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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/05/2019 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Contributed whatever was left over after my ex-wife's alimony check went out.
  2. 9 points
    If you can believe it, it's been over 4 years since we last raised any money for the forum. To put it into perspective, the last time we ran a fundraiser, Fifty Shades of Grey and the first Kingsman movie were topping the box office The Order: 1886 and Evolve were just released Age of Ultron was the most current Marvel movie The Walking Dead topped TV ratings Barack Obama was the President of the United States Actually, the last time it was predicted that we'd raise enough get to a point where: At least two of those came true! About a month ago, you probably noticed the great outage of March the 22nd when the forum was down for almost the entire day due to depletion of funds. And then the other outage of Two Days Ago because my slack ass hadn't put up the fundraising post yet 😆 We've gotten to a point with our setup where the features we have are close to everything we need, and the software we now use is stable. Pretty much all we need coverage for is hosting. I'm also working on getting those costs lowered a bit to $45 a month. Think we can pre-pay keeping the lights on for at least another 2 years? If so, that'd put our goal close to an even $1000. Last time, 23 of us stepped up to contribute. If you can, consider contributing a month! But really, anything and everything helps. We can even take payments directly within the forum now! This month starts our 16th year together here on LCVG. So here's to many more, with discussions on PlayStation 5, Xbox Next, and everything else in between. To donate, click the Donation Goal Progress Bar at the bottom of this thread!
  3. 8 points
    I'm going to a Triple Feature of the John Wick movies tomorrow at the Alamo. I can hardly wait!
  4. 8 points
    I was gonna try to book tickets despite my wife + kids being lukewarm on it after their irrational dislike of the first film, but I came into work to find out our office manager booked us a private screening for the Friday, so I'm good
  5. 7 points
    I agree. The internet has become one giant echo chamber where people amplify opinions into deafening screams of both agreement and disagreement. Usually it's taking someone else's opinion/idea/creative output, pulling apart some portion of it, with the intent of bending it into something not only more bite-sized and click-baity, but more outrageous, and controversial...rinse and repeat until it's whipped the faithful and/or haters into a froth. It's but one of the reasons I come here so frequently. LCVG is an oasis.
  6. 7 points
    It's here. For fun I put my outgoing projector on top of the Epson. Needless to say the Epson is BIG. I've gotten it hooked up and have taken a quick gander at some 4K HDR stuff, and oof it's quite beautiful. So much lovely detail. I do have to take a moment to praise the old Panny, though. It provided many years of stunning imagery itself. But the future is definitely here.
  7. 7 points
    John Wick 3 is fabulously absurd.
  8. 7 points
    Started a new job almost a year ago still doing software development, I am the lead mobile dev for a three year-old startup based out of Seattle area. I handle both the iOS and Android versions of our end-user app. We have a small office in the Bay Area, too, but I'm the only person that is truly remote. I thoroughly love all of the people I work with, I get to travel out to Seattle every few months where my best friend lives, and occasionally to SF as well. At the same time, if you've followed my other thread, I own a couple of beer bars (our second one opened a few weeks ago) which are hopefully my long-term plan. I love my day job, and also after 20+ years in the dev world, I look forward to the day when I write my last line of code. I could probably eek by on the income from the first bar (and my wife's job) and quit my day job in theory, but I'm just not ready to do that yet.
  9. 7 points
    I’ll be contributing on Friday. Thanks to everyone for their donations! LCVG Gold logins will be sent out by months end.
  10. 6 points
    This is now done.
  11. 6 points
    Good news, fellas! It looks like I may be able to afford that new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR after all. My Barclaycard with Apple Rewards just increased my credit limit to $11,500! Of course, this means that I won't be able get the stand for the display right away. Maybe someone can buy it for me for my birthday. Or I could just do this:
  12. 6 points
    Needs to be one with Jon Snow saying "I left the cave and the redhead with nice tits for this?" Carlos.
  13. 6 points
    All setup. No issues other than me not plugging in the power connection inside the cabinet deep enough. I had a minor heart attack thinking the thing was dead but with some minor troubleshooting, all was well. Played all three games with a buddy of mine and had a blast! My only complaint is I wish I could turn down the brightness on the LCD just a smidge.
