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Megadrive Mini

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1 hour ago, Fry Crayola said:

I hear the games look really low resolution - you can even see the pixels in Sonic 2.

 

Yes, the games are low resolution, but when the resolution of the emulator is displayed on a 1080p tv... it doesn't tend to look very good. Surely the hardware could have handled 1080p?

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Just now, Meh said:

 

Yes, the games are low resolution, but when the resolution of the emulator is displayed on a 1080p tv... it doesn't tend to look very good. Surely the hardware could have handled 1080p?

It's all about how it scales. The Mega Drive resolution doesn't scale great to 1080p (same with the snes etc) where as it does scale to 720p perfectly. Of course if you have the equipment you can then line double it to 4k and it'll look great still.

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13 minutes ago, Meh said:

 

Yes, the games are low resolution, but when the resolution of the emulator is displayed on a 1080p tv... it doesn't tend to look very good. Surely the hardware could have handled 1080p?

 

I took it that fry was joking personally.

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Yeah, I had a tongue in my cheek at the time. 

 

Personally, I don't find an issue. The games are blown up 3x their native resolution (at least on the vertical axis - the horizontal depends on the base resolution of the game, as it'll stretch to fit a 4:3 aspect ratio), so any artifacting introduced by the 720 to 1080 upscale is on - from the game's perspective - the subpixel level.

 

As Ketchup notes, 720p scales nicely to 4K resolutions. So does 1080p, of course, but where 224 fits three times into 720, it fits four times into 1080 and nine times into 2160. So a 720p image formed from a 224-line source (the Mega Drive) scales very neatly to 4K, and a 1080p one doesn't...

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1 hour ago, Meh said:

 

Yes, the games are low resolution, but when the resolution of the emulator is displayed on a 1080p tv... it doesn't tend to look very good. Surely the hardware could have handled 1080p?

 

It turns out that the MD Mini can output 1080p (unlike other existing official Mini consoles). 

 

Having the games render at 1080p without taking a performance hit is another story though and likely not possible without significantly upgraded / pricier innards, I would have thought.

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On 09/10/2019 at 12:15, Down by Law said:

No probs.I think @MW_Jimmy discovered that. Great trick, I did it for Probotector as well, so it boots into JPN Contra , with hit points. I might actually beat it that way !

 

Btw, does this work for Dynamite Headdy as well?

 

 

 

 

EDIT: Alas, it doesn't...

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4 hours ago, MW_Jimmy said:

 

Looks bloody amazing on my 720p telly.

 

Any idea why it looks rubbish on my 720 TV (as in the banding scanlines photo I posted a while back)?

 

Is my model of Samsung just a poor TV?

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So despite having this preordered and getting the console on launch day I've only just plugged this in this evening.  I've been reading people's impressions with interest and, if I'm honest, dismissing most of the negative comments as people being overly fussy.

 

It turns out I was wrong to dismiss them as the audio lag really is awful. I'm genuinely shocked how far behind the video the sound is.  I went back and tested the same game on a hacked PSX classic and the difference was night and day.  My simple test was to load Sonic 1, on the first level stand next to a tree and press the jump button. Sonic reaches near the top of the tree/the peak of his jump before the jump sound effect plays.  Repeating this on the PSX classic and the sound effect plays as sonic leaves the ground.  For reference I had no issue with audio lag with either the nes or snes classic and if anybody thinks there isn't an issue I urge them to try this simple test and see what they think.

 

I believe I've read elsewhere that this lag has been fixed via a hack that ups the CPU clock speed?

 

The direction input is also really dodgy/overly sensitive on the menu screen and shouldn't have passed QA or shipped in that state.

 

On more positive notes the hardware is lovely, the joypads feel good and the menu music is great.

 

I can put up with the dodgy menu input but I'm not sure I can put up with the audio lag so may be returning the system.  I'm slightly at a loss at why so many of the reviews for this have been so positive when audio lag is so pronounced, maybe the at games stuff was so bad this seems like a massive step up but, in my opinion, it still should be better than it is. It reminds me a bit of the PSX classic (though it's not as bad as that!) in that lovely hardware is being let down by the software.

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8 minutes ago, Down by Law said:

I think it's worse/more noticeable on Sonic than any other game TBH. Playing SOR2 and the schwack sounds as you pummel someone seem on point to me. 

