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Is the Flashback 2 considered the best?


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#1 Lauren Tyler OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:37 PM

From what I've heard, the second was considered the best by many.  I'm debating picking up one, but I'd like a consensus on which is considered the best.  I've already tried the original, and I can say I did NOT like it.  They didn't even emulate Asteroids properly for crying out loud! How ironic the Flashback used 'NES on a chip.'

 

At any rate, I was wondering if The Company Formerly Known As Infogrames made any notable improvements with FB3 or FB4?



#2 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:07 PM

From what I've heard, the second was considered the best by many.  I'm debating picking up one, but I'd like a consensus on which is considered the best.  I've already tried the original, and I can say I did NOT like it.  They didn't even emulate Asteroids properly for crying out loud! How ironic the Flashback used 'NES on a chip.'
 
At any rate, I was wondering if The Company Formerly Known As Infogrames made any notable improvements with FB3 or FB4?


I can give some facts, but I don't have FB3 or FB4.
FB2 is an Atari on a Chip, FB3&4 are emulation.
FB2 has some Activision games and came out around 2005.
FB2+ dropped the Activision games and added more sports. It came out 2010.
Hackers also want FB2 or 2+ because you can solder an actual cart connector and play real cartridges, (some advanced carts with extra RAM and bank switching do not play in these due to a production error that left out pin A12's signal).
The FB2 & 2+ is small and light, and has composite out for new TV sets. The composite is acceptable. I have seen better displays with the original Heavy Sixer 2600 RF on channel 3 and better original systems modded for composite.
The joysticks are hard plastic stick, not rubber covered plastic like the original, but are good.
There are hidden paddle games in it if you paddle controllers.

#3 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:52 AM

The original Flashback was a disaster simulating both the Atari 2600 and 7800. The Flashback 2 and 2+ were essentially Atari 2600's on a chip, so their ability to replicate the Atari 2600 is excellent. The Flashback 3 from AtGames features more traditional hardware emulation and eschewed the "costly" Atari-2600-on-a-chip from the 2/2+. Its emulation is reasonably good, but spotty. There were improvements made to the emulation engine in the Flashback 4, but it's still not as good as the Flashback 2/2+. The Flashback 5 will be improved yet again, and is due out later this year. The only thing I didn't care for with the Flashback 2/2+ were the joysticks. I think the joysticks from AtGames for the 3 onward are much better implementations of the original joystick. They don't feel the same (they're not stiff, for one), but they control very well. Your mileage may vary.



#4 ComputerSpaceFan OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:55 PM

Is the FB2 considered the best?

 

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#5 almightytodd OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:06 PM

I have both the FB2 and the FB4; each has advantages. The FB2 has Activision titles as well as some very interesting hacks. The "vector style" Asteroids is interesting, and "Asteroids Deluxe" is fun, as well as "Yars' Return". Also, the "Save Mary" prototype is an interesting addition. The FB2 includes some Activision titles, which are historically important. The accuracy of the hardware reproduction is quite impressive.

 

The FB4 has A LOT of games, plus the wireless controllers. Some might complain that the controllers seem "loose", but to me, it reminds me of the original VCS controllers, which had springs in them, and had a different feel from the more "stiff" 2600 controllers that came later. The menu systems are different; with the FB2 dividing games into categories such as "Adventure" and "Space". The FB4 lists games alphabetically and shows graphics and box art previews.

 

There is some irony that the FB2 was engineered by the same people responsible for the first Flashback; which utilized a Nintendo-on-a-chip. But the original Flashback proved the concept, and demonstrated that this type of device was a viable commercial product. I have no regrets that I have both systems. They each have strengths and weaknesses.



#6 ls650 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 18, 2014 2:17 PM

I have both an FB2 and an FB4.  Although the wireless controllers work okay for the FB4, I prefer using the FB2 controllers with it.  I think that the quality of emulation on the FB4 is very good but not perfect.

 

What kills both for me is the lack of 3rd party titles.  Even some of the Atari releases aren't available: Berzerk, Defender, Pacman, VCS Space Invaders, etc.  At least the FB2 had Activision's River Raid and Pitfall, IIRC, but the FB4 doesn't even have those.  If only the FB4 had included some of the non-Atari titles, I would think it a great device, but as it is I can only say "nice try."


Edited by ls650, Sun May 18, 2014 2:17 PM.


