I like to tear up stuff

OK, the title may not be 100% accurate, but it’s more interesting than saying, “I like to disassemble electronics and then put them back together.” Plus, it’s much more concise.

Now, I don’t mean to imply that I have a knack for electronics. I really have very little knowledge of how they work. However, I’ve recently become very interested in fixing some old systems, as well as performing some modifications.

So far, I haven’t done much. I disassembled a few controllers that weren’t working correctly. For most of them, I just cleaned all the connections and put them back together. I did have to do a little work on a wired Xbox 360 controller that never worked correctly (the D-pad wasn’t very responsive when pushed to the left and the left shoulder button didn’t work), even though I bought it new. Luckily, disassembling then reassembling the D-pad made it work, and I had to do a little modification to the left shoulder button so that it would actually press far enough down on the switch/sensor/whatever so that it would register.

I also did a soft mod on my PS2 recently using Free McBoot. Now, I am able to run PS2 games directly from my hard drive instead of using discs, which helps a lot on load times (for example, moving to a new area in Grand Theft Auto now takes just a few seconds).

Some mods I’m looking at now are adding A/V outputs on my Sega Master System and Genesis. I am also going to mod my PS1 to play backups and my Xbox (the original, not the 360) so that I can install and run games from the hard drive, like I did with the PS2.

I’ll probably post some pics and maybe some videos here of the mods when they’re completed. I just hope that I don’t do any irrevocable damage to my old systems in the process.

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Everdrive-MD flash cartridge

Many of you may already know about this, but a developer in the Urkraine has created a flash cartridge that can be used with the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive. Called the Everdrive-MD, the cart allows the user to save game ROMs to an SD card and play them on the original hardware. The cart even works with 32X, Sega CD, and Master System games!

This is a great invention for those of us with a lot of Genesis/Mega Drive and Master System games. Now we can pack away the games if we choose and play our collections directly from the Everdrive cart.

Details can be found at the developer’s site, KRIKzz.com. The cart can be bought directly from the developer (only via Western Union or MoneyGram), or it can be bought from resellers Kitsch-Bent and Stone Age Gamer. If you want the cart now, your best option may be to order directly from the developer, as the cart is sold out at both Kitsch-Bent and Stone Age Gamer. The cart is really hot right now, so I’m not sure what kind of stock the developer has on hand. I’ve been checking the developer’s site daily for the last week or so, and this morning I noticed that he added Stone Age Gamer as a reseller. I decided to go ahead and order my cartridge this morning from Stone Age Gamer, and I’m glad I did, as the cart is now sold out.

When I get my cart, I’ll report back on my experience with it.

Homebrew games

I added a new category to my links (located in the right column) for homebrew games. For some reason, I had an urge to look into homebrews this weekend, and I found some cool stuff (like new releases for the Sega Genesis).

One of the most promising homebrew games I found is Pier Solar and the Great Architects, an RPG that is in development for the Sega Genesis. Apparently, this game has been delayed for a year or two, but they are in beta testing now, so it may be released in the near future. Unfortunately, even though the game is not yet available, they have enough preorders to cover the entire first run of the game. They may release the game again later, but from what I’ve read, it seems that they may do so as a downloadable game, which detracts from the experience for me (I want to be able to pop a brand new Genesis game in my console).

If you want to try the game out, there is a downloadable demo on the Pier Solar Web site under the Media tab. I have yet to try it, but I have downloaded it and will give it a playthrough later.

Also, they have posted some gameplay video to YouTube, including the video below.

Hopefully, I’ll find a way to get my hands on a copy whenever it is released.

Made a little progress on the new site

I didn’t get a whole lot done, but there is more there than what I had previously. It’s still pretty bare bones, but you can at least get an idea of what I’m trying to do.

If you would like to check it out, go to the new YAGRS site. Feel free to tell me what you think here, as well.

Sidetracked

Unfortunately, I have had little time recently to work on the new site. I hope to start working on it again soon, as I’m paying for the domain and the hosting, so I might as well be using it.

What I have managed to work on is scanning in the covers to several video games. I want to include as much cover art, manuals, catalogs, posters, etc., as I can. I really want the new site to be a good resource for those interested in gaming, especially retro gamers.

Hopefully, the next time I report back I’ll have made some real progress on this.

Working on the new site

I’ve been spending some time recently planning out the new site and gathering materials. I believe I have some idea of how I want to design the new site, but it’s going to take a long time to make all the different pages and uploading all the content, even working from a template.

If you go to yagrs.com, you can see the very beginnings of what I’m doing. There are no links so far and no real content, but you can at least get a little taste of how the new site will look.

A new YAGRS is coming

This blog is not the first incarnation of YAGRS. I actually had purchased a domain and started the site about four years ago. Instead of using a blog, I created a Web site from scratch and included reviews and screenshots for each game. I only managed a few reviews before I decided I didn’t have enough time to tackle a new site, and when the time came to renew my domain, I let it expire.

About two years ago, I decided to give YAGRS another go. To reduce the amount of time and effort it would require, I decided to confine my site to a blog, and so it has been ever since. While this has worked out for me, the blog format is limited and prevents me from doing everything I would like to with the site.

I decided recently that I would give creating my own site another go so that I can finally include everything I want. I would like YAGRS to be a useful resource for gamers, providing not only game reviews, but also showcasing videos, game covers, manuals, and whatever other items I come across. I really want to do my part to preserve what I can of gaming history.

I’m not sure when the transition will take place, but eventually I will launch the new YAGRS. I’ll try to post updates here as things progress.