The JXD A1000 Arrived!

Tweets have been flying around all day as people get their shiny new iPads but the postman delivered something I was looking forward to for a few weeks.

Yes, the JXD A1000 arrived this afternoon. I tried a few games and videos on it and it works quite well! The bundled 720p trailers were a bit jumpy but lower resolution DVD rips were fine.

The GBA games I tried, F-Zero and Rayman Origins (original carts in the attic) played perfectly and it’s a pleasure to play them on a decent screen! The original GBA screen is notoriously dark.

The screen is huge, the sound is loud, controls are great with even a small nipple joystick that works in GBA games.

Not many things to complain about except for the fiddly volume control and how to exit a game or save/load state (press the power button briefly to bring up a small menu).
The instruction manual is written in Chinese which is a bit of a pain too and it’s impossible to charge it from a USB port and play a game/video at the same time. I’m sure you can plug it into a wall socket and it’ll be fine though.

Battery will probably be a problem too as it’s built in. I’m sure I’ll end up taking the thing apart and searching for a replacement when it starts to wear down.

Also, the device includes a couple of games and pictures that I’m quite sure haven’t been licensed…

Still, a great way to play old GBA, NES and SNES in a handheld and cheap too. I was rudely reminded that games back then were a lot harder than games nowadays and my son briefly tried to touch the screen in attempt to use the GUI. No, this isn’t a touch screen device!
It’s on sale at Focalprice where I bought it. Shipping takes a while but it’s cheap and very cheerful.

Wing Commander IV

Oh look what I found at home a few days ago! A boxed copy of Wing Commander IV for Windows 95 and DOS. I have never even played this and honestly don’t remember buying it but since GOG have just released the third game in the series I should give this a go. The game comes on 6 CDs so I might just wait until the GOG release of one nicely zipped up download. I wonder if they’ll give me a discount if I send them a scan of the barcode?

I also found Resident Evil 2 for PC, which boldly says it only requires a P166. Imagine that. A PC running on a 166MHz CPU. How quaint. My phone is close to ten times faster than that. Gulp.

Gaming History in Pictures

A few games I found recently while sorting through boxes at home:

  • Quake 3 tin box, Linux edition. I wrote an article about this for the Irish Times a few years ago.
  • Double Dragon, C64 version, I posted pictures of this before of course.
  • Gyroscope, the first 5 1/4 disk based game I owned on the C64. It was given to me by someone, can’t remember who now but I used it later for Stunt Car Racer and even printed the loading screen from that game on a dot matrix printer for the disk cover.
  • The excellent Stunt Car Racer manual and box cover.
  • The System 3 Premier Collection and Thalamus The Hits compilations were the pride of my games collection at one time. I still remember the excitement of getting those boxes in the post.
  • C64 Cabal, tape version. Brilliant game. I remember spending as much time tinkering with the game ASM code as playing it..
  • Half Life 2 Collector’s Edition and Half Life 1. Steam was launched when HL2 was released and I was recently able to register the HL1 CD key in Steam and download that great game.
Aside

Pangea Arcade is free on the Mac App store right now. There are 3 classic arcade games in this app based on Centipede, Asteroids and Missile Command so there’s plenty of gameplay on offer here!

I’m trying to install it but the App Store has frozen on my machine. Hopefully it’ll stop being a buggy POS sometime this morning so I can download this. *sigh* (Thanks James for the news!)

Pangea Arcade is free on the Mac App sto…

Aside

I was a big fan of Stunt Car Racer on the C64, and later played it on the Amiga too but I never knew about Stunt Car Racer TNT.

TNT is an extra tracks mod of the Amiga version released a few years ago by AmiGer. Here’s his announcement post:

Stunt Car Racer TNT (The New Tracks) will be released around christmas.

Modifications

Eight new tracks:
DIZZY DESCENT, WITTY WAY, CRAZY CAPER, AMAZING ADEPT, JERKILY JUMP, EVILLY EPISODE, TEASING TEMPER and RAT RACE

Track parameters changed:
start positions, start height, damage sensitivity, boost count

AI speed adjusted/changed for all tracks

Some visual adjustments
e.g. race colours, track names gfx dropped, title screen modified etc.

AGA fixed

Cracked :-)

Long time readers will know my dislike for Blur and I’ve hardly played NFS Hot Pursuit since I got it last month but Stunt Car Racer gripped me like no other racer since. It required perfectly timed boosts, cornering and was literally a rollercoaster of a ride.

I was a big fan of Stunt Car Racer on th…

Rocky Memphis and The Temple of Ophuxoff

If you’re an older gamer who loved the classic gameplay of Rick Dangerous and other platformers you’ll love Rocky Memphis and The Temple of Ophuxoff, a freeware game made by Trevor (Smilia) Storey and Stuart Collier.

It’s a huge 600 screen platformer to explore so this won’t be finished quickly. It’s “casual gamer” friendly too as there are infinite lives and you can save the game at any time, and you can upload your top scores to the game website. It’s also available for Windows and Mac OS X so you (probably) don’t have any excuse for not trying it!

Here’s an interview with the authors including titbits about their Last Ninja remake, and news of their Myth remake too. They also shed some light on sales of the commercial Armalyte remake. If I had a PC I’d buy that in an instant!