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  • Vectrex Videos and Artwork Updated

    Version 3.0 of the Vectrex video snap pack has been released.  Version 3 is a complete redo of the set by @DamnedRegistrations.  This version includes 66 new video snaps recorded at 60fps.  
    Videos Added - 66 @DamnedRegistrations
    2D Narrow Escape (USA) (Hack) All Good Things (World) (Unl) AnimAction (USA) Armor..Attack (World) Art Master (USA) Becky's Message (World) (Unl) Bedlam (USA, Europe) Berzerk (World) Blitz! - Action Football (USA, Europe) Clean Sweep (World) Continuum (World) (Unl) Cosmic Chasm (World) Dark Tower (World) (Proto) Fortress of Narzod (USA, Europe) Gravitrex (World) (Unl) Heads-Up - Action Soccer (USA) Hexed! (World) (Unl) HyperChase - Auto Race (World) Koko's Retribution (World) (Unl) Mail Plane (USA) (Proto) Melody Master (World) Mine Storm (World) Mine Storm II (USA) Mr. Boston - Clean Sweep (USA) (Unl) Nebula Commander (World) (Unl) Omega Chase (World) (Unl) Patriots (World) (Unl) Patriots III - BALListics Busters (World) (Unl) Pitcher's Duel (USA) (Proto) Polar Rescue (USA) Pole Position (USA) Protector (World) (Unl) Revector (World) (Unl) Rip Off (World) Royal 21 (World) (Unl) Scramble (USA, Europe) Sectis (World) (Unl) Solar Quest (World) Space Frenzy (World) (Unl) Space Wars (World) Spike (USA, Europe) Spike Hoppin' (World) (Unl) Spinball (USA) Star Castle (USA) Star Hawk (World) Star Sling (World) (Unl) Star Trek - The Motion Picture (USA) Thrust (World) (Unl) Tour De France (USA) (Proto) Vaboom! (World) (Unl) Vec Fu (World) (Unl) Vec Sports Boxing (World) (Unl) Vecmania (World) (Unl) Vectopia (World) (Unl) Vector 21 (World) (Unl) Vector Pong (World) (Unl) Vector Vaders (World) (Unl) Vectrace (World) (Unl) Vectrex Frogger (World) (Unl) Vectrexians (World) (Unl) War of the Robots - Bow to the Queen (World) (Unl) Web Wars (USA) Xmas Cart 2014 (World) (Unl) Xmas Cart 2015 (World) (Unl) Yasi (World) (Unl) Zantis (World) (Unl) EmuMovies Official Video Snap Collection for the GCE Vectrex
    Standard Quality - Site, FTP, Sync  High Quality - FTP, Sync
     
    Version 3.0 of the Gameplay and Title snap packs have also been released.
     

    Atari Jaguar Videos and Artwork Packs Updated

    Today we have a small update for the Atari Jaguar video snap collection.  We have added on video that was marked unplayable before.  Thanks to DamnedRegistrations for the submission.
    Videos Added/Replaced - 1 (DamnedRegistrations)
    Attack of the Mutant Penguins (World) Standard Quality - Site, FTP, Sync  High Quality - FTP, Sync
    The Gameplay Snap and Title Snap Packs were also replaced

