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Arcade 1UP - Series 1 Countercades


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#26 DamonicFury OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:28 AM

If you can find one, this Taito bartop from 2005 is very cool and has a CRT. ❤️

https://forums.arcad...ad.php?t=336636

#27 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:42 PM

That is a nice unit. It's a shame there's no Space Dungeon; it does have the two joysticks.

#28 DamonicFury OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:44 PM

That is a nice unit. It's a shame there's no Space Dungeon; it does have the two joysticks.


I couldnt agree more! I have long thought that was a truly unfortunate oversight. It would have been far better than adding Arkanoid games to a machine with no spinner.

#29 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:20 PM

First review of Pac-Man Countercade:



later
-1
  • Jin likes this

#30 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:21 PM

Done :

Order Confirmation
Thank you for your order. We appreciate your business!Date: 04-27-2019
Order #: ****************************
Amount: $232.73


Order Contents:Arcade1Up Dig Dug Countercade 1 $199.99
-----------------------------------

Also, i knew the control panels have a slight slant to them, which i prefer.
Not sure if they're like the arcade angle, but better for the wrists, than just flat.

later
-1

#31 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 3, 2019 4:04 PM

Pac-Man is showing as sold out at Best Buy.

Home Depot is showing pac-man and space-invaders.

None of them are on walmarts page.

Gamestop is showing all 4 available, with Pac-Man and Space Invaders for 5/5,
and Dig Dug and Centipede for 5/22:

https://www.gamestop...rcade 1up,28zu0

later
-1

Edited by negative1, Fri May 3, 2019 4:09 PM.


#32 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 5, 2019 7:15 PM

modding the countercade:



later
-1

#33 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 7, 2019 9:44 PM

This link has the space invaders countercade in stock and ready to ship:

https://www.nfm.com/...ers-countercade

l.jpg

The centipede is out of stock for now: (more should be in shortly)
https://www.nfm.com/...ede-countercade

l.jpg

later
-1

#34 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 9, 2019 8:19 PM

Lots of interesting pictures of the countercades, not sure if the buttons for centipede are updated:
======================
Centipede
367041_440x350.jpg
367040_440x350.jpg
367038_440x350.jpg
367037_440x350.jpg
367036_440x350.jpg

dig dug
========
367035_440x350.jpg
367033_440x350.jpg
367032_440x350.jpg

pac-man
--------
367028_440x350.jpg

space invaders
-----------------
367021_440x350.jpg


later
-1

#35 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 12, 2019 6:14 PM

not that i would go with them, but home depot is showing space invaders and centipede

as being able to be ordered, and shipping now:

 

https://www.homedepo...temakers?NCNI-5

 

nobody else has the centipede one for sale currently

 

later

-1



#36 Jin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 12, 2019 8:29 PM

Man, I would have totally been down for the Centipede one if they had made it Centipede & Millipede instead of Missile Command for the second game. The extra two buttons kinda turn the small control panel into a cluster-fluff of buttons. I just tried out the lastest revision of the full size Arcade 1UP Centipede cab at a local game store last weekend and the trackball was smooth as silk.

#37 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 12, 2019 8:37 PM

Man, I would have totally been down for the Centipede one if they had made it Centipede & Millipede instead of Missile Command for the second game. The extra two buttons kinda turn the small control panel into a cluster-fluff of buttons. I just tried out the lastest revision of the full size Arcade 1UP Centipede cab at a local game store last weekend and the trackball was smooth as silk.

 

It will be easy to mod hopefully, then you can add all the trackball games you want. I want the wallcade, because it has a much bigger screen.

 

later

-1



#38 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 3:23 PM

gamercandy is selling 4 countercades on ebay at cost $200 with free shipping by May 21st (1 day before others)

99.9% rating, with 83343 overall feedback

here's dig dug:
------------------
https://www.ebay.com...DYAAOSwIBVc3ETp

also has pac-man, space invaders, and centipede

later
-1

#39 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 12:58 PM

getting closer to delivery:

ESTIMATED DELIVERY
Thursday
MAY
23

Just Shipped
Tracking details will be available once the package arrives at the UPS facility. Please check back soon!

later
-1

#40 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 21, 2019 8:45 AM

If these things have the same guts as their bigger brothers, they are super easy to mod. I replaced my video board with a cheap ($10 on amazon) HDMI converter board and added a couple of USB encoders for the controls, and I plugged in a space Super Retrocade I had lying around. Would easily do a Pi as well. 



