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The Retro Gaming bug


Romier S
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I did not play many of those either. I played a lot of Mario, Mega Man, Ninja Gaiden, TMNT and TMNT arcade,  the Disney side scrollers, plenty of sports games as well. Also was a big fan of light gun games. Oh and Punch Out also.

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51 minutes ago, JFo said:

 

I can’t answer that question, but I can ask you another. What were you playing back then? Shit like Super Pitfall and awful movie license games?


That’s a good question and one that I have been thinking about. I think part of the issue is that I did a lot of sampling, either through rental, playing at a friends, or borrowing that I didn’t get hooked on some like I could have or didn’t give them as much of a chance as I could have. 

 

I’d say the list of my most played games without Mario in the title would be Punch Out, Battletoads, and Hoops! along with games like Shadowgate, Captain Skyhawk (with the Uforce controller), Jeopardy, Rad Racer, Blades of Steel, Track and Field 2, Super Spike VBall, Adventure Island and TMNT Arcade. 

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My PlayStation modding is complete! The modder sent me photos of the work and is shipping the system out tomorrow! PS1Digital and X-Station installed.
 

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This little sojourn isn’t cheap if you want to undertake it. Total cost:

 

X-Station Kit: $99

PS1Digital Kit: $160

Mod Work: $215

 

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29 minutes ago, ChrisBardon said:

Neat!  Question though-is this a better way to play a ps1 games than on, say, a fat ps3?  I thought that still had the original hardware in it, so you'd still be getting full compatibility, but without the extra HDMI mods, correct? 


Yes. The PS3 does not output native resolution nor does it scale the image properly. It basically takes the non-standard 240p image and displays it in a pseudo-480p mode softening the image considerably and applying non-integer scaling causing shimmering in pixel set titles or games that scroll heavily. Playing disc based games helps as some titles will appear sharper but even then still lacking proper scaling in some instances. The PS1Digital pulls that native image and properly scales it to the resolution of choice maxing out at 1080p preserving an absolutely accurate image along with the ability to still use the Playstations analog output to feed into a CRT at native resolution.

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9 hours ago, ChrisBardon said:

Ah, I didn't realize it was quite that bad.  Analog outputs for a CRT are also good-it means being able to play Parappa the Rapper anytime without input lag. 


Indeed and that’s another advantage of the PS1Digital. It’s a zero lag solution so it doesn’t add anything above what your display is bringing to the table on the input lag front as opposed to some of those cheap Pound cables on the market which are just awful.
 

Also, to clarify - the PS3 isn’t a “bad” way to play PSX titles. It just has its limitations and downsides. In terms of ease of access/use along with cost? It’s probably the easiest solution for most folks who are probably not as crazed about accuracy as people like me.:) The reality is that most modern televisions don’t know what the hell to do with a native 240p image and the PS3 does a pretty decent job with it all things considered.

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So after about three days of downloading, unzipping and organizing, I've got my SD Card mostly setup (still copying files over). All together, just under 400 PSX titles loaded onto a 512GB card and I still have well over 130GB of space available for more but I've got most of what I wanted on there. I tested the PSX out yesterday and all is seemingly well. It looks amazingly crisp on my TCL 6 Series. I plan to add an HD Retrovision component cable fed over to my component switch to get it fed into my video chain for all of the CRT's as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...


There is a soft mod for the Original PlayStation that has just been released recently and let’s you play burned discs without a hardware mod. Having gone down a GameCube/Wii/Wii U soft modding rabbit hole recently, this is kind of interesting to see. 

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134565AE-BE3F-4792-8778-3587A4FDA35F.thumb.jpeg.461a3e5793d2749738626044c823219e.jpeg

 

I’ve dipped my toe into these waters with a Retrotink 2X Pro. Only just got it, so haven’t put it through it’s paces yet, but I did briefly hook my GameCube up to it through composite and it does look nicer. 
 

