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Grey Fox

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Everything posted by Grey Fox

  1. Why does everyone think that Collectors don’t play the games? In my experience (purely anecdotal) most Collectors are massive gamers and also do lots of good work in both games preservation and also releasing prototypes etc While there will always be the odd “Trophy Collector” the idea and image of Collectors as some kind of Evil Hoarders who never play games and are preventing “true gamers” from playing whatever they want at a “fair price” is absolute nonsense. The bigger impact on game prices is a combination of: 1) Popular YouTubers making a video about a game (admittedly many of these Youtubers have large game collections which presumably they don’t care about and never play - despite evidence of them doing so in Streams and videos) 2) The evolution of Ebay over the years from essentially a global car boot sale full of bargains to a more business like auction site where the sellers are often Resellers, Scalpers, Flippers ((some of the above YouTubers are Flippers rather than Gamers or Collectors) or Businesses. Combined with the trend of people setting ludicrous prices. Whether it sells at that price or not seems irrelevant it can become the de facto “value” of said title 3) Rise of the internet and specially Smart Phones. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s you needed to be an enthusiast to have any real idea of which games were “rare” or “expensive” so if you saw games out and about you’d recognise the titles that were likely to become hard to find and pick them up - whether at retail or when you saw them cheap. These days everyone has a mobile phone (and the bare faced cheek) to stand in a charity shop scanning every title to see how much each title sells for and decide whether it is worth picking up. In the past they would need to know their games or take a risk. Smart phones provide access to this information. 4) General information about games is more prevalent - see the Internet. No longer reliant on reading magazines (bias at best), school yard talk or your own intuition (it was clear back in the day that SNES RPG’s would hold their value but a title like FIFA 95 wouldn’t). People can look up any title they like. All of the above has led to the phenomenon of the car boot stall holder claiming that every common as muck PS2 game is “worth £50 on EBay mate!” Also - while it would be great to have every game ever release playable and available to everyone on every machine it just isn’t practical - it even particularly desirable for most games. The comparison to the availability/accessibility of other media like music and film is also a bit of a red herring. It is a lot easier to reissue a CD of an album that was on vinyl previously or to convert it to a MP3 than it is to convert say a Saturn game to run on modern hardware. Equally a classic song from say the 60’s still has instruments we use in modern music so is more relevant/relatable to the modern music fan than say someone who has grown up with a PS4 or PS5 or whatever being given some Spectrum games to play. Not only that but an MP3 for example will play on any MP3 player. You’d see a lot less availability if each band was locked to a certain player. E.g. The Beatles, Beethoven played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Justin Bieber only playable through Apple devices and The Rolling Stones, John Williams Film Scores and Taylor Swift only available via Creative Zen products. Same with films. While the access to the back catalogue is generally excellent let’s not pretend that ALL old films and TV are accessible to everyone. Not everything is Available new on DVD/Blu-Ray and while streaming services are brilliant and accessible it does mean that stuff is segmented onto different services. TL:DR - while it would be nice for everyone to be able to play official releases easily there are technical and commercial constraints. Also Collectors and Gamers aren’t mutually exclusive terms.
  2. That is lovely! I always wanted one of those Pioneer screens.
  3. It was a system I never owned but was always impressed with it. I have a mate with a big ColecoVision collection. The hardware was awesome for its time. Guess it shows that timing (& marketing and public sentiment/mindshare for want of a better description) is everything with some products in order to enjoy the success they deserve. Its a fascinating story all round though. The whole company story with the crazy success of Cabbage Patch Dolls (that was Coleco too right?) etc While gaming is currently amazing (and it is much harder to buy an absolute stinker of a game - and if you do it will likely get patched to be at least playable/stable) I really miss that “Wild West Frontier” of gaming where so many diverse companies would throw their hat into the ring and so much was being worked out for the first time. Believe a number if ColecoVision games have also been ported/converted to run on Master System as they share such similar architecture. I love this kind of stuff! Sounds like you've had quite the journey with yours but the wait has made it all the more enjoyable for you now you can finally play it again. Enjoy! I also have a vague vague memory of Gil in the Simpsons referencing it and saying something like “Why don’t you buy a ColecoVision.......sure it will rust up on you.....oh Gil you’ve done t again or something” but maybe that was a fever dream EDIT: Found it! Not a ColecoVision but a Coleco computer https://retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/questions/15830/is-the-coleco-computer-from-the-simpsons-based-on-a-real-computer/15831
