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Buying retro console hardware/software

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Madpanda wrote: »
    Its a matter of preference. I can defiantly see in some areas were composite would be better, that socket screenshot really shows it off.

    I prefer the sharpness though, for instance that first hard driving shot. I was pretty young when I had a genesis so I really remember the games more than the specifics of the graphics.

    edit: i brought this up because someone mentioned s-video modding a genesis.

    I can understand how it's a preference, it's just an issue that I feel is never addressed from both sides. Most people assume that a sharper, clearer display is always better, and for most consoles that's correct. But the Genesis in specific is a unique console that used dithering for many effects. The Sega Saturn is actually the same way - dithering is used for fake transparency all over the place. It'll work on a CRT TV using composite, but use S-video and it all turns into checkerboard patterns.

    If you can find a game which doesn't use dithering, RGB looks stunning on a genesis, though. Flink for the Sega CD is extremely well done in that it uses no dithering throughout the entire game, and thus it looks great over RGB. On the flipside, Eternal Champions uses dithering on literally every piece of art in the game (which is why early magazines claimed it was pushing 512 colors at once) and it looks like a mess via RGB:

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  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    So I tested the Playtech SNES power adapter and it came up with zero volts. Dead. The jerk eBay seller wants me to ship it back before they'll send me a replacement. Fuck that, I just ordered an official tested one instead. Costs a little more but I know it's a quality part. Wish the original one I had hadn't gotten lost.

    On the plus side I learned how to work a multimeter. I am secretly hoping the SNES fuse got blown out so I can learn to solder on something easy to fix...

  • VeganVegan Registered User regular
    I can understand how it's a preference, it's just an issue that I feel is never addressed from both sides. Most people assume that a sharper, clearer display is always better, and for most consoles that's correct. But the Genesis in specific is a unique console that used dithering for many effects. The Sega Saturn is actually the same way - dithering is used for fake transparency all over the place. It'll work on a CRT TV using composite, but use S-video and it all turns into checkerboard patterns.[/img]

    I experienced this with Silent Hill 1 over HDMI. The streets were a striped pattern and the entire image had a fine mesh over it -- I suppose that was a dimming effect meant to be caused by the fog.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Vegan wrote: »
    I can understand how it's a preference, it's just an issue that I feel is never addressed from both sides. Most people assume that a sharper, clearer display is always better, and for most consoles that's correct. But the Genesis in specific is a unique console that used dithering for many effects. The Sega Saturn is actually the same way - dithering is used for fake transparency all over the place. It'll work on a CRT TV using composite, but use S-video and it all turns into checkerboard patterns.[/img]

    I experienced this with Silent Hill 1 over HDMI. The streets were a striped pattern and the entire image had a fine mesh over it -- I suppose that was a dimming effect meant to be caused by the fog.

    That's dithering, but it's done differently. In that case, it's a hardware feature, not an artistic choice. What you're seeing in the case of Silent Hill on the playstation is that the hardware isn't up to the task of rending everything at 24 bits per pixel (8 bits for R, 8 bits for B, 8 bits for G, and 8 bits for alpha) at a consistent framerate. Thus, to improve the framerate, the playstation (and many console since) have the option of converting the internal framebuffered image from 24 bpp to 16 bpp when it's drawn on the screen. This reduces the amount of information the GPU has to draw to the screen each update, but the playstation has less colors available to work with. To make up for it, it'll use dithering to approximate inbetween colors. The GCN, and by extension Wii, use this feature heavily, while it's rarely seen on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Resident Evil 4 and Skyward Sword both use 16 bpp mode as well. The playstation (and GCN and Wii) have the ability to output in 15 bpp color mode WITHOUT dithering, but this completely removes the alpha channel, which essentially removes the ability for transparencies.

    The reason this is done on older consoles, and the wii, is because it's assumed you'll be playing on a CRT via composite with color bleed, so you won't notice. They can't really get away with this on the Xbox 360 and PS3 because of the prevalence of HDMI or Composite.

