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2011 Taito/Space Invaders plug 'n play - anyone try it?

space invaders plug n play taito tv unit

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#1 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:12 PM

I was in K-Mart the other day and saw they had a Space Invaders plug 'n play by Jakks Pacific. Looks like one of the Namco plug 'n plays they did a while back (thick base, red ball stick, two buttons on the left side of the joystick, coin switch powers on/off). It features Space Invaders, but also has Legend of Kage, Bubble Bobble, and quite a few others. Has anyone tried it out? Looks like it came out sometime this year (it had a 2011 copyright date on it).

#2 Armonigann OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:43 PM

Hey, do you have a link to one of those? I can't find it anywhere..All I keep finding is the Namco version. I'd definately be interested in one myself if I can find one.

#3 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:23 AM

Yours is the first sighting of this product I'm aware of. Congratulations! I haven't been able to find it in my area, to my disappointment. If you could take a picture the next time you see it and show us what to look for, I'd really appreciate it! I haven't even been able to find it offered in any online stores.

As noted in this post, this new Taito unit first appeared in the ESRB ratings database in mid-September, so it's very, very new, not just 2011 new. In terms of arcade accuracy, I think it should satisfy the purists, even though I've never played it, because some familiar faces with lots of experience making retro game collections developed it. Speaking of which, I hope the packaging actually credits them; Jakks Pacific used to do that every time, but some of their recent products have left that off the boxes.

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#4 raskar42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:43 AM

http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=B005XRP3WK

listed games:
  • Space Invaders
  • Bubble Bubble
  • Tube It
  • Qix
  • Birdie King
  • Legend of Kage
  • Alpine Ski
  • Fairyland Story
  • Chack'n Pop
  • Puzznic


#5 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:05 AM

Looks interesting...
includedB.jpg IncludedA.jpg

#6 keilbaca OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:18 AM

I may have to pick this up. Their first version was terrible, so bad that I turned it into an Atari 2600 joystick. A few others have done the same as well, either for the 2600/7800.

If the quality of games are the same as the Pac-Man stick in that same shell, then it'll be worth picking up.

Qix looks like a vertical game according to the box, unlike the crap that was on the first stick. It was basically a NES port. This stick does look promising.

#7 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:58 AM

http://www.amazon.co...ASIN=B005XRP3WK


Thanks for the link. That must be quite a recent entry at Amazon, because it was not in the results when I searched "space invaders" under Toys just this past weekend. Of course, that vendor is asking twice the proper price, heh.

I'm amused that the back of the box misspells "Bubble Bobble" as "Bubble Bubble."

I may have to pick this up. Their first version was terrible, so bad that I turned it into an Atari 2600 joystick. A few others have done the same as well, either for the 2600/7800.

If the quality of games are the same as the Pac-Man stick in that same shell, then it'll be worth picking up.

Qix looks like a vertical game according to the box, unlike the crap that was on the first stick. It was basically a NES port. This stick does look promising.


When you say "their first version," if you mean the 2004 plug-n-play system with Space Invaders, that was put out by Radica, not Jakks Pacific. I never did find out who developed that one or what hardware architecture it used. This one is different and, from what I have heard, should be very close to the arcade originals. Incidentally, though it uses the same form factor as the HotGen-developed Namco "Retro Arcade featuring Pac-Man" system Jakks released in 2008/2009, this one is not by HotGen.

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#8 keilbaca OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:15 AM

Yes, that is the version that I was referring to. ^_^

#9 raskar42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:19 PM

i liked the radica version - i still use it to play phoenix and colony 7

#10 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:14 PM

Ah, ok, so it's pretty new. I had it in my hands, ready to buy on Saturday, but while standing in line at the checkout I decided to put it down (it was about $22). Maybe I will pick it up in the next paycheck or two.

#11 Armonigann OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:49 PM

Would you be willing to pick me up one as well? Of course I'd pay you for the s/h plus a little for your time..

#12 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:07 PM

Sure, I can do that. Will probably have to wait about a week and a half though.. Car's in the shop right now so I'm going to be low on funds until payday. Check your local Wal-Mart or K-Mart in the meantime though if you happen to have either one nearby. :)

#13 wccw mark OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:23 AM

looks cool.gonna check walmart & target today for one.

#14 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:27 AM

But how do you do 2-player Bubble Bobble?

#15 Austin OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:43 AM

But how do you do 2-player Bubble Bobble?


You don't. :lol:

(or at least, that's what I'm assuming)

#16 onmode-ky OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:18 AM

After having no luck at the local Targets and Wal-Marts over the past few days, I went to a Kmart today and found the new Taito system there. They were selling it for just under $21.

