Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
shadow460

The achilles heel of each classic system

Recommended Posts

As much as I loved it, surprised the Atari XEGS wasn't mentioned:

 

Atari XEGS:

Controller ports angled at 45 degrees, making it a pain to plug in and unplug controllers

Keyboard was separate, and not always included with the system. This could potentially exclude the majority of the 8-bit library

Keyboard jack angled at 45 degrees

Keyboard cord is so short it has to remain near the console

All major buttons (power/reset/start/select/option) located on console

Only two joystick/paddle sockets (same disadvantage as from the XL series on up: impossible to play games that require 4 players with 4 joysticks, or 8-player Super Breakout with four pairs of paddles)

Incompatibility with some cartridge titles (such as Demon Attack, which is common in all XL/XE systems to my knowledge)

 

Some interesting things that can work to its advantage, though:

 

Built-in composite output, so RF isn't needed flat-out and no need for a special cable for composite.

64KB of memory already makes it very useful with bigger and better cartridge/disk games, and can be expanded with some soldering know-how

Built-in SIO port, so it still has all the functions of a 65XE

Can be modded for s-video output

Built-in Missile Command game (power on without the keyboard plugged in, or hold Option with the keyboard connected. Also, if you have a Trak-Ball, press Control-T to enable TB mode for more arcade-like gameplay, same as with the original cartridge).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, here are a couple of quirks that aren't necessarily malfunctions:

 

Dreamcast: Console will drain the VMU batteries if the VMU and controller are left plugged in.

PocketStation: Drains the battery over time even if it's shut off.

LaserActive: The remote control is required in order to soft power off the system and lock the laser assembly in its parked state.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sony PS2: Check the system thoroughly with a blue and a silver backed PS2 game. If you intend to play PS1 games, check it with those as well. Play bits of a DVD or two as well. If the system has trouble loading or the DVD skips or glitches, the PS2 will need repair.

 

Also try a copy of either God of War game to make sure it can play dual layer discs. There may be others, but owning GoW is a must anyway :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprized nobody mentioned this yet:

 

Xbox 360: Red Ring of Death! Virtually 100% of the original launch models that have been played even lightly over the years, have failed by now. Heavily played launch consoles failed within just a few months. That's freaking unacceptable. :x

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also try a copy of either God of War game to make sure it can play dual layer discs. There may be others, but owning GoW is a must anyway :D

 

Gran Turismo 4 is a dual layer game as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 have failure issues, due in large part to the crummy solder used in the machines. The Xbox 360s gave out in a couple of years, while the Playstation 3s were failure grenades, taking longer to malfunction. These days, you're lucky to find an early model of either console that works properly.

 

Anyway! It's been my experience that the Nomad is broken right out of the package. Its cartridge slot is extremely unreliable; so much so that moving the system more than a little will loosen the connection to the cartridge and cause your game to blank out. The screen is really awful too; so blurry and washed out. A handheld Genesis is a terrific idea, but the execution should have been so much better than this.

 

As for the Dreamcast, the one problem I've had with the system is that it's very picky about the discs it plays. Even mild scratches will prevent them from running on a Dreamcast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing I've noticed about both the Model 2 Sega CD, and the PSone (the redeisgned, smaller playstation), the "open" button to pop open the lid can have problems. Somestimes you can pop open the lid pretty easily, but getting it to close correctly can be an issue. This is probably true with just about any console that has a pop up type lid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atari 2600: The Heavy Sexers require the heft of the wireless joysticks to smash through the outer casing.

 

NES: Stick a spatula into the cartridge bay and fling it against a brick wall.

 

Jaguar: Creep up and poke it in the expansion port. Love hurts.

 

Atari 5200: No known weakness due to its sheer size. Stepping on it only angers and confuses it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atari 5200: No known weakness due to its sheer size. Stepping on it only angers and confuses it.

 

This goes double for the LaserActive and triple for the RDI Halcyon. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there anyway to correct the optical drive laser not reading the disk? I've had this happen to 2 Gamecubes - games just won't consistently load. I wish I could use my Gamecube because it has the GB player screwed into the bottom and lots of games on disc too. But because of this issue, we just use the Wii for GCN games and the GCN sits in a box.

