More Commodore CD32 emulation fun.

The guys at http://unofficial-cd32-ports.blogspot.co.uk/ rounded off their month long release of CD32 conversions a few days ago with one motherload of a compilation containing a whopping 160 Amiga games. You’d be hard pressed to find something fun to play with this lot and kudos for wrapping it all up into a  neat little graphical menu. Even into October, ‘encore’ releases are coming out daily and their penultimate release today will be keeping me in very good company throughout the darkening nights.

Stunt Car Racer, one of  the many Amiga titles I’ll never tire of and am really looking forward to racing around those new tracks. One of these days, I’m going to link a couple of my Amiga’s together and invite a few friends around for an evening of ‘friendly’ racing.

stunt_car_racer_turbo

…but just going back to the 160 game compilation for a moment, it was whilst I was having a blast playing  Joust did I realise how many people, each with their projects have come together, unknowingly to create what I have on screen that I’m waving my stick at (well pad) and grinning ear to ear.

Here’s Joust, the rather funtastic Atari ST version of the Williams Electronics classic hit. Except, this one has been converted to run on the Commodore Amiga by http://meynaf.free.fr/pr/ and then converted again last month to run on the CD32…..which I have running on my Netbook  thanks to the everyone behind the WinUAE project….connected to and controlled with an original CD32 gamepad thanks to Retronic Design.   – Mind numbing, awesome-ness stuff but if I have to think about it any further I might need to go and have a lie down and I haven’t got time for that, there’s Ostrich prodding to be done…..erm!

IMG_5072

Galaxy Invaders Invade again.

After catching the latest (July)  RetroGamingRoundup  show, and thoroughly enjoying their top ten tabletop electronic games feature, I remembered an old friend tucked away that I haven’t used for a while.

This is my CGL Galaxy Invaders 1000, a Christmas present I received in the 1980’s and has been with me ever since. It’s not been used for a while and the  battery terminals aren’t looking their best anymore. I inserting new batteries (I forgot how many these things need!)  and as expected, it didn’t work. I keep meaning to get one of those multiple voltage adaptors but until then, I’ve had a go at a quick fix and replaced the rusted terminals with those  taken from an old battery operated radio.

Mission accomplished. Wow, this really does take me back a few years. Pew pew pew!

 

 

 

20140830-144433-53073141.jpgI

If you fancy having a go via emulation (sadly, Windows only), checkout – http://www.oocities.org/yokisoft/invader/index.html

 

GiNvaders

 

Pinball Dreams Ignition table for Future Pinball.

I picked up the Pinball Gold Pack from GoG the other day which is a collection of twenty classic tables from the Pinball series produced by DiCE in the 1990’s.  I use to (and still do) play these predominately on my Amiga but thought it would be nice to have this particular collection on my netbook especially as GoG have wrapped them around one of their nifty DOSbox launchers.

The Pinball Gold Pack  includes Pinball Dreams 1 and 2, Pinball Illusions and Pinball Fantasies/Pinball Mania  which is more than enough 2D retro pinball to keep me happy and perfect for a quick casual game.

I’m starting at the beginning with the first game release and the first table – Pinball Dreams – Ignition.

This is a quick photo stitch I did, as per norm,  these table are spread over two vertically scrolling screens.

ignition1

 

It wasn’t until I was browsing  around the internet for more information on the table designs when I happened to come across the work of  talented modders who had taken the original 2D design and created a fully playable 3D version of Ignition (and many more DiCE tables) for the free pinball sim – Future Pinball.

Now this is more like it – absolutely loving the lighting modifications and score box.

Future Pinball 2014-02-22 16-30-40-83 (2)

 

The originals games will always be Amiga classics in my book but you’re got to admit this looks flippin (sorry!) ace doesn’t it?

Future Pinball 2014-02-22 16-27-02-48 (2)

 

If you fancy giving this one a go yourself, you’ll need –

Future Pinball – http://www.futurepinball.com/

Ignition table for Future Pinball – http://www.pinsimdb.org/pinball/table-396-ignition

…and some virtual coins.

…and a secondary screen if you want to enhance the experience.

or, if you want to re\visit the original 2D classics, $9.99 for Pinball Gold is pretty reasonable – http://www.gog.com/game/pinball_gold_pack although GoG do tend to have this on special offer from time to time.

 

 

MayFlash Retro Gamepad / Joystick to USB Adaptor.

When it comes to retro gaming you can’t beat playing on the original  system and I’d favor it over emulation any day.That’s not to say I’m not an emulation fan of course, quite the contrary I use them a lot and relish the advantages that emulation brings….like turbo loading for instance!

