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Topics - davyk

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General Retro Chat / Retro gaming setups
« on: September 20, 2020, 23:36:19 PM »
Rearranged the room I have set aside for my retro consoles, CRTs etc. Looks a bit tidier now.  I have an RGB switch (the silver box to the right of the rotated CRT I use for shmups) that connects most of the consoles to that 28" CRT on the left (yeah - that's a really big rubik's cube!).  The flat panel on the right I use with the Japanese Gamecube you see beside it as it accepts s-video and that's the best the JP-GC can do without a mod. It's on an extendable, rotatable arm which is handy for the shmups I have on the JP-GC.

Atari Chat / Atari Vault on Steam
« on: August 07, 2020, 13:30:13 PM »

Just bought into this. Got the 50 game DLC too.

Anyone else?

Atari Chat / 2600 games I wished I owned BITD
« on: June 27, 2020, 12:08:30 PM »
I got my 2600 in the Summer of '82.

So by that time there was a big library and a healthy set of regular releases. It was very easy to get one's head turned by newer games. By that time many new games were arcade ports and being a lover of the arcade it was very easy to be attracted to a port of an arcade game I liked. So it was very easy to overlook those earlier games.

However I was also very suspicious of licenced games (an attitude that has served me well to this day).

I was 16 in 1982 and had already written some computer programs on an Apple IIe in school and was in the middle of writing a version of Monopoly for that computer as part of my school project. This was in Apple BASIC so I had an appreciation of what computers could do. I was also aware of assembler and how much superior games written in that were to BASIC games.

Atari games still had an air of mystery to them but already I could see their limitations. I hated having too much flicker in a game and I was already figuring out that flicker tended to be associated with games that had to display multiple sprites at the same vertical height on screen...

Anyhow. Basically this meant me overlooking some of the older games in the catalogue for various reasons. Either I saw them as variations on games I already had or thought them just too simplistic and imagined I wouldn't get full value out of them. At that time these games were EXPENSIVE!!!!

I knew that some arcade ports would never match the originals. But sometimes I was too cautious and I avoided some of those ports and I probably would have enjoyed them in retrospect.

A triple A game then cost £30. In 1983 that equates to over £100 in today's money taking inflation into account. Being a teenager I had to maximise my opportunities for games that arose from gifted money or from amassing money from part time jobs and/or benefits I was able to claim while going to technical college to further my education while paying money into the house. I'm comfortable now but I come from a modest background. I still retain an attitude to spending money I learned from that time. I wouldn't pay £100 for a game nowadays. I just couldn't justify it unless it was funded from selling other games in my collection.

So I'll post here about games I avoided that I probably should have got. This is based on trying them out on Stella or by loading them onto my Harmony cart and playing them on actual hardware.

Nintendo Chat / Lockdown Wii Library Delve
« on: April 23, 2020, 13:48:12 PM »
Started going through my Wii games that have been on the shelf for years.

First up Gottlieb Pinball Classics....I first had this on PS2. It's quite a nice game but that version just crashed at random so I went for the Wii version.

The control is really rather nice and understated. nunchuk stick is the plunger, B on wii mote and z on nunchuck for flippers. You can nudge by jerking the wiimote and nunchuck and it matters which one you use. It seems to be consistent and adds a certain something.

The Wii resolution really isn't up to the task with certain tables - particularly with some of the camera views on the busier tables. Camera settings are good but the genre really needed the leap to 360/PS3 before getting good enough. The simpler tables work well enough though and with the more complex table it's a question of learning them sufficiently.

Quite fond of the genre generally so this is a pleasing surprise as it holds up well. Going back to it after several years I thought it might have waned.

Sony Chat / Japanese PS2
« on: February 20, 2020, 10:28:04 AM »
My latest toy :)

I got this for a few reasons.

Sega Ages Series - some of these are expensive now but they are very collectable and look great play value-wise.
2D shooters - my favourite genre - some superb games available and I thought it high time to dip in before prices go mad.
Japanese PS1 library - another rich seam

So far I have procured these:
Sega Ages : Fantasy Zone - one of my favourite hori-shooter series. I have the Saturn version but this adds in a nice updated version and a challenge mode.
Sega Ages : Tetris - last word in Sega Tetris - every conceivable version with every option and mode. With a New Century version with modern additions and features. Coded my M2 themselves - the meisters of ports. Tetris is minor obsession of mine - I have a good sized collection of Tetris games.
DoDonPachi DOJ - considered by many as "the best shooter ever". Gorgeous port by Arika with extra modes. TATE too. and a superplay DVD included
Espgaluda - another lovely job from Arika. Extra modes. Superplay DVD.

