Blog

Random thoughts and posts on various topics of interest to me

New website!

posted by Jabo Blog Comments1
Since launching this site over 10 years ago I've upgraded from a shared server using PHP and MySQL to a dedicated VPS using Java and SQLite. In that time however the site has not changed much visually despite the rapid changes in web development libraries.

I spent the last few months working on the visual appearance by using Twitter Bootstrap, JQuery, Moment.Js, and Font Awesome to make it look substantially more modern and work better on mobile devices. Additionally this made it easier to focus on the layout of the site and it's content rather than JavaScript and CSS.

There are still some quirks and issues that I need to work out, let me know what you think and if something does not work.
These days it's pretty rare to see a new Mega Man game released, although Mega Man 9 did come out in 2008 for the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console. Even more rare is when Capcom graces the PC platform with a title. Well all bets are off, as part of the Street Fighter and Mega Man's 25th anniversary Capcom has collaborated with fan Seow Zong Hui and delivered a pretty amazing game for the PC platform. Announcements are on the capcom unity homepage as well as downloads for Windows XP and higher.

This game puts Mega Man up against some of your favorite Street Fighter characters such as Ryu in classic Mega Man boss battles.

The requirements are pretty low, so anyone should be able to play this, did I mention it was FREE? Check out the official trailer below

The Rise and Fall of SNK

posted by Jabo Blog Comments9
I stumbled across some videos on YouTube about the rise and fall of SNK. If you grew up in the golden age of arcades you knew SNK for their superior arcade experience, ridiculously expensive home systems and cartridges. Were they crazy? How did they go out of business only to come back with new titles? Who makes a home system with a single speed CDROM? This well produced show answers these questions with interviews from people who were there.

In the arcades I played many rounds of World Heroes and King of Fighters, only to rediscover these games many years later when emulators like NeoRage brought the experience to the PC.

New server

posted by Jabo Blog Comments20
I've migrated jabosoft.com from its crappy shared host to a new provider where I have more freedom in technology and better hardware. It's quite exciting to have a server to play with, my hope is that everything has migrated correctly, if you notice anything out of the ordinary please let me know, this is a work in progress.

In addition to new technology the URL structure has changed to a RESTful style, but it should automatically forward previous links as necessary. Lastly the DNS for the domain has been updated but probably won't resolve for a while. If for some reason you have difficulty posting here you can also contact me on Emutalk as well.

An update on Project64

posted by Jabo Blog Comments68
I've decided to release a patch to 1.6 that includes the majority of the plugin fixes from Project64 1.7 beta, and take a step away from the project.

I began actively working on Project64 again earlier this year, and was disappointed at the state of things. After going over 5 years, with no end in sight, the beta project became a bit silly to many. Most of the original team has left for different reasons over the years, and the community on the site has faded.

At the same time, I felt it would be irresponsible to the legacy of the project to keep important bug fixes in the beta permanently; the donations seem to go into a black hole now anyway.

Looking back it's been longer than I would care to admit, so many great memories and new friends. First, I want to thank the people who donated over the years, this emulator was a decade of ambitious work, knowing that people appreciated it and showed it really did matter to the team. There are too many people to thank individually, but special thanks to Gent, RadeonUser, Witten, and Smiff - you guys pushed the project forward in too many ways to mention, and truly defined my experience working on the project with zilmar.

I am doing this independently of the project, it is not an official release.

Click here to download

I've started a forum thread at emutalk.net please use that for any discussion.
It?s spring time and like many people I?m sucking down air conditioning, but I decided to take a look at how one of my PC?s is using electricity like it?s an all you can eat buffet.

Here?s some information about my current HTPC that is relevant:
  • Intel Pentium Dual Core
  • Gigabyte/Intel G31 motherboard
  • GeForce 8400GS PCI Express
  • WD Caviar GP 750GB (variable RPM)
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Runs all day
Windows Vista has a lot of new power options that are available for tweaking; after all it?s very cool to be green these days. Whether you are running a datacenter or using a laptop on a battery these settings can be an important way to get a handle on your power usage. Vista and 2008 server are definitely the best Windows platform for power management so far. This blog is a best effort to provide meaningful information for a technical person to evaluate power options, it?s by no means a definitive guide ? and I?d like feedback.

