Author Archives: Scott Barker

The move…

There has been a huge uncertainty blowing around inside my mind for the past month or so about where I will be living in the near future.

I was handed my notice from my landlord and given two months to move 22 years of life out of my house, but the biggest issue was finding a place to move. Luckily, we found a place to move to relatively fast but the whole process of getting to this point has been long. Very long.

Today we finally received confirmation that we can move and it is looking to be from this coming Friday. We’re super psyched but there is an overbearing shadow of gloom as this place has been our home for 22 years. That’s not something you can just shake off. However, the biggest worry in all of this is the moving process. As you can imagine, 22 years is a long time, a long enough time to accumulate a ton of stuff that you’ve probably forgotten all about that is stored in the darkest corner of the house. Naturally, a lot of junk will be thrown away, but for the time being, we are prioritizing the transport of literally everything before we begin to dig through the junk and throw out what we no longer want.

A big deal for me is moving my game collection. I’ve been building on it for a solid two years now, going from around 100 physical games to nearly 800, along with roughly two of every mainstream console from Nintendo, Sega, Sony, and Microsoft. It’s very daunting. I will be documenting the process to the best of my ability and photos will be going up on my Twitter account of the packing and unpacking of everything, so if that is something you’re interested in seeing then follow me!

In the meantime, I will also be trying to keep regular posts on here with a gallery, possibly.

There is a long road ahead, a bumpy road given the current pandemic sweeping our beautiful planet.

Stay safe, stay happy.

Memory Cards and Passwords

Memory Cards are some of my favourite things to collect, they come in so many different shapes and sizes, and for so many different consoles. My collection of memory cards is only small and limited mostly to PlayStation and PlayStation 2, but I do have a couple for the Dreamcast, Gamecube and Xbox. I even have some of those lesser-used and often forgotten about Xbox 360 memory cards too.

I always believed that Sony was the first to create a memory card for a games console, but it turns out that I was wrong as it was actually SNK all the way back in 1990 for the NeoGeo AES. The NeoGeo wasn’t that big of a console here in England, so it’s no surprise it went completely over my head but I would be pretty much correct in saying that Sony popularised the memory card with their 128KB memory cards on the PlayStation in 1994.

I will never forget my first PlayStation memory card. It was as if I had been handed the holy grail of gaming, I could finally save my game in Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, Gran Tourismo, and more! I felt like one of the cool kids despite the cool kids already having owned memory cards for around a year before I finally got one and the novelty had worn off on the playground.

My plan with my collection of memory cards is to have at least two for every console I own, leaving just the original Xbox, and the Nintendo 64 without memory cards as of the writing of this post.

Before Memory Cards consoles were restricted to battery-backed volatile RAM in the game cartridges which was an ideal format back in their day, and some of them are still working just fine. These days, buying a retro game in cartridge format usually requires a replacement battery, so it’s always a good thing to keep a soldering iron and some replacement button cells handy, just make sure to replace like-for-like otherwise you may cause damage to the game.

Dating back earlier, but still an often-used option for saving your game, even during the memory card era was the password or passcode option. Passwords were a little more tricky in the sense that one wrong character could mean that you had lost your progress in your favourite game, or if you put in a random string of characters you could really mess with the game’s code.

Passwords were also greatly used to allow for the use of cheats, some of which are still being discovered today through the use of data-mining, some of which are freaking hilarious such as FANNYMAGNET for GTA: Vice City on PC. Some passwords were also known to break games or even completely brick consoles in their later ports to newer hardware, such as ENGAGE RIDLEY MOTHER FUCKER in Super Metroid.

I used to drive myself crazy trying to figure out passwords in games back in the day because I could never afford ActionReplay/GameShark packs when I was a kid, and my local newsagents didn’t stock games magazines until the later part of the 32bit era of consoles, so I couldn’t even get my cheats through those. It wasn’t until my family got the internet that I discovered the world of cheats beyond the realm of what few were handed out on the school playground.

Kids of today will never know the magic of being able to simply pull out a memory card at your friend’s house and continue to play a game together, or lose the scrap of paper you kept in your game case with all of the passwords you had written on it for your favourite game.

Do you have any memories of saving your game back in the day? Let’s talk about it on Twitter (@Metabera) and even tag a friend? Did you ever have one of those third-party memory cards with the switch on the side? Those things were well known for wiping every save away and leaving nothing but tears. Let’s open up a support group for sufferers of save game disasters.

