Whip Ass Gaming
Quick Reviews FAQ:
Q: Why only do these dinky, short reviews?
A: I notice that people just don't have time, nor care to read deep, in-depth reviews for older games anymore. Mostly, people just want a quick word on how it is, overall and maybe a few words on specific parts of the game. With this in mind, I try to keep the reviews brief.
Q: Why do so many games get such high marks? Seems like everything you review is great by your standards.
A: Well, as I'm sure you can tell, this is not a professional site...game companies don't just send me stuff for free to review. Everything I review, I own...I bought. With that said, if I don't like a game, I don't buy, or I'll generally just sell it off if I did. Now, with older games getting cheaper and cheaper, I'm buying more and more...so the likelihood of me running into some truly terrible stuff(and keeping it) is getting up there(as you may notice with Batman Forever, Blood II, etc).
Q: Why do some of the reviews have "generation 2" underneath them?
A: Generation 2 is what I am calling...well, my second generation batch of reviews. These reviews now give you the option to choose either a low bandwidth version or a high bandwidth version. The low bandwidth version is what you've seen on most reviews so far, with static images, easily viewed on even a 33/56k dial up connection. The high bandwidth versions of the review have animated gifs showing actual animation from the game. It also may include a music file(mp3, midi, etc) from the game and other bandwidth intensive files.
Q: Why are the framerates and animation on the animated gifs so choppy and really bad sometimes?
A: It's important to note that they are, indeed, animated gifs....not full motion video. The way I make them, basically I just keep hitting the "Take Screenshot" hotkey as many times as I can while playing the game in an emulator. I then take those frames, put them together and bang, there's an animated gif. Doing it this way makes the game pause for a very small part of a second, thus skipping that small amount of time before I can get the next screenshot taken....this is why some game's gifs look much choppier than others, and always much worse than they look on a TV. I basically just do them to give people a rough idea of how the game looks in motion.
Q: Some animated gifs run unbelievably slow in Internet Explorer, what's the deal!?
A: This is just one of those things...I don't know how to explain it. Netscape/Mozilla just seems to handle gifs with higher frame counts a *lot* better than IE. They run full speed, and have no issues in most browsers...except for IE.
Q: I notice that when you have game music in a review, you show the iTunes logo. Is there any actual advantage to opening the mp3s in iTunes?
A: Yes, though it's very slight; I have the game's cover art included with the file.
Q: What's up with the various scores from the magazines?
A: Just to give you an idea of what the jackasses thought of the games, I went ahead and started posting scores from various magazines on games that I've also reviewed. Most times they differ vastly from what I give the game...sometimes I'm way off...but most times, trust me, it's them. As for the format of the scores, each mag has a different way of doing it, but I try my best to make it as comprehensive as possible for ya'll. Please note that I'm not trying to go for a list of what every possible magazine gave a game, but rather just the actual magazines I *own* and have read through(mostly old EGMs, GamePros, GameFans, PC Gamers, Mac Addicts, etc).
Q: The pics, when I move the mouse over them and click, nothing happens. With the cursor turning into the hand it's like something is supposed to happen. Are the links broke?
A: This will happen if you are using your browser's Pop Up Blocker, at times. Simply allow this site to be one of the exceptions that is allowed to present Pop Ups and the problem is solved. There are no pop-ups on my site, at all, so you'll be safe, I promise.
Q: Why are the borders on the picture's windows so screwed up?
A: This goes to the inconsistency in the browsers. With Firefox it looks fine, with IE it's screwed up. Don't worry, it's not cutting any of the picture out, just the border around it. Someday I'll figure out how to get it right...
Q: I'm on a modem, these pictures are fucking killing me!
A: I was on a modem a while back too, so I feel your pain. Unfortunately there's not a lot I can do about it...
Q: You have the prices listed of what you got a lot of these games for, are you bragging or just showing us how cheap and/or stupid you are? Also, how the hell do you remember the exact price you got them at?
