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Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thread

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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:04 pm

Sonic on the Game Gear was a nightmare. That smeary screen was almost unreadable at speed, and the lower resolution meant you could see even less in front of you.

The Sega Saturn was really good for that kind of loud, brash Sega arcade style. I was always more of a fan of AM2 than Sonic Team's work (I keep trying to get into Nights Into Dreams, but I can't do it).

Anyone wanting to design a platform game and looking for ideas for enemy patterns could learn an awful lot from the Mega Man games.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:17 pm

Twilight Sparkle wrote:Oh see, as a kid I didn't even know the Master System existed.


You can probably blame Nintendo for that. They were using the market dominance of the NES to indulge in the kind of reprehensible shitty corporate behaviour that is nowadays more associated with Sony and Microsoft (or more recently Apple, as Sony and Microsoft's dominance has waned now too).

Basically Nintendo threatened to withhold Nintendo products from any store that stocked their competitors' products. So the Master System went almost completely unnoticed in places where Nintendo dominated - principally the US and Japan - but did quite well in secondary markets that Nintendo was largely ignoring at the time, like Australia and New Zealand and especially Brazil.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Twilight Sparkle on Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:32 pm

Oh yeah, that makes sense, I've read about their history a bit but never put that together. That's wild it was just totally obscured to me and my friends. That's too bad to, because I know I would have been totally into the cartridge boxes. I love that look.

I definitely played a lot of those AM2 games, Saturn was a good system. I remember the day that suddenly aaaaall its games were pulled from rental places! Just walking in and nothing was there.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:25 am

I never even saw a Sega Saturn during its lifetime, since out here it was totally Playstation country, with the occasional N64.

Then I moved to Japan and there was just piles of Saturn stuff everywhere, and the retro shops had shelves and shelves of Saturn titles; more than just about any other system.

Japan loved the Saturn. Nobody else loved the Saturn.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 1:50 am

Also, I distinctly remember the Master System launching over here.

Nintendo were too busy locking down the Japanese and American markets and hadn't really bothered to try to sell their system out here. The Commodore 64 was the games machine of choice, and Nintendo was still mostly known for the Game & Watch.

But Sega was plenty interested in selling their machines out here and they ran TV ads that focused on the quality of their arcade ports, which was unmatched at the time - stuff like Outrun, Afterburner and Choplifter. I was like holy shit that thing looks incredible.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:34 am

big_dave wrote:Shame there were basically no good non-port titles released outside of Japan, aside from Dragon's Trap and Phantasy Star. Great system, though.


I doubt things were better in Japan. I never saw any Master System stuff around. I had to wait til I was back in New Zealand to get one.

There were a few decent original games (heck I still have a soft spot for ol' Alex Kidd in Miracle World), but it wasn't really anybody's lead system. Again, Nintendo had a hand in this as any third party developer who was blessed enough to be granted a license to develop for Nintendo was likely to see it revoked if they ever dared work with Sega.

All in all, the subsequent success of the Genesis in the US made for a well-deserved fuck you.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:11 am

Oh, they did get some of the European developers involved. Core Design for instance - I remember there was a Master System port of Chuck Rock. I think most of the European stuff was published through Virgin.

Sensible Software did port some of their games to the Mega Drive. They were only a small company and they seemed to be mostly interested in developing for the Amiga (like a lot of developers, probably too loyal to the Amiga for their own good).

It seems like once the Mega Drive launched, Sega had all their ducks in a row and a lot of European developers were on board.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:35 am

Fuck Prehistorik. What a pile of shit. Those French developers (Titus etc) always seemed to be more interested in fancy graphics than good design. Although I was a fan of PSS/Ere Informatique.

I don't know if the beautiful anarchy of the UK computer dev scene in the 80s could ever have survived in the far more regimented world of console development, but there are lots of UK and European-designed 8 bit computer games that would have been great on the Master System. For me, anyway. How about Inside Outing, or Head Over Heels?

How about Frankie Goes To Goddamn Hollywood?
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:32 am

Hey, it looks like Codemasters did actually release several Dizzy games for the MS.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:33 pm

big_dave wrote:As much as I loved him as a kid, Dizzy is something best left to the C64.


ZX Spectrum, surely.

I was never big on the egg. For object management-based semi-platform games I preferred David Jones' Magic Knight games for Mastertronic. In either case, it's worth remembering that these games originally retailed for £1.99. I know some developers who used to write games on contract for Mastertronic and they said that you were required to turn out a finished game in as little as four weeks. Madness.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Model Citizen on Mon Nov 23, 2015 3:39 pm

Anthony Flack wrote:
big_dave wrote:As much as I loved him as a kid, Dizzy is something best left to the C64.


ZX Spectrum, surely.


+1 loved it on my Speccy. Not quite as good as Chuckie Egg though, if we're talking um, egg-centric games.

Man, I used to spend days of my life entering BASIC lines into the Spectrum just to make a ball bounce around the screen or a few basic colours.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:54 pm

You're lucky you didn't end up a game developer.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Model Citizen on Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:09 am

Anthony Flack wrote:You're lucky you didn't end up a game developer.


Ha, that's what I wanted to do, got very into it but lost interest after we later upgraded from an Amiga to a PC. It was a crap one loaded with bloatware and very unfriendly to anyone looking to tinker. I was unfamiliar with DOS and the general Windows system and it never really clicked for me.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:58 pm

Same thing happened to me actually, switched from Amiga to PC, didn't have a clue, and that was the end of it for some years.

