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spanky debrest

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Posts posted by spanky debrest

  1. 4 hours ago, Spartan said:

    Facebook marketplace brought me a PC Engine with Mr Heli for £55 quid from a guy moving from Bristol to South Wales, no pad but its in very good condition.

     

    I went to collect it yesterday afternoon but after half an hours drive and another 20 minutes of trying to raise somebody at the house with no response I gave up and came back home, an hour later he responded extremely sorry that he had actually fallen asleep. He thankfully dropped it off at mine at lunch as im WFH today. Never seen one in the flesh before. Going to see about getting a flash cart and RGB adaptor off aliexpress. Its cleaned up lovely though, was really dirty in the listing.

     

    IMG_20230130_134502.jpg

     

    Holy shit that's a score.

     

    Beautiful machine, beautiful game. 

     

    I think there's an adaptor available (or being manufactured at least) that lets you use those wireless 2.4G 8bitdo PCE replica controllers on real hardware, which might be worth investigating.

  2. 39 minutes ago, Shimmyhill said:

     

    Good to meet you and the cave of wonder, ive spent all morning on the Analogue site tho…

     

     

    Do you have one?

     

     

    Thank you - I want the same thing, on the look out for a small CRT so would be good to be able to switch between the OSSC and that, dont need dual outputs as such. What do you think you will go for?

     

    I'm probably most tempted by the Antonio Villena 3 way matrix switch personally because it's small, can be added to my existing chain of SCART switches and also has that third output for some possible future use.. but I haven't decided on what kind of solution yet. Most are honestly overkill for my needs and yet here I am.

  3. @Shimmyhill

     

    I'm in the market for a dual output SCART switch (of sorts) and eyed these options a while ago (I don't necessarily need to dual output though - just want to 'switch' the same signal to a dedicated Tate Mode CRT at the push of a button):

     

    https://antoniovillena.es/store/product/scart-switch-3x3/

     

    https://www.js-technology.com/store/index.php?id_product=59&controller=product

     

    The gold standard switch with dual simultaneous output is this thing but it's a small batch boutique job so not easily available:

     

    https://castlemaniagames.com/products/gscart

     

    RetroRGB tested of one of those AliExpress switches @SeanR linked and rated it well:

     

    https://www.retrorgb.com/10-in-3-out-auto-scart-switch-reviewed.html

  4. @geldra A pretty skilled hacker / 68000 coder named Tryphon started work on his own Shinobi MD port around 2015, and the final ROM he released was a joy to experience.

     

    Sadly he went radio silent during the pandemic and confirmed through fellow MD homebrew luminary Pyron (who'd been helping with graphics) that he'd slowed down working on it..but apparently the project isn't dead - it's just on hold. I haven't checked up on it for a while.

     

    Thread here:

     

    https://www.sega-16.com/forum/showthread.php?30411-WIP-Shinobi-MD-port

  5. For me, the original Shinobi was never bettered and getting to master it recently via the MiSTer implementation on a CRT was a dream come true (I got that 1CC).

     

    I'd last tried to play it properly via emulation on a SNES Classic back in 2018 but threw the towel in because input lag on that setup made it completely unplayable. 

     

    Anyway I love how there's zero fat on it. No situation is repeated. New enemies (not palette swaps) are introduced up until the very end, and their placement / pseudo-random spawning behaviour if you dawdle keep you on your toes without feeling cheap. The rougher graphic elements - such as the jerky movement of the Lobster boss and portraits - I never had a problem with because it's an old game and Sega sadly didn't do as much polishing as we might have wanted them too.

     

    I was slightly jealous of Switch users who could use continues to practice the final levels in their M2 port but the satisfaction of learning how to get through it without help was huge. 

     

    The music is generally restrained and breathes thanks to its use of space and languid tempos. It doesn't rock like Koshiro's Super Shinobi or its huger-sounding follow up Super Shinobi II - but it's legit synth-funk and chilled / low-key in a way the later games had no interest in being, what with their bigger scope and places as significant footsoldiers in the 16-bit home console warz. 

     

    And like others, I was looking forward to that completed Mega Drive port because since childhood I knew that it could've been done justice. I played it a lot even though the last public ROM was still only a short demo, but for me that ship has sailed now. Obsessively keeping my MD flashcart updated isn't something I do anymore either.

