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Saw both Colecovision and Intellivision Flashbacks at Sams Club last night. They both come with extra overlays. $39.98.

 

I'm sure they'll all have them eventually, but they lost my business. The INTV FB became pointless once Keith started selling the Overlay pack, and I'd rather have the CV FB with Antarctic Adventure than extra overlays.

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So is the verdict that Colecovision Flashback is a piece of crap and my money is better spent on a Atarimax Colecovision SD cartridge?

Even if the Flashback is not a piece of crap, your money is still better spent on an AtariMax SD cart.

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So is the verdict that Colecovision Flashback is a piece of crap and my money is better spent on a Atarimax Colecovision SD cartridge?

 

Two very different items. The colecovision flashback is mostly for people who don' t own a colecovision and are feeling nostalgic or think the games look cool. As a collector, I bought the flashback mostly because it looks good on a shelf with my other colecovision items.

 

The Atarimax cart is for people who like to play games on real hardware. They use the atarimax cart because 1) they don't own every game 2) convenience- just load up a game instead of going to grab another 3) They want to keep their cart/cib games in mint condition 4) Play homebrews or prototype games with no cartridge release

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I just picked one of these CV FB's up tonight from Family Dollar, on sale for $30. I thought FD sold the version with the extra game. I was wrong. Still, this thing is awesome. Super impressed with the MSX ports and homebrews I've never seen (Mecha-8, Princess Quest - WOW!). The older CV games look/sound fine to me. Well worth the small investment IMO. Even moreso now that it's been proven to be hackable.

Edited by Vectorman
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Glad you enjoyed them. The 61 games version is Dollar General, and yes, there's some homebrews on it, plus the exclusive Antarctic Adventure game. I haven't had a chance to play yet (it's boxed up for Christmas). I wish they'd dones something to differentiate the homebrews though. As it is, all 60/61 games are displayed alphabetically on the menu, ten games per page. The 7th page on the DG version has only one game on it.

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Put some time into playing games on my Flashback today. I think the emulation speed is really off in some games. Zaxxon is still REALLY fast on skill #2, and same for Frenzy. Venture feels fast to me too. Miner 2049'er, Jumpman, Mountain Kind and Montazuma's Revenge do not do well with the sloppy controller either. There are a bunch of great, fun games on here though. I still think that for the price, it's a pretty good deal.

Edited by LynxVGL
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Put some time into playing games on my Flashback today. I think the emulation speed is really off in some games. Zaxxon is still REALLY fast on skill #2, and same for Frenzy. Venture feels fast to me too. Miner 2049'er, Jumpman, Mountain Kind and Montazuma's Revenge do not do well with the sloppy controller either. There are a bunch of great, fun games on here though. I still think that for the price, it's a pretty good deal.

Don't compare THE HEIST with the real Colecovision version, you will cry...................

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I have a Cart copy of "The Heist" and have never really gotten into this game. So no great loss. (For me at least.) To see a pretty dramatic performance hit on the CV Flashback, play Miner 2049er. Level 1 plays normally. Level 2, not so much. I can understand these games being overclocked and moving fast, but SLOW DOWN? What the hey?

Edited by LynxVGL
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For the price, the CVFB is a good deal. I won't go into the emulation and controller flaws, I just want to point out something I find very interesting...

 

With the emulation they're using, they seem to have done away with one of the BIG annoyances of the original console - the flickering / disappearing sprite problem (when you have 4 or more on the same horizontal line). That bugged the crap out of me since first getting my CV in 1982. So in my book, that's a major improvement.

 

I haven't tried any other CV emulators, but does anyone here know if that issue is also 'fixed' in them?

 

Now if only the real console with my AtariMax SD cart could be fixed to eliminate that problem...

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For the price, the CVFB is a good deal. I won't go into the emulation and controller flaws, I just want to point out something I find very interesting...

 

With the emulation they're using, they seem to have done away with one of the BIG annoyances of the original console - the flickering / disappearing sprite problem (when you have 4 or more on the same horizontal line). That bugged the crap out of me since first getting my CV in 1982. So in my book, that's a major improvement.

