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Austin

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Austin last won the day on September 15 2015

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About Austin

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    Quadrunner
  • Birthday 04/20/1982

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    Fairfax, VA

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  1. I've been using RF on a small (14" or so) Trinitron at work and have been very surprised at the quality of the image. However, this is a set from the '90s with a curved screen. RF on my newer Trinitrons (early 2000's, much larger sets, flat screens, up to 32 inches) looks bad and composite is preferred. I find it interesting that many of us have shunned RF for so long, but the reality is that it can look good on the right kind of TV.
  2. Austin

    Prices going up.

    If you asked me several years ago if Dreamcast prices would go up as high as they have across the board, I would have said you were crazy. It's understandable for some actually-rare and uncommon titles to go up, but the way the entire library has increased in value is disappointing. Yet another console that's getting prohibitively expensive to buy for, for normal enjoyment. An ODE is almost mandatory at this point.
  3. Austin

    GDEMU Questions

    I had an official GDEMU and had a bunch of issues with it. Occasionally I'd boot it up and it would give me just a black screen. There was a time I got fed up with it, cracked open the DC and reseated it. There were many ISO incompatibilities for me as well. Some games would show a name in the list but not load. Others would show up as something it couldn't recognize (it's been a while, but it would give a message like "Unrecognized Disc Image" or something, I don't remember). These are the same ISOs that worked fine in emulators and then later worked fine as CDr burns. The way it sorts games in the gdmenu program is unintuitive as well. People that have been using Everdrives for a while (where, you know.. they have no trouble alphabetizing ROMS automatically) will be scratching their heads on first use. I don't know, the thing just seemed too finicky to be worth the cost of an original. I switched back to CDr media for the time being (Taiyo Yuden) and have had zero issues. I still want a good ODE for it and plan on investing in a MODE in the future. It's more expensive but it also looks much more user friendly and feature-rich. I've heard from plenty of people that have had no issues with the GDEMU, but that wasn't my experience unfortunately.
  4. I should note, they remain unlocked as long as you continue from a saved key and don't blow away your stored keys.
  5. The next time I fire up the Jag I'll give it a shot. You can just skip to the end of the game as all the levels remain unlocked, even on Beastly mode.
  6. No one ever talks about the FM's DVI mode but it seems like a really cool way to use the device. I experimented with it just a couple of months ago because I was considering changing up how I record footage. Until I did that, I had no idea it would output to 4X3 resolutions over DVI. Ultimately I'd eventually like to route it to a 4X3 CRT VGA monitor I have in my chain and I bet it would look fantastic there. Unfortunately with my current setup (which is strictly based around VGA and HDMI) it's too much work to switch everything over to DVI without rigging up a bunch of converters and splitters/amplifiers. Hopefully I can move to that in the future. By the way, those snapshots of PS2 games look great. I don't typically bother with progressive scan through the FM, especially not with the PS2. I tell people that the FM's deinterlacing is so good, it basically looks like progressive scan without it actually being the case, haha. The deinterlaced 480i image through a FM looks extremely stable.
  7. Well, I guess my Tempest 2000 journey is about finished. I've done the Jaguar, Saturn and PS1 (in Tempest X3) versions, and I've even finally finished Tempest X3 itself. The only other ones I needed to try were the PC versions (I don't think I'd be able to get access to the Mac port). So, I ordered both the MS-DOS and Windows 95 versions of the game, received them last week, installed them and ran into problems with both. The MS-DOS version, despite finding my sound cards in multiple machines, will not actually play sound effects and so I ditched it for the moment (more on that later). The Windows 95 version was a mixed bag. On my Windows 95 machine it played, but was probably around 25fps and so it wasn't particularly enjoyable. On my Windows 98 machine (much more powerful), the game seems bugged and runs at a slideshow pace, one or two frames per second (no joke). Totally unplayable. Interestingly, this game seems to scale its visuals to whatever your desktop resolution is set to, so it can look very sharp. The image quality is also better than the DOS version with your score and lives looking smoothed out in comparison. Sound-wise it strictly uses the CD soundtrack with no midi support whatsoever (contrary to the DOS version, which can use both the CD music or an Adlib midi soundtrack). I'll probably try this one on my Windows XP machine later on just to see if it's bugged like on 98, or if it magically works correctly. A couple of nights ago I fiddled around with the MiSTer and was able to transfer an ISO of the DOS version of T2K over to it, got it installed via the ao486 core and low and behold, it actually worked, sound and all! So last night I made an attempt to roll through the entire game from start to finish, all levels like I've done in each of the other versions. Well... that was a disaster. I received my first Game Over at level 63, then proceeded to make tiny stints of progress, brute forcing my way through the game, continuing once every couple of levels. It was kind of painful. Something about this version just feels "off". For one, the color pallette is much lower than other versions, capping at 256 colors, so everything looks more muted than other versions. I was also playing on a CRT monitor which didn't help this, with everything looking extra dark. Enemies tend to blend into the backgrounds and all the particle effects really get in the way of seeing what's coming up the web. This is an issue in every version, but it's especially bad here. Level 95 was my breaking point and after close to five hours of gameplay I threw in the towel. I just couldn't manage to get past it. I thought to myself, "Well, let me go a couple levels