  6. I feel like a learned a bit about this subject by listening to Japanese women / feminists talk about how postwar Japan - the new US client state - was forced to modernise in every way except socially.

     

    The misogyny and rape culture and white supremacy and the way they look at their recent past similarly to how we Brits look back fondly at our behaviour on the global stage is part of their fabric - as that shit is part of ours.

     

    White supremacist patriarchal capitalist societies produce this rot naturally. Japanese history just puts a unique spin on it.

  7. Some of my player deaths were down to mistiming bullet avoidance due to unfortunate slowdown.

    Sloppy play too of course but I think getting used to compensating for performance dips will be part of getting better.

     

    I also think I saved a bunch of lives by ignoring power-ups that spawn upon death/revival in the literally the most dangerous spots during boss fights (particularly the final one).

     

    Of all the random bits of animated background detail that caught my eye I'm thinking about the bird doing something with an egg in its nest. Those Nazca / ex-SNK / ex-Irem artists were on top of their game. 

  8. Just finished my first run.

     

    One credit got me to Stage 2, I was spamming credits from Stage 3, and got to the end using 18 credits.

     

    Very impressed with all the one off and level specific graphic flourishes, and every enemy vehicle having huge sound effects. The whole thing felt a lot fresher and tighter than later entries I'm more familiar with. 

     

    Tempted to relearn how to use the unibios (looking up that button combo, basically) and seeing how much easier a lower-than-default difficulty setting makes things for another run at some point. 

     

    It felt like most of the game was cruising along without significant shaping of difficulty; a spike here and there, being pincered between enemy tanks every so often, the final level unsurprisingly throwing the most at you.

     

    The high score table made me smile. APE, BAT, CAT, DOG, EEL. 

  9. To be honest, none of the Metal Slugs have struck me as games that can be reasonably mastered (i.e. comfortably 1CC'd with enough memorisation, strategy and repeat plays).

     

    The chaos just gets out of hand and at some point you have to decide whether you're happy to credit-feed to see the end. 

     

    I remember always getting annoyed at having a decent run through an early level only to lose a life during the boss which results in forfeiting all your P.O.W bonuses. 

     

    Will report back tomorrow.

  10. 9 hours ago, Shimmyhill said:

    Speaking of EverDrive carts… why are there so many variations of them, are there models to avoid and ones to snap up!? I can see the mentioned EverDrive pro as many fancy features so that one is obvious but all the other variants 🤷🏼‍♂️

     

    I have mine all setup with the OSSC now and getting a very decent image, I’m thinking of getting a new RGB scart lead with stereo sound plug - retro gaming cables seem to come up often, go to brand or others to consider?

     

     And finally, I have been running a few PAL carts switched to 60hz and generally they run fine but there is an occasional stutter - ive read up on it and its down to the outputs not exactly matching NTSC timings - has anyone gone to the lengths of replacing the crystal oscillator to resolve this esp the claimed dual mode ones?

     

    I'm not an expert but -

     

    Reasons why there are so many Everdrive models:

     

    The Mega Drive Everdrives are Krikzz's oldest flashcart products, so there have been a *lot* of revisions / improvements over the years.  

     

    Today I think the X3 remains the lowest entry model - it loads all official ROMs including the SSF2 (the biggest one).

     

    The X5 adds a pause button for Master System games, if you care about that library. The X7 uses a bigger FPGA and has power-user features like being able to load extra-big ROMs which use custom mappers (for some hacks and homebrew), and FM-sound support for SMS games.

     

    The latest Pro model supercedes the X7 mainly because there's an entire Mega CD unit inside, so I think the X7 has been retired. There's a lot of cool stuff only available on a Pro model but I personally never upgraded from an X5 because I was happy running CD-Rs on a real Mega CD, loading CD BIOSs as desired. 

     

    The stuttering via an OSSC is just how it is until, yes, either you use a real NTSC console or replace the crystal with a true 60hz one. It's less to do with PAL games being played at 60hz but rather the slightly off-spec version of 60hz / NTSC timings outtputted by modded PAL Mega Drives..which the OSSC (and Framemeister I believe) just don't like very much. 

     

    I used to have a PAL MD with an NTSC crystal installed (regular, not dual frequency) - but only ever used it direct to a CRT. It's a cool mod but only particularly needed for some PAL consoles played through specific scalers, as I understand it.