A: I love a good deal. I have noticed that over the years I have started becoming "cheap" when it comes to videogaming. I don't know what it is, maybe videogaming has become less important than eating or what not, but I just CANNOT make myself pay the prices some of these motherfuckers want for their games. If you look at some of the game's prices, you'll definitely be able to tell when I started getting a bit frugal on the spending...other prices, you'll see when I was just fucking insane! I used to stick the receipt behind the game cover on every game I got, when I remembered, so I can look back and either cry for joy or pass out depending on the prices.
Q: In some of the reviews, you forgot to put the web site links to the company...actually, you forgot to do this in a lot of them!
A: Well, the main issue with that is most of these companies no longer exist, thus no webpage exists for them either.
Q: Some of the games you own, I can't believe it! They are SOOOOO bad!
A: I have been told consistently that I have extremely odd taste in games, I seem to like a lot of games that NOONE else even remotely enjoys. If they are so bad that they are good, I will most likely enjoy them.
Q: Why is JD so angry?
A: I don't know....he doesn't seem to like anything, does he?
Q: Bel, I can't believe you have "XX" game, how much do you want for it!?
A: You can ask, but the general majority of my games are not for sale.
Q:Most of the screenshots you take are all from the first levels of most games, are you just too lazy to put in the effort to get some shots from later levels or what?
A: Well, again, I own every game I review, so rather than playing it in front of a computer screen, with emulation that's less than perfect, I'd rather sit on the couch in front of my 27" Panasonic and play the game the way it was meant to be seen/heard/played. I don't much care for playing games via emulation, in front of a computer so I get the shots as quickly and easily as I can so those who have never seen the game can get a preview of what it's all about.
Q: Not that I'd ask, but do you mind if I jack some of your box scans for my site?
A: If you want to be associated with the extremely poor quality they are, go right ahead.
Q: The scans are only in 96dpi, and the text is so small they are pretty much unreadable....so why bother?
A: Well, remember, I don't post the covers so you can reprint them, I post them so you can see the cover and back artwork/design.
Q: All of the scans suck, but why do some look somewhat better than others?
A: After about 50 or 60 scans I finally got pissed enough to open the damn scanner up and spray the fuck out of it with some compressed air. Found a lot of cat hair, I have no clue where it could have come from...
Q: Is there anything I can do to help?
A: Yes! If you see any titles that are not linked to box scans, that means I do not have the box. Please feel free to send me an email and let me know you have one and wouldn't mind sending me a scan of it. Any scans would be most appreciated!!!
Section-Specific FAQ Additions:
(attempting)Mac Classic Gaming Only:
Q: Why in the hell would I want to play these old pieces of crap on my new Mac!?
A: These games rock, plain and simple. Too miss out on any of them simply because they are not new or require a goddamn Geforce 4 is a crime...
Q: A lot of these older games come on 3.5's that newer Mac floppy drives won't read, what do I do?
A: You got me on that one, I have no clue. Other than finding someone with an older Mac, I just don't know. There are a few programs out there that let you read Mac 3.5's on a PC's A: drive but I don't know that they will read the seriously older Mac 3.5's.
Q: Classic? I don't even consider anything you've got listed as "classic", as true classic. You need to go back a lot further if you are going to be using that word.
A: I run into this problem alot. I cannot make myself go any further back, I just can't take it. Some of the games before the few I have listed are REALLY bad, and even harder to find and run. I have to consider classic from my own standpoint, which would be early OS 7 and up. If you don't agree, I understand, but that's as far back as I am willing to go on most stuff.
Q: Bel, where do you come up with these games? Seems like I can't find any, anywhere!!!
A: Mac games are hard to find, especially older ones. Your best bets are usually bookstores like Half Priced Books or online retailers. Half Priced Books(the actual store, not the online entity)is good simply because they look at Mac stuff the way the general majority of people do: It's crap and we need to sell it cheap. Over half of my classic collection has come from them, and I don't think I paid more than $5 for any of it. Online retailers usually have some good deals in their used game bins. Good stuff, good deals! Note: I would stay away from ebay, most of these older Mac games tend to be the subject of ludicrously high bidding wars, in which you will always loose.