#41 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 21, 2019 4:01 PM

Countercade (Bartop) of Dig Dug is here.

Just got it an hour ago.

Will have a detailed review of it shortly.

Box is very well packed, hard foam on top and bottom, and a spacer to fill out the box.
Plastic shell to protect screen.

Soft plastic tear off screen protector.
Hard acrylic control panel protector for the artwork.

So far the material is the same as the Arcade 1UP cabinets, it seems sturdy enough.

Joystick is slightly better than the previous stock, but I will be replacing with
it an actual Red Ball joystick, and same with the black buttons. I'm thinking about
getting two volcano buttons for the 1/2 player buttons possibly, but they are harder to find.

Other upgrades : Larger screen than the 8 inch one, and possibly modding it with another input
for connection to a PC.

Dig Dug 2 requires 2 buttons on the same side, instead of 1 on each currently.
So I will have to drill a hole on the left and move the joystick over. Since I
play with my right hand.

Box side:
UPHBsj0.jpg

Box inside:
c3z84V3.jpg

Box top:
DlviKXt.jpg

Plastic Shell protector:
Yyz6Z10.jpg

The mini cabinet:
AZppdHC.jpg

Dig Dug - Version
---------------------------
Gameplay is the Namco version from Japan, so its set to extra at 20k, and another at 60k, thats it.
I've hit 1 million on it with 5 men, and of course the American version defaults to an extra at 10k,
and every 40k, which makes it a lot easier.

Also, the atari version doesn't have a killscreen, this one should at level 256.

This version should have slowdown after level 136.

I will verify all of that in the next week or so.

==============

Dig Dug 2 is more of a mystery, as I've only played it on plug and plays, and MAME.

So i have to see if this is the new or old version of it.

===========================================================

The controls for Dig Dug are ok.
The controls for Dig Dug 2 are terrible, as they've assigned pump to the left button, and jack hammer to the right.

It's very awkward.

A lot more news to follow.

later
-1

#42 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 21, 2019 4:02 PM

If these things have the same guts as their bigger brothers, they are super easy to mod. I replaced my video board with a cheap ($10 on amazon) HDMI converter board and added a couple of USB encoders for the controls, and I plugged in a space Super Retrocade I had lying around. Would easily do a Pi as well.


The main board is similar to the original, there is a sub board to the LCD, which hasn't been identified yet.

Its not worth trying to find an adapter, its just better to put in a newer bigger monitor.

later
-1

Edited by negative1, Tue May 21, 2019 4:22 PM.


#43 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue May 21, 2019 11:16 PM

ok people, sit back and relax.
here's the review for new dig dug countercade.

there is the retroralph countercade review, but its only for pac-man,
and he ended up modding it anyways.

dig dug is an interesting choice for Arcade 1up. It is part of the
2nd wave of titles, and is one of the initial titles of the countercades.

it is also interesting, because it is not going to be a full-sized one.
it is strictly made for this size, and it has the added bonus of
including a rare conversion for its 2nd game, which is dig dug 2.

dig dug is a very popular namco/atari title which has a lot of fans,
due to its colorful look, and basic gameplay. it also offers challenges
for intermediate and expert players looking for more. it is pattern
based, so you can eventually learn several patterns to go through
the repeating levels.

dig dug 2 is a very obscure, and lesser known game, which came out
for the NES system, and later on namco classics, and plug and plays.
it has some similarities to the original with the enemies, and pumping
them up, but also adds the challenge of breaking up pieces of land,
with a jackhammer. it never really caught on, and is considered a
lesser title.

i'm not going to bother going over the pro's and con's or the
basic information about the games, sounds, lists, etc. as they are sometimes
personal opinions, or have already been gone over many times already.