    SUPER RETRO GAMER #4

    Publish Date: 10/24/2016
    Number #4
    This weekend was my long weekend and my friends decided to come down from Newcastle and ironically it happened to be on the weekend of this event. This is my third event now and I brought friend to their first. This day proved to be a lot more interesting compared the the previous 2 times I came. This event was the most crowded event I've been too. If you don't believe me just look at my first video.
    The first part is just a simple introduction to the event and me shilling the event as I always do ( I make no apologies about this). While I introduced the main man Zee (the organizer of the event with the use of a gamers pub (yes they exist and it got my friends thinking as well why there wasn't a place like this up north).  Anyways I did  play a few games this time including double dash which I never played before. I plan on doing a podcast soon with Zee about retrogames and modern games and how the love and hate of video games define us. but going back on subject. We came to this event and boy was it fun ( as proof of this next video)
    I give another tour of the venue. Why I do not know I do this but unlike last time the pub got a fully working Tekken 3 machine which is an awesome machine in itself. I admit the emulated system they use for the projector is actually quite good but I forgot how much I hate Atomic FE as a front-end. it looks terrible and isn't all that interesting to look at but it's functional. But really getting back on subject The event was an exciting mix of older gamers and younger being introduced to older systems.
    this 3rd video starts me looking at a Megadrive which was Streets of rage 3 (which I thought was the weakest of the 3). I loved the first one, was ok on the second one and the third one was the same as 2 which didn't please me because sequels are supposed to add something new to the series and with 3 they didn't do that. However I got talking to a pinball machine repair person while there and we got talking about old machines including pinball machines. I was talking to him for about 20 minutes before I had to leave. I hope to talk to this gentleman again sometime. I got his website address and looked at it. its for reconditioned and new pinball machines hire and maintenance site which I would like to look at because When I get money I will buy a a dataeast star wars Pinball Machine because its a decent cab in my eyes. Anyways I plan coming onto this subject again another time I plan on doing a podcast with this pinball engineer. for you pinball heads out there in the UK this is the guys website   http://pinballmachines.co.uk/
    Anyways, that's enough from me today. I hope you give me a shout out and most of all stay frosty and play those classics as they never DIE!
     

    Rough Guide to Front-ends

    Publish Date: 10/16/2016
    Today's entry into my rough guide is a relative newcomer in terms of front-ends. So without further adieu, its time to introduce you all to

    LAUNCHBOX
    I've been following this project for a year since I got a registered license for this to see everything and my first impressions of this wasn't the best because certain features wasn't in it yet I made a video which I handed to the developer who in turn ACTUALLY listened to me. The issues I had with 5.2 (that was when I first looked at it). First off, there was no tool tips. which is annoying another thing was its MAME naming conventions (it made 2 mistakes and major ones at that). When I did that last december, I gave a first impressions video to the developer. He used it and worked out the kinks out of it. Right now we are at version 6.11 and boy it has come a long way in a year. First off Jason (the developer) has gone out of his way to fix the glitches from the older version like naming conventions of MAME (which was one of my pet peeves with the project). Made in visual studio and has both ScummVM and DosBOX pre-installed with its configuration tools (I used this for my looking back at sparcade). First thing I noticed when I first fired up LaunchBox its welcome message was quite encouraging.

    Add dos games, add steam and other platform games (like origin and uplay and considering you get free games off them just jump on them for freebies ir if you game games on their platforms as well). Add ROM files which is pretty self explanatory. finally adding window games themselves. With a introduction like that, There isn't so much stuff you can't do. The use of DOSbox and ScummVM are what makes this front-end different compared to normal front-ends because its a simple point and click or a click and drag. Everything else is self explanatory or automatically found via the game databases the system uses (this includes GamesDB which I have no end of complaints about). But this is only part of the story. If you purchase a license for LaunchBox, you get another mode and this baby is call BIGBOX.

    BIGBOX is what you really use once you have finished screwing around with everything tinkering with setting and making sure you can play it comfortably. it looks nice and actually is well thought out. While not as flashy as something like Hyperspin or other off the wall Front-ends. LaunchBox's BIGBOX mode was designed for ease of use and true functionality. don't get me wrong, you can launch everything from Launchbox itself but its more designed to actually edit your settings and configure you setup.
    It still has issues but they are few and far between and you can actively see LaunchBox being developed by Jason on twitch.tv. He does a stream every so often when he can and he interacts towards his followers and users of LaunchBox here. You can actually approach him compared to most developers. I have talked to him as well. I have emailed the man myself during the 5.2 issues. The developer is a good person trying to deliver a solid product and but to me it still needs work but given time this is going in the right direction.
    Ok so here are the pros and cons of LaunchBox.
    OK the pros
    Quite detailed in giving information auto finds the inforamtion to the game you have inserted into the system. DOSBOX and ScummVM Native. Quite feature rich in terms of adding games. constantly updated BIGBOX MODE (on with paid registation) Not the cons
    pay for product that unlocks all features (BIGBOX) The menu can be a bit intimidating if you are not used to it LaunchBox has issues with certain games While it has issues with this front-end and its a paid application but I'll be honest it actually worth the money considering the amount of work put into this. and I saw from version 5.2 to now and I see this project going places but it needs to fall into the trap of adding  too much too quickly without compromising the core system. While though it has issue it's still has soo much potential as well and with the developer being so transparent as well help this product immeasurably.
    This is a rough look at it considering I'm a hyperspin-phile and I don't disagree this project is going places. Anyways that it for another part to my rough guide and my next up on the bat is

    Thats right I will be covering this in my next part of my rough guide.
     

