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Richard Kain

Member Since 02 Aug 2007
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:02 PM
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#14310383 Anime & Manga Steals and Deals (Rightstuf, Amazon, DD...etc)

Posted by Richard Kain on 31 July 2020 - 02:58 AM

I picked up the Cardcaptor Sakura series set from the Right Stuf sale, as well as the third season of Food Wars, and Gundam: War in the Pocket. Not exactly bargain-basement prices, but fairly reasonable, and all items I had been meaning to get sooner or later.




#14310379 Limited Run Games Thread - Global Outbreak of...Delayed Shipping

Posted by Richard Kain on 31 July 2020 - 02:46 AM

I would rather go with a plastic repro case for $5 of an old GBC, N64, etc. game than pay that much for a flimsy box or worse yet, more for an actual original box.

 

Yeah, no real argument here. Paper boxes have never lasted well. Original NES and SNES games are very difficult to keep in good condition, thanks to their flimsy cardboard boxes. Old Master System and Genesis games are very easy to maintain, and their plastic cases usually do a much better job of keeping their paper elements in good condition.

 

As to the cartridge issues you brought up, it's worth noting that companies like LRG frequently go to extra trouble to insure that their repro carts are higher quality than the cheaper, unlicensed Chinese knock-offs. Those knock-offs normally use the cheapest plastics and labels possible, making for repros that look and feel cheap and flimsy. The LRG repros are held to a higher standard, and the quality of production reflects this. They also have their own LRG-specific branding on them, so they aren't directly attempting to ape the originals or pass themselves off as reprints. The point isn't to pass off a pale imitation, but to create a new, LRG-specific print run.




#14309187 PS Vita Deals & Discussions Thread

Posted by Richard Kain on 27 July 2020 - 01:39 AM

Is this a new hack?  I have a pstv... where did you go for instructions?

 

The Black-list plugin that I'm using is called "DolcePolce". And yes, it is actually fairly recent. The scaling plugin I'm using is called SharpScale, and it only came out this year. I'm not going to provide any specific instructions. A quick google search can and will get you whatever information on this subject you want. It isn't difficult to find in the slightest. The Vita is a quasi-dead platform, so some of the only people interested in this topic are the primary crowd posting information and articles about it as well. All the information you would want to know will be the first to show up in a search.

 

Over the weekend, I was able to hack all four of the PSTVs I have in my possession, as well as my original model 1000 OLED Vita. The difficulty varies based on the firmware you have installed on your device, but I got all five units set up as desired. I also got an SD card adapter that I'm going to play around with. I'm around 60+ titles deep on backing up, and still have a lot more to handle. (my Vita collecting went fairly well over the years) In another week or so I should be finished. Now that I've got everything in a stable state, there's no particular hurry.




#14308011 PS Vita Deals & Discussions Thread

Posted by Richard Kain on 22 July 2020 - 11:55 PM

Little update on my Vita CFW experiments...

 

USB thumb-drives work great. I believe that the PSTV is built without USB 3.0 support, so you're better off sticking to a 2.0 USB drive. A 3.0 drive would likely work, but don't use a 3.1 drive. 3.1 drives often require more electricity. I was NOT able to get an external hard drive working. The specific drive I tested was a 500 GB WD Passport. I'm not sure if its the size, or the power requirements, or the formatting. But experimenting with HDD USB support was a bust. Right now I'm mainly using a 256 GB USB 2.0 Sandisk thumb-drive, and it's working great.

 

If you aren't content with the number of USB ports on your PSTV (there is only one) you do have the option of using a USB hub. I tested two hubs, one regular and one with independent power. Neither worked with the HDD, but both of them work just fine with the thumb drive. With a hub plugged in, you can register a controller and even charge a controller while accessing the thumb drive at the same time, no problem.