If you live in the US visit the Energy Star website, there is tons of good information on there already. Generally most monitors have been Energy Star compliant for a while but it seems a lot of PC?s are compliant as well these days ? this is good since people generally have more PC?s than refrigerators.
I?ve never really found a great description for a lot of the advanced power options in Vista so I decided to blog about them after doing some research.



The default options are pretty self-explanatory, but the quick-details are that balanced and power saver throttle your PC while it?s idle and will eventually put your computer into sleep/hibernate ? while high performance does neither. For my HTPC none of them are sufficient so I decided to create my own profile that throttles and never sleeps (like me!)



I set these options to never; the defaults for these are very reasonable for normal usage however.

Sleep ? often called standby or the S3 state by those familiar with the ACPI spec, turns off all fans and disks and puts your CPU into its lowest power state while keeping the RAM powered on so it can wake up quickly from a user or system event - like Wake on LAN.



Turn off hard disk after ? Turns off a disk until it is accessed by a write or read operation. If you have disks in your systems that are not used all the time, for example you have a secondary drive with movies that is only used every Saturday. I have a single system disk so I set this to never.

Wireless Adapter Settings ? Allows your wifi adapter in cooperation with the access point you are connected with to periodically enter a low power state when there is a lack of network traffic. Unfortunately when Microsoft was testing this power option, it was determined that not enough hardware routers correctly supported this feature and it would end up causing connectivity issues ? so the default is ?Maximum Performance?. If you use wireless on a laptop it?s definitely worth your while to try ?Low Power Saving? option because it can save a significant amount of battery as you do things like browse the web which may not require significant amounts of network traffic ? more information on Vista team blog. You may also need to make sure that power management is enabled in device manager for your wireless adapter.

USB selective suspend ? USB 2.0 allows devices to enter a low power state by placing the port into a suspended state when it?s idle ? this is determined and managed by the driver. The system can wake up the device to respond to an event, or the device can wake itself up as well if supported ? this is called Remote Wakeup. USB selective suspend also requires that the corresponding USB Root Hub has power management enabled in Device Manager (as well as the device if applicable). Power savings and stability vary based on type of device, usage, and how well the drivers are written ? another good reason to buy things from reputable chipset and device manufacturers since they are more likely to support these kinds of advanced features.

PCI Express Link State ? PCI Express uses a series of high speed links (up to 16x Rx/Tx) to exchange data, even when there is no data traffic there is still data being exchanged in order to have synchronization. PCI does not suffer from this issue since it is parallel, and has a much smaller overall pipe anyway. In order to save power devices have the ability to turn off these lanes temporarily - synchronizing them when they come back. It?s unclear to me at this point which PCI Express devices support this (I?d like to find out more about this), here?s what I do know:
  • Supported in PCI Express 1.1 devices
  • Potential savings are significant for devices with 8x lanes or higher
  • Requires a compatible motherboard chipset/bios, device, and drivers
Processor power management ? Allows your microprocessor (CPU) to throttle its speed by lowering the clock multiplier when idle ? formerly a mobile-only feature, today almost every x86 microprocessor has some form of throttling to conserve power. How much power you can save depends on the microprocessor - some can scale back by as much as 50%, others only 30%. If you are fortunate enough to be able to choose the microprocessor before purchasing a laptop it pays to understand its throttling abilities as it has a significant effect on battery life. As far as the settings ? you want the lower value to be 25% and the higher value to be 100% so you can have good performance and power usage. Further information ? Intel SpeedStep, and AMD Cool n? Quiet.