    Rough Guide to Front-end

    Publish Date: 09/30/2016
    My Rough Guide
    To Front-ends

     
    I had a big article which covers all the front-ends out but due to a page error it all got wiped. So rather than give up. I will do it in pieces, giving you my opinion. I will cover everything front-end with pros and cons for everything about said front-end. I have used a fair few over the years and so without further adieu, I'm going to re-review my first excursion into proper immersion and I've already written about this in another article. But I may as well cover this in more detail so lets start with
     
    First of 3d arcade between 2004 to 2009 was actually quite an experience because this community was quite vibrant with content creators and users alike. The engine was designed in Adobe Director (which is ancient now) by )p( who for the most part created it a Galaxian like front-end in which you shot the game you want to play however it evolved into 3D Arcade. )p( created a simple map of a circular room in which you put arcade in. The first official version of this front-end was released on an i-modernist website host on 24/4/2002 with version 0.6 its first arcade model released by Zakk (with a real media RM video file) in the w3d format (which ended up being the format to the arcade models for future releases), By this point there are a template of the base arcade model in which you could add a marquee and picture snaps. Its interesting how the early going on contributor was Zakk. But as the following versions, )p( went out of his way by adding a first person walking simulator (not FPS which is stated). but it wasn't until this 0.65 when this was implemented and )p( also added this point to everything is skinnable, let me rephrase that the first person part of the front-end had the ability to be skinned with anything you wanted (objects within the system) and this was still 2002. Personally I didn't join the community until 2003 when I built my first computer and a few months in i started looking for a front-end (with the advice of Jennatek) I found I liked this first because it represented something visual which wasn't a list format but I saw this as a screenshot

     
    So with my 512k broadband modem (yes we have come a long way since those days). Then I discovered the major flaw in the plan. Configuration is different kettle of fish. While it looks good with the content, its' major let down is a serious learning curve in which you have to navigate the selset menu's which are not very well explained or well thought out. This is before youtube guides and the written guide is confusing at best (when you read  for adding music is a playlist of playlists). While the learning the system takes a lot of time (in my case about 2 years when I came back to it). While the system has it flaws, The positives are (as the front-end is still available and works on windows 7) quite extensive with voodooscientist little cinema arcade which is a beautiful location ( I believe this was inspiration for NewRetroArcade:NEON). This is a good map because its' shows multiple different applications to use within a single map. While limited technology made it simple and cumbersome with things like delays between picture and sound, you got the gist of the experience. Another Map that was spacious and quite detailed was the exhibition hall. which showed a multi-level setup with some beautiful touches
     
     


    Pictures from VoodooScientist lounge. It features a home theater, A karaoke lounge, A bowling alley (non functional). I believe this was the inspiration for NewRetroArcade:Neon
    The second arcade location
    The Exhibition Hall

    These 2 locations are what sold me, but this is where my first experiences were bad as configuring this thing is a challenge and during that time I wasn't a patient person during 2003/2004. I have gone back to this a few years later. I learned to put music within this thing (I thought that was a victory back then). But my second time returning to this was interesting because I learned a few things. By 2007 there was a DVD release which featured The front-end, artwork, maquee and arcade models and emulators (no roms, emulation general rule) the only problem with it is that the configuration is actually still an issue even with the DVD edition. Since I changed over the Hyperspin in 2009. There are video tutorials out there. This one is most promient
    Ok may as well go with the pros and cons of this front-end
     