  14. 6 points
    I've been managing technical teams for the better part of 15 years now and I enjoy it. I can't say I love it but there are worst careers. I enjoy managing and mentoring people. With that having been said though, I officially accepted a new position in my company doing Salesforce administration today. It's an opportunity that presented itself seemingly out of nowhere but the woman in charge of the IT group is going on maternity leave and we've been without any CRM administrators for the better part of 3 months now due to regular attrition. I have had some experience with it in the past and she gave me administrator rights and I've been functioning in that role as a side job to my regular day job helping her out. She loved the work I did to the point where she aggressively headhunted me and officially sent over a job offer through my HR rep for a significant amount of money and senior analyst title that I could not say no to. It helps that I really enjoyed the hell out of the work itself, too. So I'm a little scared but super excited. Scared because its a whole new world but excited for the challenge and to get my feet wet in the world of Salesforce which is a highly marketable skill that will allow me to branch out from what I've been doing for a very long time.
  15. 6 points
    Got the decals put on today. And the riser is technically backwards. The Arcade 1up emblem on the front is huge and would have been peaking out behind the MK 2 logo. I decided to just turn it around since there was no functional or real cosmetic difference.
  16. 6 points
    Feel free to send her the link as well.
  17. 6 points
    Man, it almost here!
  18. 6 points
    After Capcom's arcade stick announcement, the PS5 design has leaked... (Credit to BumbleChump over at Resetera who created this)
  19. 6 points
    Aquaman is a waste of your precious time. Avoid at all cost (recognizing my warning is too late to save you all).
  20. 6 points
    Calling out your own trolling because it apparently wasn't savage enough for anyone online to give a shit about,... That's a first world problem!
  21. 5 points
    Mindhunter finally returns Aug 16th
  22. 5 points
    My daughter got excellent grades this year, so I told her to pick her vacation spot. Knowing Galaxy's Edge isn't open at Disney World yet, she picked Ohio, for the excellent coasters at King's Island and Cedar Point. If you're in to thrill rides, you simply can't beat these two parks. There are so many world-class coasters. At Cedar Point, Steel Vengeance opened in 2018. It is a hybrid coaster - a steel track built on a traditional wooden coaster frame. Guys, this is the real deal. I've ridden coasters all over the US, and this is the absolute best by miles. I can't even believe it is allowed to exist! There are snap rolls on this thing that seem like they should be at the edge of a normal human's tolerance. Plus, there are NO shoulder harnesses -- a lap bar is all you get and there's no handles or anything really to hang on to. It has the most "air time" - the feeling of coming-out-of-your-seat weightlessness - than any other coaster. The twists and turns were just mind scrambling. I've never felt so discombobulated after a ride. It is THE benchmarks by which all coasters will be judged from now on. Check out this POV ride. Anyway, if you like scary, thrilling coasters, you cannot go wrong with a trip to these two parks. They are about a 4 hour drive away from each other. Carlos.
  23. 5 points
  24. 5 points
  25. 5 points
    Back from the trip. Overall it was totally amazing. But as this is the beer thread I will endeavor to only offer some highlights on that topic. For now I'm focusing only on the first city, Amsterdam. Our first 5 days were in Amsterdam, and despite that not being a cultural capital for beer, we did manage to find some gems (either in the form of bars or breweries). the first gem was a taproom in Amsterdam Centrum called Foeders, they specialized in Dutch and Belgian beers and have the personal distinction of being the first taproom where I have seen 3 Fonteinen by the glass (the below pic only shows part of their menu, the 3Fs are on the chalkboard that says "Lambic by the glass"). They also had a great bottle collection (compared to any taproom in the the west coast US), and while these prices aren't exactly bargains, they looked to be a little cheaper than in the US (IME). Also they had some beers you just can't get outside of Europe like De Cam: Foeders was also the first place I tried