(attempting)Mac Classic Gaming and Dirt-Cheap PC Gaming:
Q:You act like their is some secret art to getting these games to work. If you would just read the manual, half the time it'd solve your problem. Why should anyone need these tips?
A: Well, most people, I have noticed, aren't quite as fortunate to have the manual that came with these older games....thus their need for help arises. Plus, I take the frustration out of getting a lot of these older games to work. I have gone through everything I have stated in the guides, I have gone through countless hours of searching Google and usenet posts for solutions to problems that are 5 to 10 years old. I now, pass those tips to you.
Q: A lot these older games, seems like their own publishers don't even want to support them, why?
A: Two reasons: A) They are mostly extremely old and not being sold anymore(no money, no support I think is their train of thought), B) Because the Mac versions of these games, mostly, came out WAY after their PC counterparts, the general majority of bugs had been worked/patched out...thus leaving very little updating for the Mac version.
Q: Why only review GB/GBC/GBA games via the GB Player, it usually makes them look a lot worse than they normally do on a conventional GameBoy?
A: I have real issues with the GBA, that screen is just too shiny for me to see anything...and I'm not dumping money into a damn GBA SP(hell, I don't even own a GBA) when the GB Player is much cheaper. Now, granted, some games don't look nearly as good as they do on a regular GameBoy, but it's a game-to-game sort of thing...some look great, some don't.
Dirt-Cheap PC Gaming:
Q: I notice that on some games you don't have all the settings turned to the max, and you're definitely not using the top resolution, how can you expect anyone to take the review seriously?
A: Well, I prefer performance over graphics first off. Next, I don't have money to put into the PC every five and a half minutes when a new video card comes out. Just think of it this way: If I play a game 800X600, 1024X768, etc. with high settings and think it looks pretty good, imagine how it'll look when *you're* running it at 1600X1200 with ultra-high settings...
Neo Geo: Hardcore:
Q: The load times you list don't match with others I've seen on the net, why?
A: Remember, I'm not using a stopwatch or anything like that, I simply use my iBook's internal clock to time the Neo CD game loads. As I've stated before, it could be a second or two off(either way)...
Old School Sega Section:
Q: Are you going to be doing Sega Logo Fun projects for the Saturn or Dreamcast?
A: Sadly, no...there's just no way I can physically get a hold of every Saturn and DC title.
Q: Why do you base game's ratings with the Game Genie being in use? Cheating ruins games, why are you, a supposed hardcore gamer, using a device like this?
A: Some of these games are absolutely unplayable without the help of the Game Genie. Without it, there'd be no reason to own certain games. I play games to have fun, not to get my ass whipped because the game's developers couldn't be bothered with proper testing and/or decent AI. Now, I will say that I DO NOT believe in cheating when it affects other players(PSO is a good example of this). I cheat, when I feel the game calls for it, and because it's on my Genesis, I'm not PK-ing anyone but the CPU...
Q: Sweet Jesus man, are there any Genesis games you DON'T have!?
A: Yeah, there are quite a few that I don't have. After finding RockMan Mega World though, most aren't going to seem like that big of a thrill...
Q: Virtual Game Station?
A: It was a short-lived commercial emulator that allowed you to play PSX games on the Mac. Sony quickly killed it(why, I don't know. It was getting people who didn't own a PSX to buy PSX games...what was so wrong with that?). Essentially you just boot the program, pop in the disc and it works. Like most emulators, it wasn't perfect, and had its issues. One nice thing about it was that it did something a lot like the PS2's "PS1 mode" did in terms of running a blur filter over the entire screen, thus taking the hard edges off those nasty polygons. I use VGS to get all of my screenshots for the PSX games, I then run Photoshop's "Sharpen" filter over the pic to bring it back to what it would look like via a television set with S-Video hookups.
For your hardcore, old school gaming needs be sure to try The West Exit(formerly Ace's Import Game Paradise) and WolfGames!