these are my opinions.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

tldr version:
==============================
controls are not arcade accurate - but actually,
and surprisingly do the job for average players,
they are subpar for intermediate and expert players

(unfortunately for dig dug 2, they are not actually feasible to play with,
unless you alter your gameplay drastically)

games play near arcade accuracy - framerate, and response is decent,
graphics are blocky and pixelly of course due to an incorrect scaling option used,
instead of 7:9 [most likely the monitor is 3:4]

sound - decent, loud enough but not overdone

screen angles are shallow - but are pretty vibrant enough in most cases
- color is slightly dimmer than usual
===================================================================================


the long review follows:

i am going to go into gameplay details,
response times, and control mechanics for the games i know.

================================================================================
background -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
i have been playing videogames from the days of pong, breakout and space invaders
i stopped playing them in the late 90's, and 00's when deluxe units were the norm.

i do know most of the atari, williams, namco, and capcom library inside and out.

i am NOT an expert at every game, but have played all of them either extensively
in the arcade when they originally came out, at home in MAME, and in pretty much
every port on PC, console, and remake that has come out.

hardware control experience
----------------------------
i have used arcade controls, buttons, trackballs and spinners since they came out.

i have home versions of those controls, and actually don't use dpads or analog stick
on any console unless i'm forced to.

my preference is always dedicated controls for arcade games


arcade gaming habits
-----------------------
i play arcade games, or ports pretty much every day, through the 80's, i stopped
in the 90's, and then picked up mame, and played it every day for a few years.
stopped again, until the 2nd year of the xbox 360. got gameroom, and pretty much
every arcade game, and port on those systems. i have continued this when ports
started showing up on the xbox one. i have played them on the playstation also,
but only the original and PS2, and now the PSP 2000.

lately, over the last couple of years, i have been playing arcade ports and games
everyday for a least a few hours. i usually place in the top 1-10 place on games
that i'm an expert in, and below that on other games.

as far as dig dug is concerned, i've mastered that game early on,
back when it was originally in the arcades. it took a few weeks
of playing, and watching someone else do patterns. then the
joystick magazine came out with other patterns and strategies.

i was able to flip the machines score at 1 million multiple times,
on the standup and cabaret versions. never saw the cocktail version though.

dig dug 2 was a much later discovery, and i've only played it on and off
over the years through MAME and namco collections.

i've recently gotten back into dig dug over the last few years,
and have topped the leaderboards on steam, xbox live, and others.
the scores stop tracking at 1 million, so theres no point in playing
further unless you go for a world record, or personal best. (mines 1.7 million).

i can still play it pretty well, and just have to touch up on my
patterns. i should be able to hit the killscreen with some practice,
although this version is the namco 5 man total, which makes it a
lot tougher.

i've played dig dug 2 on and off, but have never really
mastered it, or played seriously. i can play it adequately
through several rounds, and about 100k. i plan on learning
the dig dug 2 play style in the next few months, but it will
be hard to play given the controls they've implemented.

======================================

now with that out of the way, lets get to the actual countercade

time spent playing
==========================================================================
i have spent a few hours playing dig dug, since i'm more familiar with that
game, and probably an hour or two playing dig dug 2.

dig dug - countercade (bartop)
==========================================================================
condition - after the numerous complaints about the first series of machines
that came out, arcade 1up has made a few fixes that have trickled down to
these countercades.

these machines are pre-assembled, all you have to do is plug them in.
the control panel does come with a clear acrylic protector over it,
so the artwork won't wear out. its held in with 2 screws, 1 on each side.

the joysticks and buttons (non-clicky) are again a slight improvement over
the previous generation stock ones. they're not arcade quality, but do the
job for now. they matched the arcade ones with using black for the pump
buttons, the player starts, the volume and on off switches.

durability - the unit is constructed fairly well, it has significant weight
for its size. it doesn't wobble, and doesn't move unless you jostle it with
a lot of strength when playing. if you put it on carpet, or a non-slip
surface on a table, you should be fine. perhaps not on a floor, or just
plain wood though, as it would possibly slide.

