User Profile



Gamer and animation fan.

Male, 36, United Kingdom

Gamer since the ZX Spectrum days, had a Master System, then Megadrive, then went over to Nintendo. Own a Wii U, PC, Xbox One, 360, PS3 and 3DS (as well as all my old consoles). I am also a long fan of animation, with a fondness of the classic era of 40's and 50's theatrical cartoons.

Sun 20th Jan 2008

Recent Comments



starlac commented on Review: Wave Race 64 (Wii U eShop / N64):

@XyVoX With the vast majority of NTSC N64 titles, yeah, there will be no borders. Wave Race was an exception to the rule however, as even the NTSC version had borders when it was released (the PAL version made these borders even worst in additional to the usual issues concerning bad PAL ports).

Any image/videos of Wave Race that appear full-screen on a TV/youtube, etc, have most likely been stretched to fit by the TV/youtube user. The game's correct aspect ratio will have borders top and bottom.



starlac commented on Nintendo Download: 3rd September (Europe):

@tysonfury The game was translated for its original Wii Virtual Console release.

@wolvesboy Just checked, if you own it on Wii VC, it is the usual offer price of £1.79. Personally, I really only upgrade if the Wii U version is 60Hz and the Wii one's 50. So I'm going to get StarTropics as an "upgrade", while leaving the other two.

Though granted, I can see the appeal/need to play the game on the pad, especially if the TV it's plugged into is shared/or in the living room, etc.



starlac commented on Talking Point: Is Konami About To Exit The Con...:

While it would be sad if Konami decides to leave the console gaming business to focus on other industries (like its Pachinko and slot machines), I wouldn't begrudge the company from restructuring and re-focusing itself to survive in the increasingly difficult world that gaming has become.

Still, it would also be good if the company decided to make games that were within its means, even if that requires them to publish less games a year. Still is this just speculating and rumour at the moment, who knows what the future holds.

@Quorthon - Just a quick note. The rights for Baten Kaitos are owned by Bandai Namco, who still hold the trademark for the first title/franchise. Any new entry in the series would have to go through them. They have let the mark for Origins slide however, but since they own the core name, it's kind of a moot point.



starlac commented on Poll: Buying Bayonetta 2 - eShop Convenience o...:

I pre-ordered my copy of Bayonetta 2 back early September from Amazon UK for £31.85. They upgraded to the Special Edition - with the first game - when the pack was announced, absorbing the costs themselves. The game arrived on Friday.

Good to hear that it's selling well.



starlac commented on Nintendo Download: 9th October (Europe):

I'd get Ufouria if it's in 60HZ, but otherwise I'll pass as I've already got the game on my Wii U's "Wii" VC.

I also have a PS3 and a PC copy of Guacamelee, I don't need a third, though I'd recommend it to anyone who's thinking about getting it.

Otherwise there's nothing for me here. Still that just means more time to play Smash.



starlac commented on Nintendo Confirms Two More Début Releases Com...:

@Yurikun The original games on NES and SNES were more or less straight 2D action platformers (2 was... different, but was generally 2D platforming).

Since the Playstation's Castlevania: Symphony of the Night game was released, the 2D games have taken the Metroid series - particularly Super Metroid - as an inspiration, with RPG embellishments (items, levelling up, stories/text).

Essentially they became games about exploration, with platforming, fighting monsters, gaining XP and collecting fallen loot for good measure.

All three of the GBA titles are pretty good titles and worth getting IMO.



starlac commented on Nintendo Download: 18th September (Europe):

@rjejr RainbowGazelle is talking about Amazon UK, who don't charge for release-day delivery for videogames (and possibly other items), regardless of whether you're Prime or not and have had said policy for a while.

What Amazon USA do is, of course, up to them and unfortunately they charge for the service.

@ICHIkatakuri Yeah, I got that email regarding Bayonetta as well, was a nice surprise and I'll happily take it.

I might buy Life Force, but the only game I'm certainly getting this week is Hyrule Warriors, physical, from Amazon.



starlac commented on Nintendo Download: 11th September (Europe):

@unrandomsam The only optimisation done to Link to the Past was to the music, which was sped up to compensate. Nothing else beyond that I'm afraid.

The Wii U eShop page for the game does helpfully states that ALTTP's "Gameplay, demos and animations" run at PAL/50Hz, before stating that the aspect ratio has been corrected.

