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Cynicaster

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Cynicaster last won the day on March 13 2012

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About Cynicaster

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    River Patroller

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    Male
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    Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Music, recording, video games

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  1. I just do not get Wizard of Wor. WoW: 22,200
  2. I think this will get the attention of a lot of MAME cabinet guys who would like to get their hands on a cheap yoke controller.
  3. If I were in charge of coming up with the design specs of this thing for AtGames, I'd be taking a good hard look at the feedback/reviews Arcade1Up received and try to avoid their gaffes. Then again, most of the harsh criticism of the 1Ups probably came from the arcade collector and MAME cabinet builder community; i.e., not really the target audience. To be fair, it's tough to build something like this with quality parts and still be able to hit a price point that people will be comfortable with. Unlike the multitude of dirt-cheap retro console units on the market, a full-sized arcade cabinet calls for more than low-cost miniaturized electronics and a plastic case; monitors, discrete controls, and cabinet structure all matter. On the one hand, the market wants to be all nostalgia-goo-goo and have an arcade cabinet, on the other hand they have become accustomed to everything in retro emulation being very low cost (or free), so they're reluctant to take the plunge on something that carries a premium price, even if it gets them higher quality. I've lost count of the number of people who have seen my MAME cabinet and been like "wow man, this is sweet! I want one!" only to never mention it again after they find out what I spent to build it.
  4. Both for cost and control panel clutter reasons, I question the decision to provide 2 spinners. Most famous spinner games only use one spinner, so it's hard to think of much benefit to the second spinner to go with that additional cost. Also, they're pretty pricey items if you want quality parts, and we already know that if you cheap out on spinners everybody is going to scream bloody murder (see: Arcade1Up spinner reviews). Also, as another point of personal preference, the big-mess-of-disparate-characters-and-logos art scheme just doesn't look good. I've seen dozens of MAME cabinets where this has been attempted and it just doesn't work. What's wrong with some clean lines and stripes? Focus on a simple visual theme and a small set of complementary colors that look nice together. Sounds like they've got some cool ideas for connectivity, updates, etc. I'm a MAME cabinet guy so I'm probably not a customer, but I'm interested to learn more about this.
  5. Yeah, "easy" is not the word I'd use. I'm pretty decent at picking up on most arcade games if I put a little effort into it, but for some reason, I am just monumentally hopeless at the Pac-Man games. It usually takes me multiple tries to clear the first screen without dying, and it's just discouraging. The speed-up versions help negate the discouragement a little bit. The games still aren't very long, but it feels more approachable on a casual basis.
  6. I remember a mention in Michael Azerrad's Nirvana biography "Come As You Are." I just leafed through the book and found it... right near the beginning of the book when the author is describing his impressions upon walking into Kurt's house to do the interviews. Makes me wonder what game it was, as there were countless "Space Invaders-type" games in the early 80s. Many games of that type - including the most well-known ones like Space Invaders, Galaxian, and Galaga - did not allow for the entry of initials. It was probably Radar Scope or Galaga '88 or something like that.
  7. I've always thought getting controllers to work was the easy part. Now, whether those controllers are suitable for the games I want to play is a different story entirely, but I've never used an emulator where controller setup was difficult. I've used keyboard encoder-based controls (MAME cabinet), 20 year-old wired Logitechs, real NES controllers through an adapter, real 2600 joysticks through an adapter, XBOX 360 controllers, and wireless PS3 controllers. I think Windows just recognizes these devices generically as "game controller" and passes them on to the emulator software. IMO the best one-size-fits-all, generation-spanning emulation controller is something with the basic button layout of modern controllers. Lately I've been using PS3 controllers through a Mayflash adapter and it works great. If you only want to play pre-16-bit stuff then you can use other controllers, but once you get to the SNES you've got the 4 face buttons in a diamond pattern and shoulder buttons, which continues to be useful (if not necessary) for everything after that. The popular emulator "Retroarch" seems to acknowledge this by mapping everything to that basic configuration through their "Retropad" concept.
  8. Did you change the joystick? Looks different in that last photo.
  9. If I get in the 100k range that's a good game for me. I just never really saw the appeal of Galaga, and never felt compelled to really work at it. It's OK I guess, but there are dozens and dozens of other games I'd rather play in my limited gaming time. The only reason I play Galaga at all anymore is because it's one of the only games my buddy likes, and we're pretty evenly matched, so it makes for some good friendly competition (read: beer drinking, trash-talking sessions.)
