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rllmuk

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  1. It seems Amuze themselves started an account on RLLMUK so as to post the letter here too. I can't believe the review is nowhere online. I want to see some scans!
  2. Sorry to necro bump, but... That open letter from Amuze, regarding the terrible review in Official Xbox Magazine #34 from October 2004. I've been trawling for hours online and can find no trace of this review, no scans, no archives of the magazine itself. The Wayback Archive (archive.org) only has copies of the US magazine, which obviously does not have this review. This feels like a serious piece of games history, a travesty of journalism, and yet it's never been archived, it's not available, and the reviewer (who would have been named) never interviewed about how and why this happened. I have my own horror stories of fiascos working on games mags, but this feels like one of the biggest (just before my time sadly). Does anyone have the mag? Can I buy it? Can you scan the mag or review? I really want to know more about this. For context, I found the following quote on GRcade forums:
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    SNES Mini

    Thank you good sir. I too hate it, and people always accuse me of being mad. I forced myself through half of it, and it never improves. The level progression is always linear, unlike the original Super Mario World. The requisites to attain 100% on each level are ridiculous - it's not about finding an alternative exit, but collecting rubbish and tat, and finishing with 100% health. The reward for collecting all this crap, in every level in each world, is a single extra level which is overly difficult and crap. The original SMW is in fact perfect when it comes to secrets and rewards. Each secret gives you an entirely new piece of content to play through and, in some cases, find more levels. Yoshi's Island is just a painful slog through a swamp of trash collecting.
  4. Made a topic on another forum, but no one seemed interested. Has anyone else played this? https://store.steampowered.com/app/652410/Brigand_Oaxaca/ It's a strange FPS RPG set 100 years after World War III, in Mexico, and features cybertonic implants, hacking, mutant zombies, voodoo magic, swordfighting, gunplay, explosives, demons, crafting, factions, multiple endings, a complex inventory, day/night cycle, dialogue trees, and a complex skills system. Basically it's a weird blend of cool stuff from Deus Ex, STALKER, Fallout, Gothic, Morrowind, EYE: Divine Cybermancy, Pathologic, System Shock 2, Boiling Point: Road to Hell, White Gold: War in Paradise, The Precursors, etc. And it was made by just one man . I bought it on the strength of this video: Do not watch the whole thing if you're curious about playing, since the spoilers are heavy, including how to solve some in-game puzzles. To give you an example of how awesome it is, and how most problems have multiple solutions, Chapter 3 requires you to sneak into the enemy city of Pochutla. To do so you need a password. You can either make a deal with a shaman, Tio, to kill the head of a banana beer plantation, Ricardo, in order to prove your loyalty and get the password. But this makes Ricardo's faction, the UBNS, hostile to you. You can find and bribe a specific NPC for the password, but it's pricey. Or like me, you can stumble across a soldier's corpse in the wasteland, a guy also trying to get into Pochutla. He doesn't know the passwords, one for morning, afternoon, night, and early morning. But he knows they are based on questions relating to the shaman's religion. So read his diary and find the questions he scrawled. So I go back to the shaman, who also sells voodoo books, and lo and behold, one of his books deals with his religion's history. I buy it for 5 jink, scroll to the chapter I need, and discover the answers. I then type these with my keyboard and get access to the city. The whole discovery was very organic. I bought ELEX on the Steam special, but I find I just keep wanting to play this. It's weird, and janky, and awesome. I've also got a much longer review on Steam. I love it - this is the definition of the kind of game I enjoy. If anyone else is tempted to start and needs tips, let me know. It's super tough at first, but there's a lot of things you can do to make the ride easier. For one thing, focus on a gunplay style character with charisma. When creating a custom class you want to jack charisma up to 10, and immediately buy the Negotiate and Detect Motive abilities. These are passive abilities that will allow you to get more currency and more experience points during dialogue.
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    Megadrive Mini

    I emailed MIJET, they're working on a patch for Shinobi III specifically for the MD Mini, so you can activate the 6 buttons without using a mode button. Apparently the code is done, we're just waiting for the MD Mini hack to become public so it can be tested.
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    Megadrive Mini

    Any idea why it looks rubbish on my 720 TV (as in the banding scanlines photo I posted a while back)? Is my model of Samsung just a poor TV?
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    Megadrive Mini

