I’m getting too old for this Dank!!!

I finally finished MXS2 Snatcher two weeks ago checking off another game in my classic Kojima game playthroughs. I had been trying to play the MSX2 version for a while, but due to limitations to my setup, the translation patch would always breakdown mid-game causing large dumps of garbled text. With my new set up I wanted to see if this same issue would come back and I am happy to say I have fixed all the problems retaining to my MSX emulations.

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I now only have the PC-88, PS1, Saturn and PC Engine CD versions to play through. One of the most significant variations you’ll find between games would be the musical arrangements between each system. I own the vinyl record release of Snatcher, but hands down the original PC-88 has the best sound despite the PCE CD arrangement having that CD sound quality. Check out a few differences here:

 

The translation I was playing was a bit broken (funny at times, but still broken) however, if you want to see a better-translated version of MSX Snatcher I recommend watching Awesomebrand’s video of his playthrough of Snatcher to get a feel of how this game played out on the system.

But hey- enough Snatcher for a few weeks. It’s only natural after playing a lot of Snatcher that one would dive right into Kojima’s other classic Sci-Fi drama Policenauts.

Policenauts

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Policenauts is another game that has eluded me for years due to my at-home setup and the fact it never got a proper English localisation. It was initially released in 1994 for the PC-9821 in Japan after four years of development and conceived when Kojima was working on Snatcher. It’s got a high-cinema style production, and it’s got a lot of throw-backs to American Buddy-style cop dramas, mainly Lethal Weapon. There were plans to make a Saturn localisation for the Sega Saturn but cancelled due to technical limitations. Policenauts came out for the PC-9821, 3DO, Playstation and Sega Saturn in Japan only, but if you want there is a fan translation for the game made in 2009 for both the PS1 and Sega Saturn.

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If I had my way, I would play the PC-982 version; however, there doesn’t seem to be a translation for it yet. I have also seen that emulating this game is a bit of a trick in itself, though Macaw45 recently played thru the game on his stream using updated patches in Mame to get the sound/mouth events working. Still, there were a few audio issues and crashes that did seem to break the game in some areas, however hopefully in time many of these issues will get cleaned up so people can enjoy how this game.

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I’m playing through the PS1 version which has many differences from the original PC-9821 version and added animated cutscenes. It has a different look and feel to it, and some would argue it’s a tad uglier vs the original. For me, I am obsessed with playing thru fan translated games just for a glimpse of what these games had to offer and to share in the fun of experiencing the game’s story.
Playing Policenauts has been a two-year desire for me, but yet again, my at-home set up was holding me back. I wanted to play thru the game way back in February after I finished SD Snatcher, but I couldn’t get the disks to work. As I have switched to windows set up, I got help from my buddy Fantasic_Plannet and was able to get things moving forward.

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I plan to write a full review/feature about Policenauts in an upcoming article after I finish the game, so tune in Sunday morning when I dive back into the game and see if I can finish it!

Zine Updates

Oh boy. Where do I even start?
The zine is going to be late this month due to the worst customer service from the new printers. I stress that WAS part as I never want to work with these people ever again. What happened was I submitted my order July 16th and asked for three-day shipping to my place, and they kept ignoring and dodging my phone calls, emails and instant messages in regards to my order. TL;DR I had to escalate my frustrations with Paypal to get them to either finish my order or refund my money. This whole thing took an entire month, and I am beyond enraged. Good news! I have zines, and they are shipping out this week, so thank you so much for your patience.
This issue features a story by the fantastic Giby who was at Combo Breaker this summer and his adventures taking part in the event. He got to meet up with a lot of great players, people and checked out a lot of awesome games. I also started featuring a new segment where I dive into unboxing of older games, so be sure to check out the images from that. I also have some great art by Dasyati and yours truly, and overall it’s a good issue despite the lateness of the printing.

