Hakchi

Three years ago, Santa brought us the NES Mini and the SNES Mini. Christmas has always been akin to Video Games since I can remember. We played the games that were on the systems only a handful of times. After we moved, the Nintendo minis went on display in my kids’ room.

This week I decided that I was going to modify the SNES Mini. I did a bit of research online, or rather watched a couple YouTube tutorials, and decided to give it a go. I’m not going to link any of the information- as doing a modification like this is done at your own risk. But since we weren’t really using the systems, I wanted to try it out.

I spent a couple of hours downloading almost every single Super Nintendo game available. I also picked up a few Sega Genesis titles as well as some Gameboy ones. The controls on the system work similarly so it wasn’t that big a deal. I used an app called Hakchi CE to hack the system. This was one of the most straightforward things to do since my usage of Limewire and Musicmatch a couple decades ago.

Now there are 148 games installed on the SNES Mini. Each game works perfectly, each with artwork to keep it looking like the original games that the system came with. This is like hitting the jackpot of my youth- every game imaginable is available to be added to the library of titles. My favorite game ever on the Super Nintendo is also on here now- Metal Warriors. I’m hoping that my son will play it with me soon.

Next I’ll modify the NES Mini and put a bunch of Nintendo and Gameboy and Game Gear games on that one. There’s something to be said for nostalgia and gaming.

Have you done a mod on your NES or SNES mini? Let me know what features you like to use.

Mario Kart 8

On the weekend I bet my three children that I would beat them at MarioKart on the Nintendo Switch. I said that for every point they could beat me by- they would earn a dollar. I also said that to make it fair, we would play three cups of four races each. However, my stipulation was that we had to play 150cc Mirror races.

I had no idea my kids would be so good, or clever! I thought I could let them win a bit, then school them.

Turns out my kids ganged up on me. The oldest did her best to keep the lead with one of the other two staying close behind in second or third place. The third child did their best to take me out and keep me in the last possible place. They chose to pool their winnings and split it evenly three ways.

I lost $195.

Obviously I learned that my kids think I’m not very good at MarioKart even though I’ve been playing the different variations since 1992. I also learned that when given the chance, they can actually work together for a common goal.

My wife was none too happy. Until I told her that I’m okay with losing some money to the kids. This is the week we were supposed to be in Disneyland. So their “winnings” would have been spending money for the trip.

Look at those smiles. It was totally worth forking over $65 to each of them. Plus I got to “spend” quality time with them.

Fun Romancing

Yesterday was Valentines Day. Some people expressed their love for one another on social media. Others shared bitterness and sarcasm. Many people shared pictures of lovely dinners and flowers. Whatever your day was like, I hope it was great. Mine was super romantic.

First my wife and I dropped the kids off at school. Then we went for breakfast at a random bistro that we had never been to before. One of the best breakfasts I have ever had. Also the most expensive breakfast I have ever had. This was our romantic meal of the day.

Then my wife and I went home to play some video games in bed. Followed by a mid morning nap. Which led to me sleeping until 4pm because I worked the night shift the day prior. I woke up because I had missed four phone calls from my wife. She left the same message each time in her silliest voice possible. “Call me. Call me. Why won’t you call me? Caaaaaaaaallllllll me.”

When she came home, we played some Smash Bros and Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch. My wife is really good at gaming and beat me repeatedly at these games. After a couple of hours of video games, I made dinner for the family.

After dinner we watched one of my wife’s favorite films- “Stardust“. It’s also one of my favorites. A fairytale involving love. Something about Neil Gaiman’s works translate from novel to film beautifully.

Yesterday was a day pretty much designed to make my wife happy. From a lovely breakfast date to lots of video games to enjoying a romantic film. I think we should do more days like this.

Can’t Hold On Forever 

I’ve come to a point in my life that I need to move forward.  I always think back to my youth and the joy I had.  However, I can’t justify hoarding the items that made my life fun. Nor can I find solace in trying to reaquire them anymore.


Yesterday the SNES Classic was released.  Up until Thursday night I was 100% ready to buy one.  It was a reminder of how great the Super Nintendo once was. All the feelings of being able to play the great games included inside the new console came flooding into my mind.  But taking a friend to one of my favorite places on Thursday evening changed it for me.


My friend and I stopped in at Toy Traders in Langley on Thursday evening.  It’s a fun toy store with lots of huge displays and large dioramas. They sell cards, games, comics, new toys, old toys, and collectibles. I love wandering around with my kids, but I also enjoy going without them.  On Thursday I was looking at some old He-Man and Transformers figures that I once owned as a child. It dawned on me that I no longer needed to possess them like I had about ten to fifteen years ago. Probably also because seeing $200 for a used toy with missing parts seemed a bit crazy to me.

The toys and videogames of my youth shall remain in my memories.  Had I bought the SNES Classic, I would’ve had about a weekend of fun and then it would sit on a shelf collecting dust. I knew that fact to be true. A few years ago, I sold my original Super Nintendo and my N64 to a friend’s son with all my games and accessories. To this day, he gets more joy out of it than the box it was stored in did. I need to let go of some of the things from my past. 

Like side scrolling Super Mario- always keep moving forward, there’s nothing but broken bricks and crushed shells behind you.

3DS Mario Kart!