a local (Haarlem) brewery called Uiltje (meaning "little owl"), which was the start of a nice discovery. More on Uiltje later. The second bar that turned out to be a gem was De Struif, also in Amterdam Centrum. The best thing about De Struif is the atmosphere. Very small, very old school, the clientele seemed largely local, the vibe was convivial. We mostly stuck to Belgian Trappist beers here, like Westmalle. Here is a random pic from De Struif, I do not know anyone in this pic 🙂 The 3rd gem in Amsterdam is De Wildeman, here is a pic: This place had a nice draft list, covering beers from many western European locations. To me, the most exciting find was an IPA from the UKs Cloudwater, which I've only read about prior. I had one of their New England IPAs (and yes, the irony of an English brewery making a "NEIPA") was not lost on me :-). It was quite good. After that I treated myself to a bottle of Cantillon "Rose De Gambrinus" a beer I've never seen for sale before. Much to my surprise it came served in a traditional wicker caddy, to leave the beer as undisturbed as possible (to not kick up sediment), classy. It was, as you might expect, exceptional, raspberry puree with a beautiful tangy burst and well controlled acidity. The 4th gem in Amsterdam was a bar called Arendsnest (eagle's nest), which unlike the others so far, specialized in Dutch beer. Here is a terrible shot of their menu: Needless to say I was mostly lost with this list, although I did recognize Uiltje. I ended up with the Jopen "Totally yuzu" for two reasons. One I had been seeing a lot of "Cascadian Dark" ales around, which intrigued me since I'm not familiar with the style (turns out it's kind of like a black IPA). Also I was hoping it had Yuzu in it, but it did not. While the beer was nice, it was the view from the outdoor seating at Arendsnest that really made it a nice spot. This is a whot from where we sat: The next day we headed out of town to the MC Escher Museum in The Hague, which, as a life-long fan of his work, was amazing. But, this is beer, so I'll stay on topic. One the way back from The Hague, we stopped in Haarlem. I'd already heard good things about the city (and it is indeed a super charming place), but now I knew two breweries there which became targets for a visit, Jopen and Uiltje. Turns out Jopen opened in a former church building, which is simply stunning: Their menu had 30 beers on draft. I tried a few of them, including a Belgian Pale, which was very nice, light and refreshing. I also tried their version of a NEIPA called "Yankee Punch" - and while it didn't rival the best I've had from Treehouse or Fieldwork, it was quite good. Tearing ourselves away from Jopen we headed to Uiltje (pronounced Owl-Chuh). The brewery itself was not open, but their taproom was, although Haarlem is not a late-night city, so we only had about 30 minutes here. Of all the places thusfar on the trip, this felt the most 'american' in vibe. The bartender was also one of the brewers, so he was entertaining to talk to. It was clear he as a fan of the American craft movement and it's penchant for experimentation. He excitedly described one such experiment Uiltje tried, which was to throw an entire Christmas tree into a batch of Christmas beer. There was a bit of a pause at this point, when his voice changed from excited to more sober. The experiment was an utter failure and ended up clogging up all their equipment, he then acknowledged than the established method of adding plant matter to beer sealed in cloth bags was in fact the best way. But hey, "we tried!" I tried their Mosaic Mammoth NEIPA which was very good, and then on his recomendation I tried the "Sombre Pharos" porter (off camera to the right in my pic) from a UK berwery Vibrant Forest. It was absolutely amazing, a rich almost umami dark cocoa beer, not very sweet, with a slight bitterness like 80% chocolate. The final spot, back in Amsterdam, was a place I'd been hearing about since we arrived. Brouwerij 't Ij (the Ij is the river through Amsterdam). I knew it was housed in a windmill, but the actual site as even more impressive: Ufortunately, the beer here was not as special as the setting. It's still very much worth going to see the place, it's pretty dazzling visually, and the beer is 'fine' but it's not going to keep you coming back. That's it for the Amsterdam leg of the beer journey. After this was Brussels, which I will post about soon. Even though (or perhaps because) Brussels was more beer focused, I didn't document it quite as well.