  4. Inevitable loss but at least England showed some fight. the frustrating thing is that despite the obvious shortcomings with the batting at times the players have shown they can dig in and be patient but they only tend to do this when the game is all but over I.e. after being bundled out for a below par score in the first innings. There seems a reluctance to Leave the ball and wear down the bowlers in the 1st innings - particularly unforgivable in this Test where Australia were missing 2 of their 1st choice attack. Having said that Richardson bowled well and Green looks very good. Someone mentioned it being as bad as the 90’s but in fairness to that team they didn’t lose 5-0 (which we’ve seen in recent years) and also always fought hard while coming up short against a much more balanced and stronger Australian unit back then. Worth remembering that Australia haven’t outright won the Ashes in England for 20 years now (although in fairness they utterly battered us in 2019 and barring the Stokes heroics at Headingley would have rightfully won that series) although they are always closer to winning in England than England are to winning in Australia. Just 10 years ago we had a proper Test Team. The 2010/11 team was just so good and crucially had balance and depth. Lose a couple of bowlers bring in Tremlett and Brendan. Had a world class spinner in Swann. Proper opening pair in Cook & Strauss with a gritty number 3 in Trott, then a sprinkle of flair and magic in Pieterson, Collingwood as a bit of gritty determination, Bell to add some sparkle, Pryor to counter attack and take the game beyond the oppo then Brendan, Swann, (pre injury Broad) Tremlett, Anderson. The key for me is that we’ve never had a convincing opening pair since Strauss retired in 2012. It was always Cook plus one. The Next cook retired meaning we didn’t have one genuine opener let alone 2. Even ignoring the one offs like Stokes and Buttler when chasing quick runs or Leach as a night watchman. We tried all sorts. Just off the top of my head - Lyth Jennings Crawley Trott (actually made sense) Roy (didn’t make any sense) Stoneman Carberry (thought he was treated harshly as he did alright in a very tough series) Sibley - limited - just bowl outside off stump Burns - looks awkward but is mentally tough Ali - we tried him everywhere else so... Root - we dropped him shortly after IIRC Hales - bonkers! Compton - I thought he did well personally Think we also tried Robson and Denley. I cant help but think that we are fundamentally failing to produce players with the technique (and more importantly the mentality) to open the batting. Chris Rodgers for Australia was a “proper” opener in that if you can’t be a Michael Slater type shot playing opener then be a player that looks to just bat 2 or more sessions by leaving the ball well and being solid in defence. It does feel like the shift to focus on the White Ball game has impacted Test Match cricket (although this doesn’t explain why some other Nations seem capable of focussing on the different techniques and disciplines required for different formats) I actually do some County Age Group coaching at various age groups up to U19 on the Performance Pathway and it drives me mad the amount of times young players are told they need to focus on “upping their strike rate” when they have some pretty fundamental flaws in their core technique such as being closed off, grip or not being able to judge length. This has purely come about in recent years due to the rise of the short form game. A lot of coaches think the “Text book” has been torn up and re-written but actually it hasn’t - the Text Book is still basically correct but now has a couple of additional chapters. Plus the chapter on “Unorthodox Shots” has been tweaked to swap the Reverse Sweep to Orthodox and the Leave as Unorthodox. Having said all of that it isn’t as bad and doom and gloom as it feels. Just need to be clearer in the game plan and prep. While we have some obviously gaps and flaws in the team (lack of a top spinner, Anderson and Broad replacements required, proper opening partnership needed etc) we have some very good cricketers We always feel like we lurch from one Series to the next with little time to adjust between opponents, conditions and formats. Looking forward to the Women’s Ashes although will be very tough as the Australian team has some outstanding cricketers and their fielding is top notch. Hopefully more even than the schooling they gave us over here last time though. Don’t mind losing Test Matches as long as we give ourselves the best chance and are competitive.
  5. Good to see England at least showing some mettle and really pleased for Malan as I’ve been saying for ages that he should be being picked for Tests. Touring Australia is notoriously difficult for English sides as the conditions don’t really suit us in terms of bowling in the same ways that in recent years Australia have struggled in England due to the swing. However the best batsman leave the ball on length in Australia due to the higher bounce. Having said that Australia bowled and fielded well on the first day and made the most of the conditions but having won the toss we handed them that advantage. The pleasing thing is that the bowling attack has looked competitive (Leach aside whom the Aussies have clearly targeted in order to make us bowl our seamers more to prevent allowing them to rest - however this is slightly harsh on Leach as this ground is notorious for spinners and with only 147 on the board the Australians could afford to go hard at him. Also see Lyon struggling to consistently pose a threat) Thought Robinson, Woakes and Wood all bowled well and looked a constant threat certainly for the first half of the Australian innings. I do wish Broad was playing though as he has that X-factor and can bowl those spells where he is literally unplayable. It comes down to the fielding though - dropped chances, fumbled run outs and the ball not quite going to hand in the cordon (which happens when the other side is once top) If the ball that bowled Warner wasn’t a No Ball or if Burns has caught him then it not only let’s them back but exposes the middle order to the ball while it is newer etc It does feel like it all comes down to preparation. A few years ago England would be in Australia playing against the State sides and the Academy sides (admittedly losing embarrassingly to the Academy due to the ridiculous strength of the Australians in the mid to late 90’s and early 2000’s) before they play the first Test. Due to Covid, confusion about the 5th Test, schedules etc it feels like they have literally stepped off the plane, got into a taxi and gone straight to the ground. Which was always going to add to an already challenging series. Both sides have their issues in fairness.
