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thegoldenband last won the day on January 4 2019

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  1. My times for the week: MC-10: African Adventure [aka Dr. Livingston: In Search Of…] - 121 min. Genesis: Blaster Master 2 - 9 min. The Flintstones - 108 min. Valis - 87 min. Valis III - 150 min. Beat the two Valis games.
  2. 29. AHHA! Another Haunted House Adventure (MC-10) Here's how to write a text adventure and have your players hate you: make 90% of the game (and its areas) a red herring, and require the player to SAY an unclued magic word to beat the game. Ugh. n/a 30. Valis (Genesis) The...text...in...the...cutscenes...is...so...slow. Not a great game, janky and too easy (I 1CC'd it on my first try), but the artwork and music have some appeal, and the stage design isn't totally loveless. As video game junk food, one could do worse. D+. 31. Valis III (Genesis) Everyone says this is better. It's not -- the second half in particular is borderline garbage, with anime girls and a grandiose storyline to distract from the awful stage design, joyless gameplay, and crude boss fights. I don't even like the presentation as much as the first game. D-.
  3. My times for the week: Browser-based (all at Cardgames.io): Crescent Solitaire - 48 min. Freecell - 24 min. Solitaire - 40 min. Spider Solitaire - 35 min. Sudoku - 48 min. Yahtzee - 53 min. Solved the highest-level Sudoku puzzle, and beat Crescent solitaire with only 1 shuffle, among other things.
  4. There are actually two different ROM variants, one easier and one harder. I believe the one I played a couple minutes the other day was the easier variant, though the truncated EverDrive filename display makes it hard to be sure. However I know I played them for 65 and 56 minutes respectively back in 2011, when I beat both. I probably tracked them individually back then for that reason, i.e. because I played them myself, but it's totally reasonable to avoid being that granular in the tracker! There are several classic-era console games that got reissued with a changed difficulty level -- Space Battle on Intellivision is another -- but none of them announce on the title screen which one they are. I suppose all ROM variants are a case of "under the hood = not important for our purposes", except in extreme cases like Captain Silver where they threw out half the game in the US version. At least more-complete Japanese versions usually have different titles too!
  5. My times for the week: MC-10: Adventureland - 6 min. AHHA! Another Haunted House Adventure! - 132 min. Master System: E-SWAT - 2 min. Thunder Blade - 10 min. Beat a pretty lousy text adventure. (In fairness, it's a type-in game from a magazine, but when 95% of your game is a red herring...)
  6. Not a ranked list, just an alphabetical one: Air Fortress Blaster Master Bubble Bobble Contra Destiny of an Emperor Double Dragon Dr. Mario Final Fantasy Jackal Legend of Zelda Marble Madness Mega Man Metroid Mike Tyson's Punch-Out Monster Party Romance of the Three Kingdoms Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Bros. 2 Tetris Xexyz
  7. Still trying to figure out how best to deal with my browser-based gaming, which I often play as I'm trying to fall asleep or while I'm doing something else, and don't want to count as a "win" when I beat the games because, I don't know, that's kind of weird? But anyway, here's two weeks' worth of approximate times: Browser-based (all at cardgames.io): Chess - 30 min. FreeCell - 35 min. Kings in the Corners - 30 min. Minesweeper - 85 min. Scorpion Solitaire - 25 min. Sea Battle - 20 min. Solitaire - 15 min. Spider Solitaire - 80 min. Sudoku - 100 min. Triangles - 35 min. Yahtzee - 65 min. I beat all of these on their toughest options, sometimes more than once, except for Sudoku where I haven't attempted the toughest difficulty yet.
  8. My times for the week: MC-10: An Adventure in Jerusalem - 114 min. Earthquake - 139 min. Master System: Fantasy Zone: The Maze - 27 min. Great Baseball - 31 min. Spider-Man - 43 min. Strider - 6 min. Genesis: Out of This World - 89 min. Whip Rush - 220 min. Game Boy: Hyper Lode Runner - 181 min. Beat the two Genesis games and the two MC-10 games, the latter with my wife. (Thoughts on those here.) I also beat Great Baseball on the lower of its two difficulty levels, winning 13-8 as Boston over Seattle. Otherwise I played a bunch of games that -- unlike Whip Rush and Out of This World (which are great) -- made me not want to play video games. Hyper Lode Runner is Lode Runner for veterans of the game, I guess, but it's got the kind of challenge where you're fighting against the game's mechanics, rather than working with them to solve interesting problems. The first 10 levels were OK but Level 11 crossed the line into "this isn't actually fun" territory.
