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caffeine-fueled projects & reviews

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AdvII XE testing

AdvII XE testing

I'm putting the final touches on this long delayed project., so here is the first summer '19 status report. I tested on my real XEGS hardware to ensure no game-ruining bugs!     Didn't find any!  Although that ranking seems too high based on how many times I got devoured and how many minutes I took to beat it ...     I take notes of which variation I play , the end stats, and the ranking given. I'll review them after a few weeks and see if I need to tweak the rankings logic. It's not a

Cafeman

Cafeman

Adventure II XE update 10-10-2019

Adventure II XE update 10-10-2019

Still running down my laundry list of more minor tweaks.  The past few things I've done are:    - WSYNC  screen color changes tweaking. I can't believe it, but on several screens I had the WSYNC on the DLI  *after* the actual color register change, not *before*. Thus in the 5200 version there are a few screens where you can see a color change mid-scanline.  I tested 5200 AdvII on a 27" CRT so it probably didn't concern me , or I didn't notice it back in 2007.  So, I  fixed a handful of

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Cleaning out the homebrew folders

I tend to save information forever. I've had various notebooks and folders in my garage's filing cabinet , the info is all from 2001 through 2011.  Today I decided to dig out the folders , keep what might still be useful, and pitch the rest. All of the paper had a slight musty smell.   All these were in the top drawer of the file cabinet;  the bottom draw has all my guitar tablature magazines, some from the 80's (remember Guitar for the Practicing Musician anybody?). I'll be going through those

Cafeman

Cafeman

Episode IX Star Wars binge part 7 - film rankings

Episode IX Star Wars binge part 7 - film rankings

I am done watching the films in story-chronological order!  Here is my ranking of the 8 Skywalker films and 2 side story films, which I'm sure nobody will agree with:  Ep5 > Ep4 > Ep6 > Ep7 >  RO > Ep8 > Ep3 > Solo > Ep1 >  Ep2.  Breaking it down a bit:  Ep5 > Ep4 > Ep6  -  because the OT films are the best of all them. Unbeatable.   Ep6 ROTJ is an 8.5/10 film, not quite up there with Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back - both of which are 1

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Star Wars Rogue One - Spoilers Talk n'at

I also wrote a spoiler-free blog entry about the film here - http://atariage.com/forums/blog/618/entry-13519-star-wars-rogue-one-spoiler-free-review/ I wrote that quickly after seeing the film, being careful to avoid all other reviews because I didn't want my thoughts influenced. Once an idea gets in one's head, its there forever. I left the film in elation, feeling some of the 80's stunned wow-factor that I remember as a kid watching the originals. Rogue Squadron stirred the Star Wars excite

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

SEGA Saturn is hooked up again

I've been in a real old-school SEGA mood since fall hit. Up until December, I have been enjoying playing many 16-bit Genesis and SEGA-CD games. I finally had my fill for a while, put that system into the closet and hooked up the SEGA Saturn for December. At first it took some time to get into the 32-bit Saturn again. I was still in a 16-bit mood. I looked at my game wallet that has my 40+ Saturn games, didn't really know what to play. Well, I hit a retro store and picked up on the cheap, Mad

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Replay FX is over

I attended the Pittsburgh Replay FX last year Friday and Saturday - the show runs from Thursday to Sunday. So this year for 2016 I attended Thursday through Saturday. I also joined the Replay World Championships, played a lot of Time Pilot and Dig Dug on max difficulty, but got eliminated in the first round finals. Also attended some GREAT seminars, played countless pinball, coin-ops, and consoles, and heard some good music. Great show! Kong-Off Championships. This returned for a 2nd y

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

The Adventure II timeline

[This older blog entry was updated on 2/14/2020 and 9/30/2020].    2001-2002 -- Alan and I begin the game and design 75% of what it will be like. Raccoon joins as the artist. 2002-2004 -- Raccoon Lad & I discuss 5200 limits, we design and create screens, and program the game. 2004 -- Infogrames "Atari" attack! Game renamed (temporarily to Quest for the Golden Chalice.  Knocked the wind out of me for a while.    https://atariage.com/forums/topic/59600-quest-for-the-

