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spanky debrest

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Posts posted by spanky debrest

  1. 4 hours ago, phillv85 said:

    Well since I looked at the kickstarter yesterday it's actually down by almost a thousand quid. Looks like this KS is pretty much done for unless they manage to get a lot of eyes on it soon. 


    I interpreted the pitch as "we might as well leverage our minor celebrity to get some donations" because the backer perks are basically autographed books and invites to VIP events where you might meet other vaguely known YouTubers. 


    Apparantly the proper arcade centre nearby (a stroll away from the pub they're renovating) has been there for a good while, but the Kickstarter pitch laments how the scene is dead and suggests that a vegan menu and arcade cabs 'curated' by content creators might be the shot in the arm it needs. 

  2. Yeah it's pretty much a dream.


    I've 'lost' the odd game save from forgetting to trigger the write after a session, but keep it manual to help minimise wear on the card, as paranoid as that may sound. 


    I'm thinking most of some SNES games that continuously write data to SRAM when running, and how particularly inconvenient it'd be to have to redo a corrupted MiSTerFPGA SD card, but maybe I've killed more SD cards than the average file hoarder, perhaps.


    Anyway my most recent wow moment was when I ended up using the GBA core - Rhythm Tengoku / Rhythm Heaven Silver - to test out digital optical audio for the first time.


    I'd never heard GBA and this game in particular sound so rich and clear - most likely because other varieties of real GBA hardware I've experienced it on have all been inherently noisy as hell - but I found it slightly gobsmacking nonetheless.


    I just can't envisage a better solution for my needs.

  3. Prime 2 is on my list - owned since release, but never played.


    I took on the challenge recently of starting to play THREE games at once - albeit games which can dipped into with bite-sized sessions:


    1. Wario Land 4 (GBA). It's high time I finished the series off. Another game that i never found the time for but suddenly got my arse in gear for when reading about the incredible musical stuff in it (including a subtle tempo shift when you duck). 


    2. Policenauts (PSX). Once I'd soaked up the info in the initial scene and the story started rolling I was completely hooked. Definitely the most cinematic game of this type I've got stuck into, and probably the most aesthetically striking too.


    3. Seaman (DC). I found a mic for cheap about 18 months ago because I wanted a freaky pet sim involving voice recognition and Leonard Nimoy narration in my life. After about a week of short daily visits of mainly fannying about, I got my four baby seamen 'hatched' and marvelled at their baby sounds. However I got a bit busy in real life and it's been over three weeks since I checked in, and I'm nervous about being told off by Spock for being so shit.

  4. 47 minutes ago, BradShort said:

    Grew up in Brighton in the 80s around the arcades and it was a wonderful exciting experience to see all these new cabs being wheeled in every day :) Now I want some nostalgia on my hip ;P


    Same. Grew up around Seven Dials so West Street / Palace Pier / seaside arcades were a short walk away. Not to mention various arcades hidden in unsuspecting locations more Hove way.


    I remember days filled entirely with checking new arrivals out (and sometimes hoping older favourites had just been moved rather than replaced). There weren't enough hours in the day to see everything.

  5. I'm sure he's more recently said that he expects the game to be finished by the end of the year, with modern hardware versions following a few months later. 


    I imagine limited runs of MD carts and digital Switch / etc versions appearing at around the same time.

  6. I tried out R-Type Delta using the double-CPU-speed PSX core with Turbo switched on, and it's a practically a new game.


    This is why I'm packing up (applicable) real hardware. It's just not going to be used again.

  7. I remember trying to finish R-Type CD (PCE) years ago and being blindsided by the new extra boss they tacked onto Stage 6. Switched it off and never returned to it.


    As a kid I used to finish R-Type (SMS) regularly, but I took me a few years to get to that point. Wonder Boy in Monsterland was a similar story, now that I think about it. The last time I played it I felt like a no-death completion was on the cards but stage 7 put paid to that with my poor strategy leading to death by flickering bullets. It's still a brilliant playing unique version well worth a play today IMO.


    About a year ago I resurrected a PSX setup, and one of driving forces behind doing that was playing the R-Type port again, on a CRT. 


    A few months later I got around to building a MiSTer setup, and the main thing that got me off my arse to do that was the incoming R-Type core - which promised for first time an accurate R-Type at home at the correct speed of 55hz. Simply had to have that.


    I don't try and beat stage 7 these days but I know my route through it isn't optimised and because of that my chances of getting through it are low. It's something I'll return to but I'm in no hurry.

  8. I had respect for this thing trying to provide a 100% legal and no-setup-required emulation solution because I think it's a cool idea and that there's a (small) market for it. 


    But having spent time trying to understand the Polymega Family - The Remix, The XL, The Cloud Saves and encrypted ROMs, I conclude that it's waaaaay over my head. It's like a tech bro fever dream.

  9. On 19/02/2023 at 12:56, Goemon said:

    Just finished a save state playthrough of Gradius on the PC Engine.


    I did a half way house of saving at the start of each area so when I died I reloaded back to the start of that stage. This meant I did play through each level without dying but didn’t do the whole game. I moved to this due to the brutality of Gradius and dying basically meaning game over and a restart.


    Another reason I moved to this was that the game suffers chronic slow down, to the point (IMO) where it’s detrimental to the game. I’m in no way a veteran of Gradius so I don’t know how bad the slow down was in the original arcade version but I’d personally consider it an issue in this version. It’s not like a busy section where it slows down and then returns to normal, it was constantly fluctuating speeds as enemies/bullets came onscreen and was leading to harsh deaths where you’d be trying to dodge something and the game would suddenly flick from 5fps to 30fps and you’d suddenly career into something.


    This only happens in latter stages when it starts chucking everything at you though and I guess it’s something you could get used to the more you played but I found it pretty annoying in my sessions.