I've got the game on GBA, which runs at the proper speed, so I'm not likely to buy the game even at a discounted rate. Might grab a copy of Link's Awakening while it's on offer though.



starlac commented on Nintendo Launches a Free 3DS Game Promotion in...:

Since I'd registered my 3DS back at its original launch and am in no hurry to buy a second (at least not until New 3DS' european release comes about), I'm afraid that I won't be able to take advantage of this offer.

Still, it's good for those who have yet to buy the console though.



starlac commented on Video: Which 8-bit Version Of Ghostbusters Are...:

"An upgraded port of David Crane's iconic Atari 2600 title"

I'd think you'll find that the game originally came out for the Commodore64 and the Atari 8-Bit; the 2600 version being one of the later ports.

As to the debate, the Master System version wins hands-down in my books, it controlled better in general then the NES version, didn't have you going to the gas station every few minutes to refill your tank and the tower climb and subsequent battle with Gozer was actually possible to do without cheating.



starlac commented on Nintendo Confirms a Huge Range of eShop Discou...:

@PALgamer None that I've ever found online, which is why I've been keeping my own list for this for a while. Maybe I should post it online (or at least in the VC forums).

According to the eShop, the present eight games on Wii U VC are using the European 50Hz version: "Balloon Fight", "Kirby's Adventure", "Harvest Moon", "Pop 'n Twinbee", "Pop 'n Twinbee Rainbow Bell Adventure", "Super Metroid", "The Legend of the Mystical Ninja", and "The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past".



starlac commented on Nintendo Confirms a Huge Range of eShop Discou...:

@XyVoX My understanding of where it says "PAL version" or "USA version", is that the reviewer reviewed the game in the territory that it came out - or at least where they reviewed it - first on; that being either a PAL designated Wii U or a USA one (e.g. if they reviewed a game on a UK Wii U, it would state "PAL version", irrespective of its actual refresh rate).

Insofar as I've seen It's never been meant as an indicator of whether the game is 50HZ or 60HZ. For that info you should either check the "download" page updates on this site, or the game's info page on the eShop.

Also note that it says "PAL version" for the 3DS reviews of both Mega Man 5 and 6, the 3DS being a system that runs all it's titles at full speed so far.

EDIT: In the download update for the EU region that included Mega Man 5 and 6's release, Nintendolife did state that both games where "the US version of the game"

EDIT: Though, granted, I can see now labelling stuff as PAL in any way - given the format's game history - could be confusing.



starlac commented on Talking Point: The Virtual Console's PAL Problem:

This is the reason I have a 50/60Hz switch on my main Mega Drive, and soon - I hope - my main SNES, and why I rarely buy anything other than Hanabi and Turbografx games on the VC.


“Slower refresh”

Hardly relevant to most things outside of the gaming world and made for NTSC TV.

50hz interlaced is 25 complete frames a seconds, so most companies ran/run their theatrical films in 25fps on PAL without having to resort to the telecine 3:2 pulldown – and the problems it involves* - that NTSC has to do to get 24fps to work on a format that runs at 60hz (or 30fps), since it cannot go down the speedup route without speeding up the film to an intolerable rate (+1fps increase in speed is a lot less noticeable to most than +6fps would be).

“…an aspect ratio not compatible with film/tv being produced in hollywood.”

The aspect ratio of PAL TVs is - and always was - exactly the same as NTSC TV, 4:3 on a “square” “Full Frame” - or 1.33:1 - TV and 16:9 for a widescreen – or 1.78:1. These aspects have always been global standards on both TV formats since their inceptions.

Basically PAL has the same picture ratio as NTSC, but a higher resolution (however slight). For a modern example, say the difference between a 40” 1080 and a 40” 720 TV, the screen is the same physical size, but I know which would offer a potential sharper picture. The reason for the squashed image in games is because of poor encoding, not a difference in aspect ratio.

Consoles outputted the lines as normal back then, but since they where based on the NTSC standard**, the amount did not tally with the lines on the PAL TV it was outputting to, end result, the unused lines are left empty, distorting the picture and giving us the fake boarders, and squashing the image from 4:3 into a mockery of widescreen.

As others have said, PAL’s main goal was to eliminate the color shifting issues that NTSC can suffer through poor reception, without the need of a tint control knob. Note the word reception, meaning station transmissions, rather than playback with a domestic source sans signal fluctuations (e.g. DVD, VHS).

*Double image caused by using the interlaced nature of SDTVs to take a picture of one frame and combine it with the next frame, to make up the needed extra frames (though to be fair this is hardly noticeable). Then there’s the judder effect that happens with pulldown, particularly when the screen scrolls horizontally due to a slight error inherent in the process when compared to how film frames are shown.

