The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'nintendo'
A General Technique for Automating NES Games; a programmer in the US has created a system for automatically learning how to play some NES games, by monitoring control inputs, finding increasing sequences of bytes in the NES's 2Kb of RAM (which look like scores or level indicators, i.e., things to be increased) and taking it from there. It works better on some games than others (he has it playing Super Mario Brothers moderately well, and exploiting quirks no human player would stumble across, though it's hopeless at Tetris). There is a paper here.
This is pretty awesome: a browser-based
* there's no sound, as one might expect.
(via Download Squad)
In the 1980s, programmers of games for the Nintendo Entertainment System would often put hidden messages, sometimes quite colourful, into the ROMs. This blog has extracted and translated a few of these, stridently complaining about clueless managers, broken tools, and, it seems, the shameless sexual peccadillos of team members. Game programmers in 1980s Japan were a wild lot, it seems.
First off, Kaoru Ogura, who ran off with some guy in the middle of the project. Yes, you, you bastard. Don’t show up at the office without showering after having sex 6 times the previous night. Next, Tatsuya Ōhashi. Yes, you, you bastard. Don’t give me your flippant shit — coming in late on the day we ship the ROM like nothing’s amiss. You can give me all the porn you want; I’m not forgetting that one. All that fucking weight you put on. No wonder you paid out 18,000 yen and still got nothing but a kiss out of it. Kenji Takano, Namco debugger. You are a part-timer; don’t dick around with the project planner. And finally, Kiyoharu Gotō, the biggest thorn to my side in this project. Yes, you, you bastard. Once I get a time machine, I’m sending you back to the Edo period. Go do your riddles over there.
Come to think of it, some people were helpful to me, too. Mr. Okada, who took all the good stuff. I know all about your abnormal tendencies. Yamagishi, who swore off soaplands until the project was over. Go ahead, knock yourself out now.
(via Boing Boing)
Wii Fit, Nintendo's fitness-training system for the Wii, has recently been released, selling out rapidly. Now the first reports of it in action are coming in, and they're a mixed bag. Engadget's tester has found annoying design flaws with it and generally found it disappointing, and this guy describes it as "absolutely wretched". This guy, however, has used it for seven weeks (thanks to having a Japanese version), and has gotten good results—having, it must be said, put in the hard yards (about 35 hours in total).
Norwich-based comedian and reviewer of dubious far-eastern video game machines Dr. Ashen (he's the "sarcastic British guy") reviews the Vii, a cheap video-game console of Chinese manufacture which attempts to imitate the Nintendo Wii without having much of the technical innovation. If you ever wondered what one of those could possibly be like, here's all you need to know. (Capsule summary: don't bother importing one.)
Nintendo have announced a microphone/headphone headset for their DS handheld game console, intended for use with games allowing voice communication between players. Though perhaps that's only the start; were Nintendo to bring out a VoIP package for the DS, it would turn the WiFi-enabled pocket game console into a reasonably useful internet phone. Given that a version of the Opera web browser is about to come out for the Nintendo DS, it's not entirely implausible to imagine Nintendo doing a similar tie-up with Skype (or perhaps Google Talk), or else bundling a standard SIP client with their handheld.
There are now Nintendo Entertainment System and SNES emulators for the PlayStation Portable. Of course, they will only run on Japanese PSPs with the old 1.0 firmware, which doesn't restrict the running of code from the Memory Stick, and that's only until someone runs a game which automatically patches the firmware on the unit.
Let's hope that they figure out a way of getting homebrew code to run on a PSP, as that looks like a pretty nifty platform to run things on.
A Japanese company named Gametech have released a handheld Nintendo Famicom clone. (For those not in the know, the Famicom was the Japanese game console rereleased in the west as the Nintendo Entertainment System.) It's about the size of a modern handheld game console and takes full-sized Famicom cartridges (which are shaped somewhat differently from the NES cartridges sold in the west, but an adaptor is available). It's not clear how legal it is, though given that it's on the Japanese market, they'd probably have an excuse of some sort (quite probably unlike a different handheld NES clone sold in China, and using miniature copies of Nintendo cartridges). The page says that it's of quite good quality, though given that they're trying to sell them, they would. (via gizmodo)
YMCK are a Japanese pop group who make all their music (other than the vocals, of course) with a Nintendo Famicom. And the MP3s they have online sound pretty good. Unfortunately, their label's web site doesn't have ordering information in English. (via bOING bOING)
An intrepid hacker has created a port of Grand Theft Auto III to the Nintendo Entertainment System; that's right, the 8-bit, 6502-based console from the 1980s. The game isn't out yet, though will be released as a free download, joining the swelling ranks of elaborately handcrafted games being made for obsolete platforms because they're there. The page contains details of how he did it and the tools he used, including his elaborate homebrew developer NES system.