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Found 8 results

  1. Hey folks, Jason Messer here, Editor-in-Chief of Cheat Code Central and full-time retro lover! I have been on a quest for years to find just the right emulation front-end for my collection. After experimenting with just about every theme and program you can think of over the last decade, I set out to create my own that suited my needs. After discovering the perfect storm of EmulationStation and TMNTturtleguy’s comic theme while browsing YouTube a while back, I knew with some redesigning and coding, I could finally create the setup I’ve been looking for for so long. Below are a few screenshots from my redesign, which has been completely overhauled. As you can see, this puts more of an emphasis on the covers and art work of the games themselves, which I feel most themes lack. It was also important to me to accommodate all the different layouts you find in the varying systems. It’s been a huge source of frustration that most themes look really cool visually, but rarely pay attention to this detail and lack this basic concept covering all the possible art. If released, I’m planning to do as many layouts for consoles as I can, so everything is covered. The screenshots here feature the designs for the “basic” view (for those looking for a minimalist approach), the “detailed” view (for folks who just want a nice screenshot) and the “video” view (which has all the bells and whistles like cover art, video preview, cart scans, etc). It’s all tied together with more of an old, damaged comic book look to add to the nostalgia. The console screens have all been updated with new cover art and half-tone coloring, to give it a print feel. I have used some art from Maximus Arcade, which I still have to get approved before release. I have also included a snap of the Marvel-style video intro I’m working on. I welcome any feedback, as this is a labor of love and is the culmination of various front-end design ideas I've been toying with for the last 10+ years. I hope to make this my definitive front-end for the future, maybe even porting it to various platforms (if the community likes it). SPECIAL THANKS to TMNTturtleguy for creating a great base theme that I started with. He provided ALL his original files and made my life 100% easier! I really appreciate that, can’t thank him enough.
  2. Hello all, Anyone like pixel art books? The latest issue of Classic Gaming contains 26 pages on Atari ST games, including Carrier Command, Oids and Silkworm. The game choice is fairly random, but may be of interest if you like to see the ST in print.
  3. Now before I go any further, let me actually this: I am NOT talking about a Saturn mini the way we have w/ PS1 Mini or SNES Mini. I truly adore Sega's systems (except maybe the 32X, but even that has Tempo and Virtua Racing Deluxe) and think the Saturn's both a marvelous platform AND is finally starting to pick up some mass-market awareness....but I don't think a Saturn Mini would sell enough to justify the production costs. Basically, knowing the Saturn itself only did about 9-10 million LTD, and knowing these Minis aren't selling anywhere near the volume of their original runs anyway...I just don't see a $100 Saturn Mini doing like 1 million (maybe more if lucky) would justify the costs. That having been said, I think there's room for Sega to do something genuinely interesting. Let's be real here; these Minis have a pretty big deficit against mini-PCs; yeah the mini-PCs don't necessarily look all that good (Dreamcade Replay anyone?), but for the price of a PS1 Mini, w/ a Dreamcade you're at least getting a much better CPU and iGPU, so if you hack them, you can run games from later platforms relatively easily. However, mini-PCs are staunchly non-upgradable, aside from maybe expanding their internal storage. Once you get them, you're stuck with what's there, and if you need more power, you'd either buy the latest mini-PC or just get a refurbished desktop PC (or if you're willing to splurge, build a gaming PC from the ground-up). This is where I see Sega and whoever they partnered with, have a good opportunity. They already have embraced porting lots of games on PC, and Steam support for MegaDrive is amazing. They've embraced mods and the Workshop feature is a stroke of genius. I honestly doubt they could do anything in a closed-off "Saturn Mini" that could approach that level of flexibility and reliability, without strong compromises. So what I'm suggesting is that maybe Sega look into selling something like a mini-PC Saturn-inspired replica system case, have a populated motherboard with expandable RAM, CPU options, internal storage, a Saturn-style top loading disc drive (but obviously much faster than regular Saturn disc speed reads), maybe even pack in a Retro-Bit controller. The user would have to supply their own CPU, RAM, extended storage etc. but it has the usual things onboard like ethernet port, USB ports, a microSD slot, SATA III connector, maybe even a PCIe port or two built on the underside (or a Thunderbolt port for external GPU hubs). Maybe they can provide a few Saturn games pre-installed on internal NAND the user can then transfer to extended storage, and put a licensed version of something like Medafen on NOR Flash so it can execute from there effortlessly. Since the user is providing the big components (power supply, CPU, RAM, storage etc.) it'd essentially be like building a custom PC, but in a mini-PC form, targeted at Saturn fans whom, let's be honest, tend to already be more of the hardcore types and aren't probably shy about messing around w/ PCs given all the bs you had to do in the past to get stuff like Saturn and Model 3 running decently on systems of the past. They could easily come in at a great BOM and still sell for say $99-$120 (if the controller would add too much, then make a version w/ a pack-in controller and one without). That would mean a motherboard probably not spec'd for the most demanding i9s or Threadrippers, but those people are likely going to want to build something of a beast in a full-tower case. I'm just talking something that can support the affordable x86/x86-64 CPUs of the moment, support maybe lithium li-on battery (bonus points for being rechargeable and playable w/o being plugged in, saving on yet another power plug if the user'd want), and most of all nailing the Saturn aesthetic and feel, at an affordable price to those looking to jump in on building say a low-or-mid-spec'd PC in a mini form factor (or add a eGPU through Thunderbolt or a PCIe GPU if they want more power, both of them would require their own power supply however). Really interested to hear what you guys think; mini-PCs are only going to become more prolific as time goes on, but there'll always be power players who want the advantages of customization desktop and even laptop PCs offer. Something marrying them both, especially in a design inspired by a game console, could be a game-changer and it'd effectively be a perfect bridge between the mini consoles, mini PCs, and deskop or custom PCs.