If you're comfortable disassembling the console, you should be able to fix the laser with a potentiometer tweak. I've had a couple of Gamecubes that suffered with this same problem. I never bothered to tweak them though because it was cheap and easy to just get another Gamecube from the thrift store. I have, however, tweaked the potentiometer on an original XBOX, and it restored the console to perfect working order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't see this one mentioned, but the TurboGrafx-CD (not the Duo), has an issue with a certain gear inside that breaks or wears down or something. I don't have one and haven't had to deal with it, but I have heard it is a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ActionMax - cannot make graphics by itself, only serves as a hit counter, only five games for it, only games it has are shooting games.

So why do I love it? I don't know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Sega Genesis is one of my all time favorite consoles, but considering the arcade pedigree of most of its early line up and Sega's arcade racer lineup, it seems odd they didn't include a hardware scaling solution. AfterBurner II, OutRun, Super Monaco GP, Hang On, Space Harrier II, OutRunners, Thunder Blade, G-Loc, and Galaxy Force would have all benefitted from built in sprite scaling. Power Drift and Turbo Out Run never even made an appearance though Power Drift showed up on PC Engine.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Atari Lynx: Low screen res

Game Boy Color: Disproportionate amount of shovelware; what was good was usually remakes or Pokemon; chronically outdated tech for the time it was released

Game Gear: Blurry, washed out screen; can't play in sunlight

Supervision: Mediocre library that made poor use of system's potential

Sega Dreamcast: GD-ROM drive has a flimsy motor construction; plastic gears can break after a while

Jaguar: CD Peripheral is hard to find working locking many players out of most new homebrew

NES: 10NES chip responsible for many console failures

GBA SP: Cramped ergonomics making system uncomfortable to use

Playstation 1: quick 'n dirty rendering method leads to many games looking wobbly and shaky

N-Gage 1: Have to remove battery to change a game

Dingoo: Fragile build quality; slow CPU can be a problem for some emulators

Atari 7800: sound chip same as VCS/2600

XBOX 360: High failure rates until redesign several years later

Edited by Segataritensoftii

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bally Astrocade: The heavy RFI shielding causes them to run hot and makes them prone to failure. Failures are usually due to custom ICs, a voltage regulator or capacitor. The replacements for the custom ICs are only available by cannibalizing another machine so it's a good idea to remove the RFI shield and put a heat sink on the custom ICs.

The joysticks also seem to fail due to the trigger wire coming disconnected.

 

http://www.ballyalley.com/faqs/bally-astrocade_faq.txt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

C64/128: One of the sound channels went out on both of mine... one was a 64 and the other a 128. You could still hear parts of some games but others you had no sound whatsoever.

 

Tapwave Zodiac: I had some issues with the analog joystick on some of mine... the upper left direction doesn't work consistantly. Also the Lithium battery went bad very quickly on some of my units... some hold a charge for hours and hours but others only a few minutes.

 

Gameboy Advance: The screen scratches up very easily and the battery door tabs break off easily.

 

PS2: The door on the tray either gets the tray stuck or falls off altogether... more annoying than anything but both of mine had these issues.

 

Sega Saturn: The controller wires were constantly coming out where they entered the controller. I know this happens with aggressive play on many systems but it seemed like the Saturn was especially vulnerable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes on the C64 if music plays funny the SID is faulty. Lots of chips can cause issues the good news is they are easy to repair with chip swaps, and if your lucky your machine might already have socketed chips.

Edited by tjlazer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super NES has color problems. Mine went because an SNES displayed all games using a Nintendo Brand S-Video cable in black and white, but was in color on an N64 and Game Cube. Changed to a different SNES and it plays in full color. THankfully, I sold my old one which displayed in "full" color with the standard composite AV cable. So I sold it as working with a standard AV cable but not with an S-Video Cable. If you don't have s-video, or the S-video cable, this should do fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On SNES, the Video RAM can go wrong, more than on any other system, except the Colecovision maybe.

Or so it seems to become a "common" failure now.

