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Retroid Pocket 3

So, I’ve been pretty heavy on the programming push lately, but it’s not all I’ve been up to. So, back around the start of the pandemic, I started work making a PiGrrl handheld emulator device. PiGrrl is basically a Game Boy Clone that runs with a Raspberry Pi at it’s core. I ordered a bunch of parts and a case, I already had a Pi (I have several), and then the Pandemic caused my parts to take forever to arrive. Plus I probably spent more on it than I really should have.

Then I got a little bored and it sat for a bit, but I did eventually solder everything together, and it didn’t quite work, so I did some corrections and got bored of it for a few months again, then eventually, I got it working. Sort of, some emulators work, others don’t even launch, I am sure it’s a software issue a this point.

So, after a bit more trouble shooting, I got a little bonus at work like I occasionally do, so I just ordered a Retroid Pocket 3. A nice pre built solution that’s configured and well, just works. I mostly play gaming on PC, but for consoles, most of my playing in the last 20 years has been on handhelds. I am pretty sure I actually played and finished almost every DS game I have bought (including GBA), and the completion rate for my 3DS games is also very high. The point is, my follow through rate for hand held games is staggeringly high compared to PC and traditional Consoles. I mean, I bought my PS3 and it came with The Last of Us, which I was excited for, and I still have yet to play it even once.

Anyway, the Retroid Pocket is essentially an Android device with a controller and case wrapped around it to make it look like a PSP or a Switch. I considered the Retroid Pocket 2+ but I wanted the wider screen, so I went with the Retroid Pocket 3. So far, my experience with it has been pretty excellent.

There is a bit of trickiness in tracking down the BIOS files needed but there are guides and resources out there. Anything older than say, the SNES/Genesis era plays flawlessly with ease. Which is pretty expected, since it’s all basic 2D gaming at that point. I’ve had a lot of luck running PS1 and PSP titles as well.

Nintendo 64 games are a little touchy but there are some settings that I believe I can adjust to make it work better. Right now everything has screwy transparency. There are options for some more powerful systems but I’ve not had luck yet getting things like PS2 working. I’ve played several WiiWare games but the Wii itself has the motion controls which don’t translate super well to a handheld device’s controls.

Overall, I am extremely happy with this purchase, it’s really invigorated my interest in older games and gaming again.

The End of the 3DS eShop

Nintendo 3DS

In a little over a day, the 3DS eShop is closing for good. I thought this had already happened around 9 months ago, but at that point they just removed the ability to add funds directly on the device. Funds can still be added through the website, though it’s a bit of a hassle and it has to be done with certain denominations instead of exact values.

I guess I am a bit spoiled by PC gaming, it seems really annoying that the shop is just, closing. I mean, I’ve had the same Steam account for 18+ years. The copy of Half Life I have on Steam predates that too. Nintendo has always had this weird relationship with accounts. They used to use those obtuse Friend Codes, which were different on a cart by cart basis even.

I mean, ideally, games I purchased on my Wii would work on the DS or 3DS or the Switch, but that’s not the case at all.

The 3DS holds a special place for me, it’s kind of the last “console” device I really used regularly. I guess I have my Retroid handheld now, but it’s technically different. I still have games I want to play on this device though, I’ve even replaced the battery, and bought a spare for the future. I also replaced the power board in it shortly after I first got the thing because it got wet and shorted things out. There still a single dead pixel on the screen where it got water on the screen, though that water dried up over a month or so.

Nintendo doesn’t really ever discount first party games though, so I’m fine with eventually tracking down physical carts for a lot of these games. Back when they removed the ability to pay on the device, I collected up a few digital titles that were on sale. This round, I picked up a few more marked down games. Capcom had a sale on the Phoenix Wright games for almost nothing, so I threw some money at those. I also decided to go ahead and get Pokemon Crystal, though it wasn’t marked down. I have Silver and Pokemon Yellow on there, but I’ve not played Crystal ever in any form, and it’s the “3rd game” which usually means it’s the better one.