back, get three warp triangles, beat the bonus stage and skip ahead five levels." Well, that didn't work. I'm not sure if this is true in other versions as well, but it seems like if you're around level 90 or up, the game won't let you skip ahead five stages. I was on level 93, completed the bonus stage, and was dropped into level 94 instead of level 98 or 99 like I was supposed to (the idea was to try to skip 95 all together). This version just seems a lot harder than the other versions I've played. I think it has more to due with the dark pallette and it being more difficult to see. Also, my controls felt a little laggy, so I wasn't as accurate with my movements or shots as I would be in other versions. This could very well simply be due to how I was interfacing a controller with the MiSTer (a Retro-Bit Saturn pad, then mapping buttons on the controller to keys on the keyboard). Anyway, here are some things I noticed about the DOS version. This port is in a lot of ways closer to the Jaguar version than others mechanically-speaking, but like other ports, is different in areas. Note: The MiSTer ao486 core was set to mimic a 486 processor running at 90mhz. This could have an effect on performance and so I'm not sure how this game will differ on more or less powerful setups. - Game displays in 256 colors. Color usage is muted overall compared to other versions and objects can look very drab in places, not to mention blend in with the background on darker displays. - Webs are filled with solid colors. They do cycle to different colors, but there are no melting effects or shading, they are fully solid. - You have the option to turn off the score and lives displays. You can also disable the starfield and web color fills. - The Adlib soundtrack only has a few tunes taken from Tempest 2000 proper (the first two web sets, then a couple of bonus stages). The rest of the soundtrack is all new tunes. You can still use the CD soundtrack if you want, which should be the same as the other CD versions of the game (I intentionally played with the Adlib music so did not verify this 100%). - Sound effects are more "crunchy" and in some cases are different from other versions. The pitch of voice callouts, especially in bonus stages, is incorrect as well. - Gameplay-wise, it seems pretty close to the Jaguar game. I suppose this makes sense as it was done by Imagitec (High Voltage did the console ports). Details that are there in the Jag game seem to be replicated well here. For instance, this version features both solid green spikes and rainbow spikes. Green spikes can be quick-killed in this just like the Jaguar version, a feature missing from other conversions. This makes spikes less of a nuisance and feel better to rip through. The reflect enemies also look how they should and bounce back unique, reddish projectiles like in the Jag game. - The bonus levels are visually different from other versions. The wavy floor/ceiling of the first set of bonus stages doesn't look anywhere near as smooth as the Jag game (see attached screenshots). The green track bonus stage looks extremely blocky (and it ran at a very poor framerate for me). The blue ring bonus stages are gone, replaced with a modification of the first bonus stage type. This one consists of you flying through wireform square rings. The floor/ceiling is gone and the controls have been modified, adding lots of inertia and making you feel more like you're piloting a ship of some kind. - Game seems more difficult than other versions. I noticed slightly laggy controls, but this could be due to how I'm interfacing with the MiSTer. Enemies come up the playfield quite quickly and I felt overwhelmed more often than I was in other versions. I may have to try it again while setting a lower clock speed in the MiSTer core just to make sure the game isn't running too fast. - Level design seems faithful to the Jaguar game. Level 64 is still there, unlike its modified version in T2K in Tempest X3. - Bonus level end screens are flat and unimpressive. You know what, I just realized I've never gone through Typhoon 2001. Maybe I need to try that next..
  8. It was amazing for a console game at the time, not a PC game.
  9. It's a great version of the game, no doubt. For id software fans like myself, it's a huge reason to own a Jaguar. That said, I played through the game twice a few months back and can say it wasn't perfect. The lack of enemy 3D animation is obviously an issue, but the framerate got a lot worse than I remember. It's something I could tolerate, but it's a far cry from playing this on one of my classic PCs at 70hz like it was designed. A must-own for the system, but it's far from flawless. Still great though for the era.
  10. Later this afternoon I'll be doing another live playthrough of Tempest X3 on the PS1. If time permits after, I'll likely do a run of the hidden Tempest 2000 as well (this time using warps, I don't have all day, haha). Link to tune in for anyone interested later: https://youtu.be/LPAX23XCyeM I ordered both of the PC versions of Tempest 2000 over the weekend and they should arrive in the next day or two (MS-DOS and Windows versions). I'll be doing full runs of those and I'll drop them here when I'm done. I'm told the Windows version has multiple resolution settings, so I'm interested in seeing how it handles those.
  11. Who knows when the HD Retrovision cables are going to hit. I'm not sure what's taking so long. At this point you'll probably end up using the S-Video cable for quite some time, so you might as well go official.
  12. The only thing you will be missing is the HDMI-in port (to run your cable box into your console) and the Kinect port (not even the USB adapter works on the SX). If you don't use those, then you're not missing anything. The performance bump and faster load times you'll get in many of your games out of the box will make the upgrade worth it.
  13. I had a Samsung HD CRT and did not like its picture quality at all. I don't recall the model number, but whatever internal scaler it was using wasn't particularly good for non-HD content. The SD image was always soft regardless of connection type. HD content looked excellent on the other hand. My Wega HD CRT was nice however. SD stuff still looked great on it. It definitely had the edge there.
  14. The older XRGB devices are perfectly viable options and look amazing on VGA monitors. Maybe not the cheapest, but in this use-case scenario they are very solid.
  15. Those four points can be tricky to deal with, with how they overlap!
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