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

RL5203

RL5203 is planned to be called Detective Powers. In 2009, I was off work for several months, and during this time I read nearly all of Conan Doyle's Sherlock stories. Also, via Netflix DVDs and Streaming, I watched all the seasons and one-off films from the Granada BBC Masterpiece Theater Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett, and I was especially fond of those. So I started to think about how to do an Atari 5200/A8 game back then in late 2009/early 2010. Coincidentally to me, there seemed to

Cafeman

Cafeman

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 2

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 2

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , episode IX of George Lucas' original 9-chapter story, debuts December 20, 2019.       Back in the autumn of 2015 before  Star Wars: The Force Awakens (episode VII)  came out,  I binged the Clone Wars animated series (on Netflix  I think) and found it was mostly very good!      And now, leading up to Episode IX, I am  binging on Star Wars content again to get me in the SW mood.  On the movies side of things, I'm going to re-watch all the films in chronological s

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Bike Riding

I'm tired of buying junk. In 2009 I went yard sale shopping and got 2 used bikes. One was for Mrs Cafeman, who since decided biking isn't for her, so I ditched it years back. The other bike, and I don't recall the brand, was for my oldest son who was like 15 at the time - wouldn't you know we still have it, it's older but the frame and wheels never bent, the brakes still work, and it didn't rust out. You can tell this was a quality bike back in the day, whatever year it was sold. Contr

Cafeman

Cafeman

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 1

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 1

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker , episode IX of George Lucas' original 9-chapter story, debuts December 20, 2019. Or Thursday night December 19 as new big movies started to bump up the day.     I remember in the early 80's when Star Wars was the best and most exciting thing there was, and articles would comment that these films were really just episodes 4,5 and 6 of a bigger story that floated in George's head.  I never thought we'd actually get films for 1,2,3 or 7,8,9.  And now epis

Cafeman

Cafeman

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 3

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 3

I have  re-watched all three Prequel Trilogy films back-to-back.    I've come to live with and accept some earlier harsher criticisms, so I won't focus too much on those.  But I will be talking about what was dumb.   Some random thoughts:    Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones  (Released May 2002, 17 years ago!)  -- thoughts:    Anakin acts like an immature,  whiny brat the entire first half of the film. It is awkward to watch these scenes, as everybody else in the sce

Cafeman

Cafeman

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 4  (more KOTOR)

Episode IX Star Wars binge, part 4 (more KOTOR)

I started to play Xbox Knights of the Old Republic for the first time in advance of Star Wars Episode IX ... although I've owned it for 15 years!     On Monday I played for another hour or so.  I'm still on Taris but I have seemingly finished the sewers/Vulkar Swoop Bike prototype engine mission.   I  won the subsequent Swoop bike racing heats (not hard at all), and the female Jedi Bastila has been freed and she is a member of my party now.   I think I learned something about fighting

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

I'm on a Saturn Kick 2

As I blogged about earlier, Panzer Dragoon Remake made me want to hook up the Saturn again to play though the original.    Now I'm mostly working on Panzer Dragoon Zwei, which is one of my favorite Saturn titles. I am up to level 6 which is the assault on the huge flying imperial ship. I died at the boss fight, so I'll try it again next time - this game allows a Save End option to continue later.     It has been so long since I had played Zwei, that I keep getting killed off.

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

10 Cloverfield Lane - spoiler-free review

I just got back from 10 Cloverfield Lane , and it didn't disappoint. The first section is a spoiler-free review, followed by a spoiler-hidden additional thoughts. Spoiler-free Review: "After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack." - IMDB's description. I didn't really expect the film to be a direct sequel to the original Cloverfield, with that monster stomping around - but I wasn

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Daytona USA for SEGA Dreamcast

Just like smelling the roses in the garden, it's nice to have time to Watch the Replay. After a race. I've always loved doing it , to soak in the graphics which , during a race, you can't. And also just to watch myself racing around the track , from the 3rd person vantage point. So right now I'm typing this while half-watching a Mermaid Lake replay where I came in 3rd place, using the Lightning Car with Medium-Soft tires. Today is 9/9/15 - the 16th anniversary of the USA Dreamcast console rel