Gradius Gaiden - widely considered as the best entry in the series. Superb game.
Xevious 3D/G+ - lovely Xevious compilation with original, Super, Arrangement and a semi-3D remake which is actually good - using nice clean polys and textures meaning it has aged well.
Space Invaders 2000 - continuing my Space Invader collection. Just a nice basic port with a time attack mode and a 2 player versus mode.

On the lookout for more. Raiden DX, Castle Shikigami 2 in my sights next. :)

Arcade & Pinball Chat / Large Japanese arcade now closed
« on: November 20, 2019, 14:49:35 PM »
Always sad to hear about this. Even though I have no arcade near me I was always comforted that somewhere in the world they were financially viable..

I wonder who will be buying up all those cabinets....

Plenty of candy cabs for sale anyhow.

Atari Chat / Atari 2600 with composite mod
« on: October 13, 2019, 18:00:24 PM »
Have had a US 2600 for a few years now.

I bought it originally in the mistaken belief I could use it with my CRT in the UK with an RF connection. My plan was to use it with my Harmony cart loaded with a full ROM set and then make a small collection of CIB copies of my favourites.

It's a 4 switch woody and when it arrived it wasn't in as nice a condition as described. It's OK - just not great. The switches were pretty seized up. The difficulty switches at the back were jammed - got one working and one snapped off. I can still adjust it with a screwdriver but it needs replaced. Its the P2 switch so will be rarely used - but still - I was pretty pissed off.

I complained on eBay and I got a refund to almost the full value.

So when I realised the UK TV tuners wouldn't pick it up I got it modded for composite. Bought a kit online and got a local electronics repair shop to do the mod.

Got that done and got a really nice clean picture - but - only in b&w.  The instructions with the kit stated there was a colour pot to adjust but it didn't seem to make any difference.

Bought a composite NTSC - PAL converter. Didn't work.

Tried it with several TVs , modern - even a projector - nothing. Still black and white.

So I put it away. The idea was to make it a project. Learn to solder - replace the diff switch and maybe recap it if that would sort the colour problem.

Lay for a 3-4 years.

Recently got a couple of "new" CRTs after my old one died. Thought maybe I'd try again.

Rigged it up - still b&w.

Opened it up and tweaked the colour pot again - and - colour!!!!!!!


But there is some interference on the image - diagonal stripes. Seems to be affected by sounds too. It's not a huge deal - is more noticable on certain games than others. Still would likeit sorted.

After some poking around on forums - it seems to be an interference thing - poor shielding on cables - and some power supplies can cause it.

The power supply is pretty old and the cables I'm using are cheap so I'm going to try that out.

I also have a 6 switch woody PAL unit with an RF connection that gives me a sweet image on my CRT. I have a pile of PAL60 ROMs of my favourite games on the Harmony so I always have that as a backup.

If I sort the interference out I may consider replacing the diff switch.

Just thought I'd post here and update from time to time.

May start posting more about some hidden gems I find in the huge NTSC ROM archive I have.  :)

General Retro Chat / 2D shooters (all platforms)
« on: June 27, 2019, 16:06:42 PM »
I'm playing a fair bit of these now. To be honest it's always been my favourite genre and I'm starting to abandon most other genres - at least - for regular playing.

I'm trying to get 1CCs on some of my favourites (getting to the end without using continuing).

Here's a video of the first one I recorded - Darius Gaiden - recorded the INP file played back directly off the screen so excuse the image quality.  I've 1CCed this game both on Saturn and shumpMAME now.

Retro News & Chat / The joy of CRT
« on: April 13, 2019, 14:36:42 PM »
I've always kept a CRT for my retro consoles.

Recently my lovely 25" 4:3 Panasonic packed in - the horror!

I found a local CRT repair guy ane left it with him - unfortunately he identified the part required which couldn't be located any more :(

But he did sell me a 21" Panasonic for £40 so I took that. It was bittersweet dropping my old one off at the recycling centre.

The 21" is gorgeous though. The screen is smaller but it seems more vibrant. It's still the classic 4:3 shape too.

SO I had that set up and then noticed another one for free on Facebook market.