  • VeganVegan Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    The reason this is done on older consoles, and the wii, is because it's assumed you'll be playing on a CRT via composite with color bleed, so you won't notice. They can't really get away with this on the Xbox 360 and PS3 because of the prevalence of HDMI or Composite.

    Shows what the fuck my Wii knows.

    Not that I'm surprised. The way that thing handles widescreen, for instance, is ridiculous. Sure, fine, I'll turn on stretch mode on my TV. I don't have to do that for anything else, but I guess I'll do it for you.

    Vegan on
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  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    Made up a list of my NES games and used the numbers from RarityGuide. It's a small collection but growing :)

    Link if anyone wants to see it.

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    You have Snake's Revenge but not Metal Gear. Not that I blame you. Metal Gear on NES is so bad.

    Anyway, as you may remember, I picked up a Sega CD/Genesis set a while back, and just ordered in some more games. This time I got Rocket Knight Adventures, Road Rash, Phantasy Star IV, and Eye of the Beholder (Sega CD). PS4 already arrived and I was very disappointed to see that its in a cardboard case, rather than a plastic one. Reminds me of when Nintendo decided to stop packaging dust protectors, because they were cheap bastards.

    I've heard many Popful Mail recommendations, but its quite an expensive game, if you want the case (I do). 120 on Amazon, 180 on ebay. Of course, disc only costs nothing, but I don't like doing that. Worth the price tag, or keep looking for a better deal?

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Popful mail is fun, it's more like the second Zelda game than a full on RPG, but it was fun. I'd imagine you may find a better deal at some point, but it will not be something you can rely on. If it's in good shape, and the price isn't breaking the bank... you'd only save a few bucks here and there at best, and it may go up even more.

    EclecticGroove on
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    If you're dying for a case, I recommend buying a cheap sports game (bill walsh college football immediately springs to mind) and gutting its case. You can scan ebay every few weeks and you'll undoubtedly run into someone selling a spare manual. It's a much cheaper way to get a single highly sought after game like Popful Mail.

    It's a great game, btw. I wouldn't compare it to Zelda 2, as much as I'd say it's basically Wonderboy CD.

  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I never played wonderboy CD. :P
    But I meant as far as side scrolling actiony adenture type game with equipment and the like.

    And the case/manual thing is valid. It depends if he wants it to be original, or if he doesn't mind a reprint on the case art.

    *edit*

    I actually never looked at that rarity guide site. I have almost the entire top list for value of CIB for both the Saturn and Sega CD. nice. lol

    EclecticGroove on
  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    Wow, I guess I got pretty lucky when I bought my Popful Mail. I don't think I paid more than $40. If you want to try to find it, keep looking, and you may find it at a good price, like I did.

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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Yeah, probably a good idea to either keep looking, or buy it as a loose disc (20-40 dollars). The only complete listing on Amazon is for a "very good" condition disk, and then a shitty case/manual....negating the entire reason for the expense. And the Ebay sales going on right now are frankly silly.

    I understand its a collector's items, but man, I got a complete excellent condition PS 4 for 1/6th the price they are asking on Ebay for Popful Mail, and I guarantee its a better game. As I've said, I'm more of a gamer than a collector, in that I don't mind paying a bunch for a game I'll actually play and enjoy, but after a point it become a bit silly. Popful Mail's manual and case art is apparently worth about 150 dollars heh. Not worth that much to me.

    Only reason its even a concern is that I love those oversized cases old CD games came in. I love the original Playstation boxes, too, though I only own one (Descent). I guess if you print labels, though, Sonic's idea of stealing the case from a worthless Sega CD title would work.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I guarantee its a better game.

    I guarantee it's not.

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    That's what actually inspired me to buy the system; playing that game on a whim. So good.

    I'm not going to lie, if I pick up a game at random, that I've never played before, from the early 90s, chances are I'm not going to be glued to it. A game that can still do that is pretty special.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    I'm currently winning an auction for a model 2 Genesis + Sega CD for cheap, but it has no cable or power adapter (for som reason tons of auctions don't have these items). I ordered that stuff separately for about $10 total so if this works out I'll be pretty happy.

