Retro Game Night + Nintendo Love

Micro Genius with Super Mario 3

I bought Tetris DS last night, for my Nintendo DS. So far it has been superb entertainment, and I’ve had my ass whooped online and dealt some whoop-ass myself with kids (and many adults, I’m sure) from all over since. It’s a great game and I think I’ll be playing it every morning on the bus to work.

I actually stood in the store awhile, trying to choose between that and Metroid Prime: Hunters, a game with the exact same score on Metacritic (86%). I decided that I would eventually buy them both, but it was Tetris’ pick-up-and-play gaming that I had the most time for these days. Metroid has simple online deathmatches, but the single-player component sounds like it could consume weeks that I don’t have right now (until July). That’s really a key thing about the DS. It straddles both casual and hardcore gamer dichotomies. Outside the store I heard a little girl say to her mother that she wanted to buy a DS game before they left. The DS, and Nintendo as a whole, has the kind of wide appeal Sony and Microsoft would kill for. This recent story linked on digg shows the DS Lite outselling both the PSP and PS2 in Japan last month!

Kim and I got home from dinner and decided to drag my old NES FamiClone out of the closet. It’s called a Micro Genius, model IQ-701, and still worked perfectly! We took some photos. We played Tetris, Super Mario Bros. 3, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, Batman, Duck Hunt, Wild Gunman, Hogan’s Alley, Street Fighter 2 (a clone by “Yoko Soft”), Yie-Ar Kungfu, and some others. While they could never live up to the memories I have of them, the whole experience was a lot of fun, and I wouldn’t say no to sitting down for a couple of hours again.

An understanding of what makes classic gameplay still viable today is the reason why Nintendo still makes the best games in the world today. It’s the reason they’ve made so much money from their back-catalog, the GBA (70 million sold), and the DS, and will likely make with the upcoming Revolution. As you may have heard, the Revolution will connect to an internet service not unlike the iTunes Music Store, and you will be able to buy/download hundreds of classic games from Nintendo and Sega, and play them on the machine.

Boycott closed Windows Live Messenger

Based on this encounter with Microsoft employees pushing the new version of Windows/MSN Messenger, now named Windows Live Messenger, one can deduce that an IM standoff is coming between Windows users, and everyone else. The protocol is being changed, and apparently will not be available to Mac OSX and Linux users. That means if you currently have friends on the other side of the fence, at some point in the near future (either when you consciously switch clients, or Microsoft force-upgrades everyone’s accounts), you’re not going to be able to talk to them on MSN.

And pity the poor PC/Windows fools who will use it, as it sounds like absolute hell. Loads of advertisements that can’t be turned off, bombarding you with audio and video that will use up all your free bandwidth, and no plugin architecture for 3rd-party extension.

Vote with your feet. Now is the time to move to open-protocol systems like Google’s GTalk, which utilizes Jabber, accessible to everyone and ad-free to boot. If you have a Gmail account, you’ve already got it. If you’re a PC user and want to be able to talk to your friends without the Gmail page open, download the Google Talk program here. If you’re on another Operating System, this page should help.

I always knew MSN would be going down one day, and surprise surprise, it looks like Microsoft will be the one to help it along.

For sale: Lomography Horizon Kompakt 35mm panoramic camera

Edit: New price!

As the title says, I’m selling a brand-new (in a sealed, unopened box) Lomography/Lomo Horizon Kompakt camera. It takes regular 35mm film and outputs gorgeous wideangle panoramic shots. More info at the official site link above.

Box includes the camera, a faux-leather carrying case, color filters, documentation, and a substantial photobook. (above photo from

Here are some examples of what you might do with it:

On the US lomography site, it goes for 350 Euros, or SGD$686 with shipping included. If you buy it on the Asian lomography site, it goes for SGD$580.

I’m letting it go for 20% less than that, at SGD$460!

Leave a comment or email me if interested.