    Thank you for the compliment on my knowledge. Various places online described this as the best Console Mini yet, and since I was perfectly happy with the SNES Mini screen options, I assumed this would be as good if not better. Now, in truth, I disabled the anti-aliasing on the CRT filter once I hacked my SNES Mini. But straight out the box, even though it was softened somewhat, and not quite the same as RGB SCART on a CRT like back in the old days, I found it a decent, cheap, and easy solution. I mean, I do have a PC rig hooked up to this HDTV, running HIGAN. But you know, despite going through about 20 or more HIGAN filters, I found it a pain. The SNES Mini did what I wanted easily. Basically, I was expecting SNES Mini quality from this. Ultimately, yesterday, I went back to using NeoGenesis on my original Xbox, running on a large CRT TV. In fairness, the sound emulation is garbage, but it allows me to tweak the visuals down to the last row of pixels. This is a good question, and in truth it's really only because you're seeing me vent on this forum about this specific topic, but to give context: I find myself irritated by everything technological/consumerist these days. Capitalism has lied to me - I cannot have it my way. * Windows 7 support is ending, pushing me towards Windows 10 or Linux, or who knows what. These newer OS don't support a lot of the legacy programs which I use, and which Win7 still manages to run. Even then, I keep an old XP rig for really old stuff which Win7 doesn't support. But hey, there goes modern tech forcing me to dance like a marionette on a string. * MS Word no longer provides white text on a blue background, forcing me to keep an ancient copy of the last version which did (2002 maybe?). Why? Viewing a word processor on your screen is not like looking at a book. A book is reflected light. A PC monitor is projected light. Meaning black text on a white background is like staring at text written on a light bulb in permanent marker. It burns my eyeballs. * My bank keeps upgrading its security to the extent that now I need to telegram a guy in Mongolia a 72 letter password to swivel a satellite in geo-synchronous orbit so he can set off a forest fire to alert the arseholes in Barclays HQ that I want to know what my fucking balance is. * Supermarkets have no concept of what Bechamal sauce is. I literally cannot buy pre-made bechamal sauce. They all proclaim "white sauce" or "lasagne sauce", but all of them put cheese in them. This is not fucking bechamal. This is Mornay sauce. Mornay mother fuckers, MORNAY! Which is fine, I like a nice mornay, but sometimes I need god-damn bechamal. This thereby forces me to make bechamal myself, from scratch, like some kind of peasant. * Cotton. Why is it so difficult to find clothing which is 100% cotton and nothing else? * The MDM is not as good as the SNES Mini despite everyone saying it is. When it's not. I've just proven it. The SNES Mini gave me precisely what I wanted, unhacked; this does not. To summarise, SqueakyG, I am a man trapped in a world which repeatedly and continuously fails to be as I want it to be. It probably seems strange to you, with you seeing only my posts on this topic, but rest assured all who know me personally can attest to the fact I complain about everything which fails to live up to my expectations. It is very rare to find any product, or any service, which meets my personal needs and desires. Which is ironic, because when I've produced my own products, adhering to my very specific desires, everyone complains about them. I wrote a series of books precisely as I wanted them, with a relentless, obsessive adherence to not removing words during editing, plus unending cascading footnotes which went on and on for pages. It was an epic trilogy no one else would dare write, slavishly obsessed with obscure minutiae like the office layouts at Sega in 1986. Yet even our own dear Protocol Penguin here was disappointed. Impenetrable is what reviewers said. Too complicated. I am an anachronism, SqueakyG, a man in the wrong time, the wrong reality. I find myself not liking the things others like, and liking that which others do not. Also I can't find any fucking bechamal sauce, which is really irritating.
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    Megadrive Mini

    OK, so something very strange is going on. The MDM is supposed to output 720p, right? Well this is the banding that appears on my Samsung 720p TV (Model LE32A456): What the heck is this? Why is this happening? How do I fix it? I want to reiterate, and really emphasise this: THE SNES MINI DOES NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM. A friend of mine sent me photos of his 1080p TV, and it looked fine. Just lovely in fact. Why is my TV not working? Why is it doing this? Why does the SNES Mini not do this when played on the same TV? I have so many questions and yet no answers. I'll be honest, I kinda hate the MDM. It's sloppy, slapdash, poorly put together, and not much better than an AtGames systems. But hey, check out that working cartridge flap and sliding audio knob which everybody is shitting their pants over! There is the above problem, which the SNES Mini never had. Then there's also... Comix Zone's audio emulation is garbage - tracks 5 and 10 suffer from tinny sounds. Compare this to the Comix Zone download on the X360, by Backbone Entertainment. I used to criticise Backbone, regarding M2 as without fault, but really this is pathetic. Go and download the free demo and see for yourself - all the music tracks in Comix Zone, especially 5 and 10, sound velvet smooth, as they should. On M2's MDM it's just broken. My god, how the might have fallen. Yes, I know the Mega Drive sound is difficult to emulate. But Backbone could do it, and those guys have less credence than M2. Also, Shinobi III. I have the 6 button controller, but because the Mode button isn't a proper "Mode button", it's just for accessing the menu, I cannot enable the 6 button code. I did a google search and only found one person, on one forum, talking about this. I refuse to play Shinobi III unless it's in 6 button mode. Sloppy, so goddamned sloppy. Which is weird, because M2 knew about a special Mode button code for one of the games on the Japanese Mini (it's either Dyna or Snow Bros, one of the two), and recoded it to not require that Mode be held down to apply the code. But Shinobi III? Pffft, no 6 button mode for you! Which means when it's finally hacked, I'm going to need to either HEX edit the raw code of a fresh Shinobi III ROM to force 6 button mode without the Mode button code, or create my own custom IPS patch. I should not need to be programming my own custom hacks just to play these games properly.
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    Megadrive Mini