 

As far as games are concerned, I'm basically able to now do whatever I want with the PSTV. I got a black-list plugin that completely negates any game disabling on the system. Backing up games is quick and easy. Installing homebrew applications and games is also relatively low-maintenance. Right now I'm just seeing how much I can squeeze into the 256 GB I'm working with from my PSN account. Good stuff. If any of you have a PSTV tucked away in a closet from when they were getting cleared out, it might be time to dust it off.




#14307746 PS Vita Deals & Discussions Thread

Posted by Richard Kain on 21 July 2020 - 05:29 PM

Finished setting up CFW on two of my PSTVs, one that I used to keep at my parent's place, and one that I had given to my brother. He's got a kid on the way, and was cleaning up his house. He just got a Switch and handed his old PSTV back to me.

 

So far, the biggest advantage, BY FAR, of having custom firmware on these things is the ability to use the USB port in the back in conjunction with a thumb drive. No more piddly little 8-gig sticks prone to failure for this Vita gamer, no sir! Now I'm sporting 256 gigs, and dumping tons of my PSN games onto this diminutive system. I also installed the recently released sharp-scaler plugin, and that is pretty keen as well. It lets you take fine-tuned control of how the PSTV handles picture scaling, including options for integer-scaled PSP and PS1 titles. Next on the list I'll be loading an app for disabling whitelisting, so I can FINALLY play the Dracula X Chronicles on my PSTV.




#14292188 TurboGrafx-16 Mini Retro Console (Amazon Exclusive : Pre-orders start July 15th)

Posted by Richard Kain on 26 May 2020 - 07:47 PM

"Pixel-perfect" can be a bit of a misnomer.

 

The technical issues plaguing classic games can get pretty involved, but most of it breaks down to CRT monitors vs. modern LCD displays. CRT monitors are, by their very nature, good at handling different resolutions. LCD monitors are NOT good at handling different resolutions. Scaling low-resolution games to run on modern LCD screens is a constant challenge.

 

For this mini console, the first of the five options will give you a display that is correctly vertically scaled, but has been horizontally stretched to match the original 4:3 aspect ratio of classic CRT screens. The third option gives you a square-pixel display, that is correctly scaled both vertically and horizontally based on the original output resolution of the system itself.

 

And there's part of why they are different. Older gaming systems typically rendered their games at 256 x 240 pixels. This is very close to a 1:1 aspect ratio. But those games would then be displayed on CRTs with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Since CRTs were good at handling multiple resolutions, it was possible for them to just take that almost square aspect ratio and scale it to fill the whole screen. Pretty much all retro gaming systems were designed to have their games displayed with rectangular pixels.

 

Modern screens absolutely suck at displaying stretched pixels, so a lot of retro gaming companies and emulation studio have to bend over backwards to provide different display options. Graphical issues from this effect different games in different ways. For games where there isn't a lot of scrolling, the first option is probably fine. Lots of motion on the whole screen can cause some noticeable graphical issues with the 4:3 option, but for games with not that much full-screen motion, it's not a problem. Also, a game that scrolls horizontally will have more noticeable issues than a game that scrolls vertically. The third option is the best for avoiding any and all graphical issues. Since it has exact pixel scaling, it is able to avoid most of the scaling issues that crop up. I would recommend the third option for games that have LOTs of horizontal scaling, like Darius or Salamander.




#14291633 TurboGrafx-16 Mini Retro Console (Amazon Exclusive : Pre-orders start July 15th)

Posted by Richard Kain on 24 May 2020 - 07:28 PM

Are any of you waiting to see how easy it will be to add games like with the snes mini?

 

Mine arrived yesterday, so no, I'm not waiting.

 

And I don't have any real regrets on this one. I cracked it open and plugged it in today, and it's actually looking quite good. The menus are easy to navigate, and run nice and snappy. They are also relatively simple and intuitive, even a small amount of experimenting will get the results you're looking for. I occasionally had problems with the Sega Genesis mini when attempting to navigate through the menu. It would occasionally jump over more than one option. That is not a problem with the TurboGrafx 16 mini.