    Glad to have gone through it and seen the ending. Gradius is something I know but haven’t had extensive play (apart from the amazing Gradius V). 

    I played it on my new PC Engine mini, which I had a hankering to pick up for the exact reason above, being able to move to save states when I don’t think I’ll be able to stick out the game.


    I have to say the PCE mini is a lovely piece of kit. Some real nice production values in there like when switching between PCE and TGX games, they could just fade the screen but they have this lovely little animation of a CRT TV turning off, which is cool.



    I played through Gradius PCE recently too and was kinda shocked with the slowdown.


    The original and the updated version from the PCE Mini perform identically - i.e. getting fully powered up (4 options / multiples) results in borderline SNES Gradius III levels of chug every time the fire button is pressed. So for me it kinda turned to shit from the end of Stage 1.


    It's still a great port. Just don't get too powered up.

  10. Had a great session on the PC Engine core, and really appreciated the option to switch between raw RGB and the 'original' palette. Those 'arcade enhanced' PCE games dumped from the Mini console - Fantasy Zone, Gradius & Salamander - really do have wildly improved colours (and sound). 


    And to wind down, I ended up putting R-Type (arcade) on to admire the attract sequence - and noticed my name on the high score table.


    Turns out the dev implemented automatic score board saving on not just R-Type but the rest of his Irem cores too.

  11. There's a certain kind of VR cultist who sounds like the Apple enthusiast who used to say "smart watches will absolutely without question be as ubiquitous in the future as the mobile phone" and "new technology is always scary - just look at radio and TV".


    They're adorable.

  12. Pretty sure the chief designer of the Saturn is on record as regretting not basing it on Model 1 / 2 hardware.


    Better games earlier wouldn't have changed anything for me. I had zero faith in the Saturn because Sega had clearly lost their damn minds with the Mega CD & 32X. 


    Jumping to PSX was just sensible.

  13. I prefer the N64 one to the DC version personally (mainly for the shop mechanic and controls), but the DS game is something else.


    I love how it's completely open, all the content is unlocked and selectable from initial boot.


    And how robust the level creation tool is, and how many slots there are for additional user created levels.


    I wouldn't be surprised if the official site still hosts downloadable levels built by community members and other game designers.. which are sharable via data being transmitted with audio (speaker-to-mic transmission). 


    If you happen to want to build a level to play that takes a lot of skill and patience to defeat, you can do that.


    You can easily incorporate or improve on parts of stock levels you might have really enjoyed, or spend your stage elements on laying down waves of enemies so thick and huge that half of them need wiping out before the engine is able to run at full speed.


    Maybe new players would benefit from injecting a save file with all of that sweet semi-official DLC from back in the day. 


    Having said all that though, I did have one DS-owning mate who I successfully pressured into buying Bangai-O Spirits. Asking whether he'd been bitten by the Bangai-O bug a few week later, his only response was "that game makes my hands hurt". Fair enough.


    Also, there's a level in it which is a homage to the R-Type stage 3 Battleship. That has to be a fat stack bonus point.

  14. I've never played a NGCD myself, but I understand that a load of Redbook audio music is pretty cool and some games have extra content.


    Loading times and some compromised visuals are a thing of course but I can see myself enjoying the option of another alternative.

  15. 3D Space Harrier (3DS) - My preferred version of probably my all time favourite game, due in part to the stylus control option.


    Einhänder (PSX) - A singular, exquisitely designed audio-video feast filled with hyper-animalistic bosses and secrets.


    R-Type Delta (PSX) - The series peaked right here IMO. Its tight, yet open. The flow of the levels is masterful - there are no lows here, yet it's a cohesive journey. The bio-mechanical theming is mirrored in the musical score, which contains pieces that are the exact time duration of the levels they were written for.


    Musha Aleste (MD) - I treat this game like a beloved childhood music album. Put it on once in while full blast for a 20 minute head massage. One of these days I'll attempt a Hard difficulty go, but Normal has enough bite (relax too much near the end at your peril) to have stayed satisfying for years.


    Bangai-O Spirits (DS) - This game is it's own universe.


    Soukyugurentai (SAT/PSX) - Its aesthetics and balance make it evergreen.


    Fantasy Zone II (SMS) - M2's 2008 System 16C reimagining of this game was great but didn't render the SMS original obsolete by any measure.


    Gradius III (SFC) - I knew Nemesis well from the local arcades but this was the one that I had at home, and subsequently played the shit out of. It's a total comfort game and the OST is my favourite from the series too.


    Assault Suits Valken / Cybernator (SFC) - Just a masterfully made and playing action game with impeccable flow and atmosphere. 


    Power Strike II (SMS) - Pretty outrageous technical achievement but also a belter of a game, finely balanced and put together.


  16. I read every Edge until the PS2 / GC era and looked forward to new issues until my enthusiasm waned and I realised I was buying it out of habit. But by God their reviews were by and large complete fucking dogshit - consistently the worst written, most pretentious boneheaded twaddle in the magazine and the games press at large. Seems a bit too easy to single out Edge for special treatment in this thread (even though I did it already).

  17. 18 minutes ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

    Basically just leave an action replay cart in there, extra memory, 1mb & 4mb ram support and makes the Saturn multi region. No need to ever take it out. 


    This particular model 1 Saturn I have hooked up has only ever had official memory carts in its slot. Nothing third party or without beveled edge connectors has ever been used on it. After a few years of no swapping or faffing whatsoever it stopped reading carts. Cleaning didn't revive it, and I'm not currently up for attempting to reflow the cart port connectors.


    I just wouldn't take any apparantly healthy cart slot for granted and I certainly wouldn't want to be wholly dependent on that cart slot to boot imports / backups.

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