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About davyK

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    Belfast, Northern Ireland

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  1. Can be a real rabbit hole this. My modded 2600 had no colour on a few TVs I tried. Got a new CRT - worked with it but I was getting banding. Tried it on another - no banding - or at least very little. I'm running it through a Sony VCR now on the TV that had banding and that has almost eliminated it too.
  2. The Sears one looks better than I though it would. I prefer its woodgrain but I prefer the black background on the Atari switch panel. Atari logo wins every time though. Take the Sears console, add the black switch panel background and the Atari logo.
  3. I only played 2 Parker games - ESB and Super Cobra and I really enjoyed them both. Super Cobra edges it for me as it feels a bit more varied than ESB even though the scrolling is very jerky.... I really like the idea of navigating through caverns. Was a big fan of Scramble in the arcade too.
  4. Heh...yeah - had a bit of a rant there and got carried away! I'm from a working class area too . We didn't have much in the way of money. I appreciated that tape games were cheap and I played quite a few of them but I still consider it a low point in my game playing memories. I've tried to go back with emulators and it was awful. I still play 2600 games though. It's more to do with memories though - I appreciate that 8bit micro era brought pleasure to a pile of people. i found the 8bit micro gaming to be a bit of a solo thing. I had some MP on it but not as much as I did on the 2600 and I've always preferred the local MP experience in gaming. So I suppose that colours my memories too. But for me the biggest issue was the tape loading - it was just such a hateful thing - it completely compromised the experience for me. You had the best micro around having a C64 which was a pretty expensive thing to get. I wasn't able to afford one of those. I would have preferred an Atari 800 but it was a close thing between those two. I would have gone for the 800 for the Atari games. Age may be a big factor too of course...it's all about the context of the time and how it fit into your life. I can appreciate everything you say - well... almost everything.....I will never agree on enjoying loading screens!!!
  5. Making the pit collision detection more intuitive would have helped enormously. I believe there is a hack of the game that implements that? You only fall into the pit if the bottom or sides of the ET character touch the sides.
  6. "Fast" asteroids makes some rocks move at 45 degrees once you start breaking them up - you don't get horizontal movement but it makes a big difference. You also need diff A on and have extra lives set to 10K at least. You can also disable hyperspace or replace it with shield or flip - or nothing at all. We used to play with fast asteroids, 1up at 20K, hyperspace, diff A. Played that variation on 2P - was our favourite. Popular games I didn't really like : Pitfall - once you mastered croc head jumping - which wasn't that hard to do - the game became a bit of a drudge. Pitfall 2 - more of the same - only with awful music. Phoenix - was just too watered down from the arcade. Superman - just far too flickery Galaxian - the arcade game isn't that great and this isn't as good as that. Just a bit boring and was released too late. Dig Dug - only because I don't like the arcade game so maybe this is me being a bit unfair as it is a good port. Spider Fighter - just too damn easy.
  7. Nothing will ever top Combat and Asteroids on the 2600. Many , many hours of multiplayer entertaining with my brother and cousins. There were other great games too of course - Decathlon, Space War , Fishing Derby, Surround to name a few - but Combat and Asteroids bring back the most memories. They are my greats. Other video games are included here for various reasons : Doom 2 - sneaky gaming at lunchtimes in work. Track & Field, Time Pilot, Atari Star Wars, Phoenix, Pole Position, Tempest, Shoot Away - great arcade experiences solo and with friends. Quake 2 and Worms Armageddon - Office LAN play - back when such a thing was tolerated. Tetris and Dr. Mario on SNES - another office tournament favourite....played using a projector.. Tetris game B - first to 25 lines. Super Tennis, Super Mario Kart, Pilotwings, Streetfighter 2 - on SNES - pre and post pub videogaming with mates in my 20s. Arnold Palmer Golf, Desert strike on Megadrive (as above). Mario Kart DD on Gamecube and MK Wii with my kids - hundreds of hours.
  8. Very sad news. A loss to his family, friends , and to this community. Best wishes to all who knew him.
  9. Thought as much - I suspected that some 7800 games were adjusted for speed - i have played both versions of Asteroids and they feel similar in speed with the PAL one having a chopped play area and being not as smooth which is what one would expect. I have no tolerance for sub-optimal PAL games any more. I am retrospectively angry at having been ripped off by game companies since the 80s and I have had enough. So if I want a proper 7800 experience in hardware I really need to be looking at getting a modded 7800 then since the RF won't work in the UK.