But the thing about emulation is, although it can look and sound, in some circumstances, pretty much indistinguishable from the original system, I often find something is missed from the experience by not using the original games controller. Stella is awesome Atari 2600 emulator but playing Berzerk on a PC keyboard instead of a classic Atari joystick doesn’t feel quite right.  Mario Kart via ZSnes using a PS2 styled PC controller is o.k but give me a proper SNES pad and I’m a happy chap. Then of course, there are the oddballs controllers like the  analogue Vectrex pad, Atari paddles and the N64 joystick/gamepad ‘thing’ which might be a little tricky to replace with modern pads and sticks.

Adapters, that’s what we need and there are many of them out there allowing one to attach a classic controller to a PC or modern games console.

I came across this particular adaptor on eBay the other day. It’s very cheap, small and promised support for Sega Megadrive/Genesis controllers (and thus hopefully other standard DB9 based sticks and pads), Nintendo NES and SNES controllers in one tidy package. Buy buy buy says I.

….a few days later.

May Flash USB gamepad conveto

The little adapter box has two input ports, the first is a 9-pin DB9 type connector and the other is a 7-pin SNES connector. Also included  was a DB9 to 7-pin converter cable for connecting NES/FC pads.

No drivers are required according to the instructions and it states it’s compatible with Win XP thru to Win 8 including both 32 and 64 bit flavors.

Sure enough, after plugging it into my Win 7 netbook, the device was detected and appeared as a standard HID game controller.

I’ve dug out a selection of classic controllers to test.

Classic gamepads and sticks

It started off well –  the SNES pad worked flawlessly with no lag or any issues detected when multiple buttons were pressed simultaneously and after a round or two with Street Fighter 2Turbo and Super R-Type (where the adapters programmable turbo button came in handy) I moved on…..and well, it’s all went a bit downhill from there.

I couldn’t get it to work with my Megadrive mk2 pad,  third party or original mk1  pad.  No go either with the classic Atari stick, Commodore Vic-20 stick, Commodore CD32 pad or Sega Master System pad. I haven’t tested it with my NES pad though as they’re still packed away. No keystrokes detected with MS notepad open therefore  Joy2Key is out too.

I’ve tested the device on another Win 7 PC (SP1), a Win XP PC and my Raspberry Pi. Each time, nothing worked apart from the SNES pad (I had to fiddle around to get it working on my Raspberry Pi).

I’ve removed the adaptors case screws to have a looksee inside and as far as I can tell everything looks o.k. When I get time I’ll have a probe around with the multimeter.

Although it’s a cheap adaptor, for sole use as a SNES adaptor  it’s still  more expensive than getting a dedicated SNES ‘styled’ USB gamepad (although I guess that defeats the object of using an original controller) and probably more expensive than getting the pats to USB mod a pad yourself. In the end I decided to contact the seller and ask if I could return it for a refund.  As it happens, the seller had tested a few adapters himself and found that he was having the same issues too. As a result he kindly gave me a full refund and told me to keep the adaptor anyway. A win in the end then!

 

C64 Winter Olympic Challenge – Barrel Jumping…..attempt #2

One week in and we’re thoroughly enjoying the coverage of the Winter Olympics at Sochi. To  join in the fun at lunchbreak we thought we’d have our own mini retro game Olympic challenge courtesy of a few choice events from the Epyx series of Winter Games and the Games-Winter Edition on the Commodore 64 (Vice).  We also loaded World Games to see if anyone could beat our I.T. teams world record of jumping 18 barrels.

World Games C64

 

We should petition the International Olympic committee and have Barrel Jumping recognised as an official Olympic sport.

 

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After many attempts and multiple fractures later the record still stands at 18 barrels. Going for silver I thought i’d have a go at besting my personal record of 15 barrels.

Previous attempts can be seen here – https://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/c64-winter-challenge-barrel-jumping/

No only do you have to get your skaters rhythm correct, jumping at the last instance is key. I find that looking at the speed gauge and jump line rather than the actual skater seems to help.

Contestant StiGGy representing the Kingdom of Epyx (apparently this is where all of the ‘US Gold’ can be found 🙂 flings himself into the air.

Ice barrel jumping 16

 

A brief pause, and woo hoo, made it (only flippin just though!) and the SID chip goes wild.

16 barrels

The problem is…now i’ll have to tackle 17 barrels next time.

Fancy having a go ? Feel free to post your records in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

 

This time around, rather than on the Commodore 64, I’ve dug out my C64 DTV joystick which will be set up on our main TV throughout the Olympic games so that i can dip into a little light gaming between