    Arrived today surprisingly, despite choosing the free standard Amazon shipping. I don't like it, mainly because the CRT filter compared to the SNES Mini is grotesquely broken. It does not function correctly, or as a filter should. I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but the CRT filter seems to be applied at a different point along the rendering pipeline compared to the SNES Mini, which results in terrible horizontal banding. At least, I think this might be the case - proper tech heads who understand this can verify or correct me. It's difficult to articulate, but: I'm using a Samsung 720p HDTV, bought circa 2008. The SNES Mini right out the box applied scanlines on a pixel by pixel basis, so the lines were always fixed to the pixels in precisely the correct places and ratios. It did not matter what my TV settings were. There was never any banding - and changing settings did not introduce banding. With the Mega Drive Mini (UK model), the scanline filter seems to be applied haphazardly. The lines are not attached to specific pixel rows, and on my 720p HDTV there is horrendous horizontal banding issues. The weird thing is, changing my TV's zoom setting changes the banding problem. I can switch 16:9, Widescreen (seemingly different to 16:9), 4:3, Zoomed, Just Scan, and maybe another? Anyway, each of these produces a slightly different type of banding, or clumping of horizontal pixel rows. Except - and this is what blew my mind! - the zoomed in option, which cropped the entire outer ring of the gameplay area, produced no banding. I don't quite grasp how or why this happens, other than realising it is truly one of the worst emulator filters I have ever seen. The SNES Mini filter was precise, locked to specific rows of pixels, and when anti-aliasing was disabled through hacking the system, it produced a crisp and gentle scanline image. It was beautiful. I don't understand how an emulator by M2 can introduce god-damn banding to the filter. That's like amateur hour when it comes to emulation.
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    Megadrive Mini

    You kidding? After Down by Law made this post, I went on Amazon and ordered it with a 6 button controller, at roughly 17:58 British time. Just because I am aware of the fact I indulge in capitalism by collecting objects I seldom use doesn't mean I'm capable of preventing this. In fairness my SNES Mini gets a bit of playtime these days. I finished Lost Vikings 2 a couple of days ago on it, for the first time. Once the MD Mini is hacked I'm planning to be going through Shin Tengai Aseimei Daibouken in no short order.
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    Megadrive Mini

    And The Guardian, Ketchup? And Metro? So many websites ran a story and never went into this level of asinine detail. Is there no outlet for those who crave this level of arcane knowledge? I should nickname myself Professor Arcane! I'm probably enjoying this hunt for the truth more than I'll enjoy seeing the machine collect dust on my shelf.
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    Megadrive Mini

    Fantastic! Also, how very counter intuitive! But thank you. OK, this has settled it. I'll save the money and get the PAL release. But again, I am unsettled by the number of YouTubers who had early access to this, and all of them utterly failed to do what Down by Law achieved in a single evening. Every one of those YouTube channels has failed, trounced utterly by a lone forum poster. The mind boggles.
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    Megadrive Mini

    This is such a good photo. Very valuable. I wish photos like this were being shown weeks back. Looking at this, and seeing Story of Thor the Japanese version shown, I take it that there is literally zero way of accessing or booting the US version, Beyond Oasis? The Americans get Beyond Oasis, plus Story of Thor in Japanese, plus all the Euro versions of Story of Thor, whereas in Europe we are denied Beyond Oasis? I don't even like the game, I'm just kinda irritated that Sega is telling me I can't have something that the Americans can have. Story of Thor / Beyond Oasis regional differences: https://tcrf.net/Beyond_Oasis#Regional_Differences Basically the PAL version has a crappier earlier localisation that was not properly edited. Why aren't YouTube channels and websites covering this shit? We have received an inferior product. EDIT: Spinball: https://tcrf.net/Sonic_Spinball_(Genesis)#Regional_Differences TCRF doesn't have regional differences for Shinobi III sadly.
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    Megadrive Mini

    Thanks for these pics - this is great. You should be making YouTube videos or something. This is precisely all I wanted to know several weeks back when the Aussies were getting theirs. Hmm... The ROMs list only has 2 entries for Shinobi. I wonder if the English is PAL running at 60Hz, or the American version? More importantly, are there possibly any differences between them the regions for Shinobi III? Several people suggested that Sega do what Nintendo did with the SNES Mini, and just junk the PAL games in favour of NTSC-U. I agree. Interesting regarding Spinball. The ROM list has 3 versions: eu_en_Sonic_Spinball.bin eu_eu_Sonic_Spinball.bin eu_jp_Sonic_Spinball.bin I wonder how you access them all? It might be, the only way to play the NTSC-U version, is to import a Genesis Mini. I ask though, is it worth the import charges?
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    Megadrive Mini

    Aha! So the Spinball music is sped up, but I can still access the US version. Thank you so much! See? It's the little details like this that were bugging me. And I bloody suspected it too! You need to access the Korean menu and click on Japanese boxart of Spinball to access the American version because the UK original has been artificially boosted to 60Hz, despite the original being optimised at 50Hz. I am truly vindicated by these answers!
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