    PROS
    Has multiple modes its 3D environment was the first of its kind with front-ends Has quite a repository of models and locations the DVD edition come packaged with emulators of the times CONS
    The main project has lost its main developer ()p( is gone onto bigger things) A pain in the ass to configure from scratch Has not aged well considering this could be better in the long run The community is dying out (there is a hardcore contingent there) In closing with front-ends like NewRetroArcade:Neon and Anarchy Arcade, 3D Arcade has turned into a child of its time, while graphically it still has the art assets to make it different conpared to NewRetroArcade and is still is a tad easier to configure than Anarchy Arcade. I personally think this deserves a remake with the maps intact because seeing this in something like the unreal 4 engine would be amazing. The question is who would be crazy enough to remake this system and at least tweak the configuration UI because that was 3D arcades biggest downfall.
    Next Front-end guide for is LaunchBox
     

    SUPER RETRO GAMER #3

    Publish Date: 09/18/2016
    yes here is the video from the show and trust me if I have more time, I would at least play crazy taxi (which I was terrible at) But again limited time to play anything because real life interferes with everything. There is not much more I can say really other it is entertaining. I really need more time to sort everything but that's never going to happen unless its on a weekday and most of all my wife can sort out the kids. But time I got was interesting and I couldn't wait to just jump in hence why I played crazy taxi. I'll try and do a better one next month. Anyways I will try and workout a plan for you guys during my next article and yes I will transfer RANDOM GAME! from the 3rdlevel.net to here now. But if you are in the London area during this time when the next one is showing I'll put a heads up for those of us in the UK. thats it for now but if you want a closer look
    look at their website
    http://www.superretrogamer.com
    they also are on google and facebook.
    They have a discord as well but you will be able to find it on your own.
     
     

    Where it began

    Publish Date: 09/10/2016
    1996 I was at university studying something I was not going to use in later life (simply because I lost interest and for your information I was studying craft baking at University). Interesting, so how did this craft baker become the writer to the hyperspin report and the3rdlevel dot net. Easy my friends were computer science students and most were into the computer scene. My first emulator I was ever introduced to was a spectrum one, not an arcade. I had a talk to these friends and my first taste of emulation was a Nemesis Emulator (while not perfect yet it was very playable and I remember playing this in the computer labs at the time. I was also hanging out of a games shop during this time also (Turbo Games). So during my late teens early 20's I loved games and gaming.
    But I didn't have a PC to play any games on. I basically lived round my friends (jennatek) and my uncles place during these years. Emulation during the early Windows / MS-DOS days were confined to a bunch of single game emulators and a couple of multi-game Emulators(please bare in mind MAME wasn't as big as it is now back then it was just a PAC-MAN emulator and only really played a handful of games. My first taste was Sparcade on MS-DOS, it played something like 30 games at the time, which was quite a feat ( we are talking 1996 here) and they played classics like space invaders, slapfight, phoenix and airwolf. This was my first taste of emulation and it was good. I played this at jen's most of the time.

    it wasn't until I left Uni when I really put myself into the scene as a gamer. Sparcade had served me for a year but it didn't emulate the one game I really wanted at the time,

     
    Yes, that's right, the vector game version of Star Wars (and yes I would love to own a cabinet, Do not care what size either). Why this game you may ask, Being a huge Star Wars nerd, this still held up (even with the release of X-Wing and Tie Fighter). I loved the pace of this game as it was fast, solid gameplay and there was also something about shooting tie fighters. By 1998 the first of the Vector games were starting to be introduced and That meant Star wars had hit home computers and windows 95. By 1990, I was living out of my uncles place my boring 4 walls and Jens at the time. But over time Mame had over a 1000 arcade classics but not the 1988-1995 yet. Games like Wrestlefest, WWF SuperStar and the like, Another Emulator Beat MAME to that punch as it cover most of Taito and thechnos and that emulator was Raine. it was the first emulator to do and garnered quite a follow. during the next year a lot of people developed for MAME and games were coming at an alarming rate. They had taken to releasing Beta versions rather than the what you get today. You realise when you play random games on mame without knowing what you are playing. sometimes you remember I have played this. Here's the problem I have, I have a hell of a memory when it comes to games. But with Emulation you didn't have things we take for granted today. First of Zip Support, for those of us that were in the 90's we had to unzip the game into it's own folder in which you dumped the roms folder into. Those early years were a pain in the backside. If you wanted the play NeoGeo games the emulator at that point was NEO-rage before MAME covered that in the 2000's. Most of us during our youth remember playing arcades games. One game I played on another emulator before MAME was Image Fight and that first game out on the M72 Emulator. What is Image Fight (what is that, well, Image Fight is a vertical shump which had to me an interesting feature, you fighter transformed into 3 different modes which had different rates of file and maneuverability).