Dank Art

Missed the Dank Art? Check it out here! I’m always sketching and working on art from the games streamed by people I follow on twitch. As always, I enjoy people who play retro, classic and obscure PC games, and I try to promote everyone I follow. Check out the streams: LordBBH, Aquas, Zallard1, Retrograde Tom, Macaw45, Omnigamer, Duke Donuts, Tondagossa, Goati, SQPat, Chuboh and CapnClever.

Return of the Fish

I’ve been shaking a fishing rod at my Dreamcast for three years now with the goal of 1CCing the arcade mode and having a lot of fun in the process. Going for a Wolrd Record never even seemed like an afterthought because I just really like playing the game. If you’ve caught any of my streams where I’m fishing I’m usually just cracking jokes, yelling at polygon sharks and screaming “ITS HUUUUUUUUGE” when I get the big fish. I decided to look up the World Record and was stunned to discover that my time was around a good minute and a half faster than the current ranking time.

The thing about World Records is as soon as you go for one there’s going to be several other people who are going to try and crush it. I held the record for a good day before someone else took it away from me. I knew though that I could get a better time if I just focused more on the game instead of joking around and goofing off. Sure enough, my current time is now 5:29 and in the lead. One of the best things to come from all of this was clicking into IcKY’s stream when he was doing runs and finally meeting someone else who was playing this game. One of the best things about playing games in this community is making friends along the way and I am hopeful other people are hungry enough to want to go for the World Record themselves.

 

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Also props to Dasyati for making this amazing Dank Sega Marine Fishing Art for me! Dasyati does Dank Art for the zine as well and if you want to submit your work, please email me your stuff to agento@hotmail.com  and it might get in!

Dank Zine Update

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You’ll be noticing a change to the format going forward with the Zine as the company I was printing with before closed and I had to find someone else local to help with production. To help cut down on costs its worth for me looking for a company that is as local as possible as shipping a box of Zines from another country costs way more then me having to go pick it up. Hopefully, things should be a bit smoother with this new company.

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This months sticker was ultra-cute featuring the Poochy and his pupper crew. I have stacks of stickers still available so I will be including more stickers in the next instalment of orders. If you want a sticker, pick one up in the Dank Shop soon before they are gone.

 

Dank Art

 

As always, I’m up to making lots of Dank Art to numerous streams for your enjoyment. If you back the zine at the right levels you get a chance to grab one of my originals or even commission me to make some personalized Dank Art. Check out this amazing piece I made for Volwrath that he recently got framed. I love it when my work is framed :3

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New Dank T-Shirt in the Dank Shop

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Get the new Dank Zine T-Shirt and wear it when you watch Dank Streams- or at work… if your work is easy going like that. You can grab the new shirt up at the Dank Shop here. All funds collected from the Dank Shirt go right back into making the Zine more wacky and fun (and possibly my UberEats spending).

Comics, Dank Art and Playstation Classics

Dank Art

No, I don’t have any Bowser-ette fan art here, but instead, I have all the Dank Art I made to streams last week. It was a bit of a challenge due to how destroyed my hands were from work, but I still managed to paint a few pieces. It seems I have developed an allergy or strong reaction to something I’m touching at work and I had to start using this intense medicated cream. I have to apply this stuff and wear a glove on my hand for a few hours which bites into my drawing time considerably. I put on this adorable knitted green glove with a bow on it to wear, channel my best 80’s MJ and try to suffer thru it for a bit.

I’m excited because the weather is changing to cooler temperatures after a gruelling summer I am welcoming the sudden change. Thanksgiving is next Monday here in Canada and I am looking forward to seeing my parents.

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Adventures with Comic Books

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Greg & I drove out to Kitchener to go to one of my favourite places to get pulls on Saturday. This place is like a warehouse of comics with an upstairs showroom and a basement with THOUSANDS of back issues of everything from comics to magazines. I like this place as I can always find a few Heavy Metal and obscure gaming magazines when I go.. They also have a Dirty Harry Pinball machine in the basement that I have been taking a liking to.

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I always find amazing inspiration material when we visit this comic shop as part of the reason I collect comics and magazines is to expose myself to different styles and other peoples art and writing to improve my own. I also get excited when I find something that heavily inspired me in my own childhood.

