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freewheel

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Everything posted by freewheel

  1. These overlays remind me of some of the overlays for INTV. Do you really need directions, when 2 buttons are used?
  2. FYI you don't need to look very hard for an RF cable. It's just a standard RCA stereo cable - you know those red/white/yellow ones we used for so many years? Any of those will work - just pick the same colour to hook to the TV and the 2600. Heck, you can even use red/green/blue component video cables. They're just a straight-through electrical connection. It may not look pretty, but it's a good way to test if you have a bad cable. And everyone I know has these cords lying around. There's only one caveat - the 2600 "stereo" jack (ie: what the RF plugs into) is a bit shallow. Modern RCA cables won't fit .. well. The prong in the middle is generally too long for a good fit in a 2600. You may have to play with it a little. But you should be able to at least get a video signal out of it. That being said, "scrambled" video is usually a good sign of a bad TIA or possibly CPU. Hard to see a cable messing with the signal - they usually either work or they don't. It's also possible that the RF circuitry is buggered, which means a major repair - a composite or s-video mod, basically. Not trivial if you're not comfortable opening up the consoles in general.
  3. Same reason that in 20 years, copies of Guitar Hero and Rock Band will be in every single lot, but the guitars and drums will be just about non-existent. People don't hold onto big, bulky items. We're already seeing this with the NES pad as well.
  4. My Air Raiders does not have a handle. Is it a rare variant?
  5. This is possibly the most disturbing idea I've ever read.
  6. I found it much more dramatic with Zelda Castlevania II gets a really bad rap nowadays but I loved it and played it to death back when. It's only now that I realize just how painful some of the design decisions really were. And count me as another fan of Sunshine. To me it was a direct descendent of Mario 64, just with a minor twist.
  7. Back in those days, Canada and the US were VERY different markets. Even today the US sees a much broader release of consumer products, although the gap narrows every year. And yeah, even in situations where towns/cities are literally minutes apart. I'm already 90% sure that I'm going to have to pick up my Coleco/INTV Flashback units while on vacation this fall. Depending on the exact product and year of release, our labelling laws (the French thing) has led to Canada missing out on some things, or seeing a very different product - hence all the "Canadian" label variations out there. Sometimes they send us the "International" release (somewhat common with SMS games and I often stumble upon Megadrive-labelled games) and sometimes we get one just for us. Especially when you go back 35 years, it wouldn't surprise me if you guys got games that simply never made it up here - or if they did, in very limited quantities. These days we have almost the same stores, but back then the retail chain was entirely different. Which is why you see those "Zellers" pirate 2600 games that are fairly rare in the US, but common as dirt up here. Almost every large lot I see has one or two. It makes for interesting collecting, because I see certain broad trends in the wild and in stores up here vs when I scavenge in the US.
  8. Goes to show you that opinions are varied on all of this stuff. Agreed with the DK series on Coleco, but - I absolutely adored SMB2, and still do. Yeah, it was a hack of a completely unrelated game, but it's not like they haven't mixed up the basic SMB formula in many ways since. And it's just a fun game. IMHO. In fact SMB2 is a real example of people's views changing post-Internet. Very few people were exposed to Famicom games in the 80s, so hardly anyone realized it wasn't a "real" Mario game at the time. A few magazines hinted at it but it was generally promoted as being the real deal. Internet happens, suddenly everyone discovers the truth, and an otherwise best-selling game (as opposed to best-produced but heavily-returned game) gets tossed on the trash heap. Hell, even when Nintendo publicly fessed up in the mid 90s when they released SMB All-Stars, it was still mostly a "meh" from gamers. Not the outrage of being cheated from the "real SMB2" that we see today. I'm actually happy we got that, instead of "more of the same, but harder" which was what the Japanese got. Yawn.
  9. An Excitebike clone where you jump over chasms on your bike with ET shooting a shotgun would be fun as hell. But it's probably just the Internet telling me that. I didn't really like shooters before the late 90s.
  10. It took me all of 3 seconds looking at the Wikipedia article to find this reference from 1984, when it was already being referred to as "one of the worst": http://www.cgwmuseum.org/galleries/index.php?year=1984&pub=6&id=16 (page 51) It's always possible that not everyone travelled in the same circles back then, but I find it exceedingly difficult to believe anyone who followed the news or read video game magazines at the time, that is also unaware of the incredibly poor critical reception E.T. got back in the 80s. I actually find it strange. Just as the common belief is that everyone loved this game and now hates it "because they're told to by Youtube", I've done the opposite. I pretty much loathed the game at the time and only in recent years have started to appreciate it a bit. Especially as I get more exposed to the real dogs on the system, which were generally rare enough to never have played in the 80s. The helpful "hack" makes it easier to play, too. I don't care how many manuals or tips people tell me, I cannot deal with those goddamn pits even after all these years. However the best part of the game is that the cart is perfect for mod testing. It's one of the few readily-available games that gives nice, bright graphics and repeating audio as soon as the console is turned on, no switches required. Makes for quick prototyping and experimentation.
  11. Near as I can tell, the game was practically non-existent in Canada. I have never, EVER come across one in the wild here. Given how common it supposedly is overall, I'd rank it as a 5 or even 6 up here. I'm sitting on a pile of 500+ carts downstairs, and have probably had a couple thousand go through my hands over the past few years. The only place I've seen it is in Ebay auctions. Not even retro stores in the US ever seem to have it, or if they do it's only at the stores that charge $10 for common carts. It's been one of my more elusive hunts.