 

 

Reborn.

So I’ve added a fresh new lick of paint to the place. Instead of Insert Controller being a brand name as it has been since it’s conception back in 2010 on the old BlogSpot thingy, it’s new an outlet using my own brand name as I plan to represent a little bit of everything I do through this little blog.

So, what will we be seeing uploaded to this site? Good question! I plan to add stuff like my voice over clips that I will be recording once I have moved into my new place soon. I will also be posting images of any art stuff that I make including miniature stuff, 3D printing, drawings, and graphic design work. Music projects will also be uploaded here along with details about what I did, my inspirations, and so on and so forth.

I’m using the moving of the house as the start of changing my life. I’ve gradually become more reclusive and have stopped most of my creative endeavors which is bumming me out. But as Bob Dylan once wrote, “for the times they are a-changing.”

As I have taken this space to once again be an output for me, I will also be revitalizing my Twitch and YouTube channels to reflect upon this change and returning to each platform respectively.

Peace out, homies.

You can now eject…

As some of you may already know, I am moving house soon. Our current tenancy is coming to an end because the landlord is wanting to sell the house. It was painful at first considering that I basically grew up in this house, but a part of me is kind of excited for something new, something different.

The only thing I’m not looking forward to is moving everything.

As you can probably imagine, 22 years of living in a place lead to the accumulation of stuff and things, and things and stuff. But the plan is that we will just empty a room at a time, and once everything is at the new place we will rummage through it all and decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to throw away. Naturally, if there is anything in my gaming stuff that I do not want anymore I will be giving it away on a first come first serve basis, so keep an eye out on my Twitter for anything I may be giving away after the move.

I’ll be sad to leave this place, but you know what they say; onward and upward!

Let’s keep a positive spin on this!

 

Under Construction. Again. Again.

I don’t know how many times I have to say this until my insane brain decides to actually do something, but I’m gonna try to actually get the ball rolling on using this space as my personal blog.

I’m gonna start by getting a new theme and rebranding everything to be a little bit more personal to me. No more chasing bad dreams. No more thinking this is gonna be my “business”.

Insert Controller will become nothing more than a personal blog, as it was when I created the original version.

Once the ball gets rolling you can expect posts about whatever game I’m playing, any shows I’m watching, any thoughts going through my head, and stuff about the methods I use for clearing my insane brain whenever I am having a “bad time”.

Let’s look at the future of this place as a positive thing. A place where I can share my “long format” thoughts, and just chat about stuff. For some reason, I can’t keep a diary, but I can sit for hours and type non-sense about the stuff I have done or liked, or would like to do or like.

WANTED Dead or Alive – My review of Red Dead Redemption

We all loved Rockstar’s famed Grand Theft Auto series; open-worlds filled with people, cars and let’s not forget hookers who give refunds the hard way. Now one day some guy called Josh Needleman walked into Rockstar HQ and decided he wanted to take the GTA series and scale it back a hundred years or so, an thus in 2004, gave birth to Red Dead Revolver, the first game in the Red Dead series. In 2009 Rockstar officially announced a sequel to the western themed, open-world sandbox titled Red Dead Redemption. Continue reading

Zone of the Enders HD Collection

ZOE BOX ART PS3

A couple of years back I had posted an article on the old BlogSpot version of Insert Controller. The article was about the speculation of there being a Metal Gear Solid HD remake, and in the article I mentioned a few titles I would have liked to have their own, amongst them was Zone of the Enders.

One day whilst checking my email I had seen that I had a tracked update from Game Spot with news regarding Zone of the Enders, I was curious so I clicked it and had a read. With much surprise and all those gooey, joyous feelings I’d read that Konami had announced the Zone of the Enders HD collection for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Continue reading

Kicking Ass On Stygia! – My review of BulletStorm

BulletStorm 200x200From the depths of Stygia I bring you my latest review, Profanity! Woops, I mean BulletStorm! Yes, the game that had all of us kicking our enemies into deadly structures and talking about killing penises. BulletStorm has been in my collection now since my birthday last year, only I’ve not given it a proper try, yet while skimming through the spines of my collection I noticed this games title glowing amongst the rest, it appealed to everything I wanted from a game at that moment, so in my Xbox it went.

So if like me, you completely overlooked BulletStorm, you’ll not know much about it. This is where I come in! Continue reading