  4. What is your favorite console generation and how would you rank the generations from favorite to least favorite? Here is how I would rank the console generations, along with a brief reason. 1. 4th Generation - 4 great consoles (TG-16, Neo Geo, SNES, Genesis) and each of them had their own identities and specific game genres that made them stand out. They also went out of their way to attack the competition in print ads or TV. 2. 6th Generation - Quality of 3D games improves. This generation was able to catch up with the arcades in terms of graphical quality. A good chunk of my 6th generation games are arcade ports. 3. 5th Generation - For me the PlayStation was king of the Japanese RPGs. Sega Saturn had some great arcade ports of 2D games. Though I am not a fan of the Nintendo 64, they stepped it up when it came to 3D games. 4. 3rd Generation - The reason why I don't rank this higher is because it was dominated by one system. The NES reigns supreme. I need to say no more. The Master System could have been a lot more, but sadly it didn't get the chance to. 5. 2nd Generation - A ton of systems in this era, though shit hit the fan during this time. Still a lot of memorable systems and games from this era, with the 2600 being my favorite. 6. 1st Generation - Mostly dominated by Pong. I love Pong. I have to give them a pass, since this was the very beginning. 7. 7th Generation - While there were games from this era that I enjoyed, there are too many issues about this generation that turned me off. Notably DLC, constant system updates, and patches, the unreliability of the 360 and the slowness of the PS3. 8. 8th Generation - Mandatory installs for games with the systems having limited hard drives. Why should you have to spend more money to get a bigger hard drive? These are supposed to be video game systems, not PCs. Not too many games that I find appealing. Too much focus on big budget titles. Games that would draw my interest may not get physical releases and thus get relegated to digital downloads.
  5. [**NOTE: Had originally posted this at Eventhubs, but their forums are pretty much dead so I'll be completing this little analysis here instead. Probably should've done that from the start, altho I'm not sure how many of you play fighting games (randomly or regularly :/)**] [**NOTE 2: This will be something of an ongoing thread; I'll update with more to this post when I have the time. So you can kinda look at this as an "article" of sorts, just spread among a ton of posts. I can't promise when additional parts will be up as I'm pretty busy during weekdays, so for those interested just keep an eye on the thread and share your own thoughts on the topic as well. Also, I'm aware this is going to be a VERY controversial thread and topic, and I'm ready for that. The opinions expressed here and in future parts are my own, but if others agree with them, that's great. If they don't, that's cool. But most importantly let's talk about it. Let's get a little civil discourse going.**] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay, so a disclaimer: I've been playing 3S more or less regularly for the past 2+ years, but first got my hands on the game about a decade ago. At that time, I was like many other disillusioned types, who saw the game on a godly pedestal at least in terms of fighting games, the king whom could not ever be challenged, supremacy reigning eternal. Like others, I felt EVO Moment #37 was among one of the most amazing moments in all of competitive gaming. The game's sprite animation unparalleled, soundtrack sublime, and game design/game mechanics perfection and the pinnacle of 2D fighters... ...and then I actually started investing in the game at a higher level, and boy oh boy, did the flaws show themselves to run deep. That the game continues to get praise to this day over more deserving fighting games is a testament to the power of the Capcom and Street Fighter brand name in the FGC, and the clout the FGC enjoys with casual gamers outside of the scene who are likely only aware of its more immediate elements. But when a game that enjoys a recent re-release with better netcode than its little brother (SFV) can't even maintain a playerbase beyond its initial launch phase, or even a consistent tournament presence post-launch of said port, it's maybe time to take the skeletons out of the closet and dissect what the nature of that game truly is. [bUT FIRST, SOME HISTORY] The history of 3S doesn't actually begin with said game, but dates back to New Generation, the first iteration of the game released in arcades in 1996 on the venerable CPS3 arcade hardware. At the time of its release, New Generation was arguably the most visually impressive 2D sprite-based game in the industry; no one had seen animation fidelity quite as robust or smooth, and it alone garnered the game a lot of praise. However, what wasn't so fondly looked upon was the game's lacking cast; a mix of few returners (only Ken and Ryu from past installments would be present here, and they were only added AFTER initial ideas of even axing them out of the lineup!) and