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Lord Thag

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Everything posted by Lord Thag

  1. Had some time to finally check out the Moon Patrol demo and Breakout. I've been really looking forward to this system since listening to the launch event at PRGE. Breakout looks great. This is exactly the type of remake I'm looking for: true to the original, 2d, and updated with extra features. Do more games like this. Give me a Nightstalker or Thunder Castle done like this ANY day. The Moon Patrol demo you get via the app however, I was NOT a fan of. The 3d/2d perspective looks poor, and it plays like any number of iOS/Android app store retro 'remakes'. I'd advise against using 3d modeling to recreate older 2d games. It rarely goes over well with fans, and it looks like something you'd get with ads on your phone. Not saying 3d games don't have their place (they do, and I love 'em), but remaking classic 2d games isn't one of them, in my opinion. Just some constructive criticism. Dig the QR code like app functionality though. That could be super fun in the future. Can't wait to see where this console goes!
  2. I don't think it's ever waned for me. I started trading bad NES carts for backpacks full of 2600 carts in school, and never looked back. What has changed is my focus. Originally, it was the 8-bit Ataris and the 2600 only. Got older, got connected, started running retro game cons and started collecting everything. Had everything from APM-M1000s and Astrocades to Hyperscans R-Zones. Sold most of that, kept the stuff I actually enjoy playing. My focus these days are in two basic blocks: 8-bit era: Atari 8-bits, 2600, 7800 and to a lesser extent, the Intellivision Colecovision and the c64. 16-bit era: TG-16/PCE, Neo Geo and Genesis. That's pretty much it, outside some Lynx and GBA/GB games and, for some reason, the Arcadia 2001 (it's objectively terrible, but I like it).
  3. All of these consoles are old or hard to obtain though. If you want something that's cheap, modern, available and plays MAME look at the chinese LDKGame or Retrogame 300. You can get them on amazon. $40-$60 generally. They're pretty good with stock firmware, and great with the custom firmware. Plays Neo Geo, CPS1/2, and the rest. Anything 16bit or less plays like a charm, and the custom image (super easy to set up, just flash a common micro SD card) gives all kinds of emulators: NES, SnES, Genesis, Turbografx, all the handhelds (best way to play Lynx I've found), and obscure stuff like Wonderswan, Vectrex, MSX etc. Save states, and it will also run tons of linux games (comes preinstalled with Quake, Hexen, Heretic, Wolf3d, Doom etc). I use mine daily on lunch breaks. The stock card comes with about 3000 roms too.
  4. Neat project, can't wait to see where this goes.
  5. There were a lot of poor companies cranking out bad to middling games back then. Half the Coleco library sucks, Mythicon, Apollo, Dataage etc. Then you had the clone/pirate people like Froggo. The worst game is probably Sssnake. I agree on the worst company as a whole probably being Mythicon. None of their games are fun or even playable. All the other bad companies like Apollo, Panda etc all have at least one playable title in their lineup.
  6. I didn't so much start collecting as I never stopped. Once the NES came out, my brother stopped caring about Atari, so I just grabbed our shoebox of carts and had it hooked up alongside my NES. We had this local movie store called First Run Video that sold NES used games for $10, so I'd buy one once a month with my allowance. A lot of the time they were selling them because they stunk, so I'd use them as trade bait. Pretty quickly, I discovered I could trade one average NES game for 20+ Atari carts. By the end of high school, I had three boxes of them. I thought I had the biggest collection in the world at the time 😛 Then a friend started doing it, and I found an Intellivision, then a 5200. Pretty soon, I met my good friend John while out thrifting and we both got the other to get interested in systems we didn't collect at the time. A few years later, he moved up north and I started visiting and we eventually started running conventions (NWCGE that became PRGE). Once the conventions got big, the prices (at the time) we super cheap, so my collection exploded into many, many systems until a few years later it got too much to manage and I sold everything I wasn't playing. These days, I primarily play/ collect Atari 2600/7800/8-bit (particularly the latter) for the older stuff, and Genesis, TG-16 and Neo Geo for the 16 bit era. I rarely buy stuff these days, a I have everything I want that isn't really expensive.
  7. Thanks for mentioning that. I'd forgotten all about that one and have neglected to download the ROM file to try it out... something I plan to do this evening.
  8. Yeah, the modded trak ball games are awesome with an actual track ball. Unlike the old CX-40 joysticks, they are built like tanks. Very easy to restore too.
  9. Everyone has days they need to have a cup of coffee on before they post anything. Props for owning it and apologizing though. 👍
  10. Tough question. They were very average in terms of quality. I find Turmoil to be the best personally, and the only one I'd consider falling in the 'really good' category if I am in the mood. It's basically 2d Tempest. That said, I infrequently have quite a fun time with Crash Dive, Bank Heist, Flash Gorden and Beany Bopper. All are good if not outstanding games.
  11. I'd forgotten Solar Fox, for some reason. That ones great too. Need to pop that in the system again and give it a whirl. CBS made some good games. Not a lot of stinkers in the lineup.