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I’ve also been working on Softmodding my GameCube. The memory card adaptor and little chip (called a SD2SP2) is for that purpose. To soft mod my GC, I also needed to soft mod my Wii..... and now I’m planning to probably soft mod my Wii U to also play GameCube games (which is what the controller adaptor is for). 

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If you're going through the trouble of softmodding a Gamecube, then for god sakes, get rid of composite. At least upgrade to S-video which when fed through the Retrotink should produce a really nice image.

 

When you're ready to make the jump:

 

https://insurrectionindustries.com/product/carby-v2/

 

Another option to the soft mod (when its available):

 

https://www.black-dog.tech/gc-loader-pnp.html

 

Super easy to install (its plug and play) and you'll never have to dick around with putting in a disc again.

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1 hour ago, Romier S said:

 

If you're going through the trouble of softmodding a Gamecube, then for god sakes, get rid of composite. At least upgrade to S-video which when fed through the Retrotink should produce a really nice image.

 


Oh ya. I’ve got S-Video cables sitting here waiting to use this with. The composite was just temporary while I got it set up and was waiting for the Retrotink. 
 

The Carby or similar device is certainly on the list of possible options, but we’ll have to wait and see. Since it’s a single use device, I don’t know if I can really justify it. The Retrotink is something I decided to finally get because it works with many consoles (and can even be used for VHS or something if needed). 
 

I went with the soft mod simply because the cost of entry was quite low, I already owned 3 or 4 of the games with save game exploits, and I can still use the disc drive if needed. I have no issue with having to load SSBM for a minute before launching SWISS.

 

The biggest issue I’ve had is just getting it going. This isn’t because there isn’t anything particularly hard you need to do to get it to work, but more that a lot of the tutorials are focused on one way of soft modding the console, and there are a lot of different methods, all with their own little details that are not mentioned. The tutorial I was following was using SSBM and I was originally using Wind Waker. For some reason the SSBM exploit allows you to boot SWISS off of SD Card, but the Wind Waker one has to be on a memory card. 
 

Also, the SD Card I was planning to use in the SD2SP2 doesn’t work with SWISS for some reason and I’ve spent way too much time trying to get it to work without any luck so I have to use a different one. 

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So there is a store near me that used to be an independent video rental store. It still does some rentals but is now primarily a used DVD/Bluray and game store. I never went in there though as I thought it would either be overpriced or mostly stuff I didn’t care about. 
 

What a fool I am. I went in there yesterday and was very pleasantly surprised. They had everything from 2600 and Intellivision to PS5 and Series X. Prices seemed more than reasonable (not that I’m an expert on what things are worth), and they had racks of used games for PS2/Xbox/GC up to current. 
 

I picked up a bunch of sports games that were on clearance (I have a weird thing about collecting NHL Games), a few common loose NES and Genesis carts and a Wii Motion Plus adapter (which I never got).

 

I may have started down a rabbit hole more than I’d like. 

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7 minutes ago, Graeme said:

So there is a store near me that used to be an independent video rental store. It still does some rentals but is now primarily a used DVD/Bluray and game store. I never went in there though as I thought it would either be overpriced or mostly stuff I didn’t care about. 
 

What a fool I am. I went in there yesterday and was very pleasantly surprised. They had everything from 2600 and Intellivision to PS5 and Series X. Prices seemed more than reasonable (not that I’m an expert on what things are worth), and they had racks of used games for PS2/Xbox/GC up to current. 
 

I picked up a bunch of sports games that were on clearance (I have a weird thing about collecting NHL Games), a few common loose NES and Genesis carts and a Wii Motion Plus adapter (which I never got).

 

I may have started down a rabbit hole more than I’d like. 

 

Welcome to my world a few years ago. What started as a simple want to educate myself on the best method of playing old school games on modern display turned into multi-thousands of dollars investment and an addiction to a sub-niche part of my already active gaming hobby. That's not me complaining either. I absolutely adore retro gaming and all that comes with it even if the prices/barrier to entry can be outright DAUNTING.

