Category Archives: Game Reviews

NES Adventures

Hey guys, I refurbished my old NES consoles, so you can see some photos of that below.

Here’s a list of upgrades that I gone and done, and that you yourself can easily try:

• I took the controllers apart to replace the silicone bits inside – replacements are super cheap on eBay. They work as good as new now. The main difficulty was that the tiny screws on the controllers didn’t unscrew very well.

• Just for fun I replaced the faceplates on two of the controllers with unofficial ones from eBay. They’re not as high quality as the original ones, but they look pretty cool if you don’t inspect them closely.

• I took the game cartridges apart to clean the connectors – this requires a special screwdriver. There’s a lot of different methods for cleaning that people swear by, but I tried a regular eraser, and then rubbing alcohol.

• I took the consoles apart for cleaning – I’ve got one PAL and one NTSC. The first runs at 50 frames per second and the second at 60. I snipped their region locking chips, so they can both play pretty much any game now, but at different speeds. Apparently, this also makes dirty games more likely to start-up correctly, since they will keep resetting if they don’t satisfy this chip. The snipping is actually super easy – you can see in the circuit board close-up photo exactly which pin you need to cut. That’s all there is to it.

• Taking an NES apart is very simple, and regular screwdrivers are all you need. Putting it back together is trickier, as some parts overlap in unintuitive ways, and plastic parts may have warped a bit due to age. Luckily there’s plenty of YouTube videos that will guide you through it if you get lost.

• I took out the component that connects to cartridges and gave it a light scrub with some fine sandpaper, straightened the connectors with a pick, and then I boiled it in water. Combined with cleaning the carts, most of my games start up on the first try now!

• One of the NES consoles had an unreliable power button. I figured it was just dirty inside, so I took it apart (carefully bending some small bits of metal to get in there), and that was indeed the case. I learned how to use a multimeter to check for electrical connections, and this allowed me to test if the power button was working without needing to put it back into the console. Now it works like new!

And as a little bonus at the bottom, you can see some new NES games I bought. These were published in the last few years!
I gotta say that buying new, unlicensed NES games on cartridges in 2021 isn’t exactly great value for money unless you like collecting rare novelties to show off to your friends, much like vinyl records. But that’s the point I guess, and in my opinion, it’s preferable to collecting old, official NES games, since you’re supporting the creation of new content for the NES!


Micro Mages feels like a very modern platformer game with smooth controls and a reasonable difficulty level, despite being the same size as the original Super Mario Bros. And it’s multiplayer – up to 4 players if you have a multi-tap!

Project Blue is a good-looking and polished Metroid-style game, but the difficulty is very retro – you have to beat the game in one go, 1-ups are rare, and the easiest difficulty setting is still challenging. At least it gives you unlimited continues!

Nebs and Debs could pass as a real, early NES game. The controls are a little bit stiff, and it sends you back to the beginning when you game over. Getting better at the game is a lot like Mario – you need to memorise where all of the 1-ups and shortcuts are, to stand a chance at beating it.

Half Life Creatures

Yo, after playing Half Life: Alyx, I felt like drawing some alien creatures. I’m also quite tempted to play the other Half Life games, as this was my first.

I believe it’s been two years since I’ve drawn anything on paper, so it’s nice to see that I can still do it! I may even draw more stuff – who knows?!

I’ve started playing Pokemon Sword now – I quite like the graphics and presentation, despite the low Switch specs, and I love how they replaced the random battle system. But they’ve definitely cut a lot of corners: Cutscenes beg to have voice acting, some animations are really bad, home interiors look copy and pasted, many Pokemon icons are too small to make out, routes and towns feel shallow and linear, and Pokemon still don’t have proper cries (except for Pikachu). Oh well.

I never finished Pokemon Clover btw. I loved it, but in the end the difficulty was just too insane for me. I couldn’t beat Prof. Stump, and I swear the AI cheats.

Nintendo Switch Review

Hey guys, I’ve had my Nintendo Switch for a few weeks now, so I feel qualified to rant about it for a little while. Since this console is often praised as one of the best things Nintendo has ever made, I felt I’d chip in a contrary opinion.

If you’re a protective Nintendo fan, look away now!

tl;dr: As a home console, the Nintendo Switch is just a WiiU with less features. The portability is not a feature that is useful to me.

Let me begin by saying that it’s still a fun console, and it’s worth the money, for most people. Anyone who didn’t own a WiiU, or wants a handheld, will love it.

But as the only person who bought a WiiU, I feel like I’ve just paid £350+ to keep playing WiiU games. Graphically it’s not even a noticeable improvement – you’d have to compare them side by side to notice a difference. I’m not expecting cutting edge-graphics, but 1080p has been the standard for around 10 years now – you could at least give me that. Half the games are ports or sequels of WiiU games, and the new games look like they could run on WiiU hardware anyway. Nothing is backwards compatible – not the games, and not even the controllers! (I purchased a Mayflash Magic adapter which lets me use my old WiiU Pro controller on the Switch. Very cool life-hack. That should totally be a built in feature of the console.)

Why did I say it has less features? The WiiU and previous Nintendo consoles had fun charts for showing you which games you’ve played every day and for how long. Those are gone. Now you have to play a game for 10 days to see a rough estimate of your playtime (rounded to the nearest 5 hours, wtf?). Very primitive and confusing.

As for online features, they are the same as what the WiiU had – but now you have to pay for them! Talk about cutting out existing features and putting them behind a paywall.