#7 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:11 AM

I have both an FB2 and an FB4.  Although the wireless controllers work okay for the FB4, I prefer using the FB2 controllers with it.  I think that the quality of emulation on the FB4 is very good but not perfect.

 

What kills both for me is the lack of 3rd party titles.  Even some of the Atari releases aren't available: Berzerk, Defender, Pacman, VCS Space Invaders, etc.  At least the FB2 had Activision's River Raid and Pitfall, IIRC, but the FB4 doesn't even have those.  If only the FB4 had included some of the non-Atari titles, I would think it a great device, but as it is I can only say "nice try."

Berzerk is licensed from Stern

Defender is licensed from Midway/Williams

VCS Space Invaders is licensed from Taito (we get an "arcade version" in later Flashbacks though)

 

I would love to see ALL the licensed games EVERYWHERE. "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."



#8 boxpressed OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:34 AM

There's a pretty lengthy thread on AA about pirated Flashback 2 systems. You have to be careful not to pick up one of those lower quality fakes. I can't recall the thread title, but you should be able to find it. The Flashback 2+ didn't have this issue, afaik.

#9 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 2, 2014 7:39 PM

I wonder which companies own the rights to Apollo's games or some of the other 3rd Party 2600 developers that bit the dust.



#10 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 3, 2014 2:18 PM

The Flashback 2 is great.  The FB2+ slightly-less-so.  As was mentioned, they're the REAL DEAL - REAL 2600s.  All of the others (across the entire spectrum of Flashbacks) are just emulators, and you can get that anywhere, even on your PC for FREE.

 

The fact that they mix (on some later (than 2/2+)) Flashbacks "arcade" versions of games with 2600 versions - that is, not even 2600 games - further confused the issue, to me.  Something that's half 2600 games and half arcade ROMs doesn't seem much like a Flashback, to me.  Hell, if they're going to do that, how about a MAME Flashback, to begin with?  The 2/2+ are purist gold.



#11 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 3, 2014 2:31 PM

The Flashback 2 is great.  The FB2+ slightly-less-so.  As was mentioned, they're the REAL DEAL - REAL 2600s.  All of the others (across the entire spectrum of Flashbacks) are just emulators, and you can get that anywhere, even on your PC for FREE.

 

The fact that they mix (on some later (than 2/2+)) Flashbacks "arcade" versions of games with 2600 versions - that is, not even 2600 games - further confused the issue, to me.  Something that's half 2600 games and half arcade ROMs doesn't seem much like a Flashback, to me.  Hell, if they're going to do that, how about a MAME Flashback, to begin with?  The 2/2+ are purist gold.

 

To clarify, the 2 and 2+ still have compatibility issues with certain games when modded for a cartridge port, so they're not 100% either, but are obviously better than the 3, 4, and 5 in that regard since they can't have cartridge ports period. 

Also, there is no mixing of Atari 2600 and arcade titles on the later Flashbacks. The only one that was reprogrammed to take advantage of the chipset was Space Invaders, which was a Taito requirement. All other games are Atari 2600 games. 



#12 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 3, 2014 2:48 PM

Obviously, I'd seen that Space Invaders one (whichever it was).  But thanks for the clarification.  The others still do interest me.  Unfortunately, the Dollar Generals around here don't carry the Colecovision or Intellivision systems with their "bonus" games.  Even though I complained, there's a good chance I'd throw them in my cart, if I saw them at retail.



#13 Prosystemsearch OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 3, 2014 3:56 PM

The original Flashback was a disaster simulating both the Atari 2600 and 7800. The Flashback 2 and 2+ were essentially Atari 2600's on a chip, so their ability to replicate the Atari 2600 is excellent. The Flashback 3 from AtGames features more traditional hardware emulation and eschewed the "costly" Atari-2600-on-a-chip from the 2/2+. Its emulation is reasonably good, but spotty. There were improvements made to the emulation engine in the Flashback 4, but it's still not as good as the Flashback 2/2+. The Flashback 5 will be improved yet again, and is due out later this year. The only thing I didn't care for with the Flashback 2/2+ were the joysticks. I think the joysticks from AtGames for the 3 onward are much better implementations of the original joystick. They don't feel the same (they're not stiff, for one), but they control very well. Your mileage may vary.

