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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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    Ontario, Canada
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    Music, recording, video games

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  1. Why did I have a feeling Punch Out would be on this list... The game definitely takes some practice and perseverence to beat but it ain't that damn hard. I mean, aren't there people on Youtube beating the game blindfolded? Top 15 hardest on the system? C'maaaan....
  2. I'll put in another vote for the Hyperkin Trooper sticks. I grew up with the originals in the 80s and I have a few of those kicking around but they all need to be rebuilt to be usable. After checking out the vaunted "Best Electronics" site and getting frustrated because I couldn't figure out how to order anything, I just hit up Amazon and was able to score a pair of Hyperkin Troopers for dirt cheap - I think $7 each or some shit, if I recall. I believe they're a fair bit more expensive now though; not sure how I lucked out. While they physically resemble the originals the feel is notably different. As someone mentioned, they're a bit "looser" than the originals. But to be honest, my aging hands find them more comfortable to use than the originals, so I'm totally happy to use these from now on. My litmus test for a 2600 joystick is always whether or not I can perform up to my capability on Frostbite, and these sticks pass that test no problem. To provide balance to my review, I should mention that I've seen reports of the handles snapping off these things, and I guess I can see that would be possible in theory. But after using mine for quite a while now I feel as though such a failure would be quite unlikely under normal use (at least, for me). Now, of course, "normal use" would exclude playing Track and Field or Decathlon.
  3. https://gameongrafix.com/ It's been quite some time since I dealt with them (10 years) and I remember thinking they were a bit pricey but the results were top notch, IMO.
  4. I love shit like this. That's some great engineering on that first one; lots of thought clearly went into it. One of the touted benefits of emulation is the ability to quickly and conveniently remap controls, so it's very cool how you've found an "analog" way of doing the same thing right on a real console. I find myself thinking it would be even cooler if it incorporated a pot-based dial for paddle games, but I also acknowledge that "too much complexity" is sometimes a thing. Great work!
  5. And that's great, because it gets you in the game rather than sitting on the sidelines thinking about it. Certainly, it wouldn't take much time using that controller to figure out if it meets the need or if you want something a bit more elaborate. I think a lot of it depends on the setup of your space(s), how/where you store things, etc. A big standalone arcade controller would not work well for me because, if everytime I wanted to use it, I had to go into some closet or cabinet, get the controller, untangle the cords, clear a space on the coffee table or desk, plug it in, and then do it all in reverse when done, I'd never use it. I just know myself that way. Another issue is having somewhere to put the controller where you're comfortable for extended periods of time. I've tried sitting on the edge of a couch hunched over a coffee table and my back/ass start to get sore pretty quickly. Thankfully, I have plenty of room for a cabinet so I can go that route, which provides a walk-up-and-play option.
  6. I often wonder what percentage of retro gamers "consider" getting into a MAME rig vs. what percentage actually go ahead and do something about it. I fully appreciate that just a little bit of googling and reading may be enough to kill the idea for many, due to the appearance of the project being prohibitive on financial and/or technical grounds. That's a shame, IMO. I say that because I moved my first MAME cabinet into my basement 10 years +1 month ago - April 2011 - and I cannot count the thousands of hours of fun I've had with that thing (and continue to do so). First things first - you need to answer this question for yourself: are you a "tinkerer" who loves to fiddle with things in a DIY way, or are you more of a "just pay for a premade product" type? There are a range of options to get up and running for people in either of those camps, and they are presently more varied than at any time since I've joined this hobby. If you're a DIY tinkerer by nature (or are willing to become one) then the sky is pretty much the limit. You can do anything from a blank-sheet-of-paper original design, to a modification of an old discarded cabinet, to a modification of a low-cost commercial solution (Arcade1up), and everything in between. You do not need to be a master carpenter if you're willing to learn some techniques and buy a few new tools. If you have little to no interest in DIY adventures then your options are far more limited but there are still numerous possibilites with vastly different price levels. Pick up one of these and hook it up to a laptop running MAME and boom, off you go. https://shop.xgaming.com/collections/arcade-joysticks As a side note, don't think that you necessarily save a pile of money by going full DIY. The primary advantage of full DIY is full creative control and personal satisfaction. You may save a few bucks but it will be more than offset by the number of hours of your time that you will end up burning on the project (could be dozens to hundreds, depending on how deep you go.) I definitely enjoy tinkering so I chose to build from the ground up for my main MAME cabinet. Of course, at the time I was divorced with no kids so I was living alone and had all kinds of free time. If my basement flooded tomorrow and I lost my cabinet, I would definitely replace it ASAP, but now that I'm re-married with kids and have much less time to spare, I would not even consider a scratch-build for a nanosecond. More than likely I'd find some old arcade cabinet and modify it; failing that, maybe I'd splurge on one of the many full-size cabinet kits that are out there. I've built multiple projects - 3 examples below. On the left is my "main" cabinet I built 10 years ago, it's still running like a champ. In the middle is one of the above-linked X-Arcade sticks mounted atop a basic pedestal, which was basic enough to slap together in a weekend for my garage (obviously not very authentic looking but excellent bang-for-your-buck factor). On the right is an example of how ridiculous you can get with DIY ideas, as it's a small Pi-based "cocktail" rig I built into an end-table in my pop-up camper (having an understanding spouse helps sometimes ).