    I've been playing Sonic 1 on and off for the last few days and it's quite good. I'm not as powered up about platformers as when I was a kid but I still do alright. Though there was one 'fuck you' moment in the second zone that really pissed me off, a red spring set up to knock you back into the lava you just negotiated.

    How many rings does it take to get into that weird rotating bonus area? I usually don't collect enough but I've been there a few times.

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I managed to find a nice CRT TV and hooked it up. I never minded what SNES looks like in HD, but the older tv does make the Genesis look a hell of a lot better. Only complaint is how much space these things take up.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I managed to find a nice CRT TV and hooked it up. I never minded what SNES looks like in HD, but the older tv does make the Genesis look a hell of a lot better. Only complaint is how much space these things take up.

    Another major benefit of a good old CRT (assuming it's not a flatscreen) - light gun support. This might not seem like a big deal... until you get Snatcher for the Sega CD and a Konami Justifier...

  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    Speaking of which, is there a good online store for buying quality CRT TVs for use with old consoles?

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    It is flat screen. Which gives the sides of the screen a weird curved effect while games are scrolling.

    Standard wouldn't likely have that issue, but I knew I had the thing. If it gets too annoying I can't imagine its hard to get an old fashioned style one.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    So I'm waiting for shining force III sc 2 in the mail, and I'm tracking the order... why the hell would something shipping from California to Texas require a stop in jacksonville, florida?

  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    You know, I actually can't tell if the screen curving effect I'm seeing is an optical illusion or not.

    Also, the test cart I'm using (a 2 dollar copy of PS 3) has a dead battery. Guess I've got a guinea pig for learning how to do that.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I have no idea where else to post this, but Sonic's newest commercial is an homage to Outrun, and therefore it's awesome:

  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Speaking of which, is there a good online store for buying quality CRT TVs for use with old consoles?

    Craigslist, kijiji or thrift stores/pawn shops. Shipping would be killer on crt's.

    The TV I use is a sony wega crt which retailed for around $1000. I got it for $50. It's also a flat screen and light guns work fine, its when you get into the wide screen's that issues can come up. It cost me twice that to get a stand which would hold it, the thing is a 27' and weighs roughly 90lbs. The next step up is a 31 which weighs double that if i recall right.

    racketboy has some decent discussion on the forums for brand names to hunt for. Usually anything made in the mid-late 90's is perfect.

    Madpanda on
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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    I'm using a Samsung from the early-mid 2000s. Like, right before CRTs were phased out. The picture quality is amazing, but I dunno if I'm just seeing things, or there's a weird curving effect going on. The tv picture is definitely at a very, very slight angle, though.

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  • EddEdd Registered User regular
    I might be able to grab a model 2 genesis with the CD unit for about $40. Any advice / major warning signs I should be aware of before dropping any money?

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    So is anybody currently playing any retro games? I beat Panzer dragoon saga last weekend (incredible game, so worth the wait), I'm waiting for Shining force III sc 2 and sc 3 to arrive so I can continue (beat sc 1 a few days ago), and now I just started Magic Knight Rayearth. I played MKR when I first got it back in 1998, but haven't played it through since, and I had forgotten how incredibly lame the story is and how goddamn tedious the opening to the game is. People complain about cutscenes in Metal Gear games, but they don't have a goddamn thing on MKR. The opening to the game is about an hour long - an hour of cutscenes, dialog boxes, sprite animations, etc. You don't even control your players until the entire opening is over. And it's so terrible... the story is typical anime trash. The first dungeon is also awful - completely linear, and you keep getting stopped for 5-minute long dialog scenes every few steps.

    Despite all this, I remember that, past the opening, it turns into a pretty good Zelda clone, and the dungeons after the second or third get pretty good. But good god that opening is awful. Probably the worst paced game I've ever played. I have no idea how I powered through it the first time I played it - if I didn't remember that it got better later in the game, I would have shut my saturn off after the first 30 minutes.