  12. OK, you've already eliminated the switchbox, and still have the same problem. You now have 2 or 3 options available: 1. Try on different TVs. It's possible that your 2600 just outputs a pretty weak RF signal, and the TV you're using it on isn't quite picking it up (at least not consistently). Test on older TVs as much as you can. If you still see the same problem on multiple TVs, then: 2. As suggested, get an old VCR. The tuner in the VCR will act like a signal amplifier. This often helps with consoles that just won't work on their own. If you still have no success, then: 3. You're probably looking at a composite or S-video mod. Depending on 2600 model, you can quickly clip some leads to the appropriate places on the mainboard and test out if this gives you a decent video signal or not. I'd say that with 90% of the 2600 units that I stumble upon that have bad RF, I've managed to easily get a signal with a half-dozen wires clipped in (and a few resistors, pots, etc). Something about the RF circuits degrades or dies over time, but the original video outputs are as good as day one.
  13. Still had the Odyssey 1, Vic 20, C64 (with of course all games and accessories) and probably the NES by the time I finally went "hey, 2600 stuff is cheap and I remember playing all this!". 1989-90. There was a weird store where I lived that sold comics, records - and video games of literally every type (all of 2 generations at that time, really). I still have a few carts with the prices from back then. It sure was weird to see a store selling 10 year old games back then - or hell, used games, period. Not so much today. Of course I had zero clue what was rare, so I just re-bought Missile Command, Yars', Asteroids, Warlords, etc. The obvious choices. And most expensive as they were the most popular even at that point. They probably had a ton of rarity 7-8 stuff sitting there for a buck.
  14. I'll drive 30 minutes to pick up a big lot of common carts for 50 cents a piece. So - unless your car gets 0.01MPG, IT'S WORTH THE DRIVE. Seriously, for what you describe I'd probably be doing a weekend trip, including driving, hotel, etc. Unless the lot is selling for like $500. But if you're only wondering if it's "worth the drive"?? HELL YES. You got me real curious how much it's selling for, when you're debating a whole 30 minute drive. Maybe it's my Canuck sensibility, when the nearest town/city is always an hour or 3 away. We're just used to driving further for stuff.
  15. I'd rather play K.C. Munchkin (O2) or Trashman (Vic20) than 2600 Pac-Man. Those are much better maze games of similar vintage. People who defend 2600 Pac-Man either forget or don't realize that we had much better "not Pac-Man" maze games back in the day.
  16. This sure seems to be a common belief these days, but what some of you young'uns don't realize is that we were calling E.T. "one of the worst games ever" back in about 1985 or so. Are there worse games for the 2600? Of course! But hardly anyone owned them back in the day (seriously, mentioning the adult games brings a chuckle, most people hadn't even HEARD of them until Youtube and the like). Are there worse games for other systems? Absolutely! Systems that did not exist when E.T. go its reputation. Some of us are a tad older than blogs or Youtube, and trust me - for mainstream, readily-available games that average people actually played, E.T. was long-considered up there in the pile of stinkers. It's only the advent of the Internet and ROM trading that most people have discovered just how much more awful games get. Where does that leave E.T. today? Well it's obviously not quite as bad compared to even worse dreck, but this recent "oh c'mon guys, it's really not so bad, this is just Youtube hype" meme really has to die. Trust me, it long ago earned its reputation. Just because people have since discovered even WORSE games doesn't suddenly make it a good game. The same goes for Pac-Man - it's a rushed-together piece of shit that only vaguely resembles the original. Provably could have been done a lot better (Ms, Jr). It's a horrible port. But somehow because of Firefly and Custer's Revenge, there's a recent trend to call it a not-bad game. I'd say both of these games have earned their reputations as "the 2 worst 2600 games the average person owned".
  17. Moving a few pixels around is a lot more probable than another prototype.
  18. The very instructions you link to specifically warn about it.
  19. Leisurevision is better known in the US as the Emerson Arcadia. It's one of the very few, possibly only, Canadian-only game consoles (even if it's just a clone).
  20. Garfield is still being made? I mean, I guess Family Circus got made decades after it wasn't funny, but.. Garfield?? The image is almost certainly taken directly from the rom, whether directly or as a screengrab.
  21. Your mod is probably fine. I believe that's one of the earlier transistor mods although the pic is a bit blurry. Really, all the various mods people have come out with over the years each have their own pros and cons. And like I said, it all depends on the condition of your console, and what kind of TV you're hooking up to. It sounds like the colour pot adjustment helped a lot, which is often the case. The colours drift on 2600s something fierce. Must be caps failing over time or something.
  22. Yeah, your experience mirrors mine. I've got a variety of LCD screens of various shapes and sizes in almost every room in the house, and they're good for verifying that console works, or that a cart works. But for actual gaming? CRT baby! As the years go by and I slowly migrate the previous gen systems to the basement, eventually I'm going to need a good HDTV down there. Right now the basement is the Xbox/Gamecube/PS2 era, which is right around the end of what looks OK on a CRT. In a few years I'm going to have to get a spare HDTV, for retro gaming. Who'd'a thunk?
  23. Yeah, but I got RGB input, bitch! Not that I use it for anything other than occasionally hooking up my Mr. Do. arcade board that I have no monitor for... which then requires me to turn the monitor on its side, which then makes me realize that arcade emulation is board-perfect on this game anyway...
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