Game Changer ESPN Universal Remote Control Manual (PDF Scan) Remote Codes


Years ago I bought a couple of Game Changer ESPN branded Universal Remotes. The website for this remote control is no longer online and therefore the instruction manual and remote codes are very difficult to find. And without the device codes… you’ll have trouble getting this to work with your VCR, PVR, DVD player, or TV / HDTV. Thankfully once programmed the remote works well, despite it’s quirky design, so I can understand why people are still using them.

I have found my manual for this remote control and have scanned it in and uploaded it to this website. You may download this manual freely. However, please consider donating a dollar or two to the House Rabbit Society of California. This wonderful non-proft helps rescues, rehabilitates, and homes rabbits. So if you find this manual useful please consider a donation.

The PDF is only 3.7 MB in size so the image resolution isn’t great, but it’s legible so you can read the remote codes. Enjoy!

Download this PDF Manual (3.7 MB in size)


Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II impressions

In 2009 when Sonic the Hedgehog 4 was announced dozens of fans got excited (cautiously) for what everyone hoped would be a triumphant return of the blue-blur in all his 2D glory. In 2010 the game was met to mixed reviews. Some long-time fans were hard on the game, others chose to focus on the good instead of the mediocre and bad… I can’t say I blame the negativity, Sega was pushing the title and teasing that it was the true successor to the 1996 hit Sonic & Knuckles, a bar set very high. In late 2011 a teaser for Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode II was released, again stirring up high hopes. A short five months later, the game is now released on the Playstation Network for the PS3 and will be released on more consoles and devices in the coming days.

As I checked twitter this morning I realized today was the release date for Sonic 4 on the PS3. My time at the office today seemed to go by slowly just to torment me. But finally when I got home I hopped on the PS3, downloaded Sonic 4, Episode 2 and sat down for a while. I wouldn’t raise from my seat (except for a quick dinner) until I beat the main storyline of the game. I give you, my impressions:

Press Start

Sonic 4 Episode I had a lot of problems, but it wasn’t really a bad game all in all. It was a starting point and I always knew that Episode II would improve upon I greatly. Thankfully this seems to be the case. To start things off right the budget for Episode II is larger and it shows. I mean, wow, does it show! From the title screen to the first introduction and stage the graphics are sharper, crisper, and all with better fluid and fun animation. The music is good as well and compliments the game, I was humming along to some songs while others didn’t tickle my fancy as much, but I can see myself getting to like them more and more. The sounds, some familiar, some new, add a heavy dose of Sonic charm that returning fans will love.


A Zone is a Zone

It’s easy to see that Episode II takes a lot of cues from Sonic 2, but don’t worry it’s done in good taste. The special stage is a variation of Sonic 2’s special stage, but it mixes things up with different obstacles, multiple paths, and some new tricks. Red Star Rings (as seen in Sonic Generations) also make a return in this game. Think of these as extra bonus items that are challenging to get, almost like the 8 Red Coins in Super Mario 64. This adds a nice layer of replay value that was missing in Episode I.

As with the first installment in the series we have 5 main stages. Unlike the first episode where stages seemed to be almost too-closely copied from the previous Genesis games we have some interesting new lands to explore. I always felt that Episode I played it too safe. Most of the stages, obstacles, and enemies were too similar. It was more of a rehash of previous material than new levels. Thankfully Episode II changes this, to a pretty big degree. Yes we’ll have familiar areas, names and obstacles. Yes some familiar badniks will try to stop you whenever they can, but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of new material. It looks like Sega decided to go all out and explore this time around, and in my opinion it works. There will be times where you’ll recognize an area or stage style from a previous game, but the experience is different overall. Which is a huge plus.


Tails saves the day

Sega obviously has a hard time deciding how far to push Sonic games lately, either they don’t push enough and we get a weak rehash of a game (Episode I) or they push too hard and we get an unplayable mess (Sonic Unleashed), but it seems they found a pretty good mixture this time around. There were several “Wow” moments for me during my first run through which left me with a smile on my face. The addition of Tails really makes all the difference. He’s playable in co-op mode (either online or local) as well, so that adds a lot to the replay value of this Episode. Tails gives you two special moves. The first is his signature flying technique. Like in Sonic 3 you can call upon Tails to lift you out of harms way or to reach new areas, something you’ll be required to do during the game. The second special move, which you will rely on far less, is a kind of double summersault. You combine into a big orange and blue blur and destroy the majority of obstacles in your way. It’s usually pretty obvious when you need to perform these actions, but I was caught off guard once or twice.

How you summon Tails is different from Sonic 3 however, which required a 2nd player helping you out. In the PS3 version you press the Square key to perform the special move at anytime in single player mode. The trick is to fly you need to be in mid-air, and to do the summersault you need to be standing on the ground. I won’t lie, I’ve died a few times when Tails decided to do the opposite of what I was trying to do. But it just takes a bit of practice and most of the time it works fine. The instant ability to call on Tails to fly you out of harms way saved my skin over a dozen times. If you run too fast off a bottomless pit, or realize you missed a critical platform, just be quick to tap the Square button and use your thrusts carefully and you’ll save yourself a life.


Some people may see these special moves this as a negative aspect. We never had special moves before, why add them now? Well I’ll tell you why, because it spices up the gameplay. Sonic needs to evolve a bit, if not it gets old too quick. These moves add some new tricks to the game and gives you a great way to explore new paths and areas. Afterall Episode II is quite challenging. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t cursing at the TV screen or grinding me teeth a few times through the game. A similar reaction to some of the tougher parts toward the end of Sonic & Knuckles. So like it or not, Tails comes in handy.


Metal Sonic is back and he means business!