 

5 minutes ago, geldra said:

I don’t have Sonic 1 on mine but Sonic 2 seems pretty spot on with the same type of jump test. 

I've tried sonic 2 and agree it doesn't seem as bad as sonic 1 which is really strange. But I still maintain that that the lag in sonic 1 is really awful, even when compared to another open source emulator. I wonder why it would vary per game, I would have thought frames would drop or audio stutter rather than lag more if it was a performance issue?

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Yeah agreed, it’s an odd one. Especially considering the flagship status of that game. You’d think they’d make sure that one ran flawlessly. 

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1 hour ago, Flockheart said:

I believe I've read elsewhere that this lag has been fixed via a hack that ups the CPU clock speed?

 

Apparently the system shipped with a config which underclocks the CPU - something that will be easily / safely remedied via an option in the hacking tool. Whether this will improve the audio lag will have to be determined I guess.

 

And on that note, audio lag seems to be fairly consistent with what you find on other common emulation platforms according to fairly forensic testing of the US unit by RetroRGB (between 4-7 frames was his assessment in his dedicated video) - but it's not consistent across all games and even sections within them.

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On 07/10/2019 at 12:25, Sketch said:

Also, Shinobi III. I have the 6 button controller, but because the Mode button isn't a proper "Mode button", it's just for accessing the menu, I cannot enable the 6 button code. I did a google search and only found one person, on one forum, talking about this. I refuse to play Shinobi III unless it's in 6 button mode. Sloppy, so goddamned sloppy.

 

Which is weird, because M2 knew about a special Mode button code for one of the games on the Japanese Mini (it's either Dyna or Snow Bros, one of the two), and recoded it to not require that Mode be held down to apply the code. But Shinobi III? Pffft, no 6 button mode for you!

 

Which means when it's finally hacked, I'm going to need to either HEX edit the raw code of a fresh Shinobi III ROM to force 6 button mode without the Mode button code, or create my own custom IPS patch. I should not need to be programming my own custom hacks just to play these games properly.

 

By the way, I'd thought I'd give Shinobi III a bash with the MIJET patch which adds in various customisable options including an easier-to-access 6-button mode. The last time I'd played the game was when it was reissued on 3DS (whilst my real cartridge had only ever seen 3-button pad play before that) so it was my first exposure to the expanded moveset on real hardware.

 

Anyway at the risk of boring you with something you already know it turns out that switching the game to 6-button mode in this patched ROM is as simple as going into the options menu and...  pressing the Mode button - so presumably 6-button mode still won't be accessible on the Mini unless some kind of fix is applied by the hack authors (or you knock up and apply your own mode-button-eliminating patch).

 

I just wasn't previously aware that the 6-button mode for whatever reason had remained hidden in the game's code until MIJET discovered it years later and made it easier to access via their enhancement patch; it was never an officially supported or documented feature.

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The Shinobi III six button mode thing is weird as it plays blindingly well with three. I appreciate it gives you more control over the character but the hitbox detections pretty fucking good as it is. I can't say I've ever wished he slashed someone instead of throw a shuriken or whatever. 

 

Finished Golden Axe and Streets of Rage 2 last night. Streets of Rage 2 is just so good, I play through it every few years, thinking, is this going to be the time the nostalgia wears off? But no, it is the definition of a timeless game, everything about it is so satisfying. In fact playing it on a whopping big screen with those tunes pumping through a good sound system, it was probably my favourite play through to date. Golden Axe is better than I remembered too. It's really short but full of character, and memorable music. The magic effects for an early title are really well done, too. It's a shame that Golden Axe II is a dissapointing follow up and Golden Axe III, for a mid 1993 release, is an absolute embarrassment. 

 

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10 hours ago, spanky debrest said:

Anyway at the risk of boring you with something you already know it turns out that switching the game to 6-button mode in this patched ROM is as simple as going into the options menu and...  pressing the Mode button - so presumably 6-button mode still won't be accessible on the Mini unless some kind of fix is applied by the hack authors (or you knock up and apply your own mode-button-eliminating patch).

 

I emailed MIJET, they're working on a patch for Shinobi III specifically for the MD Mini, so you can activate the 6 buttons without using a mode button. Apparently the code is done, we're just waiting for the MD Mini hack to become public so it can be tested.