For my final round of 3DS digital games, I picked up:

  • Phoenix Wright Spirit of Justice
  • Phoenix Wright Dual Destinies
  • Phoenix Wright Apollo Justice
  • Gurumin 3D – An interesting looking 3D platform game
  • Pokemon Dream Radar – A 3DS exclusive game where you can catch a few legendary Pokemon
  • 80s Overdrive – A Retro style racing game in the vein of Outrun
  • Pokemon Crystal

My Collection

This was originally a thread on Twitter but I’ve moved it over to the blog. It’s a sort of virtual tour around my basement space and collection. We moved into our current home in 2017 and I’ve been slowly making small updates and upgrades here and there. It is not perfect, it’s still a sort of constant work in progress, but it’s getting better and better over time. My biggest gripe is the shitty ceiling. I have not come up with a good/easyish solution to the ceiling yet. I’ve had a few ideas but they all will take quite a lot of effort, money, and time.

Starting in the desk area, because it’s the place where I am a bunch. The desk itself is one I built like 15 years ago at our old old house. The skinny shelf in the corner I made as well, the other to the left are Ikea Billy shelves.

The computer itself. Mainly used for gaming. A keyboard I will one day learn to play.

Don’t look too close, you might notice that the other pics are a bit outdated because I moved the shelf that was behind the desk already.

Previously mentioned custom skinny shelf. Some Final Fantasy Figs here, a shelf of my more favored figs with Layton and Swerve and Master Chief. Some random memorabilia under that, a signed Sigrid CD, a Bernie Sanders Baseball Card, a silver coin from work.

Going down through the first Billy shelf. Top level is my Exosquad collection. They aren’t in perfect shape, but pretty good shape.

These shelves right next to the desk are mostly my more favored figures. These shelves rotate pretty regularly with whats on them.

My collection of Overwatch Nendoroids. I’m only missing Reinhardt I think. Also, Hammond is actually a Funko POP!, one of the only two I own, the other being DVA for the MEKA.

Below the Nendoroids is my Power Rangers Legacy stuff. This shelf needs some risers added for sure. Plus the cat is constantly walking by and knocking these over.

From the top of Billy number 2, my collection of Overwatch Figma and Hasbro figures. I never did get Academy DVA, Figma Solder, or well, most of the non standard colored Hasbro figs. I really like these though, part of why they get top center of this wall.

Below Overwatch is more Video Game figs, half of them old SOTA Street Fighter Figures

And even more video game themed figures (Mostly). Fortnite, Sonic, some Xevos.

Most of my Toybiz Lord of the Rings collection. I used to own a LOT more of these but many of them were lost when I had a break in in storage ~15 years ago.

Wrapping up this shelf I have a selection of MSIA Gundams, mostly. I have a few more, and some of these are not Gundams.

Topping Billy number 3, are some Transformers. A few movie verse Transformers and a collection of Autobots. I have probably more Transformers than anything else, but a lot of them are not on display anywhere.

Next up are my few GI Joe Classified figs and a selection of Mega Man figures.

Below those we have some old McFarlane Metal Gear Solid stuff and a good chunk of the Jurassic Park Amber Collection.

Next up is my shelf of DC stuff, that needs some work for sure.

And hiding at the bottom is a shelf of Decepticons. Like the Power Rangers shelf, the cat likes to jumble these up frequently.

In the corner of the room is a photo station/photo booth. This piece of furniture is another one I built when I made the desk. It was originally a TV stand.

Behind the curtain is a collection of larger stuff I use as back drops sometimes for photos.

Moving to the back wall from my computer, there is a large glass display cabinet I picked up at a resale shop. Top shelf has some larger figures that don’t fit well elsewhere, and a few miscellaneous imports that don’t fit elsewhere theme wise.

Next shelf down more import figures. This cabinet is pretty deep, and the mirrors and glass make it seem a little more cluttered than it is when photoed.

More (Mostly) Imports, these are all video game themed though. Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, etc.

The bottom of the cabinet has my small collection of Masterpiece Transformers. I don’t super collect Masterpiece Transformers.