  9. 25. An Adventure in Jerusalem (MC-10) Oddball text adventure with a slight religious subtext. As often happens, we struggled more with the parser than the puzzles, and the lack of bidirectionality in a few cases -- go south, and you inexplicably can't go back north -- was an annoyance, even if (as it turns out) only a temporary one. Also, it overuses the "lost woods" topography, where all directions and locations are interchangeable except for one perfect path: the third time that tired device showed up, we groaned aloud. But it entertained us for 2 hours -- which would've been 90 minutes if "PUSH _____" worked, instead of requiring "MOVE _____". (On the other hand it would've been back up to 2 hours if the designer had bothered to write a real third act, instead of rushing through the last few treasures.) n/a 26. Whip Rush (Genesis) This game is...oh, what's the word for it...right, I remember: fun! Whip Rush won't win awards for exceptional graphics or sound, but when so many games feel like work, such that the main reward is the satisfaction of having beaten them rather than the gameplay itself, it's nice to have a shooter/shmup that's a pleasure to play. It's not perfect -- too many bosses with extendable trap-your-ship arms, always a cheap device -- but it's certainly very good indeed, and I appreciate the largely bell-shaped difficulty curve (and enemy aggression that scales according to your powered-up-ness). I beat it on all three difficulties, and might even consider a 1CC on Hard, something I don't usually bother with. A-. 27. Earthquake (MC-10) Nearly lost us right away when neither "S", nor "SOUTH", nor "GO S" worked. Turns out it has to be "GO SOUTH", or more accurately "GO SO" since it only counts the first two letters. That gets old fast: hadn't the designers played any other text adventures? Supporting single-letter direction commands with N/E/W/S/U/D isn't an optional bonus, it's a necessity. Anyway, Earthquake was marketed as one for the kids, which is sort of hard to feature since the parser can be pretty obtuse. And once again we found ourselves struggling more with the parser and interface ("Wait, we can go up now?") than the puzzles. Still, it's cute, reasonably logical, and has the right amount of red herrings: mmm, ice cream. n/a 28. Out of This World (Genesis) One of my all-time favorite games, but I really do prefer the grandeur of the SNES soundtrack, even at the expense of some slowdown. (Actually I think the slowdown almost adds to the atmosphere, and it certainly makes timing a few things easier.) This version runs briskly but that FM sound just isn't the same, the colors get really wonky in some areas, and a few spots seem oddly unforgiving: I knew what to do, but apparently had to get it exactly right in non-obvious ways. But, of course, it's still a masterpiece at heart. A-.
  10. I did hand-drawn maps for the whole game, on graph paper. It was the only way I could wrap my head around everything.
  11. Hmmm, that's very weird. I wonder if you're getting some sort of phase cancellation issue, or in any event if it's got something to do with stereo issues? If it were bad caps or a bad connection, I'd expect other games to be affected.
  12. It's so bonkers that they went with a format like that. Based on the sizes of circulating ISOs, it appears they didn't even need or make use of the extra space provided by ditching error correction. Did it increase throughput/data transfer rates, at least?
  13. Thanks for this -- very helpful. Fortunately I'm still running Sierra on my personal machine so I'm guessing it'll work. How would people (specifically @SainT and @Albert) feel about posting the MD5s of disk images that are known to work successfully with cd2jcd? Not filenames, not links to tHe rOMz, just checksums that could among other things be used to verify one's own rip from CD. And not necessarily in this thread (though certainly it could be helpful with troubleshooting).
  14. My times for the week: Game Boy: Hyper Lode Runner - 88 min. Snoopy’s Magic Show - 157 min. Square Deal - 107 min. Beat Snoopy’s Magic Show.
  15. Enjoy! I've only played the first and second games, and didn't finish Phantasy Star II (got about 6-7 hours into it). I beat the first Phantasy Star twice, once in emulation with savestates, and then once legitimately on real hardware (last year in fact), and found it to be an excellent piece of work despite a few minor annoyances. Maybe I'll pick #2 back up, as I'd like to experience the series. I've had a hard time getting motivated for RPGs lately, but I'm getting my Nomad fixed/screen-upgraded, and that may help. I find it easier to put up with the grinding, etc. if I can do things like watch TV with my wife at the same time.
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