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bplus

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Posts posted by bplus

  1. On 04/07/2021 at 06:06, spanky debrest said:

    In spite of not having the slightest urge to touch many of this consoles most beloved titles it's still the only Nintendo home machine I absolutely need to have permanently set up for play, just in case I get the urge.

     

    There's just a level of cozy comfort I have with it that isn't there with the others. I can't explain why. 

     

    Anyway, I finally got around to spending some time with a game I've been putting off playing since it came out: Pilotwings 64. And it's pretty good, I must say. Nowhere near as rough around the edges as I perceived it to be and enjoyably oddball in how it does a lot of things.

     

    The rocketpack levels are my favourites (much like with the other Pilotwings games) and I still can't seem to consistently judge how to land the hang-glider (almost always annoyingly undershooting it) but I've got gold ratings pretty much throughout (apart from in the Pilot class tests), and have raced through it all so far. I am truly over some of the music though - but noticed there's an option to turn it down in the mix. Very nice.

     

    Another classic I've avoided playing until now is Waverace 64 - and unlike Pilotwings 64 I've found this one a real challenge to get my head around. As a viewer, this game broadly looked so easy that I hadn't considered that the wave physics and tight course designs would conspire to chew up and spit out a new player so ruthlessly. 

     

    Digging out the instruction manual / operations card will have to be done as it seems like some essential information just isn't in the game itself, and I really want to enjoy what might be the nearest thing to a proper arcade style racer Nintendo ever made.

     

    However, the most resonating N64 experience for me during this period of play has to be the recently released 'Animal Leader' (Doubutsu Banchou) beta, the 64DD 'evolution'-inspired bite-em-up that got ported to cartridge before being cancelled and ported once more to GameCube, eventually landing in the west as 'Cubivore'. 

     

    This is one mega charming, lovely looking and an extraordinarily nice sounding game. I really like it. And there's nothing about it that suggests an unfinished title as yet (I'm on area #4).

     

    I don't doubt the GC version probably isn't considered anything special, but here it's somehow.. a bit magical. Definitely much bigger than the sum of its parts.

     

    There's a fair amount of stylised JPN text / plotting which I'm not able to fully grasp but the game is no less engrossing because everything is so expressive and lovingly crafted in all its accentuated boxyness.

     

    I never thought I'd get sucked into a recovered N64 proto of a GC game I'd not personally previously heard of before, but it is what it is, and I'm all in.

     

    So yeah. I'm going to finish up Pilotwings, try and get adequately good at Waverace and continue letting Animal Leader provide genuine relaxation in the meanwhile, and see where the story goes. 

     

    So for anyone interested in Animal Leader that might have missed it, here's the recent article about its recovery with everything else you might need:

     

    https://www.nesworld.com/article.php?system=n64&data=n64-doubutsubanchou_2021

    Wave race 64 is probably one of my fav games of all time, I've completed on expert a few times. Sad, I could do with some more tracks. The depth of the control system is only matched by 1080.

  2. On 24/07/2021 at 08:23, ScouserInExile said:

    Not sure if I'm going to stick at this. I know it's probably the most sacred of sacred cows, but I'm just finding it really frustrating to play and have already resorted so save state scumming and watching play through videos. Both of which wouldn't have been an option back in the day. 

     

    Speaking of which - this is the first time I've played it, so have no nostalgia for it and am looking at it through the eyes of a modern gamer, so I'm probably judging it a bit too harshly. But:

    Graphically it's amazing. If this was a 2D game produced now, you'd be impressed by the graphics, they're that good. 

    Not a fan of the music, but it suits the game and it does the job. Sound effects are as good as the graphics, though. 

    Gameplay wise I think the difficulty really lets it down. Judging by the play through videos I've seen, I'm not that far in and I'm finding it teeth grindingly difficult to progress. While an rpg should encourage you to explore and experiment, there's a distinct lack of signposting, some rng issues, a mechanism or two not explained and, worst of all, some real trail and error that will send you a long way back on the error parts. 

     

    I can see that there's a good game in there, but I just don't think I'm willing to persevere to get to it. 

    I'm sorta replying this, never completed it first time, but I loved it. Not so sure now. Though I think I only like arcade racers these days. I tried the first Zelda recently (nes), Jesus Christ the difficulty is insane.

  3. On 15/03/2021 at 11:36, ianinthefuture said:

    I saw in the DC thread that Sega Rally 2 doesn't emulate well (or at all, not sure which) - got me thinking: what big/known games out there still can't be emulated properly?

     

    There's a chunk on Saturn I see, like X-Men Children of the Atom et al, but Saturn emulation still feels like it's pretty early days.

    It emulates really well on redream. But playing with fresh eyes it's not a great game. It's also not 60fps but there is a chest code that strips out scenary and ups the fps. Compared to sega rally Revo or whatever it's called on Xbox or PS3 it's just a bit crap.

     

    Also it's pretty easy to emulate sega rally one arcade on a pc. Plays well

  4. Is it worth moving from retro arch to open emu?

     

    The start guides for retro arch are shit but once you've down loaded some cores and told it to scan for ROMs it really is great. I have a decent pc under my TV with retro arch, I now no longer bother digging out real hardware and faffing with ossc. I've started buying adapters for different joy pads.