Next to the glass cabinet is a shelf of Comic Marvel Legends. I used to have 4 of these shelves, identical, but two of them got damaged by water in another part of the basement.

Top Shelf, Fantastic 4, and Nextwave, Second is Spider-man and miscellaneous.

Below that a shelf of mostly Mutant Villains, followed by Mutant heroes (X-men) and a shelf of Spider-man rogues.

Spider-Man villains (again), “New Avengers” and the Comic versions of the MCU Defenders.

Lastly another shelf of mostly miscellaneous characters.

Wrapping around, there is a small built in bar that I use as a cluttered work table for projects. It does currently house this fancy dollhouse that I got on clearance at Target.

And below inside the bar, toy related, are these tackle boxes of sorted accessories. Most of the other drawers are electronics parts.

Next to the bar is another marvel shelf, that matches the Comics one. This one is all MCU figures though (for the most part).

A shelf of villains, a shelf of supporting characters, and alternate styles. Another shelf of mostly Ragnarok characters and the Black Panther guard.

Various versions of the core Avengers, in no real consistent “era” or style though, mostly just my preferred looks. The Guardians of the Galaxy, and various MCU Adjacent characters (Fox X-men). More “adjacent” characters, the Defenders, the Fantastic Four, a few others.

And finishing off the MCU shelf is a shelf entirely of Iron Man…. s? Iron Men? Iron Man?

Next to the MCU shelf is another glass case. The door does not completely open on this one, so it’s a later of glass and a mirror and not great lighting so the photos here are a little muddled.

Top shelf is model kits of various things.

Second Shelf is the majority of my Transformers Alternators.

Below the Transformers are some Playmates Star Trek figures. Unfortunately, my TNG Bridge Play set is too wide to fit, so it’s still in it’s box.

Below the Star Trek Shelf is another somewhat eclectic collection of stuff I just like.

At the bottom is an assortment of larger Transformers that don’t fit well elsewhere.

Swinging back around to the same wall as the Billy shelves, but behind the Computer, I think it might help to throw in another “establishing shot”.

This corner is the LEGO Table and shelves. The table itself is custom made from some pre-finished boards. At our old house, half of it was in my wife’s craft room, but she didn’t have a place for it after the move so I inherited it. Then made it twice as wide.

A closer view of the main City part. I recently dismantled and rearranged this city, as well as dusted everything with a small paint brush (which works well).

Left side LEGO Shelf

Right Side LEGO Shelf. Behind this shelf is the stairs going up.

Lastly, the end of the Table has some shelves on it. The sides also have shelves, but it’s mostly storage for loose LEGO down one side, and on the other is a hidden trash can and some totes of figures I like to keep handy.

Continuing around the room…

That game spinner in the foreground is another piece I built, though that one is like 20 years old now. The shelves are adjustable for CD or DVD cases.

The door leads outside to the backyard.

Currently in the market for a (used) couch.

My poor acrylic spinner case, which desperately needs some love, and a wall shelf that was originally built for 3 3/4 Star Wars figs but I don’t know that it was ever really used for that.

Instead the shelf is used for TMNT at the moment, plus some stuff that didn’t have anywhere else to go.

At least the TIE Fighter mounts work.

The BTTF Delorean and A-Team Van.

Another hand built shelf, this one full of Transformers.

I’ve been re-arranging these shelves a but lately so they are a little in flux.

The other shelf, on the right side of the TV, definitely in flux at the top with random TFs I pulled out to display somewhere.

Some Movie TFs and a shelf of Beast Wars figures from the current Legacy Line.

Finally a shelf of Primes and my collection of Nintendo Power Magazines.

And a wider shot of the TV Space. The consoles are all hooked up. Wii, SNES, Playstation Mini, Dreamcast, Playstation 3, Playstation 2, Genesis, and N64.

One last establishing shot, and in the home stretch here. Just off to the right of the door to the backyard.