  26. 5 points
    Twilight Princess Phew, this was such an odd one. If you want somebody to experience the most basic concept of Zelda in 3D, this game does a great job of that, but it doesn’t feel as special as the best of the series does. First, it starts off too damn slow - they should boot you into the first dungeon way quicker because it is excellent stuff and instead you heard goats and meet people and things that have little bearing on what’s to come (here, aim this hawk at things once in the village okay won’t be using that any more!). There’s a lot of needless crap in here and the controls are not up to the task. The snowboarding mini game (yes, this exists because... wtf...) is dire and all the mounts handle like boats, which is ironic because the boat in the last game handled better. The overworld is largely boring and feels very small, which I partly attribute to the graphics being very... there. Yeah, they look great in HD, but they don’t feel like anything special (Wind Waker spoiled me). The dungeons, however, the meat and drink of the series (at this point in the timeline) are quite possibly the best up to this point and at least on par with Link to the Past. Some are a bit obtuse (City in the Sky can eat rocks) but most balance themselves JUST right and props to them for that. They change up the dungeon items too, a much needed bump, and we get some fun ones like the spinner and the ball and chain. They don’t get much use outside their dungeons but the series is always like that (at this point in the timeline :P) so at least props for coming up with newer stuff. I was not thrilled with the double claws, but they get some use so I’ll let it slide. Story is pretty rote. WW was better and you don’t spend near enough time with Zelda to get too invested in her side of things. Midna is a great companion and the beast stuff is a mostly good mix-up to the formula. They just half ass a lot of characters who don’t get much screen time - and the ridiculous Harry Potter knockoff (or Hyrule Potter as I took to calling him) is really jarring. I mean, it was fun, but it’s not perfect and I wouldn’t put it above Wind Waker or Ocarina of Time because it really feels like it’s treading water. The dungeon design is spectacular and the game is worth a play for that alone, but it just didn’t grab me. Next stop is the just okay Phantom Hourglass, which I remember liking more than most but is definitely mid-tier Zelda. Current Ranking: 1) Wind Waker 2) Link to the Past 3) Ocarina of Time 4) Link’s Awakening 5) Twilight Princess 6) Oracle of Seasons/Ages 7) The Minish Cap 8.) Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link 9) Majora’s Mask 10) The Legend of Zelda
  27. 5 points
  28. 5 points
    Guess I should give my own update, seeing as I brought the thread back to life after finding it randomly while searching for something else Since my last post? Still thoroughly love what I do, despite the ups & downs of the game industry. I've survived layoffs, been through one studio closure (and literally moved to another studio on the same floor - meetings in our "old" space were weird), moved to Austin, and have thoroughly put down roots here. I'm now part of a studio that definitely not going away any time soon, so there's more security than I've had in 15 years. They keep giving me more responsibility, I still get room to make a frontline impact on our live product ("DevLive" for the win), but I definitely don't get to code as much as I'm used to.
  29. 5 points
    The room is coming together...
  30. 5 points
    Good God Alien truly does look magnificent. What a disc, and kudos to Fox for again, like Die Hard, offering up the original audio mix as an option. It’s so exciting that we can have this kind of quality at home... and yet I’m terrified of what the future holds for Fox catalogue releases under Disney. 😔
  31. 5 points
    Crap, I just saw this. I have donated the absolute minimum amount of money (run through several formulas) that will keep me from being ostracized by my LCVG peers and yet keep this site running for the maximum amount of time. No, but seriously, thanks for everything you guys do to keep this site up, it's fucking bonkers that we've been doing this for like 16+ years, it doesn't even make sense. The best part of this donation experience was realizing the email associated with my LCVG account is from my old company I founded in the early 2000's and haven't had anything to do with since 2005. And yes, I just figured out how to change it!
  32. 5 points
    Both of my daughters flipped out for that scene so yeah...GIRL POWER. I’m quite fine with that considering no one shouts BOY POWER at the endless hero shots of the male characters, etc. On the nose? Sure but then it’s ok to be on the nose and give the little girls and women in the theatre something to crow about. You Professor Hulk haters need your head examined, too. Hulk getting his ass handed to him led precisely to Bruce rethinking the very existence of the Hulk and he’s all the better for it. Not to mention, we’ve had film after film of “I can’t control him!” Hulk smash stuff so I really enjoyed Bruce actually being in control and using his brain. While also using his Hulk element to survive the actual snap that brought everyone back! Oh and holding up an entire building to save Rocket and War Machine for just enough time for Lang to rescue them. A less physically drained Professor Hulk is equally as powerful as mindless Hulk, folks. Professor Hulk had some big moments in the movie and his embarrassment and mocking of dumb Hulk worked for me on so many levels. I know folks wanted some physical catharsis for Hulk getting smashed by Thanos but you got it instead by him completely undoing what Thanos did in Infinity War and I think that’s even more bad ass. +1 Professor Hulk fan, here. The conflict between man and monster is also what makes him an utterly one note character, IMO. Finally, the CG work to capture Ruffalo’s likeness in the Hulk character was also insanely good. Also, the Russo’s win for rewarding the 5 people like me that watched Agent Carter.:)
  33. 5 points
    You're all a bunch of racist tree-hugging baby killing gun-toting terrorist hippies. Sanders-Trump 2020!