Conclusion

There is a wealth of links I?ve gotten this information from and tried to reference above anything that was particularly juicy - a lot of the information above assumes you already know basics. This is a good summary of the things I?ve read and it answered a lot of my own questions about what these settings do, sometimes answers lead to more questions though. My expectation is that this information is difficult to find because it?s over the head of the average user and support can vary greatly between hardware. If you have any valuable feedback on a particular setting, or questions please ask.
E3 apparently showcased some Megaman 9 for WiiWare, the most impressive thing I took away from this is how accurate they stayed to the capabilities of the NES hardware in terms of using original graphics and making music.


Read more

Megaman 9 for NES ?!

posted by Jabo Blog Comments33
I was a little shocked to read that a version of Megaman is coming out on WiiWare. According to the designers they want it to look and sound like an NES game, whether the game is actually written to be compatible with the NES hardware is another story we'll have to keep our eyes on, but it would seem unlikely. The bosses in the are your classic Megaman collection of randomness:

Magma Man, Galaxy Man, Jewel Man, Concrete Man, Hornet Man, Plug Man, Tornado Man, and Splash Woman.

Other information I skimmed from the Nintendo Power article says the designers are aiming pretty high, aka at Megaman 2 widely regarded as the best of the series on the NES. I'd say let's start with some more screenshots before we get ahead our selves. All in all tho, it's really cool Capcom is doing this, it goes to show though how much of a retro crowd is around enough to market something relatively obscure like this to.

Source: kombo.com

Read more

Tecmo Bowl returns on NDS!

posted by Jabo Blog Comments2
Let's face it, there's been quite a few versions of Tecmo Bowl over the years but the original, and arguably best is on the NES. Following in tradition of Capcom remaking some of it's classic games, Recently Tecmo announced that a new incarnation is due out on the Nintendo DS titled Kickoff. From what IGN reported it's similar to the NES version in terms of play and content, which is is a good thing.

The best part is that it will take advantage of the DS wifi connection, so you can spank you friends in football from your couch on a Saturday morning. Sadly, since EA owns the license for NFL teams this will not feature real team names which is a real let down, no more Bo Jackson unless you add him yourself. Check out the preview below.

Home Theatre PC 2008

posted by Jabo Blog Comments3
Like most of you, I have a few more computers and devices than the average person. Every few years they need to just be gutted and replaced. My media center PC aka HTPC has fallen off a cliff in terms of it's ability to keep up with modern high definition content and apps. I decided to do a performance analysis of the pre and post upgrade as well as reviewing the individual components while I upgrade. I will also throw in my somewhat outdated workstation for just an extra comparison.

I put this together as it's very entertaining for myself to have a record of this and I figured someone else might find it interesting. Also interestingly this is some of the hardware I've used to develop and test Project64.

Read more

Bionic Command Re-Armed

posted by Jabo Blog Comments4
One of my favorite games for the NES is definitely Bionic Commando, and I know it makes the short list of quite a few people as well. A mechanical arm, killing Nazis, and an exploding head at the end of the game. What's not to love?

As most of you may know there is a new Bionic Commando game in development for the usual suspects of consoles. Apparently releasing a new version of Bionic Commando wasn't enough and Capcom decided to update the original as a download for Xbox Live Arcade and PSN, to the delight of many fans including myself. Updated graphics and gameplay are on the menu for a release in Spring 2008. One odd thing I noticed is that Nintendo Wii is not on the supported platforms list, which is a shame, so many developers ignore Nintendo when releasing updated versions of classic NES games (like Ninja Gaiden).

Check out the video below, it's worth watching it illustrates how seamless the transition from NES to 3D is for this update.

Read more

Philips DVP3140 DVD/DivX Player

posted by Jabo Blog Comments3
Since I have the Media Center living room experience I've wanted to take some of the content to other locations. I decided after carefully waiting that buying a Media Center extender was not worth the trouble and cost at this point, something I may come back to in the future. I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase one of those new age DVD players that also supported browsing CD/DVD content such as photos and DivX videos.


Read more

Apple iPod Touch Wish List

posted by Jabo Blog Comments19
I've been looking to get a portable computer for a while now, but I couldn't find any that I thought would be worth the investiment in time and money. As you can guess I've completely disregarded the entire PDA scene as a little too geeky for my taste.