new characters with designs not as iconic as the now-classic SFII cast of fighters. In terms of gameplay, New Generation introduced the parry, a mechanic wherein if a player pressed forward on the joystick at the exact moment an attack would otherwise hit them (this isn't *quite* true in terms of the timing but I will explain later), they would be able to deflect the attack while taking zero chip damage, and have a small frame opening to counter-attack with almost any option of their choosing. This added a level of depth and complexity to the 2D fighting formula that was perhaps both underappreciated and too complicated to get a handle on by most of the gaming public. Such was not helped by the game's questionable balance issues or certain bugs that made high-level play a nightmare. Adding to the mediocre reception was the presence of other, arguably more polished and flashy fighting games in arcades at the same time, some of which being Capcom's own such as the Darkstalker series, Street Fighter Alpha (and its sequel), Xmen vs. Street Fighter and even Street Fighter EX, the franchise's first attempt into the realm of 3D. Combined with the general downslide of arcade gaming in the West that was occurring thanks mainly to the powerful performance of Sony's PlayStation (and to a lesser extent, Nintendo's N64) in the home gaming market, and you have all the makings for a solid, if not spectacular, first impression of the III series that unfortunately did not make much of an impact in arcades. Capcom would try again a short while later with Second Impact, an update of sorts with more playable characters, new stages, new music, and a further progression of the developing storyline alongside various adjustments to the game mechanics and balance. It was a noticeably better game than New Generation on most all fronts, and did help to improve the III series' reputation among fighting game players and arcade goers, but yet again, it was something of a financial flop. By this time Capcom was losing money on the CPS3 hardware by the boatloads, as other CPS3 games like Red Earth also failed to take off. While some gamers pondered of a possible home port to Sony's PlayStation or Sega's Saturn, the truth of the matter was that neither system was up to the task of doing a home translation of the III games justice, even with expansion modules in tow. PC gaming was consumed by the explosion of FPS games during this time and were never known as havens for arcade-style gaming outside of say the Sharp X68000, which remained a curiosity for the Japanese market exclusively, and whose time had already passed. Other than arcades, there was no other true avenue for the III games to do good business and both New Generation and now Second Impact had failed to make much of a dent with operators and even many of the hardcore arcade goers and fighting game players of the time. In 1999, Capcom decided to give it one last go in the III franchise with Third Strike, arguably the most remembered and cherished release in the series. Third Strike would be a stylistic overhaul of mammoth proportions, switching up the soundtrack to something more akin to a hiphop/jazz fusion with some drum 'n bass/jungle music thrown in for good measure, and made further overhauls to the various game mechanics, such as the introduction of Red Parries, universal overheads, and a "pathway challenge" system for the Arcade mode which allowed players to choose from two opponents per match on a forking path, eventually culminating with a penultimate match against the player character's rival, and a final battle against series boss Gill. This edition of the game also brought back series favorite Chun-Li, as well as adding several other new characters to the roster such as Q, Twelve and Makoto, bumping the playable roster to 19. Third Strike would be both the final release in the III series and the last CPS3 game produced for the system, totaling out to a paltry six (6) releases in its commercial run. The hardware was now a certified anchor on Capcom financially and the company at this point eyed the opportunity to move onto other systems such as SEGA's newly released NAOMI arcade board, based upon technology of that company's then-new Dreamcast home game console. And just as well; Third Strike, outside of a small yet dedicated fanbase in parts of Japan, simply failed to resonate with most gamers in other markets, a casualty to the shrinking Western arcade market and scaling back of popularity of fighting games as a whole, particularly those of the 2D variety. The game befell the same fate of 2nd Impact and New Generation financially, even if it was a technically superior game to New Generation and *arguably* better game than Second Impact (again, I will explain later). It was time for Capcom to move on, and they did, leaving the III series behind as their time became occupied with other fighters such as Marvel vs Capcom 2 and the Capcom vs. SNK series.... ...and then EVO Moment #37 happened. This iconic moment, which involved fighting game legend Diago Umehara taking on yet another fighting game