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About spacecadet

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  1. They basically all break. That's the objectively bad thing about them. But they break in predictable ways that are easy and cheap to fix. I replaced both of my flex circuits because they were 100% dead - contact cleaner didn't even partially bring them back. These were controllers that had barely ever been used. $2 each and about 15 minutes total and both controllers are good as new. The non-centering stick... eh, I don't much like it, but I can see it being something you'd get used to if you owned the system at the time and played it a lot. Most people don't like the Intellivision controllers either, but that's what I grew up with so I don't have any problem with them. The keypad, fire buttons and overall feel of the stick I think are actually pretty good. I also like that they can use overlays like the Intellivision, although I don't know what games really took advantage of that well. Atari obviously had plans for the 5200 beyond the library it ended up with. So my answer to the original question is yes and no. There are both good and bad things about the 5200 controllers. But they're not unusable... unless they're broken, which they will be unless you fix them.
  2. I didn't even realize Sinistar used a 49 way stick. But yeah, in the 90's I guess there was kind of a resurgence of these, and a bunch of more modern games used them. I was grossly estimating at the "50" number I posted and I almost changed that to something else, but that's kind of my guess. It may be less than that. But somewhere I do remember seeing a list of 49-way games and it was about long enough to fit one page of my browser screen. I don't know where I saw that list and am not able to find it now. I think it was on a site that actually sells sticks, and they say what games used the stick you're on their selling page for.
  3. You're not going to get smooth movement in all directions because the games themselves don't support it. Every game was 4 or 8 way I think until Happ or Capcom or whoever it was came out with their 49-way optical sticks. I think this happened in the early 90's, and there were probably about 50 or so arcade games that used these. You can get optical sticks now to build your own controller but they're not going to be much advantage in a game that doesn't support 49-way movement and they are going to make 4/8 way games really, really hard to play. Maybe there's some optical stick out there that has an option of having a 4/8 way gate that you can disengage when you want 49-way movement; not sure about that. There are a *lot* of options out there for controls nowadays and new ones coming out all the time. But basically, what I would recommend is picking controls based on the games you want to play most of the time... I'd try to look up what those games actually used, because you're not going to get a better experience than that with a different type of stick. Every arcade game had its controls matched to the game, so that will always be not just the most authentic, but almost always the best experience too.
  4. The VIC-20 is a computer, not a console. I mean, the PC is pretty popular in Japan too. But I was specifically talking about game consoles, which is what the ColecoVision is. I realize I brought up the MSX later, but that was to illustrate the point that *even as* a computer, and one with homegrown manufacturers, CV-like hardware didn't do all that well in Japan.
  5. The Tankstick is actually $179. I think the Legends Gamer Pro is going to be a good deal but I also think the two sticks are pretty different, and you can just prefer one over the other. The Tankstick uses "western" style controls all around and is going to have that Happ style arcade feel, including the cabinet itself. I would be extremely surprised if the Legends Gamer (regular and Pro) uses anything much different than what's in the Legends Ultimate, which is kind of a hybrid in terms of feel but uses a Chinese Sanwa knockoff stick combined with western-style modern microswitch buttons, with the whole thing being covered in a layer of acrylic and a plastic case (in the now-standardized Wal-Mart version). I don't think it's bad at all but it's definitely more modern and "Japanese" feel than the Tankstick, and the Legends Gamer Pro and non-Pro look basically like just variations on that Legends Ultimate design. The point being I can see someone still just preferring the feel of the Tankstick. And not everyone really cares about streaming gaming; I personally don't, I just want to run stuff locally. I am interested in the Legends Gamer Pro to use with my PC as a basic arcade stick just like I would the Tankstick. So they are in direct competition; for some people they're equivalent in function but they're going to have a very different feel and it just depends on what you prefer, if you have a preference. I'm not really sure I do, as I've played a lot of arcade games from both regions over the years. And neither stick is really using the actual parts they're simulating the feel of, so I doubt one is better than the other in terms of quality. But I'm sure they're both good. I do like my Legends Ultimate control panel a lot, with the possible exception of the trackball. (But that's fixable, and probably won't be a problem on the Gamer Pro.) Different topic but I am definitely excited about some of the accessories coming out for the ALU. Though what is the "Trackball kit" for a system that already comes with a trackball? Is it going to be an upgrade for the existing trackball?
  6. Just not. You tell me what American console was a success in Japan. Literally ever. Japan is just not receptive to systems and games not developed specifically for their tastes. As others have pointed out, CV hardware did more or less get released in Japan in the form of both the SG-1000 and the MSX. Both of these were only mildly successful despite being tailored for the Japanese market and coming from a Japanese company (yes, I'm familiar with Sega's origins) or companies in the MSX's case. The SG-1000 and its successors (which were backward compatible), the SG-1000 Mark II, Mark III and Master System, were trounced by the Famicom in Japan. Donkey Kong was a system seller in 1982 in the United States, but it also came out on the Famicom in 1983 and it's frankly a better port. So at most Coleco would have had about a six month window to sell a bunch of American systems in Japan before it became clear to Japanese consumers that the original maker of the best game on the system made a better port in Japan. So not really a recipe for success IMO. And once the Famicom did come out and started *adding* to that launch lineup, forget it. Yes I know about the recall. The recall didn't really affect anything; people waited.
