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My Experiences With The OUYA, What Are Yours?

OUYA Game ConsoleOUYA Game ConsoleA couple of months in I really really want to like it but I don't. I really don't. The concept is very cool, the Indie games for it are really cool and there's some great emulators out there for it BUT... there are too many negatives to make this right.

The controller just isn't up to standards, the thumb-pad touches the sides of the mold so it feels cheap and not well designed. What this also creates is a feeling of unresponsiveness on the thumb-pad button itself as it seems to get stuck in a depressed position quite often. The analog joysticks are actually the best bit of the controllers as they are of a good quality, but they do grind on the top of the controller's surface-plates creating a lot of plastic powder that will no doubt foul up button functionality in the future. The action buttons suffer a similar fate as the thumb-pad button - the holes on the surface of the controller are too narrow with too little margins for the buttons to move freely so they end up actually getting caught underneath the top of the controller. The touch interface area / mousepad is on the controller is actually quite nifty.

But there's more, read below to find out what it is...

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GameMID Android Handheld - Update on availability - 9-17-2013

Mark Smile The Android handheld I reported on earlier has now also become available for sale on the company's updated website. There's an order now button where you can place an order directly from the manufacturer or request additional information. The manufacturer is located in Hong Kong so it could be that you will have to pay additional import taxes according to your locale. Getting one from a retailer locally would be your best option but if that isn't an option going the direct route may be a good alternative. The unit comes in a sturdy box and is well protected by a specialized air filled sleeve. A charger compatible with your local AC power grid is also provided.

There's also a very informative video explaining how the VKM - virtual key mapping software - works. This has been substantially updated since my video as it is now also possible to map swiping gestures onto the buttons (right thumb stick).

Performance wise this unit is capable of full speed emulation of many game systems, including the PPSSPP and original Playstation. Also many games, run great and the battery life on the unit is quite good. The developers of the RetroArch emulator have gotten a unit too so one can expect an even better native support for all buttons in future releases of that emulator. Hook the unit up to the TV over HDMI and you'll have a great console experience. Blue tooth, wifi, microsd slot - all is there. The amount of flash memory 8Gb is similar to the OUYA and in real life comparison - side loading the same apps onto the OUYA - this unit trumps the OUYA on real life Android apps despite the fact that in theory the OUYA has more beefy hardware. There is no lag on the GameMID's buttons and it seems to be my gaming tablet of choice at a great price. A lot of the Android gaming videos on this site have been recorded using this device. Check them out if you want.

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Mark Plays... Alpha Roid (MSX1, 64K)


Lloyd Alpha (? ROID) is a great little game produced by Pony Canyon in 1986. In it you have to destroy the evil forces of the Barugosu and repair the main computer. Well that is as elaborate as the background story of this shooter is going to get.

My European copy of the game comes with a nice cassette inlay but apart from a few lines of backstory there isn't any instructions on the gameplay included. The version I play here is the bare NTSC cart I also own. The Japanese version supposedly comes with more detailed instructions on how to play the game.

In my little gameplay (I didn't really know how to play this game) I didn't go into the holes (craters) that appear on the surface. And you are supposed to do so. Fly into those and the game turns into a little fighting game where you have to hit, kick, jump around to battle against those meanies. So there's more to this game than meets the eye. Check it out for yourself.

Here's a little clip of a guy who actually knows how to play this game and it shows the subterranean battling of the robots
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQL_fWcT0Pc

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Mark Plays... Delver (PC)


Delver is an Indie game that was recommended to me by a friend and this is the first time I take a look at it. It is basically one of these old text based Rogue like games that has turned into a nice 3D game featuring nice pixellated graphics reminiscent of those found in Minecraft. It is a tough game and I only seem to be able to last a couple of minutes. It works quite intuitively and I am liking this a lot even in its current Alpha state (Friday the 13th, 2013).
If you want to go check it out you can get it for PC or Android over here: http://www.delvergame.com/
You can also get the game on Steam.

Here's a link to the developer blog: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=24764.0

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Mark Plays... EA Classics (Colecovision) - new homebrew games


In this video I demo the 3 games on Tony's new Colecovision homebrew prototype cart. Munch Mania, Meteor Swarm and Birds of Orion. The retail Colecovision cartridge can actually be bought over here: http://bit.ly/1aWFyaF
I'd recommend this cart to anyone who owns a Colecovision as the games are very playable and tough. They pose a nice challenge. They are what an ElectricAdventure game is all about: tough as nails!

If you haven't checked out ElectricAdventure's channel please do so here:
http://www.youtube.com/electricadventures

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Mark Plays... Boulderdash (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1984)


Boulderdash by First Star Software originated on the Atari-8-bit computer line, hopped over to the C64 and was actually released on a whole myriad of other platforms including the old IBM-PC. It came on 5.25" floppy disks and it is a selfbooting disk - with a modified version of MS-DOS on it that directly boots into the game.

Check out the game and see how I play until the first game over.

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Mark Plays... Zaxxon (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1984)


Sega Enterprises released the game Zaxxon on various platforms, they also happened to release it on the old IBM-PC in 1984. I think it was best played with a joystick but as I don't happen to have one I am playing it with the keyboard. That is trying to play it with a keyboard. The ship needs repeated key-presses to move as there is quite bit of lag for it to move on its own.
Everything seems to be there, a nice isometric game that seems to be tougher than the arcade port even. A definite must have in a retro arcade PC gaming collection I say.

Check out how I did (poorly) in the video.

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Mark Plays... PSP Emulation on Android (PPSSPP running on the GameMID)


In this video I demonstrate how well Playstation Portable Emulation is running on Android. The GameMID Android handheld has physical buttons that makes running PSP games on an Android device a blast. You'll be able to probably get similar performances on the Archos Gamepad and the JXD 7300B machines although the GameMID seems to run this best.

In my neck of the woods it is legal to make backup copies of your games as well as 'jail breaking' your PSP and you can have your PSN downloads up and running on this emulator in no-time. The games shown in this video have all been purchased by me and are demonstrated running on Android hardware instead of PSP hardware. Now were did I leave by stack of RPG-UMDs?

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Mark Plays... Centipede (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1983)


Centipede on the IBM PC programmed by R.J.Grafe in 1983. It's not the official port by Atarisoft but another release sporting quite an innovative control scheme. It actually features a simulation of the trackball found on the original arcade game. It uses the space bar for firing and the cursor keys to move around the little gun-turret. Pressing a directional key is similar to giving the trackball a swirl. Pressing multiple times in rapid succesion is like giving the trackball more momentum. A bit of an indirect control scheme but it really works well. With this control scheme in place this actually makes for an excellent port.

Take a look at the video and see how I fared.

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Mark Plays... Dragon Saber (PCEngine/TG16)(NTSC)


The sequel to Dragon Spirit, a game by Namco falling into the shmup category. Released in 1991 about 3 years after the 1st game. The cool bit about this game is that it actually has a two player mode which I can't show as I can't control two controllers at the same time. It features organic end-of-level bosses that you will find in many other shmups of this golden era of the shmup.
The Wii (Virtual Console) as well as the Playstation (Namco Museum Encore) got ports of this game so it is also available on newer systems.

If you are interested in the 1st game in this 2 game series check out Dave Webster's video on the 1st game called 'Dragon Spirit'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huQBLle9nqM
This video was inspired by him as I heard him mention he didn't own the sequel so I figured I'd show my little gameplay on it.

Check out Dave Webster's channel:
https://www.youtube.com/user/DaveWebster

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