My view is you shouldn't always need to be behind a keyboard locked to your desk. It would be nice to have as many of the conveniences from your computer as possible in a nice device that doesn't frustrate you but becomes part of your daily life and facilitates more communication with your friends.

That being said, I think the iPod touch comes the closest right now to what I would want in a portable device. Important things like it's affordable compared to its competitors when you look at the quality of the product and the amount of storage you get with it. Also equally important is that in typical Apple fashion it simply has the best user interface I've seen and does not rely on a stylus for input - so you don't like a chump using it basically.

But the biggest criticism for the iPod line is the lack of 3rd party applications, since Apple does not make most of the popular software in the industry. For the rest of the iPod line this has not been as much of a problem, with the introduction of WiFi consumers got a taste of the good life and want a lot more. Currently the only extendibility options reminds me of Media Center 2005, that is html and javascript web pages. Just like with Media Center this won't work out that well either, begging the question how can you build a platform as great as this and then provide html as the only mechanism to extend it? That being said here is my wish list for applications that would make me buy this device tomorow.

Instant Messaging

Here I'm specifically referring to mostly AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger etc with chat History. I've heard people have hacked some of the web based agents to work on the iPhone since there is Web Services available for most chat clients. I'm not interested in web pages, I want the real thing. Other mobile platforms have had this for years this isn't asking for much.

Skype with VoIP

Okay, this is probably a little unrealistic for this portable device, and probably also suffers from iPhone envy a little. I doubt this thing packs enough horsepower to encode audio for Skype but picture this as your own personal Skype phone for your WiFi enabled home. That would be a great selling point, and other portable devices do have this feature. The lack of bluetooth would prove problematic unfortunately - which I suppose is another Wish List item.

Google Maps

This isn't as critical as the others I would say, since this was largely web based. But if you've ever used this on the iPhone you know how much better this is when it's a native application not reliant on a web browser. Additionally the power of having this as native application means you can save routes and images for when you are offline and need to reference them.

Global Positioning (GPS)

Mostly coming from iPhone envy, but these devices cost nearly 300$ to begin with, if the iPod touch had this you almost couldn't resist buying one of these. Integrated with Google Maps above this would be a killer combination. Alas this, like bluetooth, requires hardware and would likely have to be an addon.

Games

I doubt there would be an SDK to let me port Jnes ever, but, given that the iTunes platform already supports this form of content it would be nice if there was an addon for the iPod touch that had some sort of intuitive gamepad. A good games library would be a killer app that would be make the iPod competitive with a whole new market. I wouldn't mind playing NES games either.

Conclusion

I decided to leave certain things off this list, like support for MicroSD etc. If Apple was ever going to support something like this the multiple generations of the iPod would of been the place to do it, don't hold your breath here for it.

The iPod touch blurs the line between iPod and portable computer with features like Safari, WiFi 802.11, and YouTube support. So it's only natural the flood gates got opened for a vast array of features.

Apple has a pretty good history of listening to its customers, equal to that unfortunately is also its history of not opening up their platforms for third parties. From a competitive standpoint I don't see how it's possible for them to ignore key applications like instant messaging for too long. If there is one thing more popular than YouTube it's definitely instant messaging your buddies. At this point it's wait and see, most people who follow Apple are saying if anything happens it will likely be in Spring 2008 at their next major hardware refresh. I haven't seen anyone anticipating major software updates before the holiday season, but, it would be a pretty smart move to cement an already great product.

Video game retrospectives

posted by Jabo Blog Comments10
I don't normally find hidden treasures on your typical game review website these days. It's a rare occasion when the content stands out above and beyond your typical screenshot description blurb about a game or series.

Like all good treasures, I stumbled across this first on YouTube when I was looking at Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess trailers. After watching a few Metroid episodes tho I knew this was too good to not share. Like most gamers, I have a deep appreciation for Metroid and Zelda series, even before watching these. These videos definitely helped fill in some blanks about timelines and stories, I think you'll enjoy it as well.