Edited by CatPix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Super NES has color problems. Mine went because an SNES displayed all games using a Nintendo Brand S-Video cable in black and white, but was in color on an N64 and Game Cube. Changed to a different SNES and it plays in full color. THankfully, I sold my old one which displayed in "full" color with the standard composite AV cable. So I sold it as working with a standard AV cable but not with an S-Video Cable. If you don't have s-video, or the S-video cable, this should do fine.

One of my Super Nintendos has this same problem. It flickers between B&W and color when displaying S-Video, but works fine with AV cables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odyssey 2:

 

RF cable has a non-RCA connector. It either needs the original switch-box, a modified cable, or you need to open it and replace the cable. You'll frequently find the cable has already been modded or replaced, but look for this when you are considering buying one. The RF port inside the console doesn't have much clearance, so a standard RCA cable may not fit inside. I've used the RF cable from broken 2600 consoles, which fit pretty well.

 

The cast has hex nuts instead of screws, so opening it may require a ratchet set with very small ratchet heads (or a special tool).

 

The voice module came with a replacement power adapter for the console, to carry the extra power load. This was often separated from the voice module, and can be hard to acquire without buying the voice module as a part of a lot that includes the console.

 

The metal door on the cartridges themselves is prone to rusting and discoloration if they weren't kept well. This may not affect the cartridges functionality, but it is ugly.

 

Many people put tape on the Magnavox game boxes. The boxes are actually very nice, and useful for storing the games, so many people kept them. However, since the boxes are easily collapsible and tend to sorta unfold themselves on the corners, people put tape on the corners to hold them together. The tape can be a bit ugly.

 

The overseas releases (Videopac, and Brazilian Odyssey) came in hard plastic shells with a transparent flap-door. This transparent plastic is usually very scratched up.

 

Master Strategy Series games contains lots of small pieces, especially Conquest of the World. When you buy one, try to verify it has all of the pieces you need to play the game.

 

 

None of the above are major issues, but they are things you should look at and consider when choosing with items (or lot) to purchase.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I seen a few mentions about certain things on the TI99/4a being "non standard", remember-TI set the standard, it's just nobody else decided to follow it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LaserActive can blow its fuse while you're in the middle of playing a game. It smells terrible when this happens, and the smell spreads to the module and game cartridge until you leave them out of the system for a while. After that the LaserActive will be stuck in Standby Mode when you try to power it on and will not work until you get the fuse replaced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3DO: expensive; few interesting games; controllers daisy-chain together (this can result in an "unfair advantage" to player 1 when things get competitive!)

I've heard the daisy chain thing before and always thought that must be someone reaching for something to find.

I always thought that was a great design. Can have to up 8 (more??) controllers without needing a TAP.

 

Now, could someone "cheat" by unplugging a joystick.. Sure..

But if you know someone who is that much of a ...er. jerk.. then he's going to cheat on other systems by knocking the Genesis controller out of your hand or just turning off your SNES.

And it really is your fault.. You shouldn't have given him the first controller in the chain.. ;-) And those cords are REALLY LONG. If he has the second joypad and gets upset and starts to pull on the cord to mess up your game, you have PLENTY of time to unplug HIM! It's actually a PLUS for the safety of your game!!!! ;-)

But not just the daisy chain, but the headset jack in the joypad.. I've always had that as a HUGE plus for the system..

 

desiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some which haven't been mentioned yet :

 

SNES - Yellowing plastic. While the SNES is not the only console or computer to suffer from yellowing plastic, it can turn the console into a swamp green color. RetroBright only can do so much.

 

Gameboy Color - Washed out colors. For a Color system, you'd expect the screen to be more colorful.

 

Gameboy Advance - Better screen, but with no backlight it was hard to appreciate it.

 

Atari 8-bits - 48KB limitation of of the 400/800 systems made it really difficult to develop games for these computers when Commodore came with 64KB and every Apple II could be upgraded to 64KB.

 

Commodore 64 - In addition to the general poor quality construction of the early models, the wretched slowness of the disk drive deserves special mention. You can have a quickie in the time it takes to load a game.

 

Sega Master System - Pause button on the console. People really want to walk to the console to pause their game.

 

Neo Geo - Who wanted to pay over $100 for a game?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...