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Super Mario Odyssey 2

Is The Nintendo Switch A Success Thanks To Busy Big Kids?

Are 10 million (and counting) sales PartLY owed to BUSY adult gamers?

At the very end of 2017 I purchased a Nintendo Switch. The decision came after months of sitting on the fence and, at one point, after having tried the ‘console’, giving it a bit of a roasting over the build quality of the main display unit (I referred to it as ‘one of those cheap Android tablets or a sat nav’).

So why the sudden change of heart? Why go all in now and why is it suddenly one of my favourite gaming devices of all time? It would appear I am not alone either, the console has received glowing reviews across the board. It is officially the fastest-selling console of all-time in the United States and has already sold over 10 million units worldwide and is matching the Sony PlayStation 4 sales pace.

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Planet Midori Telephone Adventure Game A

Brian!? Get off that phone! Your tea is getting cold! – Welcome to the world of vinyl telephone gaming.

I’ve been alive long enough to have witnessed gaming in an array of guises. From the small classifieds in the back of Darkside and CU Amiga magazines et al appealing for hardy gamers to come play-by-mail (the art of taking turns playing a game, usually sports management or some sort of fantasy battle, by using the postal service) to the very latest in online AAA megablockbuster multiplayer excite-o-thons that pepper the various video game platforms of 2018.

During my time roaming our good planet I have also come across numerous forms of storytelling. Books, audio, video games, television, seedy ad’s in the back of Exchange & Mart etc. As I am sure have you.

Nothing quite prepared me though for this. Vinyl record telephone gaming. Yes, you read that right.

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Topps MLB Sports Talk Player Box

Topps Of The Pops. The Sports Talk Player & The Future Of Card Collecting.

“Got. Need. Got. Got. Got. Need. Got. OH NEED! OH MY GOD NEED!”  and “The Man Utd foil badge is the hardest one to get” are a couple of lines that may resonate with those of you old enough to have been right there amongst it in the school playgrounds of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

Long before spotty oiks with YouTube and Twitch channels screamed blue murderous delight at opening a loot crate or an EA Sports card pack for a reaction video, there was the humble card or sticker collection.

Here in Europe, the market was lead by card and sticker super behemoths Merlin and Panini. US ultra leviathans Topps and Fleer really paled in comparison this side of the pond (somewhat ironically Topps would later acquire Merlin Publishing in 1995 and ultimately drop the Merlin name from products outside the USA to become Topps Europe in 2008).

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Macross SF Challenge Game LD

SF Challenge Game. The rarest Laserdisc I’ve come (M)across.

Macross. Beloved anime of literally trillions of people the world over. Who would have thought that Shoji Kawamori’s sci-fi epic created in 1982 would go on to spawn 857 jillion film and television sequels, spin-offs, universes, lunchboxes, novelty slippers, earbuds and Hannukah menorahs?

Yet amongst all that tat (most of which I made up), there lies a true oddity. An oddity that is actually quite rare to find today. An oddity I was very lucky to stumble on purely by accident. That oddity, is the Macross SF Challenge Game (超時空要塞マクロス SFチャレンジゲーム).

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Giants vs Tigers Baseball Super Record Game

They Might Be (Yomiuri) Giants. Or Tigers, The Choice Is Yours.

Audio samples i’ve recorded are available at the bottom of the page!

No sooner had I finished discussing the wonders of parallel records and mentioning that there is an extremely rare Baseball Super Record Game vinyl in my recent blog entry, than the inevitable happened. A copy of said extremely rare record shows up for sale. And yes, I bought it.

As it turns out, this rare little ball yard beaut is quite the handsome offering.

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V for Very Blog Awards 2017_Judging Round Button_Finalist

Some awards people think my writing is interesting!

A week ago today, I became a father for the second time. Nothing can top that, naturally. However the last nine months have proven quite trying (from a health perspective) for my wife, son and I. So coming home from the hospital late last Thursday night, cooking up some pasta, sitting down and checking my email to find I’d been selected as a finalist at the Blog Awards Ireland 2017 was a genuinely lovely surprise.

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DNS Command Line

Protect your DNS privacy and more by using dnsmasq

Posted on August 28, 2017

Concerns over protecting our privacy while online are nothing new. Watch what you post online, we are told. Use a VPN, some say. TOR is unbreakable, say others. However, not many people tend to pay so much attention to DNS, a potentially massive and gaping great hole in your network that could easily be used against you.

Now, with the proper age of geo-blocking and streaming media well and truly upon us, more and more plucky punters are signing up for so-called smart DNS  solutions. These services provide a great, hassle-free way to access content restricted to specific global regions by means of a complex web of transparent proxies. Some even provide VPN over DNS solutions for the really stubborn geo-blocked services.

What is not made particularly clear to those not familiar with the technology is that by amending your default DNS IP addresses provided to you by your ISP and adding in those from a smart DNS service, you are essentially directing all of your home network traffic over a bunch of proxy servers at a vast array of locations worldwide. These are servers you have no access to, so you cannot see how they are configured and more importantly if anything is being logged, or worse, intercepted due to the potential for so-called man in the middle attacks.

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Horoscope Super Record Game 1977

Defecating in bookshops, the Daily Mirror and the stone cold parallel grooves betwixt East and West

Posted on August 20, 2017

I like odd stuff. I’ve mentioned that several times. I like to look for odd stuff in strange places too. It’s where the best stuff is. If you are a regular to my little corner of the Internet you’ll know that too. But I never expected to buy a bunch of stuff that would then open up a world of, well, a world of odd.

Parallel records are nothing new. In fact they’ve been around since 1901 apparently. Essentially they are a vinyl record made up concentric grooves. The design and manufacturing process allows a parallel record to hold several different tracks on one side. What’s new about that? Well, depending on where you drop the needle at the lead-in point, the record will then latch on at a random location and begin to play. Thus you’d play a record and never know what track would be played. The design also meant that records were limited in length and thus they were really only used as novelties.

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Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball Heroes 3DS

3DS Baseball. Where the beer comes in 72oz tubs.

Posted on August 15, 2017

“I can’t think of a better place to spend a balmy summer’s night than the old ball yard. There’s just the green grass of the outfield, the crushed brick of the infield, and the white chalk lines that divide the men from the little boys”. Lisa Simpson makes a wonderful, and wistful, poetic articulation about America’s favourite pastime.  “Lisa, honey. You’re forgetting the beer. It comes in 72-ounce tubs here”. Homer Simpson makes a blunt, if somewhat equally valid point.

Construe this for when you think of baseball video games, the Nintendo 3DS isn’t exactly the first platform that springs to mind. And, like 72oz beer, they’re not that easy to find. Especially in the west. Especially outside the USA too.

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