  6. I actually really liked both Amazing Spider-Man films. They obviously have their problems but they get lots right as mentioned above (especially the quips and the physicality) Freeze frame any shot of Spider-Man and it looks like a comic panel. Some great moments, dialogue and the chemistry between Garfield and Stone practically sizzles. Also Gwen has plenty of Agency in both films. I get the complaints about trying to build beyond the confines of the film but really it only amounts to Felicia being the Assistant, walking past the items in the background (Vulture wings etc) and some file names that Harry opens up on his fancy desk. It isn’t anywhere near as bad as it was made out to be. Garfield is also a brilliant actor. The action scenes are also really easy to read and follow.
  7. Emma Stone as an alternate universe Spider-Gwen would be epic though in fairness
  8. Have all of them except FIFA, Classic Compendium 2 and Interstellar Flames. Fifa is decent but ultimately it is FIFA. To be honest all of them are at least solid and playable. Trailblazer is probably the best all round game and showcase for the hardware. Fathammer Classics isn’t brilliant but had 3 games on it including a vertical shooter that is ok. Pocket Ping Ping ain’t great (think of those sort of 505 or Simple 2500 games on PS2 sort of level). I actually got fairly into Toy Golf a Sunday it works well on the platform. None are amazing but all are a thing least playable - I.e. not fundamentally broken or frustrating etc The cases do look ace on a shelf in fairness. You can hack it to allow playing from the card which means you can try some of the unreleased games which have been leaked subsequently online. Some of which are pretty impressive.
  9. I’ve had one for years with 11 games (all picked up very cheap when the machine was being cleared) and always thought the hardware was very capable. It has a surprisingly strong line up of games considering how few were released. Trailblazer is brilliant as you say. I found SSX to be fine to be honest. Sticky Balls is fun, Richard Burns Rally is decent, Motocross and Hockey Rage are both really solid. To be fair most the games are at least solid and playable. The hardware gets dunked on - often by YouTubers with little clue- but was very decent for the time. If Sony had released it as the PSP and it had the support of those major developers it would have been much more highly regarded. obviously the rubber coating is a nightmare and the whole thing was tied up with money laundering and organised crime and the like. The actual story of the machine is the most interesting thing about it. However the machine itself was actually decent enough. Did love UK Resistance’s early lashing of the Gizmondo Shop though Take into account though that I also have and enjoy games on a Gamate, SuperVision, GameCom, GameKing, MegaDuck, N-Gage, Tapwave Zodiac and more
  10. Yes - cracking effort with the chase and played with brilliant spirit. Been great to see them be competitive. Hopefully a sign of things to come and they can continue to build on it.
  11. Seriously impressive performance again from England. Obvious stand out being Buttler but Morgan’s innings was top notch - stabilised things and then went through the gears. Shows the confidence of the team. Obviously so far in this tournament (as well as the last 4 or 5 years in white ball cricket) all three disciplines have been excellent with powerful batting, disciplined bowling and superb fielding. Even more impressive than the execution is the planning though. Morgan is clearly a brilliant skipper but the flexibility in this team is excellent. In terms of bowling they have options - Ali being a star with the ball but not bowling at all against Australia for example Batting they have serious depth and again flexibility. Considering Root & Stokes could arguably be in the conversation as well the ability to switch up left and right hand options and a flexible order is fantastic. Fielding has been a stand out too. Obviously in the short format games however strong you are may not win you the match if one of the opposition has a day out and Pakistan look like they have finally got it together after years of “mercurial” performances. However it’s crazy to me that Liam Livingstone is arguably worth his place for his bowling alone and has barely batted yet despite being the scorer of England's fastest ever century. Come on England! As an aside it is actually great to see some T20’s with a much better balance between bat and ball. Too often recently a side scores 185-220 and it gets chased easily.