I’ve always been a fan of Metal Sonic since my Sonic CD days. He was teased at the end of Episode I if you collected all the emeralds. I was hoping they wouldn’t mess up his return like they did in Sonic Heroes, to my surprise, they didn’t screw this up. You battle Sonic’s Metallic copy in a few stages and he’s involved in a good amount of boss battles later on in the game. I won’t spoil anything, but there are some great throwbacks to Sonic CD that gave me a big smile. And if you bought Episode I you get a special ‘Metal Episode’ to play which gives you the background on how he was revived. In this you play levels from the previous Episode as well. The Episode I stages look even better then they did in their original release, and it was a pleasure to play as Metal Sonic. He isn’t just tacked on either, he has his own set of moves, some great special sound effects and animations.


Has the Sonic Cycle been broken?

So a few hours after clicking ‘Buy’ on the Playstation Store I completed the main storyline to the game and collected a handful of emeralds. Overall Episode II was pretty difficult actually. I’m a veteran of the Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis series and I found this to be just as tough as Sonic 3 or Sonic & Knuckles. The boss battles especially, some of the latter ones are pretty unforgiving, clearing out my cache of extra lives pretty quickly. You’ll definitely be giving the TV screen some dirty looks here and there, but like the classic Genesis games the levels become easier with the more practice you have.

In my opinion the Sonic Cycle is broken for this round. Episode II easily surpasses Episode I in both quality and creativity. The new badniks, zones and graphics really make this game shine. It’s easy to see all the love that went into this game, especially with fine touches like the ‘Cool!’ thumbs up banner that returns in the Special Stages. Episode II may not be perfect, but it comes pretty close. It feels much more like a classic Sonic game than Episode I and it left me eager to play Episode III.

Star Wars Trilogy Arcade caught in my tractor beam

So a few weeks back I saw a Star Wars Trilogy Arcade game on eBay. Now this is one of my favorite arcades, and one of my favorite Star Wars games. I’m a huge Star Wars geek, and this was just so much fun to play when I was younger, and even now. Last time I played it locally was at an arcade down by the shore, and after that I managed to find it in an arcade in Las Vegas. However since the game is from 1998 it’s harder to find these days, especially as arcades are being down-sized etc.

A New Hope

So I ended up bidding, and I actually won! The damage was around $370, however shipping wasn’t an option and I had to pick this beast up. Long story short and over 200 miles later I pickup the arcade with my girlfriend’s parents van and drive it home. I finally get it home and I find that it’s 1 inch too large to fit in the doorway for the room I wanted to place it in. Thankfully I was able to take off the joystick area and it fit through the door with the help of my friend pushing.

Now it’s beat up, I didn’t mention that before. But this thing’s in rough shape. The wood is damaged, the monitor is showing funky colors, etc, this thing literally fell off a truck, and it survived! I didn’t get a chance to test it that night, but the next day I did. Plugging in all the odd connectors and wires to each other. I carefully re-connected everything from the very few photos I took of the insides… (Tip: ALWAYS take a million photos of the inside of an electronics component before you start disconnecting wires, you’ll think you will remember. But after a while it all looks the same!). I plugged the power cord into a power strip, so I can have easy access to the on/off switch in case the machine decided to catch on fire. So I flip the switch, and I hear an increasingly loud whirling noise. I panic and shut the system off. Well it turns out there was a cable in front of the fan, so as the fan got faster it made a horrible noise. Whoops! I fix that, and turn it on again – Ta-Dah! It works!

The screen has some burn-in and some colors are washed out/displayed oddly, but the arcade works. She actually works! 😀 I was very excited at this point. I played around a bit and was very happy to get it working.

The Arcade Strikes Back

Over the next few days I’d tinker with it more. I installed it’s subwoofer and as of last night I’ve soldered new ‘Test’ and ‘Service’ buttons to the cabinet. The issue was that these buttons were broken. So now they worked again. Now here comes what I regret, in the Endor level I could never aim toward the far right of the screen. I assumed the joystick just needed to be calibrated. I saw an option in the service menu, so I went ahead and set it up the best I could. Well, for whatever reason this screwed everything up! 🙁

The joystick will now only move vertically, and not horizontally, it’s also all the way to the left. No matter how many times I re-try, or re-read the instructions I have the same result. One odd thing is, under ‘Game assignments’ if I set the cabinet from U/R (Upright) to Dx (Deluxe, Bench) the controls work, but a bit differently, obviously needing of some calibration. So I have a feeling there is something that’s being shorted out, or just not working. The service menu shows the joystick moving correctly, but the game does not. Also I can no longer access the ‘Input’ menu on the Service screen, it will flash for a second and exit. Something is wrong and I have to figure it out…
Update! So the issue was the joystick. I took apart the joystick area and examined the ‘volume knob’ (the knob that sits on the joystick and moves when the joystick is moved left to right, etc) This knob wasn’t sitting right. It turned too far so the movement of the joystick wasn’t making a good connection. So I removed the knob via the four screws… there was an odd bolt in the way so it was hard to remove the knob’s faceplate. Once removed I re-set the position of the knob and screwed everything into place. I used a lot of duct-tape fearing that glue may not be a good idea. Weeks later and it’s still playing fine. I do notice now that the volume knob must have shifted every so slightly. As the cross-hair on the screen no longer will go to the far left side. Thankfully no enemies are on the far left side, they are often on the far right side. Either way I may have to open it up again when I have time. But it’s working at least. 🙂

Things to fix:

Joystick – this is my top priority! (Edit: I got this working! 😀 I needed to adjust the ‘volume’ knob on the joystick to sit properly!)

Monitor – colors are all weird, degaussing didn’t help much.

Wood cabinet – some cracked wood, need to bolt / screw brackets in to help support it.

Marque:- I have some of the pieces, but this needs replacing, I put the light for it somewhere… now where was it?