  11. I remember reading a review of GnG MD over and over, Julian Rignall's one-page piece in the first 'Complete Guide To Consoles'.

     

    It got 98%, a thoroughly deserved score.

     

    Until Gunstar Heroes came along, I'm quite sure Ghouls N Ghosts Mega Drive was my all time favourite game.

     

    I'm sure a lot of the motivation hackers / developers have for improving or writing new versions of classic coin op versions is the knowledge that the the Mega Drive is capable of so much more than what we thought back in the day. It could certainly have rocked, say, accurate versions of R-Type or Shinobi or New Zealand Story or any number of big deal arcade games from around the Mega Drive's birth, had the circumstances been different.

  12. 6 hours ago, geldra said:

    Well, was more thinking with the advent of home brew products like the Satiator and things like STV multi carts from Darksoft etc, could Saturn/DC games be launched on STV/Naomi hardware? 
     

    Reckon the STV would benefit more than Naomi. 

     

    Those Saturn / DC games could almost certainly run on STV / Naomi, provided any Saturn / DC specific code in those ROMs pertaining to inputs, memory mapping and probably a bunch of other stuff was replaced accordingly (basically what @Ninja Doctor said). 

     

    Unlike with those Atomiswave / Triforce / ZN-2 conversions though it'll be a lot of work per game for obviously far more niche target platforms.

  13. Checked out Taito's Qix Neo on the PSX expecting a typically weirded out 32-bit remake of a classic coin-op, but found the ultimate version of a personal all time favourite, Volfied, instead. 

     

    I'm not really a Qix enthusiast, but my love for Volfied has run pretty deep since discovering it on one of those Taito Legends PS2 compilations back in the day. Between the hidden depths & secrets, open play style, randomised power ups and creative enemy designs, it got me hooked.

     

    This PSX version seems to have perfectly transplanted the arcade board whilst also redesigning the levels for horizontal screen layout - which itself wasn't unusual (the MD and PCE ports also did this) - but here they've also used what seem to be original source assets but subtly improved / enhanced them in places.

     

    It's done with such class and taste that it feels period correct AND correct correct - as if this was always the way it was meant to be.

     

    There's added sprite scaling and rotation effects and pseudo surround sound audio trickery which is really cool. Gone are the non-existent / limited continues, which is also really cool. It plays so goddamned smoothly.

     

    And there's a separate Arrange Mode too, which seems to offer modified levels with smoothed / digitised reworks of sprite / background assets and all new redone music / sfx - some of which I'm not particularly fussed about -  BUT the most divisive aspect of the original game - an undulating high frequency drone that's used as main background atmospherics - has been reworked to something a lot rounder and more palatable.

     

    So, I lost two hours to Qix Neo tonight. What an utter gem.

  14. I don't think anything is screwed up.

     

    A bunch of cores which run multiple systems all got new folders a while back, mainly to allow for different video settings to coexist simultaneously.

     

    - WonderSwan Color (WonderSwan core)

    - Game Gear (Master System core)

    - SG-1000 (Master System & Colecovision core)

    - Mega Duck (Game Boy core)

    - Maybe one or two others 

     

    These folders didn't exist a month ago but they seem to be part of how things are organised now. 

     

  15. I miss playing Saturn - traditionally my favourite console, the one I own the most peripherals and games for, the one with all those A-grade exclusives and near-perfect ports that are the epitome of Video Games for me. 

     

    It's still hooked up. It's permanently hooked up. But the competition with other machines is fierce, and I rinsed my favourite games so hard so long ago that I don't really feel like going back to any of them.

     

    The last Saturn game I played was the translation of Yumimi Mix Remix - which was wonderful, but more of a comedic animated visual novel than game. Ultra charming and time well spent, but two sessions and done.

     

    Bulk Slash was good to experience in an English form too, but I didn't connect with it like I wanted to, putting it down after a few levels. That short draw distance in the outside sections was a hard to acclimatise to.

     

    Maybe I should try out that unfinished Wachenroeder translation? I heard this was an incredible game but the thought of hitting a language-related brick wall several hours in puts me off from investing time into it.

     

    I guess this might make more sense to revisit when the Saturn MiSTer core is ready, as there'll be no need to burn CDs or deal with dodgy cartridge slot connections.

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