  34. 5 points
  35. 5 points
    I'm wondering this, too. And is this for LCVG or the Keith-free site we rolled out last year?
  36. 5 points
    Thank you for your service. I saw the first third (half?) and didn't post a warning like you just did. Seeing your post made me feel like the type of person who puts a carton of spoiled milk back in the fridge.
  37. 5 points
    Well, fellas, it looks like I’m officially in the Spider-Man Platinum Club! (This is my third Platinum trophy—the other two being Sly Cooper and the Theivius Raccoonus and Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy.) Feels good.
  38. 4 points
    Sony could also take an ax and chop their own hands off, well one of them at least. And that act would be about as smart as taking Spidey back from Marvel.
  39. 4 points
  40. 4 points
    My modded DCHDMI Dreamcast arrived today! Heres some pictures of the work done to it by Ben Fong over @iFixRetro.. DCHDMI board and ribbon install: The mini-HDMI case mod in progress: Finally, I had him install a new battery holder to easily swap out batteries when they run out (i.e. no more redoing the time every power cycle) and also a new self healing fuse that will prevent the controller board from frying if a controller is plugged in or out while the system is powered on: Cost of the DCHDMI kIt: $150 Cost of the mod work with shipping: $130 Total cost: $280 Dreamcast games upscaled to 1080p with pure digital video/audio: Priceless.
  41. 4 points
  42. 4 points
  43. 4 points
    So Brussels, ah city of beer, seriously. A place where you can find Rodenbach on tap at a dive bar, where the convenience stores have beer selections that "trappist" bars in the US would kill for, where Cantillon flows like tap water...ok, I got carried away there. Serious, though, even the grimiest little "night shop" as they are called carries an enviable beer selection. On the 15 min walk from the train station to our room, I had to stop at least 5 times to look at various beer-lined window displays to gawk at the exotic choices. When we finally did reach the room, this shop was literally across the street (this pic shows about 1/3 of their stock): Oh and this: And while, in general the prices were mostly quite a bit less than prices in the SF Bay Area, the cheapest I saw Westvleteren was €12 (in Bruges)...which of course is still the cheapest price I've even seen it for sale because I've never seen it for sale before. So after making a beeline for the beer shop across the street and making some purchases, the second order of business was getting to Cantillon. It was a 20 min walk from where we stayed. I have to admit that I hadn't done enough research on Cantillon. First I didn't realize they had a bar on premises, and I also didn't know that because they operate as a museum, their hours are rather constrained. We got there at about 4:30, I discovered the bar at about 4:45, waited behind a gaggle of beer tourists (lots of folks in town for the Toer De Gueuze) at the bar, only to find out they close at 5pm! So no Cantillon to drink there! I did make the most of my final 10 mins to grab some bottles since I knew the following weekend would see a flood of folks buying them up. (I did go back days later, and almost all the bottles were gone) It's perhaps a good time to note that at this point, I had no settled way of getting these bottles back to the US. I'd researched shipping from Belgium, which used to be a good option...but over the last few years, LAX Customs (which gets most of the packages destined for the Western US) has been returning roughly 1/3 of alcohol shipments back to Belgium. I wasn't liking those odds. After making my purchases (which also included glassware, a t-shirt and a hoodie), the sour look on my face is undoubtedly the frustration of being so close to the source and not being able to taste any! So what's a frustrated Lambic lover to do? Well, pay a visit to the famous Moeder Lambic (Mother Lambic) bar of course. Luckily, we had passed Moeder Lambic on the way to Cantillon, it was only about 5 mins from the room. So we headed back that way. I wish I has taken a photo of their menu, they had more Lambics on tap than I ever thought possible. After traveling much of the day, being dazzled by towers of beer in every shop, then trekking to the sacred grounds of Cantillon and being turned away, I was so fucking ready for a beer. I dove