  12. From 30+ years experiencing using 800/XL computers... they are basically the Keith Richards of the retro world. Things are built like tanks. Most of the failures (outside the cheaper XE line) seem to be from power supplies that go bad and fry something or from moisture/exposure to the elements. Kept inside, and taken care of, outside the occasional keyboard overhaul, they are rock solid. When we all die in the coming Mad Max apocalypse, the cockroaches that gain sentience afterwords will probably be playing Donkey Kong on them. 😀
  13. If you want something that works well while you're waiting, I just picked up one of those chinese LDKGame consoles of Amazon. While it's an emulator console, it plays Lynx roms beautifully in a small, portable form. I'm loving the hell out of it, especially for the price. That said, I'll get one of the Analogue things. Basically one portable will (hopefully) eventually play carts from every portable retro console I collect.
  14. Yeah I'd like a copy of this as well, I remember the dev blog back in the day.
  15. Speak for yourself (and maybe grab some coffee?). I like talking about the games I like from different vendors. Nothing wrong with threads like this. That said... you might want to space it out a bit boneman. Let each discussion run it's course before starting a new one, and maybe tell us WHY you like a given game.
  16. They're not junk. You can use the cord from another stick or wire your own, just make sure you get the right wires to the right pins. My daily driver is a 2800/ SVA II, and you can fix anything on those controllers.
  17. Wizard of Wor is good, used to be my favorite, though the new homebrew version pretty much relegated it to the dusty part of the shelf. Probably a toss up between Omega Race and Tunnel Runner now. Mountain King is a favorite on the 8-bit PCs, but the 2600 version is pretty hard to control.
  18. Well, my job is full of a bunch of weirdos with inappropriate humor, so I just sorta fit right in.
  19. Just wanted to chime in and say thanks for doing these. They make for a great afternoon at work.
  20. Your best bet is to download the spreadsheet from this thread: https://atariage.com/forums/topic/280064-atari-2600-games-checklist-excel-file/?tab=comments#comment-4061014 It has all the games and companies, and it separates everything out by original games and hacks/clones/rebrands. Very easy to track, and a great sheet to track your collection in.
  21. There was a three year gap between the Atari and the c64, so maybe generational is the wrong word, but it certainly launched a lot later. And I don't think comparing components really helps either, as all the PCs back then ran off two or three main processors and similar components. The c64 handles sprite graphics much better, which was the wave of the future and what the NES, Genesis, SNES etc all used moving forward, the whole 'player missile graphics' thing being an evolutionary dead end, so the c64 is a very different, next gen machine in terms of graphics design. That doesn't mean it's BETTER, it just means it's design was more modern in terms of graphics. But I agree, they are very comparable, they do different things well. Like I said, it's like the Genesis vs the SNES. It depends on what kind of game you are talking about. Commodore did big RPGs better (due to larger disk sizes), Atari did Arcade games better. As to productivity... it depends. If you look at both PCs when both were actively sold and in most stores, the Atari was very much a better machine for productivity (Syncalc was the gold standard for years). However, the XL line stopped being actively supported by most business software companies after '84, '85 or so, while the c64 still had store presence in 1990. If you compare them when they were both supported, the Atari is a better productivity machine by far. If you count all the software that the c64 got because it was actively supported for a half decade more... yeah, it got stuff the Atari didn't get. But that's because people ported stuff to it, not because it's a better machine hardware wise for productivity. It isn't. It just got supported longer. I still think the Atari is the best compromise of any 8-bit PC between games/productivity/business. Apple II was by far the best productivity machine at the time.
  22. Here's some more info on the Romox centers, copied from a .PDF from the (now defunct) ti99ers.org site some years ago: Content begins: ROMOX ECPCs and SOFTWARE CENTERS: Romox was a Campbell, CA firm, with manufacturing facilities in the Phillipines, that specialized in manufacturing cartridges for home computers like the TI-99/4A and others in the same or lower price range. The company was founded in 1982 by a management team of pioneers in the computer and semiconductor industries. In 1983 Romox, with noted industry pioneer Paul Terrell as company president, announced a new idea in marketing computer game programs that would allow the user to buy their new reusable Edge Connector Programmable Cartridge (ECPC) only once, and have it reprogrammed each time a new game program was desired. Initial purchase price for the ECPC was around $25 and a new game could be "burned in" for less than $10. The Romox Plan for the ECPC was to put Romox "Software Centers" in retail outlets like 7-11 stores, at a $160 per month lease charge to the retailer, which would allow easy access to new programs by computer users. The user had only to bring their ECPC to any outlet with a Romox Software Center, place the ECPC in the correct cartridge slot, choose the game they wanted, pay the new game fee and the clerk would activate the Software Center. The Software Center was an off-white colored plastic cabinet and monitor which looked alot like a computer. It was approximately 18" wide by 6" high with a color monitor approximately 12" wide by 8" high. There were ten slots on the front panel of