 

The original Flashback was a disaster simulating both the Atari 2600 and 7800. The Flashback 2 and 2+ were essentially Atari 2600's on a chip, so their ability to replicate the Atari 2600 is excellent. The Flashback 3 from AtGames features more traditional hardware emulation and eschewed the "costly" Atari-2600-on-a-chip from the 2/2+. Its emulation is reasonably good, but spotty. There were improvements made to the emulation engine in the Flashback 4, but it's still not as good as the Flashback 2/2+. The Flashback 5 will be improved yet again, and is due out later this year. The only thing I didn't care for with the Flashback 2/2+ were the joysticks. I think the joysticks from AtGames for the 3 onward are much better implementations of the original joystick. They don't feel the same (they're not stiff, for one), but they control very well. Your mileage may vary.

The original Flashback was indeed not that great at the 7800, but the 2600 as well? Certainly, the colors for many games weren't as accurate as on an actual VCS, but come on. At least the controllers were decent. Wonder if they will work on on XEGS...



#14 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 4, 2014 8:39 AM

From what Curt has posted in other threads, he based the 2600-on-a-chip design for the Flashback 2 and 2+ on the Atari Inc "Janus" all-in-one 2600 chip so it's the real deal. Others have stated that the lack of Line 12 being connected is the cause of various non-standard cartridges not working with those Flashbacks.



#15 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 4, 2014 10:34 AM

From what Curt has posted in other threads, he based the 2600-on-a-chip design for the Flashback 2 and 2+ on the Atari Inc "Janus" all-in-one 2600 chip so it's the real deal. Others have stated that the lack of Line 12 being connected is the cause of various non-standard cartridges not working with those Flashbacks.

Yes.
I still wonder why, say, Millipede on the ROM blob works, but the real cart fails due to lack of line 12. If line 12 is there for the rom blob, why can't it be tapped there?

#16 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 4, 2014 5:38 PM

 

The original Flashback was indeed not that great at the 7800, but the 2600 as well? Certainly, the colors for many games weren't as accurate as on an actual VCS, but come on. At least the controllers were decent. Wonder if they will work on on XEGS...

 

Yes, they were both awful in my opinion. And no, the controllers only work with the Flashback 1.



#17 Polybius OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 6, 2015 1:35 PM

I have both an FB2 and an FB4.  Although the wireless controllers work okay for the FB4, I prefer using the FB2 controllers with it.  I think that the quality of emulation on the FB4 is very good but not perfect.

 

What kills both for me is the lack of 3rd party titles.  Even some of the Atari releases aren't available: Berzerk, Defender, Pacman, VCS Space Invaders, etc.  At least the FB2 had Activision's River Raid and Pitfall, IIRC, but the FB4 doesn't even have those.  If only the FB4 had included some of the non-Atari titles, I would think it a great device, but as it is I can only say "nice try."

 

the problem with those releases is that they were originally licenced to Atari from other companies, and they had the home distribution rights, like Pac-Man from Namco, and Taito's Space Invaders. If they wanted to re-Release those titles, they would have to Reapply for the licences to do so, even though the home version was made by Atari, as they no longer have home distribution rights



#18 Xgames OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:52 PM

Yes the Flashback 2 is the best as said above everything after is emulated . For me i love the original FB2 because once the games are emulated it just isnt the same feeling when im playing the games but thats just how i feel i am sure many agree. 



#19 segaatarifan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 6, 2016 10:47 PM

Maybe it's the best FB and yeah there's actual 2600 hardware in the thing but for some reason it doesn't work well with my TV. I have a somewhat new giant HD TV, and ironically, the original 2600 works better with it than the FB2. On the FB2, the color is overly bright and saturated. The colors are darker on the 2600 and it's a lot easier on my eyes. Also, the image produced by the FB2 seems to... flicker and shift around a bit. The picture is perfectly stable on the original 2600, however. The picture coming from the original 2600 also fills my screen (and doesn't look noticeably stretched), but on the FB it's a smaller picture in the middle of my TV screen. I get that the games are in a low resolution, but I still prefer my screen filled.  It's funny because I read that the Flashback systems are supposed to work better with modern TVs than the original console. For me, this made a huge difference when it comes to enjoying the games. I didn't play my FB2 much, but I am addicted now that I have a real 2600. However, it just might be my set up and I have read reviews that this console plays the games perfectly. 






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