Note that it is completely possible to do pulldown in PAL, by holding every twelth frame for longer than the rest, which unfortunately causes the image to jerk a couple of times a second (though it’s generally done when converting NTSC TV shows out of necessity: i.e. to avoid the same problem that games have, seeing as you’re trying to convert a program made at 30fps onto a 25fps format.

**Outside of properly optimised games where the extra lines have the image data added for their PAL release.



starlac commented on Rare: Fate Was Against Us With Goldeneye:

@ Bensei

Yes, but Nintendo owns Donkey Kong and all the games of his outright, they're not Rare's in any sense other than the fact that the company developed them - that includes DK64.

When the two companies split Rare kept all the original IPs that they had created, whilst Nintendo kept all their original IPs.



starlac commented on Alex Kidd in Miracle World:

@ Sam

Sorry to tell you this, but that's spike maze is just a alternative route you can take, it still leads Alex to Jaken the Great and the same ending. Oh and the idea is to get inbetween the first spikes and DON'T press up, Alex will stay below the upper spikes by himself as long as you never press up - or down - on the pad.



starlac commented on Drake's Ratings Roundup - June 2008:

@ mummydaddy

Well remember what the article says: PEGI doesn't generally give out the names of the games it has rated until they're actually released. It's likely that all their current rated games are being kept hidden.



starlac commented on EU VC Releases - 20th June - Epic Fail:

Ouch for us Europeans huh...

Still as least I can play catch up with some older releases, rather than have to add more titles to an already insane wish list. Though there are plenty of games on the Coming Soon list that I for one wouldn't mind seeing on the VC.



starlac commented on Alex Kidd in Miracle World:

"But it's much slower than shown in the video up there, I mean, the pace isn't that fast."

Giving that the poster of that video is from the USA, then it's probable that he's playing it at the 60HZ that the game was intended to be played in, which would be faster than the 50HZ PAL mode we have.



starlac commented on Alex Kidd in Miracle World:

He eats a Hamburger on the version that was built into the Master System consoles; on the original cartridge version he ate a Rice Cake.



starlac commented on Metal Slug:

I've Just put on my UK PAL copy of Anthology and played MS1-6, the blood is present and correct on each, no sweat here. Although, it's could always be different for other parts of Europe.



starlac commented on Playtest: The Shaft Virtual Console joystick:

I'll quite happily stick with my X-Arcade joystick for these kind of at-the-arcade thrills.

Personally I don't believe a word about the so called "lag" problem, unless the wireless systems they were testing were terrible (or terribly outdated). There shouldn't be any more than about 20 nanoseconds of lag these days, with or without wires, pretty much undetectably for humans but just enough so that the console can process what you'll pressing. Sounds like a marketing ploy.

And I hate Blister packaging as well.



starlac commented on EU VC Releases - 22nd February - Street Gangs:

As I’m a fan of brawler genre games I am definitely going to get myself a copy of Street Gangs (or whatever you want to call it ).


Well, it's known that Germany has very strict laws concerning blood and violence in videogames (google germany and videogames), especially in regards to its "Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Schriften" index. This has meant that some games have suffered changes in the past to allow them to follow these laws and not to end up being banned there, unfortunately in the case of some past games – contra – this modified version is also what the rest of Europe gets (regardless of the fact that our - the rest of Europe - laws are less strict).

Note that this is different and separate from Nintendo’s own censorship of certain games in order to promote their "family friendly" image back in the Eighties and early Nineties.



starlac commented on Master System Games Coming to The VC!:

Thank goodness for that, I was wondering why SEGA was being so neglectful of their old 8-BIT systems. 500 points is fair, the same as NES games. I missed out on a number of MS games when I adopted the Megadrive, so I'm hoping for games I never got the first time round.

I hope that if SEGA are planning to release the games released on both the Master System and Game Gear they use the former console’s version, the lower resolution screens of the Game Gear ports never helped the games. In Sonic 1 and 2 you could never see where you were going.

@ kelvingreen - I see no reason why Master of Darkness can’t be released, it was made by SEGA and it got away with being a clone of Castlevania back when it was originally released; why not today?



starlac commented on Gate of Thunder:

@ Sense

If you die you lose your drones, seeker missiles and whatever weapon system you had equipped at the time, though if lasers are equipped when you die they revert to lv.1 power (of 3). However any other unequipped weapons you have when you die are unaffected.

I’ve so far found this to be a great, hectic game so far; hard and fair at the same time. I’ll have to spent more time with it to review it, but one thing is sure, I'm definitely going to be having fun with this one.