 

The controller appears to be a faithful reproduction, and feels fairly good in the hands. It's a bit on the light side, but that's not surprising. The D-Pad and buttons feel fairly responsive and I was able to play several games without any issues.

 

The exterior of this thing is spot-on. They even included the colored tab under the power switch, to let you know when the thing is on. In fact, they even included the tiny plastic tab that is intended to keep the cartridges locked into place while the system is active, even though there is no slot for cartridges. On the TurboGrafx 16 version, they also included the back-cover as a removable section, and cleverly used it as a cable organizer, with slots for keeping the power and HDMI cables nice and neat. This was a good use of what was originally a poor design on the part of the original TG16. It may be the ugliest of the versions, but they did a good job of miniaturizing it.

 

I likely won't bother attempting to mod it. I may get a second copy down the line, especially if prices fall off. (and especially if I can get one of the Japanese PC-Engine models) Maybe I would indulge in modding then. But for now, the selection of games is actually quite solid. Most of the major contenders are present and accounted for. Demon's Crush, and possibly a few of the TV Sports series are the only games that I would consider missing. 




#14271105 TurboGrafx-16 Mini Retro Console (Amazon Exclusive : Pre-orders start July 15th)

Posted by Richard Kain on 11 March 2020 - 09:49 PM

$100 seems a bit high. I love the TG, but I'm spoiled by the prices of other minis.

 

Most of the recent minis have been relatively priced, and several of them have had fewer games. I would easily agree that the PS1 Classic was not worth its price tag. But I think the TurboGrafx is a bit more reasonable, given how many games it is going to have, and given who is handling the emulation. I felt considerably better about paying for the Genesis mini.

 

You always have the option of waiting for a price drop. Supply has been consistent for all of the non-Nintendo mini systems. So a bit of patience will likely make the TG-16 available at some point for a reduced cost. If you do hold off, I would recommend keeping a sharp eye on it though. This is the sort of thing where they might clear it out fairly suddenly, and then never produce it again. If there is a major price drop, it probably won't last long. If in half a year or so, it drops to $60 or less, jump on that.




#14270838 Indie/Limited/Obscure Physical Release Deals and Discussion Thread

Posted by Richard Kain on 10 March 2020 - 10:52 PM

"Ikaruga annoucement coming soon"

 

A physical Switch release, maybe? Yes please! My Flip-Grip would go quite well with a copy of Ikaruga.




#14270741 Indie/Limited/Obscure Physical Release Deals and Discussion Thread

Posted by Richard Kain on 10 March 2020 - 04:00 PM

I am unreasonably excited for that little thing.

 

Playing classic handheld titles is a bit of a headache. This is doubly so when attempting to play them on a television. Right now one of my best options is to use my original Super Game Boy in conjunction with my Analogue Super NT. For playing them handheld, your best bet is to mod a GBA.

 

Having an FPGA-fueled handheld with an extreme high-resolution screen and docking capabilities for no-compromise television playback is going to be incredible. Very much looking forward to the Pocket. I'm also crossing my fingers that they may eventually release a TurboGrfx-16 card adapter for it. (to get some of that Turbo-Express functionality)




#14267735 Limited Run Games Thread - Global Outbreak of...Delayed Shipping

Posted by Richard Kain on 28 February 2020 - 09:36 PM

In my own mind, I demonstrated commendable restraint today. I held myself back from getting the Monkey Island CE, and settled for the standard-edition with the long box, instead. I even avoided getting a copy of Rebel Assault. It's not the worst Star Wars game, but its also far from the best, and I don't feel that I need the Sega CD edition. Not 100% restraint, granted, but pretty good for me. (I can't overstate my rabid love of Monkey Island)

 

If they put out Snatcher in a similar release, I'll be there with bells on. I was one of those poor sods who never had a Sega CD back in the day, and was late to the Kojima weirdness party. I have emulation-supported means of playing Snatcher, but I have never been able to afford an original copy. And if they manage to get Konami on the hook for Snatcher, that opens up the possibility of other Sega CD and possibly even PS1 titles. Suikoden 1 and 2, perhaps?