  10. Just found this thread and it has picqued my interest. I've had a PAL 7800 for a long time and was always disappointed with the RF picture. However I have recently acquired a replacement CRT for the one that died and the picture is noticeably better so the urge has been sated a bit but I'd still like to consider an upgrade. I don't have that many games and I'm considering paying for a modified NTSC machine instead and getting a few of my favourites for a nice curated collection. @juansolo - you mentioned PAL60 games - were you referring to 7800 games there? Or are you just talking about PAL60 ROMS of 2600 games? I've often wondered if PAL games are compromised in the usual way re speed for example..
  11. 7800 v 5200 isn't that cut and dried a decision. It's a very good question. The 7800 got excellent ports of Asteroids and Centipede - really good games featuring some enjoyable 2 player simultaneous and co-op modes. Got a really solid port of Joust as well. Food Fight is an excellent game and Pacman Collection is a great homebrew. The PAL region controllers are quite nice too - not as good as the NES pad but a decent enough controller. It looks like it's going to be getting a lot of support from the homebrew community but you will probably have to buy an expansion module to get the best of that now. It incorporates the sound chip but the most interesting addition (for me) is the high score cartridge functionality. Not sure how successful all that is going to be though - I certainly wouldn't be investing in a 7800 purely on the strength of that. The library of genuinely worthwhile games is small. If you didn't have a 2600 to hand it can be a good stand-in due to the backwards compatibility - but I doubt it would replace a 5200 with a good sized library. It's very much a niche thing and always will be. The Asteroids port is the main reason I still have mine - I still play it despite owning a genuine Deluxe cabinet. That's how good that port is.
  12. Custer's Revenge has to be in folks' top 10. There's the subject matter to start with. That alone. But the horrific implementation consisting of gameplay with next to zero skill and no variety. Horrific sounds as well. A few UK folk mentioned tape above. That era almost put me off videogaming for good. I have very little in the way of happy memories of it. I was 16 in 1982. In the mid-80s I went from the 2600 to the 8bit micro era which was a car crash as far I was concerned. The immediacy was removed. The video circuitry was cheap and gave you a crap image on the TV. While it was a great nursery for fledgling talent the vast majority of the games were shit. They looked like shit. They sounded like shit. The design was shit. The frame rates were shit. The jerky movement and animation was shit. The overall implementation was shit. Difficulty curves were all over the place. They were slow, unresponsive trash even compared to mid-tier 2600 games that made up for their relative simplicity with their craftmanship. Going from masterpieces of game design in the arcade to this trash simply didn't cut the mustard. There are a handful of games worth even looking at now.....Thrust, Jet Set Willy, Chuckie Egg would be 3 that would be still playable today. Boulderdash would be another. I got a fair few hours of pleasure out of the micro era but the compromises were too much. Too many games were simply too ambitious for the platforms - the ultimate sin being multi load games. I still remember the pain of Epyx and their multi-event sports games. Bloody awful. The devs were cutting their teeth and learning their trade. And most of what they made should have stayed on the workshop floor. Hideous time. If I had been able to afford an Atari 800 and carts or a BBC-B and a hard drive I may have thought better of it. But I didn't. Tape loading was bad enough but to have to rewind and load again if you got a game over in New Zealand Story was inexcusable. I binned that hardware without a tear when I got a NES. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I got more fun out of coding simple stuff myself and even taught myself a bit of assembler but I didn't have the drive to create anything worthy of playing. It's a pity a lot more people didn't think the same. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I still play 2600 games today - emulated and on real hardware. Spectrum? C64? CPC464? Give me a break. I briefly looked at the emulators - it was even worse than I remembered even with the loadtimes removed. F**k it all in the bin. Rant over.
  13. Meant to update AGES ago. But the replacement power supply TNT sent me sorted out the noise distortion and I've been enjoying the cabinet ever since.
  14. Stella+control adaptors or real hardware+Harmony. If you don't have a CRT then Stella.
  15. The Warlords AI isn't that hot to be honest though my experience was with the PAL version which might have been broken. Medieval Mayhem has far better AI. Fishing Derby provides a decent opponent but I'm not sure many action games got decent AI. The vs CPU modes in Video Olympics and Surround leave a lot to be desired - not sure why they even bothered. Hard to imagine getting good AI built into the few cycles available for computing between frames!!! EDIT: Realsports Tennis has a good 1P mode. Activision Tennis too. Othello, Checkers, 3D Tic Tac Toe etc can give a good challenge but they don't have framerates to worry about.
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