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The X-Men Annual Shatter Shot Part One was a huge deal comic book for me as a youngster. I would wake up at 5 am every day for school and stack my backpack for a day of survival and this book was always in there. I usually carried 5-6 comic books bagged and boarded in there along with my floppy disks and Magic Card Decks (you never know when someone is going to throw you a loop and pop down a Blue/White mess). The cover alone made me fall in love with Jim Lee’s style and quickly saw how this one cover went on to define the look of the X-Men for years.

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Every electronic department store had this game as their Sega Genesis demo at the time too

I think I was a kid at just the right time to really get into the 90’s boom of Video Games and comic books and it was at a time when it was transitioning into a more digital and technology-based industry.

If you are looking for major inspiration, find a comic warehouse in your community and pick up a few $1 back issue comics in those bins. There are decades of great material just waiting to be found and the fun of finding them makes it all more the adventure.

Playstation Classic

Mini classic systems are trending enough that Sony is launching their own mini classic system of the PlayStation 1 this December. They’ve already announced a few titles for the system such as Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3 and Wild Arms and you can preorder now online or at your local game shop.

It’s still a shock for me to see this product on the market because I can always find a solid wall of Playstation games when I visit retro shops. Not just that, there are a few titles available thru the online Sony store making more popular/classic titles still accessible.

Who will buy this?

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Well, besides the hardcore Sony fan, I can see a collector such as myself going for this as it is a cute little system I can plug easily into the cheap LCD TV I have via the HDMI cables. There are no game cases to fuss with, and I can pick it up and go to the cottage (if I was one of thoooooooose people) or bring it on trips with me, so I don’t need to go 5 minutes without games.

There are so many amazing classic titles for the PS1 that it would be impossible to put all my favourite games on one tiny system. I would love for there to be a legit way to add more games to these systems, something that I feel was horribly overlooked in the design feature of these games which will push people to hack their classics just to have that convenience of a mini rom machine. However, some might argue that’s a sure fire way to kill collecting physical games and bottom out the market, but I digress.

Will the PlayStation Classic cause the retro collecting market to bottom out? Will classic mini systems keep people away from collecting games? Is collecting retro games dead?

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Not even once.

I really don’t think so. I honestly don’t see a PlayStation 1 under every tree this Christmas, and I don’t see people pushing down their own grandmas to preorder this either. You have people like myself who are all “If Parasite Eve isn’t on there then it’s hot trash” or “I already own all those games and still play them sooooo…”. But driving down prices of retro games? I highly doubt it. That’s set by the collectors and their own bars IMO.

I don’t buy as many retro games today, but that’s because my collections are near complete to my satisfaction and also because I need to think about my own habits and physical space where I live. For me, it’s now a conquest for the odd and bizarre where I’m chasing down leads on MSX computers and sitting here tongue in cheek look at the Japan auctions for alternatives.

I can see mini systems being an excellent way for casual enthusiasts to get into collecting by inviting them to experience classic gaming in an accessible format that isn’t downloading a bunch of roms from illegal rom sites. I see a way that the big names like Sony and Nintendo can offer their classic games in a new format that can act as a door crasher into retro gaming for people not wanting to pay crazy prices on a retro system without the fear of hooking them up, hunting down games, and dealing with an oversaturated bootleg market.

I still hunt down physical media in all its forms from books, games and movies. The likelihood that there will be changes to your beloved games is high each time they get rereleased. Even if those changes are for the better, such as the anti-epilepsy effects on the SNES Classic, they are still changes to the original format. It’s that obnoxious “Star Wars” effect; When Lucas changed and added scenes to Star Wars from its initial theatrical release, there were fans who hated it as it wasn’t really needed or took away from some of the scenes original flavour. The first time I noticed this with games was with the releases of Final Fantasy Anthology on the PS1 and saw that the text was different. You gotta think that they will make changes to something when they rerelease it, may it be for a bug fix or for changes to a translation or to fix graphics. The simple fact is you are not playing the original game as it was released when it first came out and though that’s not a huge deal it matters to some fan and collectors. This is what drives some people into the collecting market and if anything I see that as another way prices will stay healthy for collectors.