right into the deep end and ordered a Fou Foune, a beer I'd only read about previously...Cantillon's Apricot Lambic, ahh so fucking good: Moeder had a nice bar food selection too. Sausages and cheese and bread. My second beer was a Tilquin Gueze, also delicious. I had a couple more Cantillons (Magic Lambic, and another I can't recall), which I failed to photograph as the lambic buzz after a busy day started to settle in. The agenda for the next day (Fri May 3) had one item. 3 Fonteinen, which has their tasting room (the "Lambic-o-Droom") and barrel room just south of Brussels in a town called Lot. I had previously entertained all sorts of options for the day, which included visiting a few of the other Lambic brewers in the vicinity of 3F, including Oude Berseel and Hanssens. But, after feeling somewhat short-changed by the experience at Cantillon, I decided to cut to the chase and head straight for 3F. Getting to their tasting room is pretty easy. 10 minute train to Lot, and then a 10 min walk to the Promised Land. Even though 3F was not participating in the Toer De Gueuze (this was the first year they declined to participate), they were having a 4-day special event called in English "Twisting the Fate" - which they describe as "a series of small batch experimental brews, barrel maturations, fruit mascerations and/or blends. It allows us to enter the wild lambic playground in our own way." When you enter the space, you are greeted with a pour, right out of the barrel, of a young (18 month old) unblended lambic and an explanation of how the event works. Here is the view from the entrance: Essentially the event allows the public to taste some of the building blocks of 3F Gueuzes, in some cases there wasn't enough quantity to form a base for a full release. In others, they were trying out ideas for blends. Many of the beers were huge fruit bombs. In all there were 23 to chose from, all ONLY available in 750ml bottles and ONLY available on-site. The menu listed how many bottles were produced, I'd guess the average was about 500. When you got a bottle, they opened it before giving it to you. My BF and I ended up trying 5, all were quite amazing. Two really stood out as some of the best beers I've ever had. One was a blueberry blend. Here is a pic of the menu description (616 bottles produced): The other was a cherry made with a local variety (Schaarbeekse), hands down one of my top 5 beers experiences ever. The cherry wasn't quite like cherry juice, but it was impossibly rich, to the point that there was a cocoa-like flavor in the center, and it had a great mouthfeel: Here is some pouring porn: Here is a shot of the indoor tasting room: The foudre room: And the barrel room: Bottles resting before making their journey into happy beer homes: And many crates of bottles resting I took the tour, which is how I got these shots. It was enjoyable and informative (a little trivia I learned is that the first barrels 3F used to age lambic were acquired from Pilsner Urqell, they still use them). In the Q&A session at the end, I threw out what I knew would be a controversial question, asking if they'd ever considered canning their beer. I got a friendly but stern version of "no chance in hell!" We left rather happily inebriated, shuffling back to the train to return to Brussels. This post is longer that I expected, so I think I'll cut it short here, and follow up with a post about the Toer itself, which was the following day.
  44. 4 points
    How about I take these Pym particles, go back in time, and punch 10-year old version of you in the balls? Then your childhood is ruined too.
  45. 4 points
    I’ve come to terms with the end. Because in the end, Bran was the “bad guy” of the entire thing. He knew everything that would happen from the time he became the three eyed raven, and did nothing to stop any of it. The line at the end “It’s why I came all this way” gets worse every time I think about.
  46. 4 points
    The full movie: It is funny. In past years YouTube surfaces these videos on this day. So I've been sharing it too.
  47. 4 points
  48. 4 points
  49. 4 points
    @Angel P I hate you.:) I went and downloaded the CLZ Games app and have spent the past two days cataloguing my collection. The app is fantastic but it’ll cost you $15 . At the moment, I’m sitting at 715 Physical games and I haven’t added my OG Xbox, Xbox 360, NES, Gameboy and GBA libraries yet.