Picked it up Thursday and wow - it's a 28" 4:3 Samsung. A monster of a thing and it's GREAT!

SO I have rotated my 21" to play shooting games with a TATE mode and use the Samsung for all the other retro games.

The old 2600 hooked up via RF - looks great! The Samsung's tuner may be superior to my old Panasonic. The 2600 looked good on it but not as good as this - of course it might just be the bigger, brighter screen that is causing this.

I'm in heaven!

At some point I will admit defeat and get an OSSC to connect them up using HDMI - but not as long as these two beauties keep working.  :)

Retro News & Chat / Dead CRT
« on: February 16, 2019, 21:23:54 PM »
My beloved 25" 4:3 CRT with RGB SCART and s-video has died on me!!

I have found a local electronics repair guy who works on CRTs so hoping he can sort it for me,

If not I need to think about getting an upscalar. The OSSC is the front runner at present.

For now though - keeping my fingers crossed. The guy is very bust right now but he'll text me when he's cleared his backlog.

Atari Chat / Atari mugs going dirst cheap in GAME
« on: January 10, 2019, 20:55:22 PM »
Picked these up today - £7 the lot. There's others on offer too - a 2600 console one, 2600 Asteroids (which shows the boxart when heated up). There's Pacman going too and some modern game themed ones.

Great for the office. :)

Sega Chat / Megadrive repro carts
« on: September 20, 2018, 20:57:36 PM »
Got this off an eBay seller.

MUSHA is a damn expensive game - £400 or so original CIB. No way I could justify that and I don't really like ROMs.

Here's a decent compromise. £25 delivered. There may be better offers than that but I took a punt.

First off - the game works great. It's a cracking game  - a rock solid 2D shooter. The box feels a bit cheap but I suppose I could harvest one from a cheap game. The cart looks fine as does the manual. The print inside the manual is the weakest thing but it's readable. Overall - I'd do this again if I want some really expensive game - Snow Bros and Wardner for example. :)

Retro News & Chat / davyK collection Redux
« on: July 26, 2018, 20:14:32 PM »
Had a bit of a prune of my collection a while back (around 250 games I sold). I used the money to partially fund the purchase of my Asteroids Deluxe cabinet. My old website where I hosted my pics was Virgin and they dropped that service a year ago or so. So starting again.

I own a modded SNES that lets me play any region and it has a 50/60Hz selector. So I play most of my PAL games at 60Hz. Those that don't work at 60Hz I have swapped for NTSC versions. I've tended to go for US versions to avoid any language barrier.

PAL Battletoads glitches at 60Hz. I only keep this for collecting purposes. I play the US version which I own cart only.

Pilotwings is the US version.

Space Invaders is US-NTSC.

PAL Super Mario World glitches at 60Hz. I only keep this for collecting purposes.

Tetris & Dr. Mario is US-NTSC.

Here's a selection of Tetris games for the Super Famicom. No language problems here.
With my US copy of Tetris & Dr. Mario I think I have all Tetris games for the SNES.
The black box version of Tetris 2 + Bombliss is the limited edition that was a later release. It has extra puzzles and remixed music.

Caravan Shooting Collection is a compilation of 3 NES shmups with improved scrolling and no flicker.

Arcade & Pinball Chat / Importing a classic arcade to the UK
« on: July 03, 2018, 13:54:54 PM »

Made an account of my adventures importing a classic Atari game from the US.

It's a happy ending so hopefully it will embolden someone to do this.

Any comments and questions, just fire away!

Homebrew Chat / Harmony Cartridge
« on: January 16, 2016, 10:57:18 AM »
The Harmony cartridge is a home-brew product that looks like a regular 2600 cartridge but has an SD card slot and a built in menu system turning it into a multi-game cartridge. It works brilliantly and supports all 2600 games  plus most of the new home-brew games. The Harmony supports all games up to 32K - one or two home-brews exceed that but I haven't come across them yet! I recommend it highly.

It is also a boon for PAL 2600 owners. There are people now creating PAL60 versions of the most popular games. I have created several of these myself.

The ROMS I have created are here : but you can find those and all of the others at the PAL60 thread in the atariage thread. In fact I think someone has created a zip archive of every PAL60 ROM.

As usual, PAL gamers got screwed with shitty PAL ports. Atari did optimise a few of their own games, but Activision made no effort at all. You notice this most with Kaboom!

2600 emulation is excellent today but if you still want the real thing it's well worth a look.

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