  12. I absolutely adored Vanishing Point. Super addictive, Rock solid visuals and frame rate, lots to unlock, the stunt mode but most of all the super responsive controls. Few things better in gaming than driving the Lotus Elise in that game, absolutely on the edge of losing control of the car but fishtailing between two other vehicles while sliding round a corner. So good!
  13. Suspect that may be more down to a general level of respect by the public. I seem to remember reading that often machines were “ruggedised” for want of a better word for release in the West as they would get far more battered by players. Probably way off the mark though.
  14. I think the thing for me was having a consistent frame rate. I found it much more jarring if a game chopped and changed between frame rates during game play than if it was a lower frame rate that was consistent/stable. So playing something like Virtua Racing on Megadrive which I think is perhaps 15 frames per second but fairly consistent was a lot easier to adapt to than stuff that was sometimes 30 but sometimes 20 ;even though even at the lower frame rate it is more frames per second than VR if that makes sense) Bit like how art direction (and perhaps more specifically animation) can make up for a lack of polygons in the 32bit era especially
  15. Yeah The Point always had some brilliant machines - from The Simpson’s through to Model 3 stuff like Star Wars Trilogy and The Lost World etc
  16. That was the lovely Louise Nurding/Redknapp and featured her playing Parappa the Rapper. Good times!
  17. Interesting! Didn’t think this would ever see the light of day. Obviously early but would love to see more of it.
  18. Difficult to tell from the screen shot. It might be the RF cable. I did have a Dreamcast a few years back that had horizontal lines on the image and almost smears/smudges like your first pic. The cause was a cold soldier joint on the video which a quick reflow sorted. RF is not going to give you the best image but looks pretty decent in the second pic although I am on my phone so I may be missing something?
  19. In fairness the opening of Batman Vs Superman when you see that battle from the perspective of the people in the street is spectacular
  20. The NEC monitors are ace. I mentioned earlier that I still have one that I’ve used for about 20 years. Cracking picture.
  21. Best output for SFC is RGB. Bear in mind that if it is a Japanese console it may look like Scart but will be likely wired as JP21 (the connector looks the same as Euro Scart but the pin out is different) Most PVM’s and BVM’s have BNC style connectors on the back. This is easy enough to sort as you can buy adaptors that adapt a RCA/Phono type plug (the ones you see on Composite cables or Component Cables) to BNC. Most people use RGB Scart from the SFC/SNES plug the Scart into a Scart to BNC cable and hook up the BNC cable to the PVM. Sounds complicated but it isn’t. I suppose you could get a SNES Component Cable (can’t vouch for them myself but reviews seem favourable - HD Retrovision I think are the ones) these plug into your SNES at one end and terminate in the 5 Phono plugs (1 each for Red, Green and Blue and then left and right audio) then simply convert the Phono to BNC to connect to PVM. If you go for a consumer set it will likely have a SCART socket on it so simply a case of plugging in. Hope that helps. Not an expert on SNES stuff so if anyone can jump in and confirm/correct (berate me for being an idiot) that would be ace.
  22. For sure. I have a Sony Net MD player that I got on a car boot about 15 years ago (maybe more?) It still feels like the future There is a reason so many people in the music industry use them. Definitely - there is something about CRT’s and especially how good a Dreamcast looks on them. Daytona, Under Defeat a d so many more look astonishing on a good screen. Possibly the way the light spills over from the phosphor or something. So it is both sharp but also feels more natural. I think the same when I see film being projected compared to on a screen. There is just something about the way the light “reflects” or something’s it is hard to pin down. I think I’m terms of VGA on LCD that it is often down to scaling. Many LCD screens were that weird 768 resolution so unless you enable Full Pixel (or equivalent) or scale the image properly then it is detrimental to it. DC always had that weird 640x480 but in a 720x480 signal and some LCD screens really struggle with that. I’ve seen LCD’s that cut the sides of the picture off for example. Whereas a VGA CRT’s just handle it like a champ. I think you should be ok with pretty much any half decent Scart to VGA convertor these days. I’ve not looked recently as I’ve still got all my XRGB scalers but if you check the reviews you should be able to find something decent without spending a fortune I would think.