    While my personal taste in games in games is best described ecliptic. But my tastes are like a lot of people's and MAME has provided a lot of games in which I adore in my life. While MAME has provided a lot of games in the past 10 years and Mame is nearly 20 years old now. it's amazing when MAME first came out, it only played 6 games and the first was Pac-Man. This is for the fallen who pathed the way from the beginning till now.
    NEO-Rage (covered by MAME 35B11)
    Retrocade
    M72
    Raine (Yes I know it's still around but its not as popular)
    System16
    Sparcade
    Callus
     
    These emulators are the forefathers to MAME has become today. There are alternatives to MAME that play games MAME still can't yet. But the future is always bright when it comes to preserving our history with the internet. I look to the future and I see less variety in terms of emulators, as older emulators are no longer supported or have reached the pinnacle of their particular emulation choice (meka for the master systems being one).  We have a wide selection of multiple system Emulators (including MAME and Retroarch) which makes single systems obsolete which is a little disappointing because you knew what you could get with each emulators (there are certain exceptions like supermodel which is a model 3 emulator which specialises in Star Wars Trilogy). Looking back and even if you look in rocketlauncher the amount of emulators there are out there and some still in development (retroarch being core based and covering all systems including mame with it's core system. When you look at games today with their brilliant graphics get sometimes their gameplay is what kills a game dead. But when you back even to computers like the spectrum there were a lot more challenges in terms of actually creating an actual game with minimal graphics but solid gameplay. Game ports back then were interesting because nothing until something like 1985 were officially licensed until those times. There were some licensed games like movie tie-in or some arcade port around that point. I'm going off point, here but I bringing the point the people that game retrogames now are people, who have played game during at this period never forgot what we played and why we love them as well. But if you look back toward what emulators came before you maybe surprised because there many people with the same goals, just different ways of doing things.
    If I missed anything then correct me and I'll edit and credit you for the correction. but please this is my opinion, so don't shoot the messenger (IE me)
     
     
     

    NES games in 3D

    Publish Date: 09/05/2016
    3DNES Review
    First off I want to get this off my chest, not everything in the UNITY Engine is terrible. It's got a bad reputation for delivering crappy end product that people just poop out at an alarming rate. However this project caught my attention originally on a facebook post a couple of months ago then reignited when Simply Austin brought it back to my attention. So I thought screw it lets have a look at this. Demo's shown on youtube show the potential. But actually getting it to work properly on your own, that's a different kettle of fish. First off you are greeted with this screen. Made with Unity personal edition (after you finish with the base setup of resolution and pad and key bindings). curious why would anyone use unity to make an emulator. Well first off you have options on the standby screen (before you actually load an emulator)

    This is the first screen you are greeted with once you boot this up for the first time. it doesn't look like much but it shows you this isn't a normal emulator because it has auto detecting for the 3D aspect of any rom. you play it as is but looks graphically interesting  as it creates a 3d environment from just basic information. There are profiles created for certain games. What started as a webpage app got converted into an actual emulator, in which version stand at 1 b3 (unless you pay for early releases). What makes this different compared to normal NES emulators. For starters, this
      and this and finally this.
    All this looks impressive but it's takes time to set up to properly as you have to create profiles for each game to get the best results. if you run this straight out of the box it will appear a little glitchy and can be a little unstable. But if you onto their forum, There is something like 72 different configuration files already set up, While they are there, they are not perfect yet. If you can find the time to actually do configuration files yourself, you may find you do a better job than the actual user config files on the site. This does have promise but still needs a lot of work in order to be perfect. but what I am seeing so far even out of the box has promise. I'll be looking into this project a little more over the coming months, But I will look at it with a dose of cynicism as well. If you want to look it up go HERE!
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