  7. ... and most players will probably not be motivated to care if faced with the choice between controls that are inverted or controls that make you contort your hand and get tendonitis or some shit.
  8. Just thought of another one - Miner 2049er on Game Boy. I know there are several very old/shitty versions of this game (Atari 2600, Apple II, etc.) but I feel like the Game Boy should be held to a higher standard because it had the benefit of several more years' worth of lessons learned in game design.
  9. DK is easily my favorite of any game that has been widely ported to a range of platforms. The arcade original is by far the one I prefer.. by far. Long before ever getting to know the arcade version I owned and played the 2600 version as a kid and thought it was decent. For years on here I kind of felt like it got a disproportionate amount of hate. I mean, yeah, it's only 2 of the 4 stages but the game is still OK fun... or so my memories had me believing. But a few months ago 2600 DK popped up in the AtariClub score competition on Twitter and for the first time in decades I sat down and actually tried to play it and get a high score. In doing so, I was reminded of the "rose tinted glasses" effect. For the first 1-2 plays, the experience was pretty consistent with my memory of a simplified-but-still-fun game. But that mirage crumbled very quickly thereafter. I mean, as a student of the arcade game, the 2600 port is pretty much irredeemable. Having only 2 screens is a major shortcoming but it wouldn't be a total showstopper if those 2 screens were done well. The last straw was when I kept dying on the rivet stage even though I had the hammer. WTF is that? Complete crap, that's what.
  10. For me, the library roughly breaks into 3 categories: 1) "Best left in the past" - if I'm being honest, this is the largest group. It consists of games that are just to simple/janky/crude/simplistic/etc. to be any fun for my adult self. 2) "For quick bursts only" - games that are reasonably high quality but not likely to be repeatedly played. This category includes many of the system's arcade ports; i.e., games that may be quite good but have been rendered superfluous by my ability to play the original versions on my MAME cabinet 3) "the recurring regulars" - games that I continue to play and re-play over and over. Basically, a pile of original Activision games plus a select few others. Frostbite is one of my favorite video games of all time, for example.
  11. Sometimes I forget that IRL I don't actually live in Turtle Village from Golden Axe.
  12. I've never used one of those plastic "fight sticks" myself, but it makes sense. I think the general consensus is that micro-switch joysticks are more accurate for inputting a series of movements for combos, etc. especially if diagonals are involved. That is important in SF2 style games, obviously. For games where you need a more fluid feel to the controls to carefully move around the screen - think Robotron or a hectic shoot-em-up - the leaf switch style works very well. For early games that used 4-way joysticks (e.g. Pac-Man, Burgertime, Donkey Kong, Dig Dug), I think the most important thing is to just have a 4-way joystick, regardless of whether it's leaf or micro. That will make the game very playable, anyway. For authenticity, those games used a range of different sticks so you'll never find a universally authentic one.
  13. Sounds to me like the classic difference between leaf-switch joysticks and micro-switch joysticks. Micro switches are what cause the clicky sounds; leaf switches are smoother and quieter. Generally speaking, leaf switches were the norm in many classic early 80s titles. Micro switches were the norm on early 90s fighting games and the like. Both styles have their strengths and weaknesses for different types of games. The choice you go with should be decided by what types of games have highest priority for you, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for arcade joysticks. At least, not if "authentic feel" is the standard by which you're measuring.
  14. I realize the timeframe for when I said the new season would start has come and gone, so I guess it's only fair that I explain. Due to circumstances in real life for the time being, I don't feel it is a good time for me to be running the high score club. I definitely want it to continue and I'll be ready to return to organizing it eventually, I just can't say when that will be. Of course, I don't expect the group to wait for me if somebody else is interested in stepping in to start a competition. If that happens I will likely participate, I just can't be running/organizing anything like that right now. Thanks for your understanding, game on.
  15. For me, driving games are a special case. They're an example where I feel like the "realism" afforded by modern technology enhances the experience in a way that goes beyond the superficial. I still have my PS3 hooked up in the basement with my Logitech steering wheel, and GT6 is the only game that has been played on there in years. So I'm with you on that one. But you lost me when you drew a link between Batsugan to COD. I'm pretty sure most fans of either game style would agree that the link between a modern FPS and a classic arcade shoot-em-up is tenuous at best. As for the hypothetical Asteroids RPG, I feel like we may be living in different universes, because that wouldn't be comparable at all for me. In fact, traditional scoring systems being supplanted by "trophies" and "achievements" is one of the primary reasons I stick with the older stuff.
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