the control panel is solid, and supports both hands easily, with no flexing
or bending. the side panels are thick and supportive. the marquee is also
solid. the top panel, and back, are thinner, and allow for easy removal.

the screws holding all the panels fit well, and are tight, so there is no
movement.

ergonomics - one of my major complaints about the stand up cabinets is that
the control panel were not placed at an angle, they were flat.

fortunately for these units, they are placed at a slight upward angle, making it much
easier on the wrists when playing. especially for long periods of time.

visuals - the artwork is printed in decent quality, scaled and cropped to
fit, and same with everything else on the control panel (omitting the instructions).
it looks well done, and mine didn't have any scratches or marks on it.

screen - the screen is an 8 inch LCD screen that is of average quality.
not great on the viewing angles, but with the distance that you will be
sitting to play this, it is actually decent in size, and clarity.
the colors are a little dimmer than expected.

gameplay - dig dug
======================================================================================
dig dug is a very basic game. you control your player with 1 four directional joystick,
and 1 pump button.

to emulate the arcade, they've placed 1 button on either side of the joystick.

due to the limited space on the control panel, the buttons are placed very close to
the joystick, so you have to alter your gameplay.

one minor annoyance for me when playing, is i am right handed, so i use my
left hand for the left pump button, but the rest of the fingers brush against
the player 1/2 buttons when playing. it doesn't impact the gameplay, but it's
something to get used to.

i played several games and noted the following:
-----------------------------------------------
1) namco revision of the game
- i don't know if its version 1 or 2 yet, i still have to play it much further
- the 2nd version had bug fixes due to killscreens, and gameplay slowdown in latter levels

2) default settings
- 3 men start, 1 extra at 20k, 2nd extra at 60k thats it.

3) difficulty
- i think it defaults to medium default

4) game allows unlimited continues, but resets your score back to 0
5) highscores are saved when machine is unplugged
6) new loading font, new arcade 1up menu screens and sounds when selecting game

i scored 100k, and quit on the first game around level 12.
scored 150k with continuing to level 20 plus.
scored 300k playing normally up to level 32.

this is good enough for now. after level 11, 12-15 repeat every 4 levels.
after level 32, the boards speed up until the 50's.
if this version has slowdown, it will occur around level 136 or so.
if it has a killscreen it will be at level 256.

i probably won't get that far playing normally, but with continues
to find out.

i will get to a million, and flip the score (999,990->0), and post a
video when i get a chance.

as far as emulation goes, i did not detect any noticeable lag in the
gameplay. the sound was mostly accurate, and at a decent level.
there is some odd pixel scaling since it is not at 7:9.

dig dug 2
============
dig dug 2 as mentioned is a somewhat radical departure from the first game.
all the same characters and elements are there, with new additions.

controls for the arcade update - 1 4 way joystick to move, and 2 buttons
one for pump-inflate, and secondly one for jackhammer.

this is where a huge problem occurs. in this case instead of having 2
buttons next to each other, they've designated the left as pump, and
the right as jackhammer.

this basically makes the game impossible to play correctly.
i end up using my rightmost fingers to hit the button, while
still holding the joystick, and the left hand is normal for
the pump button.

why they didn't have someone playtest it, or ask anyone that
knows about the game first is how it ended up like this.

most people don't know this game, and probably won't impact them.

but it's just lazy, and poorly implemented especially when it
could have easily been fixed.

----------

gameplay involves rounds of different islands. you are above ground,
and enemies move around the playfield to trap you. you can either
pump them up, or use strategically located points on the playing field
to connect with the jackhammer. when an enclosed area is marked it
collapses into the ocean, and kills any enemies, and yourself if you
are not careful.

i have played this game many times, but not to the point of mastery.
the game has 32 levels, and no ending (16 levels repeat),
but the score maxes out and stays at 1,000,000. this is a bug that
i'm currently investigating to fix.

i can hit about 100k and get through several rounds, but haven't
learned all the strategies yet.

things noted
---------------
1 there was an old and new ROM revision for this, i'm not sure which
one this is