#14265421 Limited Run Games Thread - Global Outbreak of...Delayed Shipping

Posted by Richard Kain on 19 February 2020 - 07:37 PM

Pros and Cons for this Monkey Island release

 

Cons:

1.) It's the Sega CD version, which is easily one of the lesser versions of the game, requires dated hardware, enforces load times, and has one of the less desirable control interfaces. (adventure games are supposed to be played with a mouse, not a controller)

2.) The Sega CD is notoriously pirate-friendly. So anyone with an internet connection, a blank CD, and any type of disc burner can get this running on their stock Sega CD in short order.

3.) The Sega CD has also been extensively emulated, so anyone who has that previously mentioned internet connection and just about any computer-relate device can play the game without bothering with a Sega CD, most likely at better resolution and possibly with a mouse.

4.) The Secret of Monkey Island is widely available for the PC, on numerous different digital platforms, as well as on physical CD. Thanks to the great SCUMMVM, it is also easy to play it on modern hardware. There is even a re-make version available. All of these versions also allow for the use of a mouse.

 

Pros:

1.) Physical copies of this game have been off the market forever (on any platform) and it's the SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND!!!

 

So yeah, this one is pretty much just for fans. I'm a pretty rabid fan of The Secret of Monkey Island. I'll probably be in for this one. It's among my favorite games of all time. (right up there with King's Quest VI) But I imagine that most casual gamers aren't going to have any interest in something this obscure. Monkey Island and point-and-click adventure fans will be interested, and there are a fair number of those.




#14261791 Japanese Niche Games Deals & Discussion Thread 4.0

Posted by Richard Kain on 05 February 2020 - 12:04 AM

Eventually, it just turned into this in the end, which I have dubbed, Vita Metropolis.

 

My hat is off to you, sir. That is a very fine example of game stacking, as well as a clear indication of having a very great number of Vita titles.




#14260363 PS Vita Deals & Discussions Thread

Posted by Richard Kain on 30 January 2020 - 05:26 PM

Anyone of you who is upset about it needs to remove your emotional attachment to the Vita and understand it is a business where they want to maximize floor space and inventory space. 

 

It is a very slippery slope to use the pursuit of profit to justify potentially destructive actions. Mercenary motivation isn't exactly a good thing to begin with, and there are certainly limits that ought to be applied to it.

 

One of GameStop's biggest flaws is their pursuit of profit to the direct detriment of the ACTUAL product that they have to sell. You can't look at the modern retail establishment as just a way to shift physical inventory. That business model has been on its way out for years. On-line distributors, digital store fronts, and digital distribution have made all of it obsolete. What is valuable about physical retail space like GameStop is the shopping experience, direct consumer interaction, and all the possibilities that those things provide.

 

GameStop's clear mercenary motivation is actively sabotaging what is valuable about having physical stores. They are essentially destroying themselves, and actively harming the used-game industry in the process. (throwing out collectible cases, just shameful) Grasping for better profit margins is no justification for their deplorable mistakes, especially when they have little and less to show for it. Crow about the value of capitalism when the business you're defending is actually succeeding.




#14259569 Limited Run Games Thread - Global Outbreak of...Delayed Shipping

Posted by Richard Kain on 27 January 2020 - 07:28 PM

But yea all these games can be had cheap as dirt digitally on sale eventually.

 

Not just "eventually." It's quite common for a lot of these games to be on steep discounts digitally before they are even announced as LRG releases. One of the more common approaches is for a studio to treat LRG as a "final" version distributor, where they don't bother releasing a physical copy until after the game has already had several digital revisions. We see games come out for LRG that have already been available digitally for years, and have already had numerous sales and discounts.

 

The instances where a brand-new digital game comes out for LRG at the same time are actually the exception, and only recently became a thing. Most developers don't take this approach.