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About newtmonkey

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    Nagoya, Japan
  • Interests
    PC & video games (#1: RPGs), horror movies (esp. pre-1990s), boxing & jogging, piano & guitar

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  1. My first 8-bit micro back in the day was a hand-me-down Atari 600XL from my older brother, and then a C64 a short while later. Those are both great computers, but as an RPG fan I really would loved the Apple II back then simply for the disk speed!
  2. Interesting! I did not know this, that's too bad.
  3. This is what I do. --- @AlexKIDD The AVS is excellent. If all you want to do is play NES/FC games it's perfect for that. I think you know this, but it's an FPGA recreation of the hardware (just like the NT mini), and not a pirate Nintendo on a Chip or software emulation machine, so it's pretty much perfectly accurate to the original hardware. It offers some nice features even over the NT mini, such as high score uploading and optional interpolation to eliminate uneven pixel shimmering (when the image is scaled to a proper CRT aspect ratio). It supports 720p resolution only, however (not even 480p), and doesn't have any kind of jailbreak option to store ROMs on internal memory or anything, so you'd need either original carts or a ROM cart to play games on it.
  4. I'll be skipping out on this one. I have the Super NT and Mega SG, and I like both but am annoyed at the little issues they have when set to any resolution other than 1080p. I'm happy to stick with original hardware for the PC Engine I think.
  5. Hi seastalker, I don't think I have any games that use the keyboard. Are there any others than Typing of the Dead or (I assume) Phantasy Star Online?
  6. I just received mine this week and just tested it a few hours ago with an Xbox One wireless controller. I am VERY impressed. The adapter includes 200 blocks of memory so you don't even need to use a VMU. I'm quite sensitive to input latency and didn't notice any while playing Sonic Adventure and Record of Lodoss War. This thing is perfect as far as I am concerned. Highly recommended and well worth the money.
  7. This arrived a few days ago but I finally had some time to assemble it: This is the Monster Joysticks Deluxe Arcade Controller Kit for Raspberry Pi. It's a joystick kit that uses genuine Sanwa buttons and stick, that is designed to house a Raspberry Pi. It also includes a special Pi Hat for reduced input latency compared with a USB controller. Assembling it was a bit fiddly—the instructions claim that you only need a screwdriver, but I definitely needed to use my socket wrench to install the joystick assembly (definitely not possible to screw this in by hand). After that, I just had to set my Raspberry Pi up with Retroarch and a front end, and finally had to install and enable the SNESDev-RPi package to get the joystick and buttons actually recognized as a controller. After that, smooth sailing and the build quality feels absolutely solid while the buttons and joystick of course feel arcade quality (since they are). I am very sensitive to input latency, but I've got no complaints whatsoever. I've got a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B installed and it's a noticeable improvement in performance over the Pi 3 Model B I had previously used prior to assembling this whole thing, with a lot more newer arcade games being completely playable now (for example, Mortal Kombat 2/3). I'm typically in the "gotta play on real hardware" camp, especially for consoles and computers, but for arcade games I'm pretty happy with software emulation. Very impressed with this kit!
  8. It's mostly due to FDS disk capacity. It would have taken time and resources for Nintendo to establish an infrastructure outside of Japan for the disk writers, and by then the capacity of cartridges would have caught up to and exceeded what the FDS disks were capable of (this was already happening in Japan just a couple years after the FDS was launched, which is why the system was so short-lived in Japan).
  9. I modded my 7800 for composite as I had no other way to play it due to differences in US and JPN RF channels. I literally had no other way to play my 7800 other than, I dunno, importing an old US TV or VCR?
  10. Agree 100%. --- My pet peeve: incessant yelps, etc. I am thinking of Nintendo since the N64/GBA for this. The Mario Advance games are completely ruined by Mario constantly yelping, but this even goes back to Link shouting as he swings his sword in Zelda 64. I cannot stand this stuff. Dunno what makes developers think this is a good thing?