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray review

I've seen The Force Awakens four times now. Three viewings at the theater, and one at home on my new BD copy. Review Grade: A I simply adore The Force Awakens! I love it! I love it more than any of the prequels. I love how it feels like natural 30-years-later continuation of the original trilogy that I loved as a youth. I like the new actors and characters, all of them. I give credit not only to the actors but to the film's director, JJ Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan. Top 3 re

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Reactors

I was discussing Atari homebrews and Reactor was brought up. I can remember only one arcade that actually had that awesome coin-op, with its trak-ball and loud electronic music and cool sounds. Atari 2600 Reactor by Parker Brothers (the only console port I've ever heard of) was one of my most often played 2600 games, and I still go back to it. It's just so unique. The 2 types of reactor cores, the switching bonus chambers, and the invisible walls keep it interesting as you play across levels.

Cafeman

Cafeman

Episode IX Star Wars Binge Part 5:   Rogue One and the OT films

Episode IX Star Wars Binge Part 5:   Rogue One and the OT films

I decided to re-watch Rogue One, then Episode IV: A New Hope immediately after.  I have never done this before!   Rogue One is a 2016 film, but a prequel to 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope.    I know the original Star Wars film like the back of my hand, but I wonder, how will the experience change after having just watched its prequel?   Rogue One ends with Princess Leia having just escaped the Imperials and Darth Vader, with the plans to the Death Star.    Star Wars began with Princess Leia storin

Cafeman

Cafeman

Episode IX Star Wars binge part 6: TFA and TLJ 

Episode IX Star Wars binge part 6: TFA and TLJ 

I've watched Star Wars Episode VII:  The Force Awakens about a dozen times;  I've watched Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi a couple of times.    I just re-watched them, after having watched all the other SW films in story-chronological order.  I've already blogged a lot about Episode 7: The Force Awakens, so I'm not in the mood to say the same things.  Basically I really enjoyed its return to the OT feel, and I really liked Daisy Ridley as Rey.  Even though TFA mimics story points f

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

RL5204 Escape From AirWorld

In the early 2000's decade, there was an effort to make a 5200 version of Swordquest Airworld. It didn't get too far, but it inspired me to draw up a couple of screens just for fun - a palace in the clouds with ladders and platforms, and rooms with items. I never really liked any of the Atari 2600 Swordquest games. None of them. But I did like the concept. Especially of an "Airworld". I had my own idea of such a game, and it was nothing like the original Atari Swordquest games. Years ago I

Cafeman

Cafeman

Adventure II XE update 08-02-2019

Adventure II XE update 08-02-2019

I've been going through and making tweaks to a laundry list of subtle and minor things.  I'm using the CONSOLE keys more than before so that you can play the game on an XEGS without needing the optional keyboard.    START  resets you back to Game Over / Rankings screen,   SELECT  Revives you to a Checkpoint,   and OPTION is Pause.    If you play on a computer like the 800XL etc, you can also rely on the  SpaceBar for Pause, "R" for Revive.     You can also Revive after getting eaten by just pres

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Me and Saturn

I loaded Shinobi Legions and have been relearning it for that past 2 nights.  I have not played it for a LONG TIME.  Probably not for 10 years or more.  Quick take:  it is pretty awesome and fun!  Its funny to me, I remember taking note of the game's load times when it was new.  Well ,  compared to Genesis cartridge gaming, yes there are some load times, but after playing modern games for so many years, Shinobi Legions'  load times now seem negligible to me!   The game is more fun, with better c

Cafeman

Cafeman

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (League) - Spoiler-free review

I watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The first section is a spoiler-free review (I assume you watched the trailers), followed by a spoiler-hidden additional thoughts. Based on the Rotten Tomatoes low aggregate score of about 30%, and the complaints, I went in with low expectations. I didn't particularly like the trailers. But to my surprise, I enjoyed the film and would give it "thumbs up". So this review is going to have a positive slant. Also, in my audience there was a lot o

Cafeman

Cafeman

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