Neat! Final Fantasy as a traditional Asian painting.
Classic gaming soap is available for purchase from FireBox.com! It’s real soap.
Game Boy carts:
Video Game Controllers:
Cool! Video Games, Reimagined As Classic Paperback Novels
See more here: http://zacharyknoles.deviantart.com/gallery/
Happy Turkey Day from FantasyAnime! ^_^
Have you ever attended a video game symphony?
On Saturday I attended the Final Fantasy concert: Distant Worlds. Some time ago was the Zelda concert, which was my first symphony. I’m so happy that Florida is being recognized as an ideal location for video game concerts! For so many years I’ve been so jealous with other states having symphonies, but never Florida.
The Distant Worlds concert was really nice! I loved it. It was awesome to be in the presence of the famous Nobuo Uematsu who has made such an impression on my life. They played a nice variety of Final Fantasy favorites. My favorite was the battle theme medley.
In terms of the US, it looks like Tennessee and Oregon are next on their tour:
If you want to hear Distant Worlds’ performance, on YouTube there’s a vid with the entire album:
So I recently purchased the $199 Chromebook. I didn’t get it for video game emulation. However as a classic gaming enthusiast of course I’m going to explore its potential for video game emulation. :p
To begin with, why a Chromebook?
I just wanted something (really) cheap and light for taking notes for my studies. I was looking a lot at budget tablets. I’m a big fan of Android so I spent some time looking at Android tablets. I researched options for physical keyboards, but I wasn’t feeling it with the available tablet keyboards. In the end I leaned on netbooks. The $199 Chromebook fit the bill. And it’s awesome for what I needed it for.
It’s not a very beefy system, but since the Chromebook OS just runs Chrome it runs very fast. It’s cool that the stock movie player plays MP4, MKV, and AVI - and has resume play by default. You can connect thumb drives and external hard drives. There’s an SD card slot allowing for easy memory expansion if the 16 GB hdd isn’t enough. USB keyboards and mouses work. Plus you can connect it to an external monitor or TV. I like Chromebook’s desktop experience. At times it’s more productive to use the full desktop site of a service, as opposed to jumping through hoops in the mobile app.
Out of the box…
So out of the box, what classic gaming goodness can you do with it? Again, Chromebook is all about Chrome so you’re limited to just Chrome. That leaves you with Flash Player based ROM emulation. The best sites for that are:
You can play those games at fullscreen! AND you can use save states! Really! When you click “save” it exports a save state file. Then just click open save to reload the file. Neat huh? The games run great and as smooth as your favorite PC emulators. You can even play them offline as long as you still have a tab open with the game fully loaded.
The drawback is that Chromebook doesn’t let you use USB gamepads. I mean, I read that Bluetooth gamepads are supposed to work, but they’ll only work with Chrome games that specifically state that they have gamepad support. Being limited to the keyboard isn’t so bad if you’re an RPG enthusiast. Turn-based RPGs don’t require any aggressive gameplay. SnesBox and SSega have all the best RPGs in their library.
As a side note, Chromebook doesn’t have any torrent apps (and I don’t think they’re possible given the ‘cloud computing’ nature of the system). Of course there’s always Netflix and Hulu to stream stuff. But if you ever get an itch to download classic anime without the aid of torrents, remember you can do that from my Anime Video Archive :)
So is that it? Chromebook is limited to those two Flash Player ROM sites? Oh, there’s more. Much more.
You can install Linux!
You can install Linux on this baby :D Or rather, Ubuntu. And doing so is ridiculously easy. Trust me. I am not a very techy person and I pulled this off. I followed the directions in this article. Just like it promised, in 20 minutes you have Ubuntu running.
You’re not wiping the Chromebook by installing Ubuntu either! You still have the full benefit of Chromebook as if nothing happened. Ubuntu is just running on the side. With a keyboard shortcut you can quickly switch between the Chromebook OS and Ubuntu on the fly. Plus the Downloads folder is shared between both OS’s, making it easy for you to transfer files between them.
Installing apps is easy. Ubuntu has a store, just like using the store in your smartphone or tablet. And nearly everything in it is free. It’s found by going to Applications Menu > Settings > Ubuntu Software Center. See:
Through there you can install Firefox :)
The top emulators in the Ubuntu Software Center which are compatible with this $199 Chromebook are BSNES, PCSX, and MAME.
Oh, and USB gamepads work in Ubuntu!!!
BSNES on its own is a powerhouse that emulates NES, SNES, and Game Boy Color. It runs perfectly on here. You need to press F11 to enter fullscreen, and the Chromebook doesn’t have any F keys to do that. Fortunately, BSNES lets you reconfigure the fullscreen button. Find that by going to Settings > Configuration Settings > Input and choose User Interface from the dropdown.