  7. I haven't tried the Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro but I would have to guess they're trying to replicate the feel (though certainly not the look) of the original Neo Geo AES sticks, and those don't really compare well with modern home arcade sticks. But I could be wrong about the feel of the Arcade Stick Pro; I would just really want to try one out before spending $110 on one with the intent of making it my main arcade stick. Or at least find someone on the net who's compared it with an original AES stick; if they say it's similar, I wouldn't buy one unless you just really want the built-in games.
  8. I know you're getting a lot of "the first thing you've gotta think about" advice, but the first thing you've gotta think about is what *type* of controls you want - western or Japanese. To be honest, your choices in really good pre-built western-style controls are a lot more limited than Japanese-style, for a variety of reasons. I'd personally probably just buy an X-Arcade Tankstick if I wanted a pre-built western-style controller. For Japanese-style, you can look for something with real Sanwa or Seimitsu parts in it, like this: https://www.etokki.com/Omni-Sanwa-Edition Or you can get something with a (probably Chinese) imitation, like this: https://www.amazon.com/Mayflash-F300-Arcade-Joystick-Switch/dp/B019MFPLC0 Or this: https://www.amazon.com/HORI-Real-Arcade-White-PlayStation-4/dp/B01M3ULCQY Or one of the many others of that ilk. I'm of the opinion that Sanwa and Seimitsu are both weirdly overrated and there is nothing particularly special about their parts, so I'd probably go with something cheaper. (My AtGames Legends Ultimate uses a Sanwa knockoff joystick, and I like it.) I don't mean to put Hori in the "Chinese imitation" category since they are a Japanese company using their own home-grown parts, but I also feel like they're somewhat overrated in that their stuff is almost 100% plastic both inside and out, and their parts have their own feel and their buttons are super-short throw. But some people may like that. I don't have experience with that Mayflash but if you look at Amazon or wherever, there are tons of sticks like that nowadays using these Chinese off-brand parts that are really basically exactly the same as Sanwa in terms of their construction quality. That one's got as good of reviews as any. For the price, I am sure it's fine, and it's customizable if you do ever want to "upgrade" the parts. If you did upgrade it, you'd probably still spend less than $100 total and you'd have a real Sanwa stick and buttons. (A Sanwa stick is only about $20 and the buttons about $3 each.)
  9. I don't think I have any 3.5" disks that don't work. I have a lot of 5.25" disks that don't work. So, anecdotes. That said, this is all super-old media that was never intended to last longer than about 10 years. I'm pretty sure that's a real thing that I am not just retroactively applying. I remember reading that. Even CD-Rs had a 10-15 year quoted lifespan.
  10. I think I paid 500 yen (about $4) for my copy of that, although mine isn't new, but it is complete and in very good condition. Japan just hasn't rediscovered the Saturn like some Americans seem to have. Maybe it's because it was more popular over there to begin with, so there's just more old stuff floating around per capita than here and there's no pent-up demand. I remember on one of my visits there, I went up to the counter at a Book*Off or something with a few Saturn games, and the clerk actually looked at me and said "you know these are Sega *Saturn* games, right?" As if I must have made a mistake. This was a couple years ago. They just have a different mentality about the system.
  11. My best friend in the 80's had a C64 so I probably had *almost* as much experience with that as I did with my own Apple II. I was over at his house almost every day. The setup he had, which was pretty typical for the time, was the C64 itself, a 1541 drive, a 1702 monitor, and a FastLoad cartridge. For me, a system like that is really all you need. I have an SD2IEC and have never had any problem with it. Pretty much every major C64 game came on floppy disk so it's really all you need IMO as far as storage goes. The C64 isn't quite like the Atari 8 bit line with cartridges. Most C64 cartridges were some sort of utility cartridge, and after a while the vast majority of users just left floppy accelerators in that slot all the time. There is a "FastLoad Reloaded" cartridge that's pretty cheap and supposedly works with SD2IEC floppy emulators, though I have not tried it: https://www.thefuturewas8bit.com/eflr.html Yes, I've been living with the stock 1541 speeds as long as I've had my SD2IEC. I don't recommend doing so. Next time I fire up my C64 I plan to try one of these cartridges. It specifically says it works with the SD2IEC. I'd probably get a new power supply too. That's a reason why I haven't used my C64 in a while; getting a little nervous about it with its original PSU. You can read about the C64 power supply here: https://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=70345 Basically they have an "ingot" situation like the Atari 8 bits, although it's much more pervasive. I personally feel like other stuff is overkill, although it depends on what you're trying to do of course. I'm just trying to relive things as they were, so that's all I need.