    I also got a new playstation mouse, so I'm giving Policenauts another playthrough. It's a lot smoother with a mouse instead of a controller.

    EDIT: Since I listed 3 out of the 5 most expensive and sought after saturn games available (with Psychic Killer Taromaru and Deep fear being the other - all 5 games being valued between $150-$300 each), I'd give my opinions on whether or not they're "worth" it. I'd say, of the famous hyper expensive saturn games, Shining Force III is probably the best of the bunch. It has battle animations and graphics that would have been impressive on a playstation or early N64, with every attack and spell being presented with the same cinematic 3D view that made FFVII so popular, only there are about 700 different spells and moves in SF3 compared to the couple of hundred in FFVII.

    Panzer Dragoon Saga is a very, very close second place. If you can put yourself in the frame of mind about when and where the game was released (read: the saturn, in 1998), then you can still appreciate how magnificent its graphics are for the hardware. It's battle system is still fun, and its cutscenes are easily the highest quality on the system (both in terms of direction and actual technical aspect - full screen, non-grainy cutscenes on the saturn). It's short enough to be enjoyed in a few sittings, and its story and setting are still completely top notch and would probably be just as awesome in a remake.

    Magic Knight Rayearth is not worth the money. it's a standard Zelda clone that gets inflated for two reasons - it's the last US Saturn game, and it was brought over by Working Designs. Had I not gotten this game when it was new, I probably would never have gotten it. It's not a bad game (outside of the opening I described) but it's not great either. And it's certainly not worth spending $150+ on. You can get a much better experience from either Shining Wisdom or the vastly superior Legend of Oasis for a couple of bucks each.

    As for the other two games - Deep fear is well worth the money. It's a great resident evil clone that gives RE2 on the PSX a good run for its money (with the added bonus of normal 3D controls if you use the NiGHTS pad, sorta like the analog controls from RE2 on the N64). It has good voice acting and a good plot, and great graphics for the system.

    Psychic Killer Taromaru is the best action game on the entire system. Because less than 1000 copies exist, it is completely worth the asking price it normally goes for (usually around $300+). It will absolutely retain its value, and it'll likely never ever be ported given that Time Warner owns it.

    long story short: Shining Force III, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Deep Fear, Psychic Killer Taromaru - all get my recommendation despite their high price tags.

    Magic Knight Rayearth - pass unless you absolutely need every saturn game ever.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • RockinXRockinX Registered User regular
    Well, I'm playing through all the Zelda games in chronological order, if that counts. I'm currently playing OoT and when I'm done, I'll start with A Link to the Past.

    But I am indeed playing a Super Nintendo game, an obscure one. The Hurricanes, based on a TV show of the same name in which you control a guy who uses a soccer ball as a weapon. The game is interesting, although it's a bit unfair with enemies.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Edd wrote: »
    I might be able to grab a model 2 genesis with the CD unit for about $40. Any advice / major warning signs I should be aware of before dropping any money?

    You're gonna have to get them recapped in a few years, it not sooner.

  • MadpandaMadpanda Registered User regular
    My pc engine duo-r should arrive today or tomorrow, just got it region modded (i think this is kosher to talk about) and I have blazing lazers and ninja spirit ready to go. Any game that was released on tg-16 is usually cheaper by ~$20 compared to the JP counterpart.

    Recently beat power blade for nes, great if easish platformer I picked up on the cheap. That had me research a few other late releases and I will be picking up kickmaster soon.

    Taking a break from gargoyles quest 2, I'm at the labyrinth level and these mirrors are driving me nuts. Still working through beyond oasis, and need to pickup legend of oasis.

    Going to check the used dvd place this week, last time they had a disc only in the hunt for $10 that I hesitated on because I wasn't sure how much it was worth.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Irem's output on the PC Engine was pretty good. Besides Ninja Spirit, make sure to try out the 2-part R-type port.

  • Brainiac 8Brainiac 8 Registered User regular
    Where do you guys go when looking for NES/SNES games for cheap?