PCSX was the #1 PS1 emulator a decade ago. So far I ran Castlevania SotN and Final Fantasy VII on it, and they run great (exactly as they did a decade ago). I just had to enable frameskip for full speed. And I had to set the full resolution of the screen (1366x768) so the game fits to fullscreen in fullscreen mode. Castlevania SotN ran flawlessly. Final Fantasy VII just had some minor graphic glitches such as the hand pointer looking funny.
*Note: PCSX uses “MCD” format for memory card files. You can still use the “MCR” game saves distributed in all my shrines for PS1 RPGs. Just rename “epsxe000.mcr” to “card1.mcd” and it’ll work. This is very useful to know if you don’t want to start from the beginning in Casltevania SotN, FF7, FF9, FF Tactics, or Parasite Eve.
MAME was HARD to figure out. You have to install MAME plus “GNOME Video Arcade” so that MAME has a GUI. MAME installs itself in the admin directory, which is read-only so you can’t copy games to it via the file manager. To copy games to the ROMs folder you need to use the terminal. This article helped me with that. And this article helped me find the path to the ROMs folder. When all this is done, MAME works great! Dungeons & Dragons Tower of Doom & Shadow Over Mystara purred like kittens.
There’s a whole bunch more video game emulators available in the Software Center. However most of them aren’t compatible with this system…
• Mednafen is available (which runs everything), but that doesn’t seem to be compatible.
• Ports of ZSNES, DeSmuME, and Visual Boy Advance are available, but run poorly due to not meeting minimum system requirements. You might have better luck with a faster Chromebook. Honestly, if you’re going to spend more than $200 for a Chromebook you’re much better off getting a Microsoft Surface for $320.
• There’s a port of Mupen64, but I didn’t bother to try it due to it requiring like 20 packages to be installed. It’s probably too slow anyway.
• There’s also FCEUX and GFCE for NES emulation. BSNES, however, runs NES very well so there’s no need for them.
• There’s DGEN for Genesis emulation. It failed to install, though. It’s not compatible.
• There’s DosBox, too. I’m not a fan of DOS games so I didn’t try it.
Other essential software
You can install Photoshop on the Chromebook :) Legally, too! Just install “Wine Windows Program Loader” from the Software Center, then download Photoshop CS2 directly from Adobe. (Ignore the warning - it’s free, trust me. If Adobe didn’t want people pirating CS2 then they wouldn’t have put it up for direct download along with its serial number.) Anyway, open the install EXE with Wine and it’ll run as it would on Windows. After the install, Photoshop will be available in your programs list and run like a real program. Photoshop CS2 runs great on this system!
Wine is just something that runs in the background and you never see it. What Wine does is let you run Windows programs on Ubuntu. You might be asking “Then can’t you run Windows emulators in Ubuntu with Wine??” Not quite. I mean, they run ok but there’s no audio support for them so it’s not worth trying them. Wine’s very hit or miss.
Ubuntu also has good photo viewers, movie players (SMPlayer runs better than VLC), torrent programs (Deluge seems to be the best), iTunes-like music players (Rhythmbox seems to be the best), Dropbox, and more.
"Final Fantasy IV: The After Years" is now out on iOS and Android!
Yep, it’s finally out! The trailer’s above. Here’s an article about it:
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song, because Final Fantasy 4: The After Years is available now on the App Store and Google Play for $16. Oh hang on, this isn’t the one with Fred Savage that isn’t The Wizard - your ears are safe for now, then.
Instead, we’ll note this is a complete 3D remake of the Final Fantasy 4 sequel that came to the Wii, PSP and Japanese mobiles a few years back. It’s set 17 years after the original, and sees returning heroes get by with a little help from some new friends. Also, if you like your smartphone 3D remakes in widescreen, it has fullscreen display on iPhone 5 models.
Link to the Past (SNES) vs Link Between Worlds (3DS)
You’ve probably heard about the upcoming remake/sequel of SNES Link to the Past: “Zelda: A Link Between Worlds” for 3DS. But check out this side-by-side comparison video to see for yourself how closely the new game is to the original :)
Final Fantasy VII for NES is here!
This is a real game! It’s the ultimate NES hack.
It’s finally done! After 4 years of work, here it is.
This hack changes just about every aspect of this game and makes it a much more enjoyable experience, and resemble the original PS1 version more accurately.
Music, graphics, gameplay…There’s just too much to list here!
For a list of all changes to the game, have a look at the Readme file.
Grab the patch here:
[Edit] Wow, I didn’t expect this much excitement for this hack! I decided to put up the pre-patched ROM in my site for you guys. I don’t really have a formal place for it, so I thought I would squeeze it into my Final Fantasy NES downloads.