  12. I mean, "thousands" of Americans wanting to play a game on a piece of hardware that they're producing in Japan doesn't really sound like a winning business proposition to me. I understand that some people are looking for this to be something it isn't. Instead, look at it for what it is. Which is a Japanese toy. Import it if you want, or don't. It's really not worth getting angry about like some people here seem to be.
  13. People are treating this as a serious release; it's just a little toy, like Sega and other Japanese makers do all the time. There are dozens of these types of things there from all the major manufacturers in Japan at any given moment. I wouldn't get worked up about it. The weirdest part to me is all the coverage this is getting. The Game Gear wasn't even particularly popular here.
  14. I finally bought a Saturn in I think late 1998 as they were being closed out. The store I was actually working for at the time (J&R Music World in NYC) had them for $50 - no discount for employees because it was below cost, but I still thought it was a good enough deal to buy one. I'd actually wanted one since it was released but had gotten a PS1 instead. At the time I couldn't afford to buy every system like I usually do now, but I always wished I had one. Still have that one. Bought a "skeleton" model in Japan that same year for a bit more but not as much as you'd think (I think around $60); knowing how much they were already going for in the US and it being a new system in the box, I couldn't resist. Later, I bought a JVC V-Saturn for an obscenely low price at a Japanese thrift store (about $15). And lastly, so I didn't have to actually *use* my mint condition US Saturn, I bought a second, more beat-up one to actually play with. So at one point I had four Saturns and briefly considered trying to collect all variants. I gave up that idea during my great purge a couple of years ago and sold all but my original Saturn. I also sold some of the rarer games I had for the system, but I still have about 20 or 25, including a few more sought-after games like Guardian Heroes that I just couldn't give up. I also had bought a box of actual OEM new Sega game cases at some point, so all my US games are mint. And I still have 3 or 4 blank Sega cases for future games I might buy. The Saturn isn't *really* an expensive system to collect for. I wrote in another thread about people thinking a system's expensive because they're looking for expensive games. I was specifically thinking about the Saturn when I wrote that. A lot of common Saturn games are as cheap as anything, and if you look at imports, even the expensive US games are a lot cheaper. This is one weird case where Japan actually has *different* games than the US system that are expensive. Probably the most I ever paid for a game in my life was for Radiant Silvergun, which I paid around $180 for (mint, complete... there were cheaper packages in worse condition or missing items at the store I was at, but I wanted mint, complete). But OTOH, you can get something like Tomb Raider for $9 as an import, when people are asking like $60 for the US version of it. You can get a Japanese Guardian Heroes for $40 while the US version goes for $200+. And the Japanese games just come in regular jewel boxes and are both easier to store and easier to find replacements for if anything breaks.
  15. Yeah, I think when people criticize the N64 controller, this is usually the main issue, and it's a huge one as far as I'm concerned. I think in terms of comfort, it's fine, but people just do not have three hands. It looks, feels and works like some weird third party experiment that failed and everybody forgot about because it was so stupid. I mean if it wasn't Nintendo, that's how we'd be talking about it now. "Remember when that one company made a controller for people with THREE HANDS?? What a bunch of dumbasses!" Obviously we all know they did not do that literally, but making you have to switch grips to use certain features is *at best* a total kludge in terms of design. It's what you do when you can't figure out how else to lay out a controller, so you throw up your hands and say "welp, I guess we just make another grip!" Yeah, longevity is one thing I worry about with my rechargeable controllers. I'm pretty sure one or two of my PS3 controllers will no longer really hold a charge. This is one thing I think MS got sort of right with the Xbox One, although not totally, because the batteries are removable and you can use regular AA's, rechargeable AA's or the "play and charge" pack that basically turns it into a regular wireless controller, but with a battery you can still remove. The one thing I think they got *wrong* was only including AA's in the box, so you get home all excited to play your new console and instantly realize that probably right in the middle of your first gaming session, you're going to need to run out and buy more batteries. Then if you do want a semi-permanent solution (the play and charge battery/cable), you have to pay another $20 for it. I just think that should have been the default included in the box, and if you wanted to just use AA's, you could always buy some later. On balance, though, I'd take a wireless controller over a wired one any day. My PS4, and of course the Switch, have docks that both store and charge the controllers and there's no reason I wouldn't just put them there after playing. I never run out of juice, and I have more than one controller anyway if I ever did. PS4 controllers, IIRC, can act as wired controllers when connected via USB anyway, so even if they stop charging, you're not losing anything vs. a wired controller. I believe the same is true of the PS3 controllers, for that matter.
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