  50. 4 points
    Those following the Retro Gaming Bug thread know that I recently picked up one of the AVS systems from RetroUSB. This is a clone console using an FPGA (field programmable gate array). What does that mean? Well, it’s not emulation. The FPGA circuit is programmed to mimic the functions of an honest to goodness NES so it’s more like hardware simulation that interacts with your carts in the exact same way as the NES would. It also means that almost no lag is being created by the unit either and it strives for accuracy above all else. Analogue famously released the NT and NT Mini a few years ago for a large price tag. The NT and Mini go a step further by actually using the Nintendo’s PPU units on board but there’s also an FPGA component to the system as well. Even the cheaper mini went for $450 and getting one today will cost you in the $1200-1500 range in the aftermarket. It was the Mercedes/BMW model of Nintendo FPGA systems. The AVS by comparison is a good solid mid-range Sedan with a great feature set, some niggling issues and a price point that’s much easier to swallow. Coming in at $200 shipped, it’s not going for pennies but if you’ve got a substantial NES cart library (and I do), the AVS is a cheaper alternative than having the HiDef NES mod installed or even a good RGB mod for that matter. Add in the cost of a Blinking Light Win 72 pin connector and you’re easily surpassing the cost of an AVS. So what do you get for your $200? You get a fairly good looking little console that is inspired by the looks of the in-development AVS computer. Here’s some pics of the unit including a shot of it compared to the real NES in size. As you can see, the unit supports both NES and Famicom carts (NA carts are front loaded, Famicom carts are top loaded). It also has the expansion port for the Famicom disk system as well. It includes a single HDMI out and it uses a standard 5v power supply unit via USB. It comes with both cables and adapter in the box. So with all of the standard info out of the way - how does it work? Well, out of the box, I connected the console to my PC and downloaded the scoreboard software on the RetroUSB site so I could update the firmware. That went pretty smoothly. I hooked the console up and set my video options right away. The unit outputs in 720p maximum which is great as it’s a good 3x integer scale for my 4K set. I prefer it over 1080p for the NES. The menu system is simple and fairly robust. I was happy to find FirebrandX’s unsaturated V6 palette available in the video options. For those unaware, the NES doesn’t support RGB without modification so the colors it has displayed via composite for 30 years aren’t RGB mapped. There’s a lot of consternation in the Retro community about how colors should look in these games. FBX is known for creating some of the best Framemeister profiles out there and he created a color palette for use with emulators and other products to approximate the colors of NES titles based on its composite output. So you get that as the first color palette selection here which is fantastic. Once I was done setting up the video/scanline options, I proceeded to test 15 or so carts. This is where I hit a pretty nasty roadblock. None of them worked.:( All of them would display a garbled mess as if the cart wasn’t being properly read or was dirty. I tested the carts in my own real NES and they worked fine. So shit! I have a bad unit, right? Well, I watched enough tear downs of this unit over the past two months to know how the pin connector for US carts is mounted. I took the thing apart, removed the pin connector and reseated it. Then I tested it and voila - carts started working. I still had some issues with certain games but those were resolved with a little 99% isopropyl alcohol and q-tips. So build quality wise, not a great start. Once I got to gaming though, the thing produces an absolutely lovely picture and suddenly I understood why I bought it. Here’s a few off screen shots of a number of games running at 720p properly aspect corrected at 3x integer scale. After about two hours spent with the unit, I have to say that I despise the way carts are loaded into it. You’re meant to slide carts in like a front loader and push them in but they don’t entirely line up well so you feel like you’re going to break the thing with too much pressure and they don’t slide in naturally. Sliding the cart in from a bit higher up helps line it up better but you gotta push in with enough force to hear it click or it won’t read properly. Taking carts out requires the strength of Kratos as well. My advice? Keep your carts clean and don’t try to force it too much. Frankly, I get the nostalgia play here but they should have just made the thing a top loader and quit fucking around. The front loader NES was a garbage design that the gaming community has spent years creating fixes and work arounds for. I’m not walking away excited to have revisited it here on an FPGA console in 2019 that could have done whatever they wanted design wise. Analogue had the right idea here with the NT and the NT Mini. I used both a standard NES controller and a Bluetooth 8bitDo NES controller with no issues at all. The unit supports 4 right out of the gate and there are button combos to return to the menus whenever you like (though it resets the cart). The AVS also has a built-in Game Genie that auto populates the codes for each game once it reads the cart. Pretty cool! Final thoughts? When putting in the carts isn’t pissing me off, the thing does exactly what it says it does. It produces a gorgeous 720p picture, has just enough video options for tinkerers like me to get things looking just right and feels like playing on a real NES from a lag (or complete lack thereof) perspective. The overall design is solid. It’s damn near 100% accurate down to the visual glitches and audio/music so it takes a right shit all over any emulator box out there. The unit has some decent weight to it so it doesn’t feel cheap but I can’t state my distaste for the overall front load design here enough. It’s not a deal breaker but it’s a huge missed opportunity that I’ll inevitably get used to. I’m going to keep monitoring how well this unit continues to work given the fix I had to do. I contacted the owner and let him know my experience on Facebook (he and I spoke prior to me ordering). If I end up having to replace the unit for any reason, I’ll let know. If you have any questions or want to see more shots, let me know!
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