Anyway, if you want a new handheld to replace your Nintendo 3DS, then it’s a huge improvement. But as a home console for the living room, it doesn’t offer anything new or exciting. I wish Nintendo would make consoles again.

When I was a kid, the Nintendo 64 revolutionized 3D video games. The GameCube took those games and made them look 5x better. The Wii was gimmicky, but offered some unique controls for the time. The WiiU… looked a little bit better than the Wii. And then the Switch… is a WiiU that you can carry around.

It would be nice to see some groundbreaking innovation from Nintendo again. They should be the company working on making VR more accessible. But instead, you’ve got Sony making better Mario games than Nintendo. (see Astro Bot: Rescue Mission) And yes, I’m aware that Nintendo is a company and needs to make money, and that my favourite gaming products seem to be those that don’t make much money. That sucks for me.

Oh well. I just wanted to get that out there.
If you just want a handheld and love your Switch, probably none of this applies to you.

EBF5 Speedrunning

Hey guys, here’s an EBF5 speedrun video that shows off some glitches in EBF5. You can glitch your way to different parts of the map if you change your save file at the right time. I think preparing multiple saved games in advance may be cheating though…

Here’s a speedrun of the first area without any glitches.
I do wonder if EBF5 will be as much fun to speedrun as EBF4 was, as that one had some really fun glitches.

In other news, I’ve been tinkering with my mobile gaming setup.
Pokemon Clover is a fantastic ROM hack – I grin like an idiot when playing it – but I can only recommend it to people who love edgy meme humour. I’m looking forward to trying more creative Pokemon hacks.

PlayStation VR Review

Hey guys, I’ve been playing a lot of PSVR this month, and it’s been a really awesome experience overall.

But let’s get the negative stuff out of the way first:
• It’s definitely not good value for money. Getting the headset and new controllers will cost you almost as much as a new console, on top of needing to own a PS4. A lot of the games that are available are also quite short, so expect to burn through some cash.
• Apparently the VR controllers are out of stock everywhere right now, so I haven’t had a chance to try them yet! For now I’m stuck with games that use the normal PS4 controller.
• Many games will make you feel motion sickness instantly. In most cases you will quickly get used to it with some practice, but there’s some games that many people will struggle with. So depending on your tolerance, you may be limited to certain types of games.
• If you love very high resolution and realistic graphics… you’re not going to get that here. The graphics on VR games are going to look at least one console generation out of date. Each eye only sees half of a 1080p screen!
• Kids aren’t even allowed to play it! I’m assuming no company wants to accidentally discover the long-term health consequences of VR on kids.

All of those points make it a hard sell for most people. But if you’re an adult who has money and only a limited amount of time to play games, then VR offers a huge variety of experiences to try out. So here’s some quick reviews of my favourite games so far. What I can say about all of these games is that they’re really immersive! When you put on the headset you really feel like you’re suddenly in a different location, and that’s a really cool feeling that can be exploited in many ways.

Astro Bot Rescue Mission

This is a must-play game. It’s basically a 3D Mario game, which surprisingly translates very well into VR. You are the camera, and the whole gimmick of the game is moving your head around to find secrets and to get different views of obstacles, while controlling your robot like you would with Mario. It’s a game that feels familiar and fresh at the same time, and is easy enough for anyone to try it. It really should have been a launch title, as it shows off what the new hardware can do – both the VR headset and the motion controls on the PS4 controller. I’ve historically hated motion controls in games, but we’ve come a long way since the Wii, and the hardware and game design makes great use of them. The music is also catchy as hell. I can’t recommend this game enough, but it’s really hard to explain why it feels so good to play this.
WipEout Omega Collection

It’s a sci-fi racing game in VR, and just like you’d expect, it will probably make you feel sick instantly. After a lot of practice, I can play it for a few hours now, but the dizziness never completely went away. It helps a lot if you only look forward – which is probably what you should be doing while driving anyway. About the game itself, well, it’s nothing too special. Since it’s essentially 3 games-in-one, there’s a ton of content, and it can keep you busy for a long time if you want.


If Astro Bot is Mario, Moss is a lot like Zelda. There’s platforming, puzzles, hack and slash combat action, and a simple fantasy story. The animations and scenery are really cute, and you feel like you’re a giant that’s sitting in a comfy little mouse world. This game should cause you no nausea, since there’s no motion to speak of – you always sit in a fixed place on each map. That makes it another good title to start with. However, the game is really short. It honestly feels like half a game. It’s great fun while it lasts though.
Resident Evil 7

I was dared to play this one, but it turned into my favourite horror game ever. There’s a few janky moments where you are reminded that you’re playing a video game – like for example when you occasionally see your arms float around detached from your body because you’ve sat back further in your chair. But for the most part it works really well in VR, and all of the horror aspects are more exciting and immersive. The hiding segments feel especially natural, when you’re trying to peak around obstacles by moving your head around. The game difficulty is quite reasonable for a survival horror casual like me. The bosses are creative, the pacing is excellent, and there’s even a decent amount of humour in the game. Overall fantastic experience. Even if you’re too scared to play it yourself, it’s worth watching someone else play it.

Robinson: The Journey

Here’s a sort of adventure game about dinosaurs. It’s quite a casual game – not far off from being a walking sim, but there is fair amount of simple puzzles and platforming. It’s all about exploring alien jungles, climbing cliffs, and scanning weird creatures, while being accompanied by your pet dinosaur and a helper robot. A nice little experience, but once again, this game is very short.

I’ve also recently started Battle Zone and Here They Lie, which also seem to be very good games.