    Ebay has become such a rip-off anymore.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Brainiac 8 wrote: »
    Where do you guys go when looking for NES/SNES games for cheap?

    Ebay has become such a rip-off anymore.

    NintendoAge

    Amazon.com usually is cheaper than ebay, too.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • EddEdd Registered User regular
    Edd wrote: »
    I might be able to grab a model 2 genesis with the CD unit for about $40. Any advice / major warning signs I should be aware of before dropping any money?

    You're gonna have to get them recapped in a few years, it not sooner.

    But that's just a general truth for all retro hardware at this point, no? There's nothing to be gained by waiting per se, is there?

  • TayaTaya Happy ___ Day Registered User regular
    I like that www.lukiegames.com has free shipping to Canada (on orders more than $25) but I'm not sure that it's the cheapest possible.

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Edd wrote: »
    Edd wrote: »
    I might be able to grab a model 2 genesis with the CD unit for about $40. Any advice / major warning signs I should be aware of before dropping any money?

    You're gonna have to get them recapped in a few years, it not sooner.

    But that's just a general truth for all retro hardware at this point, no? There's nothing to be gained by waiting per se, is there?

    Correct. The only other thing to look out for is that there is a fuse on the power board for the Sega CD which is prone to going out. It's a $0.08 fix, though.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    So on the subject of Shining Force 3 - I think an argument can be made that it's the most epic game of all time. I mean that in the literal form of the word "epic" - the entire Shining Force 3 is a single, very long story spanning 3 entire games, one 'premium' epilogue, and a prequel which is the size of an entire game. Each scenario in shining force 3 is 40 hours long, with the prequel being a good 50 hours, and the epilogue being a few hours long, putting the game at about 175 hours long. Unlike, say, the Metal Gear series, there is no real gaps in the story, they didn't make it up as they went along - the entire story was planned from the get-go and was set in stone before the prequel, Shining the Holy Ark, was even made. The actual story is told from 3 perspectives, all taking place simultaneous of one another, and, from prequel to epilogue, the story spans over a decades worth of events. What begins as political warfare evolves eventually into a story about ancient ultimate evil, and basically god vs darkness. Counting the epilogue and prologue as 2 single chapters, the entire game is 20 chapters long.

    Can anyone think of another video game story that is intended to be taken as one single, solid entity (i.e. no sequels) that is more epic than that?

  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    Shenmue I think was originally planned as one story if I recall. But... yeah, we all know how that turned out.

    But I can't think of any game that spanned more than 2 games tops with a single contiguous story that wasn't just a tacked on sequel.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Shenmue I think was originally planned as one story if I recall. But... yeah, we all know how that turned out.

    But I can't think of any game that spanned more than 2 games tops with a single contiguous story that wasn't just a tacked on sequel.

    Shenmue was planned to be 18 chapters long. All of shenmue I is chapter 1, chapter 2 was eventually cut from the series (it was the boat ride between shenmue I and II) and shenmue II is chapters 3-5. Shenmue would have been a contender had it actually come to pass, but it didn't. As is, I'm struggling to think of anything that even comes close to SF3's total story in terms of scope.

    You play 50 hours in the prequel before you even begin the main story, and by that point, several characters you haven't even been introduced to yet have real motivations that you already know about.

    To get a sense of scale of Shining Force 3 - you don't even begin to play as the main character of the game until you've already put in over 130 hours of gameplay. You see him constantly throughout the game, beginning as a small child until you finally control him as an adult, and he's always around in the game, but you don't realize he's the main character of the entire game until you reach sc 3.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    Exactly... and it always saddens me that Shemue won't be finished. If they ever do continue it, I hope they put forth the same level of effort and quality into them.

    As far as games even close... I can only think of ones that artificially inflate play time with lots of random things to do. IE the elder scrolls games.

    I suppose the mass effect games would be similar, but being all part of 1 story is a bit of a stretch. As they are more 3 self contained acts in 1 overarching story.

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