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  1. Updated the firmware last night. The new scanlines are waaaaaaaaaaaaaay darker than before. Reducing the scanline sub-brightness seemed to help, but I can't honestly say I know what I'm doing. Doing some Googling, it looks like reducing the sub-brightness and boosting the gamma is common. Any other scanline users worked out some happy settings?
  2. If the game has a “pause” noise, like Capcom stuff usually does, you’ll go absolutely ducking insane.
  3. Slo-mo pads are the lamest hack in history, IMO. Can’t see any reason why the Super NT couldn’t handle them though, unless you have menu hot-keys bound to Start+Direction.
  4. Bet Pep would pay £80m for Maguire right now.
  5. Alexlotl

    Nintendo Switch

    They’re ports of 2009 mobile ports of the SFC ports. Apparently they’re pretty badly compromised as a result. Some info here:
  6. Alexlotl

    Best New Music 2019

    The new album by The Tallest Man on Earth is a bit of a grower: I didn't get on with Dark Bird Is Home at all, but this one reminds me more of There's No Leaving Now - didn't grab me initially, but then bits of it followed me around until I was converted. I still think he peaked with Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird, though. This Tiny Desk session has some of the new material, a long with an accompanyist who looks like he's never played the French Horn before and can't believe what's happening.
  7. Alexlotl

    Nintendo Switch

    I think we’ll see one retro platform added each year for the anniversary of the launch to get people to resubscribe. This time next year you’ll all be buzzing about online Mario Kart 64.
  8. Gave this a run-out last night, can't say it made a great impression on me. This is one we had for a while when I was a kid, borrowed I think. My lingering memory is that I enjoyed the stages where you're a normal guy more than being a cyborg. Having replayed it, I think the difficulty curve had a lot to do with this. I love the title screen - the speech, the way they sneak the development credits into the descriptions of the cybernetic body parts, and the random listing of "thin ankles" as a feature. First few levels are OK, if a bit sparse. The ability to shot enemy projectiles out of the air is very cool, but the enemies shoot at you from off the screen (a cardinal sin in my book), and respawn whenever their patch scrolls into view, which is fatiguing. The game also seemed a bit confused about whether it was a two-level side-scroller like Shinobi or a more multi-directional platformer, and kind of succeeded in being neither. First boss trivial, second one cost me a few very rapid lives before I sussed the strategy, then was pretty easy. So, along comes L3 and the cyborg suit. I really, really think the game should have had a training stage here where you learn to use the thing in a safe environment. The jet pack is hard to control, and it's harder to still to master not burning through your entire fuel supply. There are no clues to whether the weapons have a limited number of shots or are infinite - having established it was the former, I then tried out the Flamer with no-one on the screen, consuming the (evidently single use) weapon and all my fuel supply too. On the plus side, the Neo Three Mile Island stage looks great, and I like the rad suit enemies. Then comes the boss, who as mentioned above is a bastard. For no apparent reason, you can't shoot his projectiles down like you could the other two bosses, so it's all about expert use of the jet-pack. Problem is, I'm shit at the jet-pack. Tried the rocket trick described above, but mostly ran out of fuel and got walloped. Then comes the really stupid bit - you lose weapons when you die, so if you fail to beat a boss first time, you might well lose your best weapon then have to fight him again straight away. So effectively bosses get harder every time you die, increasing the chances of them being brick walls. By the time I was taking him on with just my standard shot, having failed to beat him with a variety of other weapons, I'd had enough for the evening. Not a mechanic that has aged well - seems odd to make a home port completely different to the arcade version, then include the worst habits of coin-guzzlers in there. I might give it another shot using save-states to prevent the weapon loss, but I think I'd rather play Shadow Dancer or Rainbow Islands Extra right now.
  9. Yeah, I fired up the MD to play ESwat for the retro club and… well, I’d rather have been playing Shadow Dancer.
  10. It does apparently turn Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine into Puyo Puyo though, which is pretty sweet. Discovered the MD has an excellent port of Rainbow Islands today, of which I was not previously aware. It’s JP only and defaults into a weird Extra mode with Darius enemies or something, but in the options menu you can choose original and play the more familiar stages. Christ it’s hard, mind! I don’t remember those planes on Military Island constantly getting higher on the Amiga/Speccy versions.
  11. Alexlotl

    Nintendo Switch

    Holy shit, just saw what the (IMO rather lacklustre) port of Worms WMD is selling for on eBay. Time to get mine listed!
  12. When a puzzle comes down to use everything with everything, it’s a failure in game design. I’d already tried to destroy the buttons (I think by asking Joey to weld them) and got a reaction that I didn’t want to destroy them. But using a spanner on them apparently loosens them or something? Still think it’s stupid. The game was fine after that, other puzzles logical enough. I liked the interplay of cyberspace and the real world, and little details like the hacking software you get having an About file with things like “Thanks to Roo, Pob & Ian” in it, which was just like all the messages Amiga users were familiar with from crack screens and trainers.
  13. Bought this on floppy for PC on launch day. Impressive matte black corrugated cardboard box with lots of Gibbons illustrated extras inside. Two problems: 1) The impressive matte black case left black dust like printer toner all over anything it touched, including skin. I think we ended up throwing it out. 2) I got completely stuck really early in the game, despite being a point and click veteran, and after about 1hrs play time had to down tools and wait for a mag to publish a walkthrough. It had not occurred to me in a month of sundays to use a spanner on a button, because that’s not how buttons work. If they’d called it a valve or something… still bitter.
  14. Alexlotl

    Nintendo Switch

    Got the Labo Variety Kit for my birthday, which was a nice surprise. A second surprise is that the RC car race music is a legit banger, reminiscent of Rave On from Killer 7.
  15. It’s definitely a Shinobi game - my point was that it’s very much the child of arcade Shinobi, rather than of the home Shinobi games (which I'd argue started with Shinobi on the SMS). One hit kills, same enemies, enhanced versions of the old bosses. For all that the MD version is a unique interpretation, it has an arcade mindset.
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