2 default is 3 men start extra at 30k, 80k and every 80k after
3 difficulty is probably medium
4 no continues
5 high score is saved

dig dug 2 is a very acquired taste to play, it might not be as fun
or easy to play as the first one. but it does offer a challenge
regardless of the controls.

as far as emulation goes, i did not detect any noticeable lag in the
gameplay. the sound was mostly accurate, and at a decent level.
there is some odd pixel scaling since it is not at 7:9.

it was a good choice to get, but poorly thought out.
=======================================================================================
Final thoughts
----------------
A valiant, but in the end subpar experience,
unless you're going for nostalgia,
and love dig dug, and are ok with the compromises.

overall, i would give 1up countercade a grade of C for effort.
C for quality and longevity, B for emulation, C for graphics.

So an average of C+ overall grading, or 3/5 stars for the price.
---------

Take into account the games you like, how much you will play them,
and how rough these things will be handled.

If you don't play often, these things will last and look good.
If you do play often, they WILL wear out, the buttons,
the controls, etc, eventually.

Modding the buttons and joysticks, will do some good perhaps, but in the end,
you will have to decide how much you want to upgrade.
---------
I have several upgrades planned
- possible volcano buttons for 1 and 2 player start
- new arcade quality joystick
- new arcade quality buttons
- moving joystick to the right
- putting 2 buttons on the same left side, instead of one on each
- larger screen
- multigames with a PC

There will be a breakdown of the game later on, with more
details about the pcb, system, etc, at some point. will be
working on that.

---

the price was not a factor to me, its the same for all of them currently,
and is at the low end of bartop kit models. every other prebuilt or
configured one is several hundred dollars more, and usually unlicensed.

the official namco multigame bartop goes for $2k, so that's for the rich.

i don't recommend these bartops to anyone looking for accurate gameplay,
arcade quality controls, or bargains. they are mostly for collectors,
and fans of the game.

other options will suit your needs much better than these.
but like the stand up units, are excellent bases to begin
making mods on, to make them much more useful and enjoyable.


later
-1

Edited by negative1, Tue May 21, 2019 11:35 PM.


#44 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 23, 2019 10:23 AM

The main board is similar to the original, there is a sub board to the LCD, which hasn't been identified yet.

Its not worth trying to find an adapter, its just better to put in a newer bigger monitor.

later
-1

I'm guessing that sub board is the same, that's what I replaced on my full size one. It's an $8 HDMI converter board, which is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole monitor, nor was it hard to do. Literally, the same connectors that the main board already uses. Plug and play, and then the built in monitor takes HDMI. Simple. 

If you have a spare monitor lying around, no big deal of course, but why not use what you bought? 



#45 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 23, 2019 12:53 PM

I'm guessing that sub board is the same, that's what I replaced on my full size one. It's an $8 HDMI converter board, which is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole monitor, nor was it hard to do. Literally, the same connectors that the main board already uses. Plug and play, and then the built in monitor takes HDMI. Simple. 

If you have a spare monitor lying around, no big deal of course, but why not use what you bought?


Actually, there are multi LVDS adapters out there.
Sure I could use the built in one, but 1024x768 at 8 inches is too small for the cabinet. i'd like to try at 10 inch or so.
we'll see.

later
-1

#46 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 23, 2019 12:54 PM

early preview of the dig dug countercade:



later
-1

#47 Goochman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 24, 2019 6:08 AM

early preview of the dig dug countercade:



later
-1

 

Any reason why this was shot in complete darkness?  Not much of a preview................you cant really see the unit.



#48 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 24, 2019 9:37 AM

Any reason why this was shot in complete darkness?  Not much of a preview................you cant really see the unit.


I already posted pictures of the unit above.
Also, I like to play in the dark, better contrast for the screen.

later
-1

#49 negative1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 24, 2019 12:32 PM

Since Dig Dug is a countercade unit, someone brought up the idea of transplanting the internals
into a regular arcade 1up cabinet.

This is totally feasible, as the LVDS converter should work with the arcade 1up monitor[actually
it depends on the model].

I can test it out with my pac-man machine at some point.

Will report back with the results.

later
-1




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