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spanky debrest

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Posts posted by spanky debrest

  1. I've long wondered why developers favoured utilising 480i / Hi-Res mode with the expansion pack rather than, say using the extra memory to enable smoother / more stable frame rates (if that was ever possible) - because I've never played a compatible game which is improved with it.


    If I was looking to get into the N64 today, from scratch.. the only reason I'd shell out for an expansion pack would be to run the better Mario 64 hacks or 64DD conversions. Otherwise I'd consider it a completely superfluous collectable.

  2. I used to hook a PS2 straight into a Plasma via component and it never bothered me in terms of visuals. In fact it looked excellent.


    The lag was noticeable though, even with 480p non-interlaced games.


    720p video via HDMI however was even worse. Killed off games on that thing once and for all.

  3. On 03/06/2022 at 12:19, Qazimod said:

    Six-button controllers as standard?




    Unconfirmed rumour I read years ago:


    Sega sold the rights to their 6-button controllers for sale outside of Japan.


    That's why western territories got lumbered with 3-button ones for the original MD Minis, why it's a 3rd party licencee like Retro-Bit who has exclusive rights to these controllers outside of Japan.

  4. I'm enjoying the original PlayStation so much now that I've got a reliable machine again and access to my old peripherals..but instead of dipping into anything new or taking care of long overdue unfinished business (like with R-Type Delta) I'm onto Metal Gear Solid.


    I originally played it shortly after release and had a grand old time with it, but could barely remember much today aside from Psycho Mantis's fourth-wall-breaking mind reading and telekinesis tricks (which made me howl with delight at the time).


    I did pick up the GameCube remake at some point but couldn't get into it for one reason or several..but this original one has been a joy to revisit, even if I've been scratching my head about progression more than I'd like to admit.


    [Once I'm following a gamefaqs guide or walkthrough it's pretty much a death knell for the game because it means I've lost the patience to play it as intended, so fortunately this hasn't happened yet. Conversely, having that codec communication system in-game as an optional hint system doesn't rob you of discovery like it could either]


    Anyway, 4.5 hours in, many deaths  and some real fear about being attacked by a pack of digital wolves in the icy darkness have all contributed to this being a hell of an experience.


    Also, back in the day the sound was experienced through a small mono speaker built into a computer monitor whereas now it's syphoned off directly to a hi-fi, bypassing the TV audio circuit completely as it fills the room with unheard clarity and detail. It's a revelation. Similarly with the video, as PSX RGB via a proper cable is a relatively new thing for me too.


    It's such a brilliantly silly and clever game. Those trademark PSX wobbling textures / polygons are gorgeous too - I'd never have them fixed or corrected if I were given the choice to do so outside of actual hardware.

  5. Right.


    I don't think System E arcade games get too much attention because that hardware is based off of the Master System i.e. old hat by late '80s arcade standards.


    So fans of the original arcade Fantasy Zone expecting an impressive sequel discovered a variant of the Master System sequel in a cabinet instead, a situation remedied by M2 with their officially licensed legit 16-bit reimagining of that game on PS2 (also made playable on MAME).. which was subsequently improved and expanded on 3DS with 3D Fantasy Zone W II. 


    On another MD Mini 2 related note I noticed GSK on twitter mention a few unreleased / limited release Mega Drive games that Sega / M2 have probably tried to secure: 


    - Burning Fists (Mega CD fighting game)


    - Asuka 120% (widely ported fighting game originally on FM Towns)


    - Freedom Star (an arrange version of the P-47 coin-op)


    - Mad Stalker (pretty nice, widely ported single plane brawler that was finished and physically released not too long back)

  6. 17 minutes ago, Camel said:

    There’s also the MS sequel ported to arcade hardware after the fact.


    Yeah, the System E version of Fantasy Zone 2 (not to be confused with M2's original System 16 version of Fantasy Zone II from 2008, originally made for that PS2 Complete Collection).


    Both SMS games (not counting the third Pac-Man influenced 'The Maze') are also available rebuilt in 3D on 3DS too in those Sega 3D remasters compilations, with a couple of exclusive features (new FM audio tracks for FZ and in-game map graphics for FZ2 taken from the System E version).


    I really love the original SMS Fantasy Zone 2.. which in the interest of keeping this vaguely on topic is obviously playable on Mega Drive.

  7. 1 hour ago, beakbeak said:

    That’s an amazing sell! Cheers for that. I’ll approach it with fresh eyes. I tried locating the rom for the hidecade port but it’s nowhere to be found. I thought it might be easily locatable seeing as it’s not for sale and isn’t a hack of an existing rom? Or is it? 


    Yeah it's not public and probably won't ever be (he made an accurate MD port of Pac-Man way before Darius, neither were shared / leaked).


    The Saturn has a perfect Fantasy Zone port, as does the PS2*, 3DS and Switch (the latter two have significant extra content / enhancements). The SMS port is great but obviously pretty different / stripped back (developed concurrently with the arcade version).


    *Emulated rather than a port, as part of the Sega 2500 Ages Complete Fantasy Zone Collection. There's also a fairly faithful port in the same 2500 series on PS2 but it's remade with polygons, and stands out as one of the few earlier ones I'm the 2500 range which is pretty good.

  8. Just to add to the responses, I think it's important to note that cheap SCART to HDMI boxes on Amazon use components designed for handling video (from something like a VCR) rather than old RGB-outputting consoles. You can expect them to add a lot of input lag.

  9. @beakbeak I'm not sure where to start with why I adore Fantasy Zone but it slots in with the greats in my book, literally being produced in between Gradius and R-Type but doing its own thing with carefree abandon, with an integral economy / shop mechanic, with interesting bosses and tricks to learn and humour and super cute colourful art and music.