 

I haven't tried any other CV emulators, but does anyone here know if that issue is also 'fixed' in them?

 

Now if only the real console with my AtariMax SD cart could be fixed to eliminate that problem...

An emulator cannot fix what the game software seeks to fix itself. The flicker comes from the 4-sprites-per-scanline limit, as you said, but the actual flicker effect is something that is programmed into the game cartridge. This means that even if an emulator allows more than 4 sprites per scanline, the game cartridge has no way to know this and keeps applying the flicker effect.

 

So if you see a CV game under emulation that doesn't have as much sprite flicker as it does on real hardware, then it means two things:

 

1) The emulator supports more than 4 sprites per scanline

2) The programmer of the game never cared about the sprite limit and didn't program any flicker algorithm.

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It seems sound chip voice 4(or 3?) is messed up in their emulation. Squish'Em Sam has no voice synthesis in it, just a staticy sound where the sound fx used to be. Omega Race used to use the noise channel to play the bass notes in it's music IIRC. It's gone.

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It seems sound chip voice 4(or 3?) is messed up in their emulation. Squish'Em Sam has no voice synthesis in it, just a staticy sound where the sound fx used to be. Omega Race used to use the noise channel to play the bass notes in it's music IIRC. It's gone.

Somewhere in this thread is my full report about emulation issues, but here is what I remember about sound

  • Sound chip uses an higher frequency (notes sound more acute)
  • The bass effect of SN76489 isn't implemented.
  • The volume levels for channels aren't right (probably are linear instead of exponential)
  • Probably the emulation isn't done per sound sample but for small buffers, meaning any voice will disappear.

Anyway this would only be notable to people that has tested the game over a real Colecovision, and also many people doesn't note differences.

 

Myself I've tested recently after a month of not using it and I've noted really isn't a big problem.

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So let's say for someone like me who wants to try the ColecoVision, but doesn't want to commit to the price of scoring an original console plus games, would this be a good option? I already have enough consoles in my house I don't have the time/money to collect for, so I'm not sure I want to be adding another one.

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Picked up the CVF last night at Sams club for $29.95. The Intelivision version was also that price. Nice to see the price decrease. Now TRU will never get rid of theirs. If they only let me buy it a month before it was suppose to be released that could have had $40.

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@ TPA5: yes... or you could just do the emulation thing on your computer, which is better than the emu issues on these Flashbacks. Of course, if you go that route, you're missing out on the experience of using the Colecovision controller. :)

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So let's say for someone like me who wants to try the ColecoVision, but doesn't want to commit to the price of scoring an original console plus games, would this be a good option? I already have enough consoles in my house I don't have the time/money to collect for, so I'm not sure I want to be adding another one.

 

It's a pretty reasonable option given the price :)

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So let's say for someone like me who wants to try the ColecoVision, but doesn't want to commit to the price of scoring an original console plus games, would this be a good option? I already have enough consoles in my house I don't have the time/money to collect for, so I'm not sure I want to be adding another one.

If you don't have the time/money to collect for it, then go with emulation. Most CV games don't use the keypad all that much (except for a few that use it constantly during gameplay, like War Games or Gateway to Apshai just to name a couple) which means you can play most games with a standard PC gamepad with two fire buttons. If I remember correctly, a USB adaptor does exist that lets you connect a standard Coleco controller to your PC (do correct me if I'm wrong about that). Emulators like blueMSX do a better job at accurately reproducing the CV hardware than the CV Flashback.

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I've wanted a CV since the 1980s, but I literally never saw one for sale at thrift shops, etc. For various reasons, I will not buy hardware from an online retailer or Ebay.

 

Earlier this year, a friend gave me his old system. Unfortunately, it looks to have been through a flood at some point -- there was obvious water damage to the original box -- and I was unable to get it working.

 

I recently discovered that the Flashback is available at retail here in Canada, so I bought one on Monday evening. I have not yet had a chance to try it out (beyond playing the store demo). This more than satisfies my gaming needs. There are a small handful of titles that are not included that I would like to have been included (e.g. Time Pilot, Donkey Kong, Spy Hunter), but I can play those few in other emulators/on other platforms.

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