Mark Vergeer's blog

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Mark Plays.... Crash Bandicoot - The Wrath of Cortex (1st hub)(PS2)


Crash Bandicoot 4 - The Wrath of Cortex is a very nice platform game that is among my favorite games on the PlayStation 2. It's an early game that was also released on the Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube consoles.

The game story is about Dr. Neo Cortex and his new superweapon trying to destroy the world with help of a set of angry masks that call Crash names in between levels. Gathering crystals shattered across the globe will silence those nasty masks (known as Elementals in the game) and render Cortex's superweapon powerless, thus saving the world.

The game levels are placed in several hubs (VR HUBS) that are managed by Crash's sister Coco. In this video I play through the 1st hub. I absolutely love the graphics and the diversity in the gameplay and the fact that it really feels like a Crash Bandicoot game we came to love and enjoy on the older original PlayStation.

Check out how I did on the first hub and see me pull some of my gaming faces. Enjoy.

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Mark Plays... Flappy Bird (C64)


Flappy Bird - the legendary game has reached the innards of the good old Commodore 64! Yes, it has been ported and it can be found for free over here: http://www.c64.com/games/2369 .
It looks very easy but it is not. The sense of accomplishment one receives is actually quite amazing and it is disturbingly addictive.

Thanks to MaximumRD, aka Rob Daviau, for pointing this out! Wait, not actually sure I am thankful as well... the game has its drawbacks. :P

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Mark Plays... Soul Calibur II (J)(Original Xbox)


In this video I demonstrate my special (multi console) Soul Calibur II Fight Stick and play the Japanese game on my original Xbox console. Heck, I even try to pronounce the Japanese name for it. It is easily one of the graphically best looking games on the Xbox, really showing off what the device is capable of.

I play and finish the arcade mode single player, fairly easy but this game shines in multi player mode. Take a look how I fared. I had to cut out many pieces of the commentary as that was just a very noisy mess of button presses on the fight stick! :)

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Absolute Inebriation (Amiga)(Demo)(Scene)(PAL)


Dug out the old Amiga 1200 and hooked it up for a bit of demo watching and gaming. I have a PCMCIA compact flash adapter installed as well as a compact flash IDE interface booting into a very nice setup of Workbench and WHDLoader that allows me to run a plethora of games and demos. Here I load up one of my favourite demos created by Fairlight, quite a prolific demo-group on the various systems that can be found within the Commodore range of home computers.

This recording is done from the composite video signal. A nicer RGB signal can be taken from the Amiga but I was not able to hook that up properly for the recording of this video.

Demos really show what machines are capable of and the sounds and visuals often are quite artistic and can sometimes compete with the creations of serious graphic design students/professionals.

To this day, demos are being created on various computers and consoles often containing the various elements seen in this wonderful example. Having grown up with these home computer systems and coding myself it is fun to see how the various programmers 'evolved' and learned new techniques often typically absorbed during college computer science and math classes, resulting in even better demos.

Enjoy! And Kudos to the people from Fairlight for making this wonderful demo. I've been enjoying it a long time and will continue to do so for a long time!

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GameMID & Tek807d Update and a Preview of the "Archos Gamepad 2 vs GameMID" video


I got a nice cobalt blue version of the GameMID to test out a new firmware that enables the device to store and install applications onto the SD card as if it was the internal memory. It's best to use class 10 SD cards for it though. This makes it possible to install quite a few large games on the unit that would not have fit in the standard 8Gb internal memory the unit comes with. Very nice that a company itself is doing these software improvements so that no third party software is needed.

I also obtained an Archos Gamepad 2 and I want to put it through its paces as well. I want to see which of the two comes out tops. Hardware-wise the Archos Gamepad 2 should be faster, but is it?

The video also includes a little sample of the Archos Gamepad 2 vs GameMID video I am working on. If you have any suggestions for the video, please leave a comment below and I'll see if I can stick it in.

I believe Bill Loguidice also received a review copy of the GameMID and am curious of his findings.

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Mark Plays... Auto Modellista (J/PS2)


Auto Modellista - 'collecting cars' was released on the Xbox, GameCube and PS2, and it had a very distinct cell-shaded art style. It was produced by Capcom in 2002. It was positioned as the ultimate car tuning/tweaking game but wasn't the success Capcom hoped it would be. Still it is quite a nice arcade style racer and I opt not to dabble too much in the various configuration options of the various cars. It's a bit reminiscent of Daytona USA in the way the cars handle actually.

The US release was enhanced and had more US cars and the drive mechanics were altered a bit. You can find it as Auto Modellista: US Tuned. Now that would be worth checking out and comparing with the Japanese and the PAL releases.

In this video I show you what the game looks like. It is not a full review nor is it a playthrough.

In this video I hooked up my PS2 Slim up to the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable through component cables and setting the video out settings to component. This results in quite a nice SD grab.

Check out the video and find out how I fare.

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CLOUD GAMING - when will it start to rain?

8 bit gaming8-bit gamingSony just introduced their streaming games service. Why buy a PS4 if you can stream those games to a ps3?

What about the pricing model?

Games aren't movies! Netflix works because of the subscription model and the low price. In the short term Sony may be able to squeeze some money out of old games if they use a sensible subscription model pricing. But it won't work for new games as they need to earn money and cover developing costs. On the long term they will run into issues. They will have to up the price.

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Mark Plays... Ridge Racer 6 (Xbox 360)


This video shows a bit of Ridge Racer 6 running on the Xbox 360. Reiko Nagase - the series mascot - has even more loose strands of animated hair and is rendered in gorgeous detail in the full motion video opening sequence.

This game is the single outing on the Xbox platform of this series; the rest can be found on various PlayStation consoles. The goal of the game is to place 1st in a series of races. Nitro is introduced, which a lot of racers from around that era have--it temporarily boosts the performance of your car. To me, it always feels a little like cheating. The cars themselves are the familiar fictional cars that the Ridge Racer series is famous for.

There's a career mode called 'World Explorer' that allows you to 'live through' a career making choices on what races you want to race. There's new cars on offer but also mirroring and reversing of known tracks.

Ridge Racer 7 for the PlayStation 3 is a 'sequel' to this game, but basically seems to be something of a 'director's cut,' adding more vehicles and tracks. The PSP and PS Vita versions are quite similar to this game.

If you are looking for another game in the Ridge Racer series that is often overlooked, it's R:Racing Evolution on the PlayStation 2.

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Mark Plays... Ridge Racer V (PS2)


Ridge Racer V by Namco, a very early PlayStation 2 release. Reiko Nagase - the series mascot - got a lot of media attention as her hair seemed to exist of loose strands that were animated separately, showing the awesome power harnessed inside the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine. Quite a cool racer I hadn't given much attention when I first got it. The release of the Dreamcast back in the day and Metropolis Street Racer may have had something to do with it. But, lately, the game has gotten a lot attention from me.

Check it out. It's a long one and I just waffle though it on various topics: Android, Nvidia Shield, Gamemid, Archos Gamepad, and some more.

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Mark Plays... Trog (NES)(NTSC)


Trog is a classic arcade game released in 1990 by Acclaim. You are a dinosaur collecting your eggs, protecting them against the cloned Trog cyclops. I couldn't show the excellent multiplayer mode in this game now, but it's there. Do you think the gameplay is a little familiar? Well, that's because it's similar to Pac-Man and Amidar.

From searching the Web, I learned there are MS-DOS and the arcade original versions of this game as well. Enjoy.

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