A website called gametrailers.com did video retrospectives on two of my favorite nintendo series, Zelda and Metroid. These retrospectives cover the entire scope of the series to date, NES 8-bit, SNES 16-bit, Gameboy Advance etc. Being an author of one or two nintendo console emulators I have a special place in my heart for these particular series naturally.

Each retrospective is broken up into multiple parts, its not a quick song and dance of each series at all. These retrospectives tell the complete story of the series, linking games together. Additionally they go pretty deep into what made each game unique in the market at the time, highlighting specific features in each game that resulted in permanent changes to the entire series. It's kind of rare to find retro content that is this well put together, so I thought I would post a blog about it. I highly recommend watching these!


The Metroid Retrospective


The Legend of Zelda Retrospective


After you watch it, I'd be curious to hear what you might of learned from it, what you liked, didn't like, etc. If nothing else this is an easy way to walk down memory lane with some games many cherish as the best made.


Angry Nintendo Nerd

posted by Jabo Blog Comments6
A friend suggested I check these reviews out on YouTube. This one for Friday the 13th I thought was really funny, and illustrated a lot of great points about the game. In full disclosure its not one of my favorite games, but I remember playing it in my younger days and thinking some aspects of it were entertaining, video attached below.

Also just a heads up, if you don't enjoy profanity this definitely isn't for you.

Read more
Introduction

I set out to answer that mythical question about the best way to do that infamous "DVD Backup" due to my facination with compression and home theatres. I thought it would be interesting to post some of the results I had encoding things, as well as sharing what settings I use and a little explanation behind it.

This blog isn't going to necessarily provide scientific analysis, it's my personal experience using the tools I have had good success with, and the settings I have found are realistic. Your mileage may vary and I'd love to hear from other people.

Normally if I had some encoding to do I would simply open up AutoGK which will import the VOB files, generate an AVISynth script based on the file size you are targeting and do a two pass Xvid encode with whatever audio settings you desire as well. For anyone who ever had to use all these tools separately it can be beyond tricky to actually do it correctly and consistently.

The problem I've had with Xvid is that it leaves a artifacts around edges in animation, and generally smoothes things over a little bit too much in films -- again this is at the bitrates I use which are usually rather low compared to the source. This isn't an exercise in being picky as much as it is getting the best value out of each bit so when you scale up your videos to larger displays it retains its sharp look.

The Setup

Xvid is an MPEG4 ASP compliant encoder, and it is arguably simply the best ASP codec. There is another profile in the MPEG4 spec however called AVC which HD-DVD and Apple's QuickTime use for example. For MPEG4 AVC I decided to use the wildly popular X264 which is distributed as a command line tool that takes AVISynth input and outputs MP4 compliant files. I'm not going to get into the technical details behind comparing ASP and AVC -- suffice it to say AVC is significantly slower and can pack away the bits in a more effective way than an ASP as a result of its increased analysis and features. In addition it's well documented the amount of hacks Xvid has to do in order to facilitate some of the more advanced encoding techniques like B-frames into the AVI container -- so I thought it would be fun to try AVC out and a newer container.

In addition to using the Xvid/Avi output from AutoGk I decided to also use the AVISynth script it generates as the input for X264 which would help keep the comparison a little more interesting. The settings I used for X264 were designed to get the best bang for the buck from the encoder -- maximize quality, speed, and decoder compatibility. In AVC for example QuickTime does not support all the AVC features such as b-pyramids or 8x8dct so I dropped them. While it's tempting to jack up the b-frames higher it adds overhead on the decoder with little overall benefit after a certain point. The only deviation from these settings I've used is in animation (not shown here) I increase the reference frames from 5 to 8 due to the fact that animation has a more redundant frames.

The last thing to mention is that decoding AVC has a lot more overhead at high resolutions than ASP does, you pay for those advanced compression features.