  23. Just a further anecdote - I used to play my Japanese DC back in the day on an NEC PC CRT (still have it in fact) and paired up with a good set of speakers it really did feel like your own arcade machine. The speakers I had were powered by plugging them in-line with the power for the monitor so it was a really neat solution. 1 plug for the monitor and speakers and 1 plug for the Dreamcast. Literally everyone I showed Soul Calibur to pretty much instantly wanted to go out and buy a Dreamcast. Please Note: the below paragraph is not a “Sony Sucks - they killed the Dreamcast and I haven’t ever forgiven them” type post (although they did and we will never forget. UK Resistance Forever!) Anecdotally I remember when PS2 first launched the guys in a local shop got an import one and I was in there when they were feverishly and excitedly unboxing it and hooking it up. They plugged in the composite cables into the TV in the shop, fired up Ridge Racer V and after a lap were openly expressing disappointment with the graphics. It made sense as the Dreamcast in the shop was hooked up to a good PC monitor and looked incredible. Obviously PS2 went on to have some incredible graphical displays in its games and they eliminated much of the issue with Jaggies etc but it can’t be overstated what a leap in graphical fidelity a Dreamcast hooked up to a PC Monitor was especially when compared to existing consoles such as PS1 and N64 which many people were playing via Composite. Also I remember a shop annoyingly having Wacky Races on DC via VGA monitor in the window with a large PlayStation 2 point of sale material and logos etc above the monitor. It wasn’t deliberate misdirection - the window had all sorts of stuff in it - however the obvious leap for people to make was that it was a PS2 game running. I do think Sega should get a lot of credit for being one of the first companies to make an effort optimising 50Hz games and not only that but properly supporting 60Hz gaming (for all but a handful of games where the flag was left out of the code) I also think they were genius to spot the opportunity of VGA monitors. There was practically one in every home. So not only did it offer the opportunity to game on another screen in the house, it strengthened the Internet aspirations, lent the DC the air of a legitimate PC contender (with keyboard, mouse, internet browsing and gaming etc) but also allowed people to play at glorious 640x480 resolution merely by buying a VGA box and hooking up to a screen they already owned. Brilliant exploitation of an opportunity. Shame it wasn’t made more of a thing and I remember being disappointed that subsequent systems didn’t follow suit (apart from the 360 which is also glorious via VGA)
  24. I have a Sony GDM F520 too. Astonishing monitor. The DC looks utterly amazing on it. It’s such a shame more people didn’t give DC on. VGA CRT a try back in the day. So clean and vibrant. Bleemcast on it also blows away the backwards compatibility in PS2. So sharp! Just to input on this topic - and I say this as someone who has multiple CRT screens including various sizes of PVM currently taking up wardrobe space, spare room space and space in my front room!) There is this weird big demand/push for PVM’s and BVM’s which has happened over the last few years. While there is no denying that they are some of the best CRT sets ever made and the pinnacle of the tech (alongside equivalents from JVC and Ikegami which never seem to get the same headlines) I think the reason for this is due to gamers in the US. In the US they didn’t have SCART and they don’t seem to have had RGB on their sets in the same way that we did in Europe. So most of their consumer sets had S-Video or Composite. Then some later sets had Component inputs but I think a lot of these came after flat screens were beginning to become a thing. The vast majority of them seemed to use RF and Composite and nothing else. So they are discovering RGB on a CRT very recently. I suspect these sets (PVM’s and BVM’s) may actually be easier for them to find in the US than good consumer sets with RGB in. Plus the jump is huge as they are going from RF /Composite to top level RGB on a top end monitor. Whereas in Europe any half decent consumer set had RGB Scart connections on it. I remember the magazines of the time running features on 60Hz and RGB (with comparison screen shots etc) I got an RGB Scart cable for my Model 1 Megadrive in 1991 (or 1992) which was a massive step up from RF and made Batman look super sharp. Still have and use that cable. Then Saturn came with RGB Scart as default. Used to play on a Somy 13-14 inch screen and it looked ace. Point is that while PVM’s and BVM’s are the top of the range you’ll likely pay a pretty penny for them. Any good Sony consumer level CRT will be more than good enough for 99% of people and can be picked up for literal pennies. I seem to remember Phillips and Panasonic screens looking brilliant too. Even cheaper brands like Aiwa and Bush etc usually had good RGB inputs. Equally pretty much any PC CRT will be a brilliant screen (although you’ll need to pair with an adaptor if your device doesn’t support VGA) In fact when we ran BritMeet back in the day we often used PC CRT’s along with an XRGB 2 (or XRGB 2 Plus) as we would lug our TV’s and our PC monitors along You can get cheaper adaptors these days that do the job absolutely fine. If you are thinking of getting a CRT and don’t currently have one and are considering taking the plunge it is absolutely worth dipping your toe in the water by picking up a cheap (or even free) consumer grade CRT. You’ll get a feel for whether you want to take the plunge into paying out more forma PVM and cables and the like. Be warned though - it is a slippery slope TL:DR - don’t overlook picking up a half decent consumer level CRT TV or PC monitor
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