The bottom of the box does indeed list the system's developer, as well as their logo: Code Mystics, most recently known at AtariAge for their work on the two recent Atari Greatest Hits DS releases, as well as the iPad incarnation of that. According to the credits screen (cross-referenced with Jeff Vavasour's website), the staff who worked on the game were also among the crew who used to do Digital Eclipse's emulation collections on consoles/PC years ago, as well as Jakks Pacific's well-received Atari Paddles TV Game plug-n-play.

Upon bringing the Taito system home, I played the games for a bit and also opened it up. If you want a solid indicator of just how new this system is, among the stuff I saw silkscreened onto the PCB were the numbers 201108.

As for the content, if you haven't played any of Jakks Pacific's more recent plug-n-play games, the higher graphical resolution of this new system compared to the old retro models will really make it stand out. The new hardware is also powerful enough that it's running the games via emulation (the bottom of the box notes the use of Code Mystics' emulation technology); this is the first Jakks Pacific TV Game to rely on emulation rather than on porting (and the first non-AtGames plug-n-play system to use an emulator). Granted, I haven't played many of these games on original arcade hardware, so I can't really tell how faithful the emulation is, but they all look and sound good to me. The only thing that seemed screwy was some strangeness in the sound in The Legend of Kage (e.g., some sound effects seeming to interfere with each other). Well, Birdie King also seemed difficult to control (I think it was originally a trackball game), though I did manage to get a birdie once.

Speaking of Birdie King, it and Puzznic are the two Taito arcade games on this unit which have not previously been released in any of the Japanese or Western Taito collections on PS2 and PSP (I don't know whether there have been other Taito collections). Now, Puzznic here isn't the version which reveals pictures of undressed women while you play, but that's okay. :P It's more disappointing that there really is no 2-player Bubble Bobble, as the system doesn't do the 2-unit linking that the Mortal Kombat and WWE TV Games could do. Can't win 'em all.

One final note: high scores are saved when you exit to the main menu. There is also an option to wipe all high scores. And speaking of high scores, the default high score initials in Puzznic spell out, "Z-Turbo ga hoshii"; this is "I want [a] Z-Turbo" in Japanese.

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#17 keilbaca OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:33 AM

Sounds like I need to find one of these then. A nice easy plug and play Qix would be amazing :)

#18 JeffVav OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:16 PM

Birdie King also seemed difficult to control (I think it was originally a trackball game), though I did manage to get a birdie once.


Thanks for the summary, and glad you liked it. For those who are interested in Birdie King, I thought I should mention something about the controls that may not be clear:

The shot is taken when the joystick is released. The direction can be made to go off the 45° increments of the 8-way joystick by nudging it to one side before releasing. For example, if you were to aim up for 1/2 a second and then up-right for 1/2 a second and then release, the ball would go NNE (22.5°).

#19 Asaki OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:07 AM

You don't. :lol:


That's unfortunate.

Especially considering the ending >_<

#20 SoulBlazer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:18 AM

Considering how many people I knew BITD who finished Bubble Bobble (none) I don't think that's a problem. :lol:

#21 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:24 PM

Anyone know if/where this is sold in Canada? Can't find it in places like Walmart or Zellers.

#22 SRGilbert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:35 PM

How's the quality of the controls? I'm assuming this doesn't have the "twisty" joystick of the Pac-man version? If that's the case, this might make a nice two button conversion for 7800 ala the Radica SI stick.

Considering the popularity of the games on it (or lack of, at least compared to the Namco titles) I'd expect this to be discounted pretty deep in a few months. Might have to stock up!

Edited by SRGilbert, Sat Oct 29, 2011 5:37 PM.


#23 Armonigann OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:15 PM

Well, finally picked mine up at the local K-mart in the "ghetto" of all places. I've definately noticed the difference in the graphics and clarity of games compared to the Namco version (which I find to be quite blurry, especially compared to this one.) The Taito one seems to almost look "HDish"..The controls seem to be great as well for all games, though I hav'nt played most on the actual arcade. I did notice that the joystick twist turns slightly with a click for some reason, almost as if switching modes?.. I am definately getting my 20 bucks out of this thing as it's pretty awesome all around. Great job, to the ones who developed this one!!

#24 Animan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:31 PM

Qix?

Hot damn! I'll take eight of them!

#25 SRGilbert OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 30, 2011 6:55 PM

Well, finally picked mine up at the local K-mart in the "ghetto" of all places. I've definately noticed the difference in the graphics and clarity of games compared to the Namco version (which I find to be quite blurry, especially compared to this one.) The Taito one seems to almost look "HDish"..The controls seem to be great as well for all games, though I hav'nt played most on the actual arcade. I did notice that the joystick twist turns slightly with a click for some reason, almost as if switching modes?.. I am definately getting my 20 bucks out of this thing as it's pretty awesome all around. Great job, to the ones who developed this one!!


The Namco stick "twists" to act like a steering wheel for Pole Position.




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