, play, play!  That’s it, just play games on whichever of these systems either interest you most or that you’ve got access to. Maybe it’ll inspire you to make a decision as to what to do with that extra $100 you just can’t figure out where to spend – buy a 3DO!  (Spring for the extra expense of obtaining a Panasonic model FZ-1 – it’s how real 3DOers do 3DO.)

3DO (FZ-1)

One of the more readily available obscure consoles, and a damn fine machine.

Keep in mind that it isn’t our intention to completely flood the site with games that no one has heard of. What we do want to do is to balance the scales a bit and shift some of our efforts to the forgotten and lesser-known titles of the industry’s history. For every game or two that you’d normally play anyway, burn a Jaguar CD game or dig out a nondescript SMS cart and tell the world exactly why these titles never made much of an impact.

Project Obscure is also a great opportunity for members to review the hardware itself.  In some cases the system’s library wasn’t always the problem and there were major flaws in the internal hardware itself, controllers, and other accessories.  Don’t forget that hardware is just as important as software and we could always use more hardware reviews across the board!

Great! I’ll begin forgoing necessities like sleep and food, exhaust my financial resources in procurement of these items, and get to work on Project Obscure right away… Long Live THE BACON!

Neo Geo AES Games

These games are as big as small encyclopedia volumes, seriously.

Awesome, I figured you’d say that! We’re grateful for anything that you guys can churn out, and we hope to see some of our slimmer lists begin to fatten up soon. I’m confident we can get some great discussion going on for at least some of these forgotten games.

Remember, this is an ongoing project, so dig out what you can and keep chugging away until you’ve exhausted your supply…and then buy more!

For anyone intending to participate, I encourage you to leave comments regarding what you may be able to contribute.  Also feel free to ask questions or put forth anything else related to obscure gaming equipment!

(This is a members-only page and probably won’t be seen by the general public.  Although it isn’t password protected or otherwise restricted to access, it’s unlikely that the average user will simply stumble across this area.)

Project Obscure

 

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14 Comments

  1. Sounds like the perfect way to start reviewing. I had a few Sega CD games back in the day and I know one for certain that I believe deserves more attention than its gotten. I look forward to sending it in for publication!

     
  2. Damn we gotta get this back up and running! Where my obscure gamers at?! Speak now! Let’s get weird in this bitch…

     
  3. I plan on, perhaps reviewing an Atari Jaguar title.

     
    • That would be great! I have all of the Atari Jaguar CD games minus 1 (but I did burn it) but I still only have 3 Jaguar games. I’d like to find someone selling a sizeable lot of them rather than slowly picking through each one and getting murdered on shipping.

       
  4. Since I typed this list it naturally reflects many of my own personal possessions, but I’ll go ahead and note what I have and how likely I am to play it:

    Main List – Systems at the Ready (can be up and running in seconds) – + = probably will play, – = probably won’t play, ? = on the fence

    • 3DO +
    • Jaguar –
    • Jaguar CD +
    • Lynx –
    • Neo Geo AES +
    • Neo Geo CD ?
    • Neo Geo Pocket Color –
    • e-Reader ?
    • TG16 ?
    • TG CD ?
    • Virtual Boy –

    Main List – Systems NOT at the Ready

    • Amiga CD32 –
    • Pippin –
    • CD-i ?

    Secondary List – All of these that I own are “at the Ready”

    • Dreamcast +
    • Saturn +
    • 32X ?
    • Sega CD ?
    • Game Gear –
    • 2600 –
    • GBC ?
     
  5. @DK – You’ve probably figured out that I don’t typically mess around much with emulation, but I do have an emulator for 3 old Japanese platforms: the MSX, MSX 2, and the MSX 2+. Not sure about the availability of games (I only have it because I wanted to play Vampire Killer) but it could be another source for the bizarre and obscure. It’s called fMSX if you’re interested.

    I should also probably throw in that I have a pretty interesting arcade emulator set up on the Dreamcast. I really don’t know how likely I am to play this stuff but I’ll do my best to muster up energy “for the team.” Anyway, it’s spread across 3 discs and includes something like 2500+ arcade games. I don’t know what, if anything, is special about any of the games, what they were ported to, etc. but I do know that more than a few are exclusive to Japan. It does seem like the point of this package was to provide easy access to a number of arcade games that couldn’t be played elsewhere but I could be wrong.

     
    • Dovahkyle says:

      Definitely down to try out the MSX stuff. As for the mass amount of arcade ROMs you have on the Dreamcast, I had a hard modded original Xbox that had the same 3-disc set up. It was a lot of fun for partys. Anyways. I finally tracked down all 357 releases for the Bandai Wonderswan, and I am eager to try it out…BOOYAH!

       
  6. Dovahkyle says:

    Check this out, the third successor to the GP32 discontinued in 2011. Open-source, linux based handheld; I must have this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GP2X_Caanoo

     
    • Hmmm, that is interesting. I think having an N-gage would be awesome too.

      I’d like to start checking out all those 80’s computer/gaming systems. I think Atari made one or two, along with every other computer company, and of course there was the Commodore 64. I guess I’m apprehensive about buying up such old machines and whatever other old technology I might need to get it to work.

       
  7. Dovahkyle says:

    Currently downloading Game Park GP 32 ROMS

     
  8. Dovahkyle says:

    Here is a short list of consoles I have emulated, and how many games for each I have in possession:
    Sega Master System (1284 games)
    Watara SuperVision (37 games)
    Atari Jaguar (139 games)
    Philips CD-i (6 games (I think))
    Game Boy, GBC, and GBA (all releases worldwide)
    I can also emulate any old arcade systems, computer/console combos, and pretty much anything else. As for Dreamcast and newer, it becomes for of an ISO making/combining/mounting problem then an emulation problem.

     
    • Hey DK, you should build a little emulator PC using the new AM1 platform from AMD. I think a mini-ITX box would be really cool, allow you to combine all your emulator stuff in one portable case, and the platform is really inexpensive. I think Newegg is still running a promo where you get a board, processor and case for $99, free shipping. And it’s a decent little processor, quad-core Kabini I think.
      AM1 only supports single-channel RAM, so 4GB or even 2 would allow you to use a compact version of Linux on the drive (I’m thinking most if not all emulators are available for Linux?)…
      You could probably build the whole thing for under $200 and it would make for a really cool article, too.

       
      • Dovahkyle says:

        That is a sick idea Malefico! I love it. I’ve been reading a lot about Linux lately, and as long as I can run my emulators on it, then I’m good. If not, Linus has a free windows emulator called WINE that would allow me to run windows only apps. You will be the first person I contact when I’m financially prepared to go on my computer building adventure. Thanks.

         

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