  11. Next up, some Dreamcast shots. The DC supports both 480i/480p and 240p and the image quality over RGB is pretty much perfect for both. Again, these are taken directly off the screen of a 4K TV using a cellphone camera, so they don't 100% represent how everything looks in person. However, you can get an idea of how nicely the FM handles both 240p and 480i (especially with the DC which offers truly excellent image quality). The settings for the following shots are: [480i] SCART RGB -> Framemeister 1080p [240p] SCART RGB -> Framemeister 720p So why am I sticking with 480i? First, I don't have a DC VGA box that works. Second, the FM is notoriously poor at handling 480p, but notoriously good at deinterlacing 480i. Sonic Adventure (I like how scanlines look in 480i games, but I understand most people prefer them turned off, since scanlines really aren't that noticeable on a real CRT at 480i.) You generally want to upscale 480i/480p sources to 1080p to get a nice integer scale with black borders around the image (i.e. 960p). With the FM, you want to set the "SCREEN_SET" setting to "SMARTx2" to ensure the image is scaled correctly (as detailed here: http://junkerhq.net/xrgb/index.php?title=Dreamcast). Now some 240p games: Last Blade Gunbird 2 Configuring the FM for 240p on the DC is simple; like usual, just use the default settings and ensure that "IMAGE_MODE" is set to "PICTURE" and "AUTO_SCALER" is set to "GAME". You can set "SCREEN_SET" to "NORMAL2" (as in the photos above) if you prefer a proper CRT-like aspect ratio (like me) over a pixel-perfect scale. Whether you scale 240p to 1080p or 720p is a personal preference, but 720p ensures that scanlines will look correct and imo provides a more "CRT-like" look. On a 4K TV, it also provides a full-screen image as it's integer scaling all the way from the console to the TV (240->720->2160).
  12. I did this not too long ago. It was a fun project (and well worth it in the end), but it was indeed a PITA.
  13. I mentioned uploading these quite a while ago but got sidetracked with work... but here are some off-screen screenshots taken of the Sega Saturn upscaled to 720p through the Framemeister, connected to a 4K TV. The Saturn is connected to the Framemeister using an SCART RGB cable. The Framemeister is basically set to the default values for everything, with some tweaks in the color settings. Assault Suit Leynos 2. This is a bit of a 2D tour-de-force with tons of sprites scaling in and out all over the place (though not in this screenshot sadly!). Twinkle Star Sprites. This shot is a bit dark because I took it during the day. I was just going through my collection game by game and liked the title screen here in particular. One thing the Saturn has over the Playstation is nice solid colors; this is because the majority of PSX games use hardware dithering (even 2D games for some reason), which is especially noticeable on flat screens (or even when using RGB on a CRT!). Cotton Boomerang. This shot is also a bit dark because I took it during the day. Very fun hori shooter with some fantastic 2D art. Note that the aspect ratio is slightly wide in my photos because of how I had to crop the images. Also, the images are overall sort of saturated just due to taking photos off the screen. The Framemeister really works wonders with consoles that support RGB natively. One great thing about it is how easy it is to use, as the default settings are (mostly) fine for the most typical use scenario (240p games). The only settings that one really needs to pay attention to are "IMAGE_MODE" (480i="NATURAL", 240P="PICTURE") and "AUTO_SCALER" (480i="VIDEO", 240P="GAME"). One very nice feature of the Framemeister is how it "just works" when it comes to scaling—you never have to worry about issues caused by uneven scaling. This means you can either tweak the image to be pixel perfect (with black borders on all edges), or can just use the default settings and let the Framemeister fill the display with no messy scaling artifacts. It even has an option that automatically stretches the image horizontally ("SCREEN_SET" - NORMAL2) for an aspect ratio much closer to that which you would see on a CRT. The only setting that is somewhat annoying is "A/D_SET". I've found that the automatic setting hardly ever works right at all (it typically sets it WAY TOO HIGH). Setting A/D too low will result in a "weak" washed out image, while too high of a setting will oversaturate the image and crush color detail. The only way to set it reliably is to bring up a calibration pattern. This pattern can luckily be found in the 240p test suite that's available for many (but not all) consoles. The Saturn, sadly, does not have a port of the test suite, but this was one of the few consoles in my experience where the auto A/D setting seems to have worked decently enough.
  14. Looking great so far! Nice work indeed @darryl1970!
  15. A new firmware was released for the fenrir ODE today: https://www.fenrir-ode.fr/firmware.html Release notes: Loader embedded in firmware Up to 2499 games listed Return to loader (A+B+C+Start) Various bug fixes I tested it just a bit earlier and verified "return to loader" works. You just hold the button combo down to go back to the current game's title screen, then press the button combo to go to the Saturn's "launch disc" screen, wait for the system to recognize the "CD" in the drive, launch the "CD" and then it brings you back to the Fenrir menu. I am wondering if, besides being very convenient, the "return to loader" feature is meant to lay the groundwork for swapping discs in-game at some point.
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