     

    Other than that I use dolphin for GameCube games, it's pretty amazing, f zero at 1080p looks great.

     

    I've got an Xbox 360 emu that I can't recall the name of, runs the Goldeneye leak perfectly.

     

    Redream for dreamcast games is amazing. Free but pay five bucks for high Res upgrade, well worth it. Though for some reason I can't get it to scan for new games now.

     

    My usb Saturn pad arrived last night, realistically are there any decent saturn emulators worth trying? Or decent cores in retro arch?

  5. 7 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

    This looks really good, work in progress but they've just released a trailer and a demo:

     

     

    That looks professional level, late in nes life pro level, and it's a one man band as far as Google tells me. That's really impressive. No time time to play it but I can look at the videos! :)

  6. On 26/04/2021 at 11:50, Sketch said:

    Has this been ported to the original Xbox?

     

    Also, I'm not sure why everyone loves RetroArch. It's cumbersome, bloated, difficult to set-up and work, massively oversized and, worst of all (when i last looked at it), it refuses to run unless you put literally every piece of crap in it. Hence multi-gig install sizes.

     

    Whatever happened to usability and portability? I want emulators where I just click and go! Not spend two fiddling with drivers and DLL files.

    You shouldn't need to be messing with DLL files. It's all configurable from its GUI.  Use its online updater todownload the cores (aka emulators) you want. Then scan your ROMs folder and it creates all the play lists for you. That's it. Took me a while to figure out it had to be done in that order though!

  7. On the sega Saturn retro bit pads on Amazon, are they really worth it for fighting games in emulators etc? Only 15 quid or so was thinking they'd be the right thing for megadrive games and mame. Though I see the megadrive ones too, take it there's no reason to buy those over the Saturn ones?

  8. On 18/05/2021 at 17:42, mikejenkins said:

    Super Famicom on Various Displays - Unscientific Ramblings

     

    I've tried getting photos of SFC on the various displays which aren't 100% but give the general gist. My SFC is a first rev one so has the "soft" RGB output compared to a 1-chip or a modern emulated or FPGA equivalent.

     

    Direct RGB to Philips CM8833-II CRT monitor:

     

    With proper scanlines and small screen it looks great on this monitor, you don't notice any lack of sharpness, and it obviously plays perfectly with no lag. The screen is too small but I can't move more than 1m from it due to the tiny controller leads so not too bad (probably an overall negative).

     

    IMG_0278.jpeg.558d79c2402d060bfa3c43f9095ab0e4.jpeg

     

    Pros: Looks great, plays 100% as intended

    Cons: Small screen, CRT will die eventually and be hard to replace

     

    RGB SCART to Dell P1917S IPS LCD via Retrotink 2X-SCART

     

    The Dell panel is a 5:4 ratio 1280x1024 panel and looks pretty good when running at native res over HDMI. There is no noticeable input or display lag, but contrast levels aren't great compared to a CRT or plasma. When connected via the Retrotink which only does linedoubling and therefore runs at a non-native 720x480 res, it's using the display scaler which softens the image considerably. When it's running it looks pretty good with no artefacting. The 19" screen is a good compromise between size and quality with the pixels not looking too enormous.

     

    IMG_0290D.jpeg.71b654a2cbc625731e1c06c9d31feec5.jpeg

     

    Pros: No lag, looks decent

    Cons: Overly soft and washed out image, aspect ratio slightly off

     

    RGB SCART to Samsung LCD TV via Retrotink/direct SCART

     

    My secondary TV is a c. 5 year old 32" LED backlit mid-range job so not really modern but I thought I would give it a go. Connected via the Retrotink the picture (left) is much sharper than on the Dell monitor, almost overly so, and the approx. 6" larger screen on the diagonal shows up the chunky pixels. Again no lag.

     

    I've put a pic of the built in SCART connection on the right , which looked pretty poor in comparison and added noticeable input lag, so a definite benefit to the Retrotink here.

     

    IMG_0292D.jpeg.5c21291456781f9a55d56871b7b50fb2.jpegIMG_0295D.jpeg.6a7b9aa4088cb201cc86d6633a61c6c3.jpeg

     

    Pros: No lag, looks technically good

    Cons: Big screen shows up large pixels - would be better on a big CRT

     

    RGB SCART to Panasonic Plasma via Retrotink

     

    Pushing the definition of modern even further, I tried it on my main telly which is a 50" c. 10 year old plasma. It has very good black levels and contrast and generally undetectable input lag - a SNES Mini looks pin sharp on it. It didn't really get on with the Retrotink's output and doesn't let me switch HDMI sources to 4:3 so coupled with the big screen making everything look like lego bricks it was a poor experience.

     

    IMG_0291D.jpeg.187b8d7b447f5dea2e96331191053cbc.jpeg

     

    Pros: No lag, good black levels

    Cons: Wrong ratio, looks generally poor, pixels as big as your fist

     

    In conclusion:

     

    If you want to play on a modern display, are not fussy about real hardware, value image quality and you want to play carts, by the time you spend ~£150 on a SNES and a Retrotink/similar decent scaler (the scaler can obviously be used on multiple devices) you are probably better off with a Mister or a Super NT if you can find one for its retail price.