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Can anyone who has the MD Mini and a modded PS Classic comment on how the emulation quality compares on the two please? Lag, sound, visuals, scanlines/shaders etc... just the overall experience of which one does it best.

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Contra hard corps / probotector is incredible. Always thought contra was just too hard and unforgiving, but the Japanese version is really accessible. 

 

 And the pacing is intense! what an opening. Unrelenting and intense. Never played anything from the time (or even recently) that had that kind of pace to it. 
 

pondering picking up the contra collection now whilst it is still on sale...

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Just had a lovely little hour with Castle of Illusion. I've seen it many times both in print and video but having never owned an MD I'd never sampled its charms, not even via PC emulation. I've mentioned in this thread that I only came to gaming late, around the 32 bit era and tbh I don't think I've got nor ever had the stones to play a lot of these games the way they were intended. They can be bloody tough. But now with the magic of finger contortion and the summoning of a save state menu my shit skills cease to put the kibosh on the fun.

 

I really am enjoying some of these games and Castle has been the proverbial cherry. I've recently completed Sonic on 3DS due to my getting fired up for the arrival of the mini and with the thanks of being able to use save states, but I now wish I'd held off to play on the mini itself as the pad is fantastic.

 

So yeah I could have played these games on other than official/approximate machines over the years but for some reason playing on facsimiles of the original hardware with their sexy pads has really hit the spot and I can see myself starting and finishing games I know a lot about but had never given them the play time they deserve.

 

I'm going to complete Castle of Illusion by tomorrow evening hopefully and then immediately make a start on another personally well observed but never played before game, and one I thankfully hung fire with on 3DS , Gunstar Heroes.

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yep the save is a big help with this, back in the day i would leave my machine on all day whilst I was work and then pick up from where I left off. It was the only way!

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5 hours ago, amc said:

Just had a lovely little hour with Castle of Illusion. I've seen it many times both in print and video but having never owned an MD I'd never sampled its charms, not even via PC emulation.

 

If you get the chance, play the Master System version as well.

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8 hours ago, Down by Law said:

Moved on to Monster World IV now, about 3 hours or so in. This is a real lost gem, it just feels really polished and enjoyable to play. Great music and level design too.

 

Mos def. Probably my favourite title on it at the moment.

 

I also found out why it's actually Monster World IV, and where it fits in the Wonder Boy series...

 

If I'm not mistaken, MW IV is also WB VI - but they stopped calling it WB because the protagonist is a girl this time. 

And did you know that WB III: The Dragon's Trap, is actually WB IV (and MW II)? Because there is no real WB IV (and the real WB III came out in the arcades first - the MD version of which featured some amazing box art by S. Matsushita btw) and MW III is WB V.

 

giphy.gif

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I don't want to pester Japanese Darius players with my giddy questions, but can anyone tell me how to go about capturing video directly from the Mega Drive Mini? I assume this is what the person below is doing, rather than pointing a camera at a monitor, but please do correct me if I'm wrong. Is there a way I can produce similar results on the cheap? I don't currently own any potential recording equipment apart from my PC and phone. Cheers! 

 

 

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Is the Asian version of this the best one to get on a whole as it has the six button pads and the subjectively better games? - presuming it will be hacked at some point anyway.

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19 hours ago, Keyboard Koala said:

 

Mos def. Probably my favourite title on it at the moment.

 

I also found out why it's actually Monster World IV, and where it fits in the Wonder Boy series...

 

If I'm not mistaken, MW IV is also WB VI - but they stopped calling it WB because the protagonist is a girl this time. 

And did you know that WB III: The Dragon's Trap, is actually WB IV (and MW II)? Because there is no real WB IV (and the real WB III came out in the arcades first - the MD version of which featured some amazing box art by S. Matsushita btw) and MW III is WB V.

 

giphy.gif

 

Yeah I tried to pick this one apart when I did the videos but I think I just confused things further.

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3 hours ago, Dudley said:

Yeah I tried to pick this one apart when I did the videos but I think I just confused things further.

Quote

 

If I'm not mistaken, MW IV is also WB VI - but they stopped calling it WB because the protagonist is a girl this time. 

And did you know that WB III: The Dragon's Trap, is actually WB IV (and MW II)? Because there is no real WB IV (and the real WB III came out in the arcades first - the MD version of which featured some amazing box art by S. Matsushita btw) and MW III is WB V.

 

 

giphy.gif

 

;)

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