This little Music Station I’ve been currently working on setting up. Currently plays music from Alexa or a Raspberry Pi connected to my Network share collection of FLACs. (Side Note, this has been adjusted quite a bit since these were original posted)

Next to the Audio Station is another Glass Case with Star Wars Black Series figures, mostly arranged by theme-ish.

Lastly, in the corner, is a dollhouse that we got at a garage sale that I sometimes use to take photos in.

No wait, actual Lastly, is the storage space of things I don’t have on display in the other half of the basement.

The basement has a second space as big as this one, but it’s slightly less finished so we use it to store totes of decor and off season clothes etc.  

20 Years of Blogging…

It seems like I should address this pretty big anniversary for this blog., is twenty years old, more or less, today.  I honestly don’t have the exact date for sure, but I do have an old copy of the original site that suggests it was created on 10/09/1998.  More accurately, it’s predecessor, The Chaos Xone, was created on 10/09/1998.  Back then it was just a random Geocities website.  It didn’t really use a “Blog Engine” but it did use a “Blog format” of sorts, in the form of manually updated HTML webpages and a copy/paste archive of old posts.

Funny enough, it’s pretty much still the same thing… ish.  I really haven’t cared about Anime in ages and the market for “Cool Waves” and “MIDI Files” hasn’t quite been the same in a long while.  The Geocities Pokemon Center was a separate site I ran that was pretty successful at the time.  This original website went through quite a few iterations, all sort of keeping the core idea of writing random “reviews” on “random crap”.  It moved hosts a few times, from Geocities to Lameazoid the Livejournal, then, some stints on Blogger, self hosted at my house on a Linux box, to actually using real paid hosting.  Somewhere around the time I left College and lost that free college hosting, and moving to WordPress I think is when I bought a domain and transformed The Chaos Xone, with it’s Edgy Cool 90s X (the X is for XTREEEEEEM), into

Why Lameazoid?

I think at the time it was supposed to sort of be a sort of buzzword sounding name.  Like Freakazoid, the show.  Only Lame.  I have to admit, back then I was way way more cynical about everything, so I sort of had the idea of focusing on Lame things.  It also sounds kind of retro, which was also more of my shtick at the time.  I do still like the name, it was a pretty good choice honestly.

Over the years though my overall ability and interest in actually writing has come and gone.  If I’m being honest, lately it just feels like no one cares.  And they really probably don’t.  There was a time back in the mid 2000s when Blogging was huge and the site pulled in 1000 visits per day.  That felt pretty awesome.  These days, I’m lucky if I am getting 1000 visits a month, less so since I have not even been updating lately.

I’ve also purged things out completely a few times, for better or for worse.  I have everything though, in an archive.  I have a big ass local WordPress instance that has pretty much everything I’ve ever written in my life stuffed into it in one big ball of mind vomit.  Good and bad.  Not just Lameazoid and the Chaos Xone, I’ve scanned or transcribed old paper journals and writings into it.  Digital space is cheap, it can be backed up safely and easily.  Why ever delete anything?

I’ve also tried to actually reboot and spin off a few times.  The most ambitious was Ready Set Geek, which essentially was a separation of Toys and Video Games.  This leads to a bit of a conundrum on my part of where to stick the middle ground things like movies and comics.  The most successful is probably, though that’s more of a spin off of my “Personal Blogging”.  I post there entirely because I want to, not to try to be some sort of New Games Journalism writer.  I’ve tried pushing more into the “new hotness” that killed blogging, like Tumblr and Youtube, but I guess I’m just not into that sort of thing.  I’ve considered trying to recruit people I know to also write here, there was a brief time (during that 1000 visits period) when I did have friends also writing reviews.

Running this site has been pretty great for a lot of indirect reasons though.  I’ve gotten pretty good at working Linux, for example, through the need to run a web server.  Its given me excuses to play with Photoshop and to take photos.  I used to use it as an excuse to be an early adopter of a lot of social media sites.  Knowing your way around the Social web is pretty useful.

Anyway, I mostly just wanted to acknowledge this little event.  Here’s to 20 more years I guess.