Love them or hate them, mini systems are invading the market, and only the test of the actual hardware and quality of the games will make or break them.

GDQ Lists are up!

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The game list for this years AGDQ have been announced and you can check out the list here to see if your favourite streamer made the cut. The next round of tickets will go on sale this October so make sure you bookmark the page if you are trying to go in person. The first wave of tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes, so if you are planning on going you still have one more chance.

 

 

 

Nintendon’t go breaking my heart

Issue 18 is out NOW

Issue 18 is out and has been mailed out to all my Patreon backers!!! If you want to get this issue, make sure to get your orders in at my Dank Shop or back my patreon to get your issue today. This month we interview Angrylanks who is known not only in the speedrunning community but for his music streams where he plays his drums live with game music. We also have a great article written by Goati where he explores the world of fishing games, and I wrote an article on the differences between the E.V.O games on PC-98 and SNES.

In addition to all the features, we always have the art with a new artist on board. Welcome to Mellisa Storm who has her own Patreon here who contributed some great stuff this month featured on the back cover. The talented miss Shan Murphy has her comic as well as a fantastic illustration by Marty Elmer.

Nintendon’t Special

There was an art explosion last weekend for the annual Nintendon’t event, so check out all the Dank Art I made for the event.

Nintendo always is a lot of fun, and I always look forward to participating each year. This will mark my third year streaming in the event and to try and keep things fishy I did one hour of exploring the PC-98 version of E.V.O – The Search for Eden as I am still really excited about playing it.

One of the best things about Nintendon’t is that it features an incredible selection of retro game streamers from all over the globe. And when I say retro, I’m not talking about Nintendo games. Goati who is the organiser of the event is adamant to feature any games that were not released for Nintendo to show off how diverse and vibrant the retro community is and to focus on the good old days of classic gaming. Where else are you going to see a marathon that features everything from Pinball to Pong on a Fairchild, to Atari stuff, PC-88, 98, Classic Windows games and Amiga?

Nintendon’t is a great way to learn more about the other side of Retro Gaming, and some of the best comments I saw in chat were from a few newbies checking out the stream pleased at how fantastic it was seeing all these games that they have never heard about. It’s always a great time and I am always happy to be part of it. Huge thank yous to Goati and DanZeeMan for their hard work last weekend and to all the streamers who participated. Here’s the HUGE list:

Goati, zuq_, StillerKarl, DeepFreeze2K, Chuboh, RetroGameQuest, iastSA, LordBBH, DevilREI, jenwithglasses, Ludofex, CloudyMusic, Fantasic_Planet, CapnClever, Zophar321, Jiggeh, DonKaleAEX, WalterWorldGames, Macaw45, Dumplechan, MerlynTemple, ask_alice, T4N3, PapayaChemist, Pasky, MikeBloke, TheOpponent, Niakan, Jimmyqballs, Gunstarheroes7, Cypherin, dent4f, DanZeeMan, RebootTV, gikkman, Cotonari, sdc333, Owlnonymous, DarkheroTTV, Neo_antwon, Douglie007, ssfsx17, Aquas, McSirTuna, MartyMoinklers and trap0xf

Find these streamers on Twitch and get your retro fix on!

 

Comic Tropes

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I love comic books and almost as long as I have been into video games I have been collecting comics. For a while now I have been searching on Youtube for some of the best comic book shows to watch when I am working on dank art and I have been most impressed with the videos over at Comic Tropes. If you love comics you should check out his videos as he puts a tremendous amount of work into each episode and you can get lost binge-watching the backlog. I made some Dank Art for the show recently and it was featured in this video:

If you love comics like I do you should check out his videos! I recently started backing Comic Tropes on Patreon because how can I say no to a good thing? I’m looking forward to more great content to watch from these guys in the future.