For the first time in about three years of conventions, we enjoyed some gaming time as a family.  Sort of.  Well, the three of us who came on this trip got to play together.


We always bring our Nintendo 3DS’s on road trips.  All of us own our own 3DS.  Each of my children saved up to buy their own.  (It was a good lesson for them to learn how to save money and budget for big ticket items.) At the conventions, we will sit behind our table for a bit of quiet time and do “Streetpasses”.  Or play a solo game of some sort.  We all love playing some videogames. This weekend my wife, son and I did something a bit different. We never took our devices to the show.


Instead, at the end of each day, we spent time playing Mario Kart 7 against each other.  It was a blast.  I hadn’t really played this version, although some of the races are similar to other Nintendo versions.  The best part was that we were pretty evenly matched.  And the smack talk is always fun.

Being entertained is what life is all about. Taking a break for a bit of fun on our trips is great.

Big Announcements


Sony announced some stuff.


Apple announced some stuff.


Nintendo announced some stuff.

It all had me wondering, do I need it?  Of course not.  Do I want it?  Maybe.

That’s where it ends today.  Maybe.  Maybe purchasing a new tech gadget or game would be fun.  But is it something that I need immediately on the date of its release?  Not really.  (I wrote a couple of months ago about Firsties and the “Fear of Missing Out”.)  Do I have disposable income that could buy it? Yes and no.  I could very easily buy something else or go somewhere with that money.  Or I could spend it on my children.  That is the most likely event.

Today was day 2 of the new school year. $428 was spent as we walked in the school door on school fees. We had already spent money on back to school supplies before the first day.  This spending doesn’t include the after school activities that are still to follow in the upcoming month.  Children are bloody expensive.  But paying for their education, activities, and traveling with them is the best investment we have ever done.  


My time and money mean more to me when I see my children’s accomplishments and achievements.  So this fall instead of getting a new iPhone, I’m planning on upgrading my children’s education.

And maybe buying an Apple Watch 2.

Pokemon GO isn’t bad

So…… Pokemon GO finally made its way to Canada yesterday.  Yup, I’m trying to catch ’em all.  I know there were people here who jumped the release and have been playing for a little over a week.  That’s fine, I understand the FOMO concept, and the desire to yell out “FIRSTIES!”  If you don’t know anything about the game, I’m not about to explain it, just skip reading today’s post.

Cigarettes are bad


I like the game.  Part of the fun is taking pictures where the Pokemon appear.  Since the game is still in its infancy, it has crashed on me as I try and take a photo.  Now I only try and capture a fun image.  Since we live out in the country, there aren’t many Pokemon, Pokestops or gyms nearby.  And our cellular data craps out in certain areas.  Poop.  But, we have activities that our children go to in more major hubs filled with locations.  

I ditched my Fitbit the other day only to have two days of walking around looking for Pokemon.  I’ve done nearly 30 kms of walking.  I barely did one when I wore the Fitbit.  My wife is happy that this has gotten me active again.  Gotta Catch ‘Em All!  Pokemon!

Since its release nation wide on a Sunday, I met numerous other people wandering around the churches and parks.  I met people of all ages walking around.  Some adults my age (40ish) were curious about the game.  The kids and teens were friendly and helpful as we shared tips and strategies with one another.  There was an abundance of people outside on the first day! This game could help destroy obesity and help in bringing the population back to a healthy state. 


Don’t Pokemon and drive!  Besides it being effing dangerous, here in BC the distracted driving laws are costly to your pocket book.  Sure, the game is free, but paying a few hundred for a traffic ticket isn’t on my list of money well spent.  Since our youngest children don’t have cellphones yet, as we drive, my wife and I have let them hit the Pokestops and catch Pokemon for us.  Score for the parents!


I was around and in my early 20’s when Pokemon first came out on Gameboy.  In fact I still own it.  I obsessed over the game.  I even watched the cartoon (yes I was 20 and watching a child’s cartoon) regularly and got to know all the Pokemon names.  This new game brought me back to the fun I used to have.  

Just when you think Nintendo is down and out, BOOM, back with a vengeance.  The IRL Pokemon capturing and searching is another way Nintendo leads the way in the videogame industry.  The phenomenon has captured people of all ages in under two weeks.  

After a day and a half…


Go ahead and post your internet memes of hatred towards those playing the game.  In my two day experience playing it, I met other like minded people who enjoy the game & I have gotten more exercise than I would have on a regular day.  I for one will be playing this game for the rest of the summer trying to upgrade my Pokemon and catching everyone I can.  I’ve already killed the battery on my iPhone twice in under a day.

Get out there and enjoy the world, whichever way you can.  #gottacatchemall

Social Media

Recently I took a few weeks in March and avoided social media.  Prior to that, I would go on seven or eight times a day to see if anything new was on.  But since “returning” I find there is no desire to pick up my iPhone and check constantly.

  

I still see the advantage of social media.  It is a great way to share stories, photos, and information.  I am still going to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope.  There are other apps and media outlets that I have since stopped using, but somewhere there is my account if I decide to return.  Maybe one day you will find me posting again on Vine, Ello or Google+.

 

Virtual me.

 
Until then, join me in wasting all of your free time on Miitomo!  Thanks a lot Nintendo.