    The freedom to move all directions as well as control the scroll direction might feel a bit messy compared with a more standard memorisation-based shooters (this applies to the overhead stages in Thunderforce 2 too I guess) but buy yourself a speed up to taste (I'm a Jet Engine man myself) and double bombs and it should be more manageable.


    For the original Fantasy Zone, taking out the enemy bases (usually eight per level I think) quickly gets you bigger coins from them, which may make it easier to buy powerful weapons and extra lives or horde cash for the final part of the game in which you automatically restart at a shop upon death. It's an arcade game after all.


    Having said all that I totally get why Fantasy Zone isn't universally adored. It's a weird ass game and definitely not for everyone.


    I find it interesting that Kiki Kaikai / Pocky & Rocky might be seen in a similar light to FZ and TF2 though, as there's not much if any auto-scroll with those games (certainly not the original Taito game), making them closer to contemporary overhead run 'n' guns like Commando and Ninja Princess* in my eyes (albeit with harder difficulty). 


    I have a lot to say about the Fantasy Zone series but should really take it to it's own thread.


    I've just always always wanted a native port on Mega Drive and hoped that Sega would make Hidecade's port official somehow.

  10. Super excited that Hidecade's port of Fantasy Zone is being released by Sega on their MD mini 2 console.



    I don't dislike Sunsoft's Super Fantasy Zone. It's a well made original exclusive game with incredible palette usage but I consider it low tier compared to most other Fantasy Zones. 


    Hopefully Sega will see fit to release some of M2's arcade ports of Sega System 1 and 2 games as well, although this is probably unlikely if they want to sell as many of these as possible.

  11. R-Type Delta has got me wrapped around its exploding Bydo baby fingers.


    Back in the day I loved it but never got too far, vowing to return one day and finally do it properly, to learn it and crack it wide open.


    And it is done.


    Completed with all four ships on both Kids ('Easy') and Human (Normal) mode.


    Tried pushing my luck doing it on Bydo (Hard) and gave up on the penultimate stage, spending of this mode giggling at how ridiculously, sadistically difficult it is. 


    Every moment of those 20-odd hours logged on my save file was pure fun. 

  12. A mate asked me what my favourite five MD shooters are because Shmup Junkie is preparing a video which ranks all of them. After a little thought I settled on these:


    - Musha Aleste

    - Hellfire

    - Battle Mania Daiginjou

    - Gleylancer

    - Darius Extra Version


    And threw some pseudo shooters in another category because they kinda sorta count in mind and are generally overlooked:


    - Chelnov

    - Sub-Terrania

    - Ranger X


    Another mate was telling me about his recent first time (!?) playing Gunstar Heroes, because he remembers me being obsessed with it when we were kids. He remembers correctly; The mine cart level, Seven Force, the Dice Maze, the whole final gauntlet where you're being watched on a massive screen by the bosses, the undocumented moves and polish and humour and thoughtful two player mechanic..It was absolutely mind-blowing.


    Back to the present time though I've found myself wanting to find copy of Lord Monarch pretty badly, as I adore it too much to just have the fan translation hidden away on a flashcart



  13. I'd been curious about Indiana Jones out for a while so just checked it out. First impressions were good (slick 60fps menus, good quality music).


    Died a couple of times by throwing myself off ledges, appreciated infinite ammo for the snakes, got to the end of the first chunk ok once I realised Indiana can jump forward a hell of a distance.


    I know I shouldn't take the plot / script too seriously but the messaging about the CIA and a 'godless communist' who I assume will be an antagonist kinda made me cringe. I don't recall Indy having much in the way of political beliefs in the movies so I did find this a bit jarring.


    Good experience though. I'll come back to it soon.

  14. https://www.analogue.co/announcements/pocket-os-v1-1beta-coming-in-july


    "Analogue Pocket OS v1.1 [beta] is coming in July.


    We've been hard at work pushing the envelope of what Pocket is capable of for FPGA development.


    We appreciate everyone's patience.


    This release will include beta versions of:




    FPGA Development


    We will continue to progress Analogue OS regularly after OS v1.1 [beta] is released in July."

  15. 3 hours ago, MikeBeaver said:

    Was t there certain cd drives for over that would read them back in the day?

    Cery few abs far between from what I remember, but there were some.



    I may have entirely imagined that his though 😂


    Yeah I believe there were non-DC drives that could handle GD-ROMs, but as you say they were far and few between, and as I understand it they stopped being manufactured over a decade ago.


    They teased DC compatibility since before the Polymega branding was a thing, and they're still doing it.


    It's a poor look.

  16. There's this thing I call Kendrick Syndrome.


    It's when you listen to a new Kendrick Lamar album, digest it, realise you like it a lot, keep it in rotation for a while and then never ever listen to it again because you're absolutely done with it.


    It's always such an extreme curve, and only really with this guy. 

  17. 2 hours ago, SuperFamiTom said:

    The Everdrive X3 that I ordered from Krikzz finally arrived this morning from Ukraine and seems to work like a charm on my Pocket.


    Newer GB / GBA Everdrives are fine as Krikzz made allowances in their design to deal with the Pocket.


    It's older ones that can require modding to work on the console, until Analogue release a fixed firmware.

  18. Darksoft stuff is definitely smaller volume I think, more multi-cart solutions for arcade boards rather than home consoles.


    Alex from TO went around forums slagging them off too.


    I boycott a lot of companies and like to think I'd find it easy to let a Neo Geo sit there without a proper flashcart, but honestly don't know.

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