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3 hours ago, Romier S said:

 

Welcome to my world a few years ago. What started as a simple want to educate myself on the best method of playing old school games on modern display turned into multi-thousands of dollars investment and an addiction to a sub-niche part of my already active gaming hobby. That's not me complaining either. I absolutely adore retro gaming and all that comes with it even if the prices/barrier to entry can be outright DAUNTING.


Ya. I’ve been watching too many My Life in Gaming and RetroRGB videos lately. I am hoping I can avoid wanting to spend quite so much (not that I could even if I wanted). As appealing as playing everything on original hardware at the best possible quality is, I am usually just has happy playing these games on an emulator. The convenience of just picking up my Switch or Retroid Pocket (which hasn’t been quite as convenient as I’d hoped) and playing on the couch has just as much appeal to me as using original hardware. 
 

I would like to get some sort of replacement for my NES as I don’t think I will get mine working, a Wii replacement as mine has had visual artifacts for almost as long as I’ve owned it, and a small CRT soon, but I really don’t have any space to put it. 

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I’m going to be selling my RetroUSB AVS which is a fantastic NES FPGA that plays original carts and outputs HDMI at 720p.


I’m also going to be selling my Everdrive N8 which lets you load the whole NES library via SD Card.

 

If you or anyone else is interested, let me know. I’ll give you a good deal for both.

 

 

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I took apart my NES again today and it’s working OKish. I can actually play games. It seems like putting the cart tray back in may be when the problems start. 
 

Even through the Retrotink it still looks like hot garbage, but it still way better than hooking it up directly. I was expecting a bit more, but it seems like I may have had my hopes too high. 
 

I’d love and AVS, but I don’t think that will be in my future. 

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Playing NHL 94 on original hardware (if you can count the Genesis Model 3 as original) with with my old 6 Button pads for the first time in probably 20 years is a game changing experience. 
 

I’ve played 94 and other years of NHL on emulators, and even played the NHL 94 rerelease that EA brought out this year, and something just always feels off. I struggled to score in any of the ways I used to and the game just felt sluggish. 

 

Playing with the old 6 Button and whatever minimal amounts of lag there might have been from my TVs felt like I was playing it again in the 90s.

 

The proof that things are better:

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I did a bit more gaming on my old consoles tonight with the Retrotink. I was mildly disappointed with the first tests I did with it, but am finally seeing why I bought it.

 

On the GameCube I couldn’t see all that much, if any difference in the small test I did (I need to revisit this though as I was using a bad example), the NES still seemed really poor, and the Genesis looked good but I haven’t plugged it in directly to the TV yet to compare. 
 

Today my mind changed and the purchase seems completely justified. I played some Punch Out and Super Spike Vball on the NES and thought both of those looked quite good, and I actually quite like the look with the Retrotink’s smoothing option on these games. I was looking at SMB previously and that game just has some problems scaled up to a modern resolution with a composite signal. (It’s also very nice to have a working NES again).

 

I played some more NHL and then switched over to try out the SNES. 

 

What a gamechanger that was. I’ve never used a SNES with SVideo before and it looked fantastic. Nice and sharp, no artifacts, just great. I switched to composite through the Retrotink and, while it still looked ok, I was glad that I could easily see some very noticeable differences. Sometimes when it comes to these types of things, I feel like I have to convince myself that I actually do see a difference (which is what I was kinda doing with the GameCube) even if I’m not sure that I do. With this there was no question. 
 

Then, I hooked it up directly to the TV (with composite). It was literally the worst thing I had ever seen. I can’t even describe how bad it was. There were artifacts galore, shimmering, and in the map screen on SF2 there was this really bad flicker. The second I plugged it in, I couldn’t stop laughing. This is why you need some kind of scaler and I’m glad I have one now, even if it is just a simple one. 
 

I also found out that both the Start buttons on my SNES pads are not working.... so I’ll have to do something about that. Thankfully I had a Asciipad that did work. 

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