The Results

The results below are a comparison of a 2-pass encode at the same bitrate from the same AVISynth script -- the target file size for each movie was the common 1400MB. I'm not claiming this is a great direct comparison since I'm using AutoGk, but it's a fun experiement and AutoGk does use a good set of Xvid settings (Motion Search, B-Frames, etc).

I should probably also mention that I own these movies, and did this to research MPEG4 encoding which is something I have a keen interest in. I would only advocate this as a method to backup things you own naturally.

X264 options (excluding bitrate and pass number)

--partitions all --direct auto --progress --threads 1 --subme 7 --b-rdo --mixed-refs --bime --weightb --bframes 3 --ref 5 --me umh --trellis 2 --no-psnr

Tomb Raider 


This film has the advantage of being filmed at 2.35, so there isn't as much data after being cropped. The bitrate was about 1800, so there was plenty of bitrate to work with for the careful VBR encoder. I chose scenes with water because they are traditionally difficult to encode, combined with a slight film grain that's sure to drive it crazy. Both codecs did a great job here tho, but, in frame 9873 with Xvid notice if you can that on Lara's face there is macro blocking unfortunately.

BaseketBall 


Luckily this film is 16:9 native, so there is tons of data for the encoder to look at. At first glance the Xvid encode actually has more detail, but when you enlarge you can see significant macro blocking in some areas as shown in the 4X Zoom window.

Conclusion

It won't shock anyone when I say AVC in an MP4 container is better than ASP in AVI, which is the most common combination. The images above at least provide a rough reference point for how much better the quality you can expect between the different mpeg4 profiles encoding the same content. This article isn't necessarily the catch all for every option -- these are the options I felt were reasonable and common based on my research using tools normal people would likely have access to. It's also worth mentioning that AVC encoding is slower by nearly a factor of 10x compared to ASP, obviously you are not getting 2x the quality for that either. Comments questions, let me know.
I'm somewhat of a media center fan as well as video compression, if you couldn't tell. One of the great things about Quicktime is that they have a plethora of trailers in HD on Apple's website. mp4/h264 is the upcoming industry standard container/compression for content and from my experience really do a better job than Xvid/Avi.

My installation of Media Center 2005 couldn't view Quicktime .mov files or decode any mpeg4 content in the "My Videos" area. This creates an interesting problem -- how is one to view all these lovely trailers on their MCE boxes? These are the steps I had to take to get these problems solved, it's probably worth mentioning that this can vary based on what mpeg 2/4 decoder software you have installed (I use WinDVD), and you should probably have QuickTime installed as well if you intend on decoding that content.

1. Let's tweak the registry to make sure Windows knows that this type is video. Open regedit, navigate to HKEY_CASSES_ROOT/.mov, if this does not exist create it. Once in the root of this add a string type called PerceivedType, set the value of this to 'video' without the quotes obviously.

2. The final step is that you will need an mpeg4 directshow splitter, luckily gabest wrote one. If you don't know who that is you've never used Media Player Classic, get out from under your rock and try it. Anyway the MP4 splitter is located here so download that, if you don't have 7zip to decompress it you can find that here as well. Once you decompress it, install it using "regsvr32 mp4splitter.ax" in a command prompt in that folder.

Now when you navigate to your videos in Media Center you can view your quicktime and mp4 files, which are much better containers than AVI but that's a discussion for another day. I didn't want to make a long blog about this with screenshots and such but I can update this if necessary for anyone who has trouble following some of these steps. Your mileage may vary, this worked for me on MCE2005.





Some sample screenshots from great HD 720P trailers on apple's site

Captain N Series DVD Boxset

posted by Jabo Blog Comments3
  Publisher: Shout! Factory
  Content: 1989, 570 Minutes
  Release: February 27th, 2007
  Discs: 4






About the show and this review

Captain N was a show many children watched in the late 1980's, when Nintendo ruled the world. It will come as no shock that being part of that generation means I have a special place for this particular series. Many fans have eagerly awaited the release of this, any others, on retail DVD.

Our friends at Shout! Factory managed to acquire the rights to this series after a long battle over licensing the series from Nintendo. Which rumor had it Nintendo didn't want much to do with this long forgotten television series. If you haven't noticed by now, licensing is a common theme with why more of these series have not come out.