Get your Pulls in… Collecting in 2018

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Everyone I know has a collection. My father has been collecting classical music for fifty years and has one wild museum (when it’s that big it’s a museum). It’s floor to ceiling stacked with his favourite composers, the albums that had the better art, the obscure and rare recordings. The only thing that was on par with my fathers’ music collection was my mother’s book collection. Together, they married into a movie collection, and that was normal and was “every day” feeling for me. I naturally started collecting comics and video games at a young age and learned you had to shop around to five or six different stores in a day just to find all your stuff.

My good buddy Greg and I meet up once a month to go collecting and drive out to a few locations or any shows that might be happening. Greg usually has a better idea of what he’s looking for where I often take my chances as I know I can be very fickle. This time we were going to Gotham Central which connects with a collection flea markets, comic shops and even this place called Game Experts which I like to check out for games.

First a bit on Gotham Central which is pretty much how I want all comic stores to look like when I walk into them. It’s wall to floor selection, tonnes of huge collectable action figures, toys, games, and even a huge candy shop where you can get sugar breakfast cereal or a 3-pound gummi bear. I often get so overwhelmed with this place that I forget I am there to get comics, but they have an amazing selection, and they often carry the trades I am looking for as they usually have those in inventory. Greg told me the candy store wasn’t open the last time we were there, so I took my time walking those isles slowly to kind of drink up everything,

I only grabbed a few photos from inside, and I am regretting not getting more photos of some of the candy there. As you can see, everything is very neatly stacked so you can find it and they have a  range of unique merch.

I have never seen this game in the wild ever. I have only seen videos of it and had an idea that it was going to fetch a high price. I knew enough that it was “That game that’s a lot like Valis” and it stands out as having a wacky sense of humour so of course, I wanted it. I always try to find that something that is a little different when looking for games and this cart was stuck all the way at the back of the jewel case.

img_5449Like most people I know who collect you kind of “hmmm” & “hawwww” over things especially prices. There are a few games that I keep bumping into where I see the price tag hanging around $40 which often makes me pass. I think Alex Kidd for the Genesis is one of those cases where I saw this game hovering around $40 for a while but always chose to pass on it. I’m glad I did as I picked it up for $20 which is not bad.

img_5450Finding imports is somewhat rare around here these days, but I always manage to find a few dirty Famicom carts, and they are usually decently priced to move. I passed up on a few items, but I never try to go over a budget when I am out shopping these days as I don’t have the cash flow for it.

We decided to check out the flea market that was inside this connection of buildings and Greg must have warned me a million times over that we might not find what we are looking for here. Usually, you can find one or two vendors set up in a flea market who are selling games or comics. We found a few who had some alright stuff but nothing that stood out enough to buy. I did find a laser disk seller in that mole-cricket maze, but I am unsure if I am ready to make the plunge into collecting laser disks.

Some people can’t do a real flea market like this. Seriously you miss out not checking these places now and then for deals. I used to go to sites like these all the time in my teens with my family, so I’m never intimidated to check out the bargain bins.

Easter with the Family.

img_5267I saw my parents last weekend for Easter lunch. My mom recently learned how to work a DVD player, so that means my parents are focused on collecting DVDs and are starting to trickle down some of their VHS collection. You will not find a more eclectic collection of movies than on the shelves of my parents. They range from the best of the best and the best of the worst and even a few titles that will make you wonder if my parents were hippies. Shocking reveal: my parents are not hippies and are in fact Star Trek fans.

Dank Art

I have been so busy with Zine work that I don’t have as many Danks to share this time around. With the new issue already at the printers and feeling a bit worn down and sick I really just need a few days off to get things sorted out. I was hoping I could have done that during Easter break, but instead I got sick and now I need a break from my break.

Facebook Page Launch

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After almost an entire two years of making Dank Art, I have finally caved in and made a Facebook page. If you want Dank Stuff on your Facebook feed then follow this link and hit that like button. The Facebook page will act as sort of a permanent home for a lot of the stuff I share as well as another outlet for people to find me.

I am currently working on the next few isues, so if you would like to submit work or have a great idea, give me a should over social or email me here at dankzines@gmail.com