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spanky debrest

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    Roland Kirk, Al Jarnow, Bob Clampett, Prince, Willie D and Quincy Jones. And the Pokemon Shuffle composer.

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  1. By the way, there's a brilliant translation patch for Mega Drive Madou Monogatari up on RHDN. That game really outdoes itself in the audio/visual department, it's a real gem. Also, someone told me years ago that the C64 version of Ghouls n Ghosts has the best soundtrack. Turns out they were right, and together with an oscilloscope visualisation it's a trip:
  2. My US Master System - which my dad bought me in 1987 while we were on holiday in Florida - came built-in with Hang On & Safari Hunt (and the Snail Maze, but I didn't know about that until getting back home).
  3. I found it remarkable that (screen and scaling issues aside) the quality of its actual emulation - on v1.0 carts - seems to outshine what's found on most of the official Mini consoles pretty effortlessly. I doubt it's much more powerful inside so it really speaks to the level of optimisation Blaze have pulled off straight out of the gate. For example, Blast 'Em - even the 'cut down' version that runs on the Evercade - is leagues ahead of M2's M2engage as found on the MD Mini with better audio & apparently less lag. So while it's not really a product aimed at me I can't help but like it and it's ethos. It deserves success from where I am.
  4. So, with the excitement surrounding the new Terraonion Saturn / DC MODE - which will obviously be the best product of its kind available - I can't help but put a reminder out that the best Saturn modchip around (which obviously isn't quite plug 'n play but trivial to install with a mere single wire needing soldering to any number of easy to access spots) can be bought from the dude who makes them for £15: https://retrogamerstuff.com/collections/saturn/products/phantom Obviously I get that not everyone has (or wants) access to a CD burner, some people have one machine with a dead drive and the allure of buying a solution which might** be the 'final' one ever required is strong..but £180 + import duties is a bit much to make MODE attractive to me personally. **I'm not sure if / how the MODE will able to act as a region / 50-60hz switcher (and/or an effective alternative to a region-free BIOS chip) required for true access to the entire library. We'll have to see. And I appreciate that this is a minor concern but as someone with almost as many OG PAL games (some of the best being 50hz optimised) as JPN ones this has always been important to me.
  5. I've watched more telly in the past few months than I have for the last five years - and this show could be what I've enjoyed the most in all of that time. It's certainly up there for sure. I found it easy to accept the nonsensical aspects, plot contrivances and sometimes dodgy CGI because it felt like a singular, cohesive work made by someone laser-focused on doing its themes justice. My favourite parts were the impeccable sound design, the prevalence of non-typical actors in general and the criticism of the arrogant, murderous tech-saviour class in bed with the worst departments of government. I mean, Facefuck got bluntly name checked as an agent of societal harm. That's amazing to me. It did good old fashioned tension and release really well too - enough for me to try and recommend this to one or two friends who enjoy crime stories but struggle with sci-fi (not totally unlike myself, now that I think about it). This show to me - despite its more outlandish aspects - still felt overwhelmingly grounded in reality. With regards to Lynden I understand that Alex Garland wanted the actor to have a very specific look.. which is why he ended up casting a woman to play the 19-year-old male. Personally I assumed Lynden was supposed to have been a straight up child prodigy and was probably around 16. I also liked that in the scene Lynden and Stuart shared after it was established that Stuart knew more about life & culture as exemplified by him choosing to listen to Bach and Trane... Lynden was wearing a Primus t-shirt. I bet Stuart would've been completely out of his caramel-voiced depth trying to understand the brilliance of "My Name Is Mud" but that's probably a discussion for another time. Wonderful show, binged way too easily. Loved it.
  6. Since building my VGM-ROM archive recently - and discovering that System C2 Arcade soundtracks can be played back on a Mega Drive like regular MD/SMS soundtracks - it's been a joy discovering gems like this, Stage 4 from Thunder Force AC. I already knew the 'cover' of this hidden away in the Thunder Force 4 sound test (as 'Omake 2') - but it loses a lot by being so damn sped up, IMO. This original version is where it's at. Driving synth rock magnificence which could only have written in the late '80s.