But does this show hold up today?

I thought this show had particularly good cast of characters, and it was a good break from the Mario mania that was getting overplayed at the time. The writing for this show was average - most of the shows clearly were intended to tell a story in a short amount of time and very little was done to develop the individual characters beyond each episode. So from an entertainment aspect the writing was very good as each episode was new and 'exciting' but this kind of formula generally does not hold up well over time as you need to develop characters and legitimate plot in order to really get a greater appeal and longevity. I think these are some of the reasons the show was short lived at only being two seasons each of which are in this box set.

In shorter words, I think the entertainment value for a Nintendo fan is definitely still there. If you like the cast of characters you will heavily enjoy the adventures they go through, and I've always found the portrayal of Simon Belmont to be very entertaining.

7/10

What exactly am I getting into with this box set?

When you get this box set you are buying the complete series, two seasons spanned out over four discs, which makes it about 7 episodes give or take on each disc. Since there are many aspects to a DVD in terms of entertainment and collectible value let's break down and go over a few key ones in a little more detail.

Boxart - The box is black on the front with a nicely detailed picture of Kevin, the main character. On the back appears to be again updated artwork of the larger set of characters with a nicely written introduction on the series. Overall I thought the box was very well put together, nothing over the top, but very good. 8/10

Menus - I thought the artwork used in the menus were rather average, I'm not sure if there was sufficient funding to get new artwork done for this release. The layout is a background image with foreground text -- bonus points are awarded for using a retro 80's font for the text as well as a mosaic menu transition, which is again retro. 6/10

 



Audio - I wasn't expecting a lot here beyond an English track in Dolby Stereo, and it met my expectations. I'm actually glad they didn't do anything silly like try to give a remixed track so for that alone bonus points are awarded for not reinventing the wheel. 8/10

Video - The video as you can guess is 4:3 full frame, quality however is one area I felt let down. Restoring frames from film is a dirty job and often very costly. In the DVD video you can often lots of the original film grain, as a result there is compression artifacts on top of this in certain situations. I would say the transfer to DVD was successful, there aren't any interlacing issues for example, but I really do not see much evidence of significant time spent in restoration. 6/10

Extras - I wasn't actually expecting any extras for this release, they are more or less character bios and videoland tours with a voice narrator. I realize the expectation level has to be realistic considering how old this series was, but the extras didn't really interest me much but its better than having nothing else for nostalgia. 5/10


Final words and summary

Content 7/10
Box art 8/10
Menus 6/10
Audio 8/10
Video 8/10
Extras 5/10

The review numbers aren't particularly exciting, but they aren't bad either which makes this an acceptable release for a collector and fans.

Overall - 7/10!

Some final words to close this out, you may never see a series like this again in the era of Pokemon; Simon Belmont, Kid Icarus, Megaman, Eggplant Wizard et al coming together on a cartoon series. One of the best aspects of this show is the characters and the adventures they have in placed themed after various Nintendo games. I'll never quite understand why they added Gameboy in the second season, he didn't really add much to the series and he couldn't talk for crying out loud!

Anyway if you are a Nintendo fan like me, this is worth getting a hold of either for rental or purchase depending on your level of commitment to enjoying this brand.

Website rewritten

posted by Jabo Blog Comments0
Jabosoft in general hasn't had a decent website for quite some time. Over the last several weeks I decided to write a custom content management system in php, this is the result of that. There is probably opportunities to make things a little nicer still, but I think this is a huge improvement over what I had originally.

Interviews

posted by Jabo Blog Comments0
This a few links to some interviews I've done in the past

Interview At Retrogames.com
Pretty cool interview conducted with Opi of retrogames.com, topics discussed in regards to Jnes

Interview At Emulation64.com
More recent interview with Redah of emulation64.com includes co-author Zilmar of Project64

Interview at Emutastic!
Most recent interview by Gent, the man himself! Wide range of fun topics, fun read!