legend, Justin Wong, in a heated match of Third Strike with the two taking to Ken and Chun-Li, respectively, is perhaps both the most viewed and most venerated single moment in FGC history. Daigo was able to perfectly parry every single hit in Chun-Li's SAII, as well as neutral jump for a setup into Ken's bread-and-butter combo for a hit confirm into his SAIII, WHILE HAVING ONLY A PIXEL OF HEALTH TO HIS NAME! The moment, taking place at EVO 2004, has since cemented itself in the annals of fighting game and competitive gaming history, and to those who likely nary even know anything about fighting games beyond fleeting memories of SFII at the arcade, SNES or Genesis, this single moment is likely the first that comes to mind when they think of fighting games. It's simply that iconic. The moment itself gave Third Strike a shot in the arm that, along with the continued dedication to the game in years leading up to it thanks mainly to a small-but-closely knit scene in Japan, helped push 3S (and to a lesser degree, Second Impact) to a new place in the zeitgeist of the fighting game (and even gaming in general) pedestal. Coupled with the impending release of Street Fighter IV, a game that many (somewhat overstated) consider the "rebirth of fighting games into the mainstream", and it seemed that after all these years, the III games (Third Strike in particular) was finally getting the overdue respect it deserved. "The God of 2D fighters". "A pinnacle master of its art". "Pure. Perfection". ....except it really isn't ANY of those things. Not exactly, anyhow. Over the years Third Strike has enjoyed a near mythical level of fervor with gamers, many of whom have either never played it whatsoever, or only done so a handful of times at a casual level. Others still are only familiar with the game from watching tournament footage on sites such as Youtube. While this is all well and good, it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to discussing the game's true merits outside of the cloud of its fandom. As someone who has sunk more time into this game than many, I feel it time to delve into what exactly elevates this game to god-like status for so many, and see in what areas what other games do these things better. For the sake of trying to keep this simple, I will be limiting comparisons only to other fighting games that came out before or around the release of Third Strike. That means no comparisons to, say, Tekken 4 or later, Virtua Fighter 4 or later, Guilty Gear XX, or Dead or Alive 3. All games in this comparison will have initial releases on or before the year 2000. So with that, let's get on with this :/ [NEXT TIME: THE AESTHETIC (OVERALL PRESENTATION, CHARACTER DESIGNS, BACKGROUNDS, ANIMATIONS, MOVELIST CREATIVITY)]
  6. It's good to find somewhere dedicated to Atari and classic games in general - I had no idea this wonderful site existed! Anyway, apologies for the poor pun...and the slightly odd topic, but something pulled me back towards Frogger at the weekend. It been had years - perhaps as many as twenty - since I'd last played the game, but once I started playing, it was very difficult to stop. I was - as anyone who watches the video will see - very very bad at it. But, here's the thing...the design is so good, I really didn't mind having to endlessly retry, and as soon as I have a bit more time - probably the weekend now - I'm going to get back to it. Can anyone guide me as to where to head next? Is there anything Frogger-like that I should be aware of? I'd hugely appreciate help and guidance with my return to the classics:) Here's my dreadful Frogger skills for all to see:) https://youtu.be/cuCwfgD5-FA
  7. I'm not sure how well known Free Play Orlando is in the retro game community, but they have an event coming up in November that I'm thinking of attending. Since I live about 10-15 minutes away, it might be worth $25/$30 + $5 parking to check it out for 1 day. Attending as a vendor isn't all that expensive ($175 for an 8-foot table + internet + power outlet + 2 weekend passes). It might be fun to set up an upgraded ColecoVision Flashback unit as well as a Coleco ADAM or ColecoVision + Super Game Module and show off some of the newer releases. From the website: About Free Play Florida Free Play Florida 2017 is an exciting three day event that encompasses a complete Pinball, Arcade, and Console gaming experience. This November 17th thru the 19th, 2017 Free Play Florida is being held at the beautiful Doubletree Sea World by Hilton right off I-4 and International Drive. All of your classic and current pinball and arcade games will be on display for you to play, join the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) sanctioned pinball tournament and compete with the best in the state of Florida, , sit in on our speaker panels that include industry icons, and visit our valued vendors selling parts, memorabilia, and some of the coolest themed art on the planet! http://wp.freeplayflorida.com/?page_id=1595 Vendor/Sponsor Information http://wp.freeplayflorida.com/?page_id=1480
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