     

    The massive pixels on large screens are unavoidable on any solution (I don't count smoothing or interpolation as solutions), so to me most of this and the next generation look terrible no matter how technically good the display is on such displays. I value sharpness over blurriness however so I will get an OSSC and see how that is - the Retrotink's simplicity makes it generally average at best when it comes to quality.

    Ive got an ossc and don't really bother with real hardware anymore. Retro arch , screen filters and run ahead latency reduction are great. I think it can actually produce less latency than a real snes.  I once did a real comparison switching between retro arch nes emu and real NTSC NES, I preferred the emulator.

     

    That said I'll never sell my real hardware :)

  9. On 09/06/2021 at 14:38, new666uk said:

    The first part of Dig Dugs quote on how piracy works is a spot on assessment of video game, music and movie companies mindset. Seriously, the amount of mediocre product these industries push out is staggering and to expect that every pirated version represents a lost sale is ludicrous. I wonder if there is any genuine data on this? Perhaps derived from assessing whether piracy decreases if you also drop the product price. Ostensibly the delta could be considered the true reflection of lost sales.

     

    For legacy stuff being pirated, companies really need to have a long think about this. They sit on IP for commercially 'dead' systems (for example games on consoles 2 generations old) with no intention of ever marketing and earning revenue off them on those original platforms. Then they get all uppity (is that a word?) when someone fills the market demand they won't. I appreciate they may repackage the content as a digi download on a new current gen platform but that's not responding to the demand from legacy system owners.

     

    TL:DR version, piracy not all bad, videogame companies not all good. Shock.

    Thing is though, this guy was running a subscription service that included switch games I think. I'm not a games programmer, but if I found out someone was freeloading off my work id be pretty unhappy even if only a tiny percentage would have bought the product legit.

     

    I'm fine with the likes of Nintendo protecting their current commercially available work. Mass piracy helped destroy the Dreamcast (at least I've read several places saying that and it sounded convincing) so I understand why companies go after pirates.

     

    Another way of looking at it is that companies wouldnt bother chasing pirates if it didn't make commercial sense , which makes think it's probably not a waste of time.

  10. 6 hours ago, Sketch said:

     

    Excellent question! Though as Phillv85 points out, it's not so easy to answer. Since around 1990 Japan has had this weird inflation situation.

     

    Below I am attaching a chart I made in 2015. So the current inflation column is out of date for 2021 sadly.

     

    But in 1987 £1 equalled 236 yen in Japan, and $1.64 in the US. In 2015 the inflation on that £1 from 1987 was roughly double. Inflation the Yen was only x1.16.

     

    Prices for games varied a lot. The 1983~1994 Famicom Almanac lists all the prices for every game in Japan.

     

    Donkey Kong (1983) - 4500 yen

    Super Mario 3 (1988) - 6500 yen

    Deja Vu (1988) - 9800 yen

     

    So in 1988 the conversion from Japan was about £28 for SMB3 (6500 / 228).

     

    In 2015 the inflation would have put that £28 at around £57. However, the 6500 yen would be inflated to just 7475 yen in 2015. Which if you exchange at the 2015 rate would give you about £40.

     

    There's a big difference between £40 and £57 - and this is down to Japan's odd lack of inflation.

     

    For a laugh, if you converted the inflated 2015 yen value using the 1988 rate you end up with about £33.

     

    What does this mean? I have no idea. It's all number salad!

     

     

    Exchange_Rate.jpg

    Brilliant! Thanks!

  11. On 25/05/2021 at 19:42, Colonel Panic said:

    I got Super Mario Bros 2 for the FDS today, so now I've got SMB 1, 2, 3 and USA for the Famicom. 

     

    IMG_6702.thumb.jpeg.81d089c81ef818da8e999deec04c894b.jpeg

    Is SMB 2 for the Famicom the lost levels ? (Aware that the version we got was the wierd reskin of some other platformer)

  12. On 03/05/2021 at 22:12, dumpster said:

    It's quite incredible how these games that are written to work in elaborate cabinets and not designed for the home work so well on a standard controller. 

     

    Like Outrun 2 handles much the same as the official conversion despite you running code that was only ever written for a steering wheel.

     

    I wondered if the input/output is somehow adapted in the emulator code on a game by game basis? 

    I wonder if while in development it was easier for the Devs to use joypads and the code is just detecting you have a joypad connected. Hrm maybe not.

  13. 11 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

     

    It has one that can be changed out, its all super magnetic and they just swap in place. Very sturdy and changes to suit your games, can be wired or wireless depending on what suits you:

     

    8f4a9b96-5066-4032-b5f2-0e9fabcec71f.jpg

    I see! That is nice. Probably too pricey for me to justify :(

  14. 21 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

    Go for an Xbox One Elite controller (first edition). The button, stick and D-pad swap outs are a god send for all sorts of retro gaming. Probably a bit more expensive than your usual pad but made to last.

    Just had a look at eBay, dunno if it's covid prices but they are pricey! :) D pad looks really strange though?

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