the cabinet for different types of computer cartridge connectors and a membrane covered keypad for typing in the catalog number of the program to burn in to the ECPC's reprogrammable chip. The user pressed any key to start the Software Center, selected a program from the screen or the Romox Catalog, paid for the new program and the clerk would activate the Software Center. The machine would notify the user when the new game was ready to go. That was all there was to it. Only 5 of the 10 slots in the Software Center front panel were used, probably because Romox already had the major players in the cartridge software business covered, but they built the machine for the possibility of new computers in the future. I know the Spectravideo SV-318 and the Coleco Adam both came with a cartridge port and there might have been a couple of others, but the "big guns" were already on the panel. Going from left to right while facing the Software Center, the slots were dedicated to: - Slot #1: TI-99/4A Home Computer - Slot #2: Commodore VIC 20 - Slot #3: Commodore 64 - Slot #4: Atari 2600 VCS - Slot #5: Atari 400/800, Atari 600/800XL, and the Atari 1200XL The TI-99 games housed in the Software Centers were Ambulance, Anteater, Cave Creatures, Data Base Sort Utility, Driving Demon, Henhouse, Hen Pecked, Princess and the Frog, Rabbit Trail, Rotor Raiders, Schnoz-ola, St. Nick, Topper, Typo II and Video Vegas. Other machines has more titles available. Atari 2600-49 titles, Atari (all others)-39 titles, VIC 20-51 titles, Commodore 64-26 titles and the TI-99/4A-16 titles. I have never seen an actual Romox Software Center anywhere, but Kyle Crighton of Milbrae, CA, who is a software engineer in the San Jose area, has verified their existence, at least in convenience stores in the northern California area. Byte Magazine, in their February 1985 issue on page 10, reported that Romox ceased operations mainly because of poor dealer response and the general collapse of the cartridge video-game market, so it appears that the Software Center concept lived a short life. ECPC CARTRIDGE PROGRAMMER: Romox also offered a complete ECPC Cartridge Programmer tool kit that was not related to the Software Center marketing concept. The tool kit consisted of:  WD-03 Cartridge Programmer $300.00  WD-04 Cartridge (EPROM) Eraser 39.95  Blank ECPC cartridges were also offered:  TI-01 Blank 8K ECPC Cartridges 19.95 An illustration/photo of this system may be seen in the July 1983 issue of Enthusiast 99 magazine on page 40. During the second quarter of 1984 Navarone Industries took over the Cartridge Programmer business from Romox and added an IBM PCjr. cartridge making tool kit to their product line. At the same time, Navarone announced a licensing agreement with Romox that allowed Navarone to produce and distribute Romox's entire line of cartridge software for both the 99/4A and the Commodore 64. Byte Magazine, in their February 1985 issue on page 10 reported that Romox ceased operations mainly because of poor dealer response and the general collapse of the cartridge video-game market. Perhaps the licensing agreement with Navarone was the beginning of the end for Romox? (Charles LaFara writing in Enthusiast 99, Nov83, p.40 -- Romox Software Catalog -- Jerry Price, former owner of Tex*Comp User's Supply in Granda Hills, CA
  23. I think I remember seeing an ad for an XEGS once on TV around Christmas and wondering what (and why) it was. The only place it ever 'showed up' in my home town was in the sears catalog,. and much later at a local Kaybee as a clearance item. Eventually, I bought one from this guy in a nearby town who was an Atari fan and ran a secondary Atari PC business behind his dentist's office. Back then, I thought it was very odd. I had an 800, wanted an XL, and compromised with an XEGS... which promptly sent me back to using the 800. These days, I thank the gods it existed just for the great library of cart games it got us.
  24. This. I prefer the Atari, but both systems are good. What tends to get lost in these 'which is better' discussions tend to forget that which one is better (in terms of games/usefulness) tends to be which year you are referring to. The Atari line predates the c64 by several years. It was a luxury machine (until the XE line), and it's build quality shows that. It does the old-style arcade games better than anything from that era, with a lot of great original stuff, but struggles with the later 80s stuff that the cheaper (budget priced, hence the reliability issues) c64 was designed to do better. The c64 is a game console first and a computer second, while the Atari was sort of a jack of all trades, master of none. The Atari, I think, was a better all around computer (probably the best compromise between productivity and gaming of the era), while the c64 is a more capable game machine... unless you're looking for raw speed, which is why the old arcade ports play better on Atari. The fact that the Atari was still competing with the c64, which was basically a next gen computer to it, is a testament to it's solid design. In a lot of ways, it's similar to the differences between the genesis and the super nintendo: decent graphics and blazing speed vs. great graphics and slowdown. Which one is 'better' depends on the style of game. RPGs are better on SNES. Shmups are better on Genesis. Ultimately, I like both. The Atari is a hell of a lot more reliable, but it also cost 4x more back then. Both play great games. I prefer the Atari for arcade ports of the 'golden age', while the c64 does a lot of cool later gaming stuff, including a lot of RPG/Strategy games the Atari's never got.
  25. Same here. First love is Atari, but Sega is next in line. Have about 400 games CIB (all the stuff I want), gotten back when you could hardly give Genesis stuff away. Also enjoy collecting Neo Geo, TG-16 and GBA.
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