  7. When I was getting back into the Dreamcast a while back I noticed the amount of cheap sealed stock that was about; Sega and publishers apparently having over-manufactured hardware and games to such an extent that stock trickling out of warehouses & being sold at bargain-bin prices for decades to come was a thing. New keyboard? That'll be £3. Two new vibration packs? £10. New VMUs for £6 a piece. I couldn't believe it. Anyway, the last games I bought were in the trading folder here. Trustworthy people, no bullshit, reasonable prices. If I wanted to sell off any stuff I'd do it here too. I don't have the constitution to deal with eBay anymore.
  8. That's fair enough. You must have had speed-run worthy skills when you were finally done with it; with literally nothing left to learn or improve on.
  9. I feel the same. Like many I'll never forget the first time seeing & playing this, and all these years later I still need to finish it properly. I didn't own an N64 until late 2000, and the furthest I ever managed was on my first PC using Ultra HLE maybe a year prior. It was a glitched mess but still perfectly playable - I managed 79 stars. On real hardware, I managed over 50 stars but reset my save file upon discovering that I'd missed one (one of those bastard bunnies within the walls of the castle), and thus had forfeited my chance to get all 120 stars. Recently I started playing it again with view to eventually completing it..but 20 stars in the patch which optimised the US ROM and removed lag came out, so obviously I had to move over to that version. No problem, the save file was still compatible.. but not long after that a new O2-optimisation patch was released which fixed the incorrect smoke effect. Sadly (unsurprisingly) this new version wasn't able to read my current save file but I had to move over to it nevertheless and start over. So, here I am in 2020 with SM64 still high on my gaming bucket list and I've currently got a whopping 5 stars completed. I won't be playing any of these PC ports as I don't own modern enough hardware or peripherals to run it, but watching this situation develop is pretty fascinating. I think the onus is on Nintendo now to ensure the upcoming Switch port is good enough value to make finding & running these unofficial ports seem a bit of a chore.
  10. Yeah, it's shame that certain key games (regular, non-special chip ones) don't fully work on this because Nintendo's emulator is amazing considering the power of the hardware it runs on. However if you're determined to play this on the SNES Mini you could use hakchi to install Retroarch and a Snes9X core, and point Mystical Ninja towards that rather than the default Canoe option. Your playthrough using the method above should be completely fine - but it won't play as tight due to the extra input lag inherent when using Retroarch... which might be an issue later on when the platforming & boss fights get hairier.
  11. Apparently this game breaks some way in on a SNES Mini / Canoe. I'd use another solution if you want to see the ending.
  12. I know the idea is for cheap solutions that just work but equipment like Pound cables and generic £20 upscalers might put you off from playing at all. These things generate a lot of lag, crush colours and screw up aspect ratios because the components they use were designed for video, not video games.
  13. This show is so goddamned problematic. I watched season 1 back when it originally aired..and when it was done I was left thinking it was a shallow mess with obscene delusions of grandeur and the mistaken notion that countless red herrings are a good way to flesh out a story. I gave season 2 a pass because I promised myself I wouldn't watch this show again..but in the run up to season 3 it was broadcast again, some time had passed and I thought I might as well give it another shot. If anything, it was even more of an indulgent, nonsensical car crash of a show but I ended up enjoying it more. Being able to ignore its flaws & accept that it's a super-dumb, often pretty show which thinks it's *really* clever helped a lot for me. Moving straight onto the brand new season 3, I'll admit, I was gripped for much of the first half of it but its descent into abject stupidity in the final 4 episodes was like a new low for the series as a whole. What got me thinking about this show again was recently binge watching 'Devs' - which covered some of the same themes as Westworld - but did it amazingly well and without the kind of artistic concessions that something Westworld has to make to become a reality.
  14. Xeno Crisis is utterly magnificent and unquestionably a true Mega Drive great. It's hardcore as hell though - I originally bought the game on day of release and it's still a thrill to play through. Tanglewood is great but you do have to enjoy a certain kind of largely 'ambient' puzzle-platformer to get the most out of it. It's the polar opposite of Xeno Crisis but that's no bad thing - it was an inspired decision to bundle these two games up, IMO.
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