Whereas the 8-bit machines practically insisted that you program them. My first computer came with a spiral-bound programming manual an inch thick which explained everything. Technically speaking you had to write code just to get it to load a game.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:48 am

big_dave wrote:UK companies were so keen to publish on consoles that Codemaster ended up in a legal battle with Nintendo over unofficial carts


On that subject:

So this all began when Activision won the legal right to make games for the 2600 without Atari's approval and became the world's first third-party console developer. It's hard to believe now we live in such protectionist times that it's illegal to even remove the copyright locks on your own fucking property, but at the time there was nothing Atari could do about that. Which was fine so long as it was just Activision (their games were very good), but unfortunately the flood of opportunistic, overpriced third-party shitware that followed in their wake ended up causing the infamous American video games crash and more-or-less wiped out the market completely (it wasn't all ET's fault).

When Nintendo arrived to try to fill the void, they found that retailers were so soured on video game consoles, they had to bundle the NES with a robotic arm and pretend it was some kind of robot computer toy just to get them to stock it. Subsequently, Nintendo became extremely fastidious about quality control on their consoles (and still are). As much as Codemasters would have loved to become the next Activision, Nintendo were doubly determined not to become the next Atari.

Did you know that the Nintendo logo that appears when you turn on a Gameboy is there to thwart unlicensed third-party developers? The logo that appears on-screen is read from a certain memory address on the game cartridge itself. This is then compared to another copy of the logo stored on the Gameboy's internal ROM. If the two don't match, the game locks up at this point. The upshot of this is, that every game cartridge has to display the Nintendo logo when it boots up, or it won't run. Any unlicensed third-party developers could then be prosecuted for trademark infringement, you see.

Quite crafty.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:06 pm

After all this talk about 8-bit systems, I decided to try what FM a leg plaster suggested and load up a DS flash cart with emulator stuff. The link I posted earlier mentioned some souped-up cart with a co-processor on it with custom emulators or somesuch frippery. I didn't use anything like that, just a simple NDSTT card I bought probably ten years ago, with a 16GB MicroSD card stuffed in it. Total cost around $20 (and it always blows my mind to think you can buy a 16GB memory card the size of a fingernail and it's not even a big deal). The card was no trouble to set up and all you have to do is drop the files onto it and you're away.

8 bit computers have the potential to work rather well on the NDS because they display a virtual keyboard on the bottom screen, should you need one. And you often do.

Spectrum (ZXDS) - works great with the games I tried. It really helps that the Spectrum's resolution - 256x192 - is exactly the same as the NDS screen. Most other devices I tried emulating have a higher resolution and that tends to spoil things somewhat. But the Spectrum seems to work brilliantly. Plenty of options and seems to run full speed.

Amstrad CPC (CrocoDS) - more of a mixed bag. The CPC resolution is higher than the DS screen, and there are various options for squeezing it all in - most quite unsatisfactory. Some games, Spectrum ports especially, don't use the whole screen though, and in these cases you can set the screen resolution to 1:1 and adjust the centre position until you can see everything you need to see. However not all games managed to run at 100%. Head Over Heels worked well but Jet Set Willy ran like a dog. Probably not worth the bother.

C64 (FrodoDS) - same problems with the screen size and emulator doesn't run full speed. Fuck dat.

Master System (S8DS) - The Master System has the same resolution as the DS screen and this emulator seems to run really well. Excellent! Plenty of configuration options too. It runs Game Gear games as well, but they have the opposite problem - the resolution is lower than the DS screen, so it can be a bit small and hard to see.

Gameboy (Lameboy) - works great. Lots of configuration options. Same deal as with the Game Gear screen (too small), but this emu also provides scaling-up options (filtered and unfiltered) which work pretty well for those with failing eyesight.

NES (NESDS) - also runs really well. The NES has a higher vertical resolution than the NDS so it compensates by not drawing every fifth line. Which can look a bit funny but it works well enough.

Genesis/Mega Drive (jEnesis) - I thought this might be pushing it, processor-wise, but this gave me Sonic at a steady 60FPS. However the Mega Drive screen res is quite a lot larger than the NDS screen so visuals are severely compromised. So for that reason alone I probably wouldn't bother.

Conclusion:
Perfect for Spectrum, Gameboy, Master System
Pretty good for NES
Mixed results for CPC and Mega Drive
No good for C64

All in all a PSP would probably be a better choice as it has a faster processor and a larger screen. However I do not have a PSP to try this on.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Model Citizen on Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:39 pm

Thanks for that post, never even thought of getting a Spectrum emulator on the DS. Chuckie Egg here I come! I've got a PSP, haven't really played with it very much but it runs the SNES games I've tried (Mario World, Chrono Trigger, off the top of my head) well. Something about the DS I much prefer to the PSP though.

Edit: also got one of the old Dingoo's, they can be fun for tinkering with.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Evin Relocation on Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:32 pm

Found this to be pretty fascinating: http://www.avclub.com/article/what-was- ... lor-224289
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby codetocontra on Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:34 am

Any headset recommendations, specifically for an Xbox One? There are so few reviews available and they are quite contradictory to each other so I can't trust them. I had a Turtle Beach X41 for the 360 with a few wireless audio quality issues.
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Re: Official EA Forums What Video Games Are You Playing? Thr

Postby Anthony Flack on Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:39 am

I dumped a full set of Master System roms onto my DS card. It's a fairly modest collection of a few hundred. Then I picked up a full Gameboy romset and it's a rather more terrifying 12,000-ish files. Still only fills up a quarter of my fingernail-sized memory card though.

(Big_Dave, guess what, Codemasters did port Micro Machines to the Master System too. The graphics are downgraded slightly but it's essentially the same game.)

I put some DS games on there as well. It's been years since I used the DS. It's quite fun.
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