  10. CX-40 for me, with honorable mention to Slik Stik. Just like with arcade games, different types of games on the 2600 simply play better with different types of sticks. But for me, it's fair to say that the CX-40 works fine with any kind of game on the system. The Wico joysticks are fine for slower-paced game styles on the 2600, but for really twitchy games calling for precision and split-second reactions, they're just unusable for playing up to your potential, IMO. Somebody mentioned Frostbite earlier, and that is the same first example that comes to mind for me as well. When that game starts to really speed up in the 200k+ score range, you're whipping around the screen and weaving in and out of clusters of enemies. It's quite the rush, and a beautiful piece of game design when experienced with a responsive stick. A big spongy-feeling joystick like the Wico just does not provide the snappy response you need. I remember having the Boss back in the 80s and I couldn't get within 150k of my PB on Frostbite using that thing. For a while, it was the only working joystick we had, so it wasn't for lack of trying.
  11. I definitely think that copying ROMs from a cabinet without permission and distributing them on the internet is a violation of trust and a bit of a dick move. On the other hand, there is a palpable schadenfreude component at play when I picture a collector elitist knob-end crying tears of disgust onto his melancholy man-boobs over the release of a rare game to the emulation community. I will be downloading and playing this game with nary a shred of compunction, by the way. PS - the "tech stealing the roms from cabinet" is a cool conspiracy theory that would make a great 20/20 episode, but is there a single person in the world who truly believes this is what happened? The story of a guy surreptitiously plucking and copying chips from a rare game on the spot without getting caught is hopelessly untenable on its face. It seems to be well-established that multiple back-up dumps of Akka Arrh have been in existence for years, so the release of one of those - either as a willful donation from an anonymous owner or as an act of espionage from somebody else - is the only scenario that passes the sniff test, IMO.
  12. It was a good run. Thanks for donating your time to the worthy cause of friendly retro gaming competition.
  13. ^^ this is huge, IMO. They certainly weren't afraid to draw shameless inspiration from game concepts that had proven viable in the arcades, but they absolved themselves from having to re-create infeasible one-for-one replicas of arcade hits by simply pilfering the ideas that they could run with and marketing them as original games with different names. It's impossible to look at Kaboom and not see Avalanche, Megamania and not see Astro Blaster, Enduro and not see Turbo, etc. But those games are excellent nonetheless, and, IMO, are in a very elite tier of quality in the 2600 library.
  14. My best childhood friend, whom I met around 1982, is not really the type for nerdy stuff in general, like I am. But then, a few years ago, his young son started taking an interest in Transformers, which my friend and I absolutely loved back in the mid-late 80s. Suddenly, this Transformers thing with his son turned my friend into full nostalgia-nerd mode and he was buying up G1 Transformers on e-bay, reading forums, learning all kinds of obscure details about Transformers collecting, sending me photos of his toy shelf, the whole bit. One night a few years ago, we were sitting at a wedding after dinner, having some beers and talking about old Transformers toys. Some of the women at our table were like "OMG, you guys are such dorks, lolz" and the way my friend responded to them has always kind of stuck with me. He looked at them and said, with perhaps a sternness of tone that exceeded the needs of the situation, "listen… that stuff was *real* fun for us. We didn't care about who we were impressing, we didn't need any kind of validation, we didn't need booze to have a fun time, we were kids and it was just the purest form of fun. So what's wrong with talking about that now?" He's right. And I think, for me, the same sentiment extends to playing Atari 2600, which at least partially explains why it holds such a special place. But there's more to it than just the nostalgia-related factors. After all, if nostalgia were all that mattered then I'd have very similar feelings about the NES, and I don't. I still enjoy NES very much, just not at the same level as the 2600. I've struggled to figure out why, and what I've come up with is that it comes down to the style of games that typify the experience of these 2 systems. These days, I just really enjoy arcade-style score-attack type games, because I find my relationship with those games to be very non-intrusive, comfortable, and easy to manage. I walk up, play till I die, then either walk away or play again. No commitment, no nagging sense of leaving something unfinished, etc. At the end of a play session, I can essentially "cash out," having just enjoyed a complete, self-contained experience with a final result (i.e., my score.) By comparison, the vast majority of NES games are more focused on "getting to the end," so a quick walk-up-and-play on those games feels a bit hollow and, at times, pointless. On the one hand I'm not going to get anywhere in the game with just a few minutes of playing, and on the other hand, I'm disinclined to invest the time/effort needed to "beat" any one game when I have millions of others to enjoy and so little time to enjoy them. As for modern games, you take the basic concept of what I said about NES games and you put it to the Nth power. It's just not for me; I see no way of accommodating it in my life even if I wanted to.
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