Retro gaming

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Retro gaming

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum » May 6th, 2016, 2:37 pm

Hi All.

So I looked to see if there was already a thread talking about all things retro gaming and I only found one about retro handhelds and emulation, so I thought I'd start one!

The reason for doing so is that I've been feeling all warm and fuzzy about the Saturn recently, sparked by a recent play-through of the XBLA release of NiGHTS via the Xbox One. Having dug my console out and had a mess around on a few of my old favourites, that’s it - I'm hooked!

I've caught the bug badly as well - in the last few weeks I've bought 7 games, an Action Replay 4 in 1 cart to make my PAL Saturn region-free and able to play RAM cart compatible games, and last night in a moment of weakness I spent £70 on a fully modded Saturn that's region free out of the box and 50/60hz switchable (the Action Replay-enabled PAL Saturn will be stored as a back-up!). I also find myself wandering into Sheffield city centre of a lunchtime every day at the moment and checking into our excellent indie game store Playtime, just to check if any new treats are hiding amongst all the copies of Sega Rally and Virtua Fighter 2 (you'd be surprised how often something great pops up - found the lovely Baku Baku this week!).

Now I've always loved the Saturn since making the choice to stick to my Sega roots and ask my mum for one for Christmas in 1996, while everyone except me and my mate Chris was jumping ship to the Playstation. But while I've revisited the console many times over the years, I've never become quite so obsessive and determined to amass a bigger library of games as I am now. While I’ve picked up the odd gem if it’s landed in my lap, I’ve let many more games go than I’ve added to my collection (some of which I’m regretting now!), but now I find myself poring over fan sites for leads on the best Japan-only imports while my eBay watch list continues to grow ever larger.

The Saturn is also now a permanent fixture plugged into the attic bedroom TV, and I can’t see that changing any time soon (much to my wife’s annoyance).

As of yesterday, my collection includes:

Athlete Kings
Baku Baku
Burning Rangers
Clockwork Knight
Clockwork Knight 2 (J-NTSC)
Fighters Megamix
Marvel Superheroes
NiGHTS Into Dreams (including 3D pad)
Panzer Dragoon
Panzer Dragoon Zwei
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Sega Rally Championship
Sonic Jam
Sonic R
Street Fighter Collection (J-NTSC - includes Super Street Fighter 2, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold)
Tomb Raider
Virtua Fighter 2
Virtual On: Cyber Troopers

I’m being quite picky and not adding things just to bulk up the numbers, and I’m hoping to add Waku Waku 7, Die Hard Arcade (probably the Japanese version called Dynamite Cop as it's much cheaper) and Cyberbots shortly.

So here I am, for the first time in my decades of gaming, finding myself a fully engaged retro gamer choosing to turn on a 20 year old console rather than my shiny Xbox One or PS4.

Are there any other retro game/console enthusiasts out there in the C&R community?

What are the consoles and games that you come back to time and again? Would love to hear from anyone who is into the even more niche worlds of the likes of Neo Geo and PC Engine as I know comparatively little about them!

Is there even anyone who shares my passion for the unique beauty of the Saturn? I can’t remember how I know this but I know at least Leon has dabbled!

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Flabyo
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Flabyo » May 6th, 2016, 4:47 pm

The Saturn is a machine that passed me by at the time, I was all about the PlayStation at university (more people had those, made for more game sharing opportunities) and straight after graduating I started working for somewhere that had dreamcast dev kits hot from Japan, so I ended up skipping over it.

My current retro obsession is the megadrive, the machine I owned as a teen but could never afford that many games for. I'm no a collector, so most of my buys are bundles of old loose carts off eBay, mainly looking for interesting curiousities that I've not come across before.

As a result I've got some truly awful things for it now (rise of the robots! It really is as bad as history says it is), but also found some genuinely fun and interesting other things. Probably the most expensive thing I've bought for it was Pier Solar, probably followed by the copy of midnight resistance that i got in a bundle with some other stuff.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by MagicianArcana » May 6th, 2016, 5:20 pm

I suppose I consider myself a retro gaming enthusiast. I've held onto all my consoles growing up and I still go back to them every once in a while. I was afraid to sell them as I got new consoles because I knew there'd come a day that I'd want to go back and relive some memories. I feel that the cash I could get from selling my old games and consoles isn't worth as much as the enjoyment I can have revisiting my favorites and discovering gems I missed out on.

I bought a Saturn recently simply because I was curious to play some of that console's classic games. I didn't even know about that console growing up. I thought Sega went straight from the Genesis to the Dreamcast. So far I got my hands on Virtua Fighter 2, Nights, and Panzer Dragoon Zwei. It's hard for me to justify spending $100+ on games like Shining Force III and Panzer Dragoon Saga despite how much I wanna play those. It's also been difficult for me to find Saturn games in general.

Of my old consoles I play my PS2 the most. I love JRPGs and the PS2's library has an endless supply of those haha

Lately I've been interested in trying Knuckles Chaotix. It's not too expensive so I may soon invest in a Sega 32x. I'm not sure if there's anything else worth looking into for that platform.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by mikeleddy83 » May 6th, 2016, 5:40 pm

MagicianArcana wrote:Lately I've been interested in trying Knuckles Chaotix. It's not too expensive so I may soon invest in a Sega 32x. I'm not sure if there's anything else worth looking into for that platform.
I had Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Doom, Metal Head, Kolibri and a few others. All pretty good but I remember Virtua Racing being pretty special and despite it's odd looks I really enjoyed Metal Head despite having a gut feeling I'd bought a stinker.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Alex79uk » May 6th, 2016, 6:28 pm

I owned a Saturn for a while, not new, but a few years ago before selling it on. I had a lot of fun with it. Panzer Dragoon Saga, Sega Rally, Clockwork Knight, erm loads of others I can't remember. It was a great machine really, shame it got so overlooked at the time.

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MagicianArcana
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by MagicianArcana » May 6th, 2016, 6:28 pm

mikeleddy83 wrote:I had Virtua Racing, Virtua Fighter, Doom, Metal Head, Kolibri and a few others. All pretty good but I remember Virtua Racing being pretty special and despite it's odd looks I really enjoyed Metal Head despite having a gut feeling I'd bought a stinker.
Ah I forgot Doom was on the 32x. Thanks for the suggestions, I'll have to look into those games as well. I'll probably stop by my local game store tomorrow to see if they have a 32x. If not I'll go to eBay or Amazon.

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martymcfly3004
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by martymcfly3004 » May 6th, 2016, 10:48 pm

How do you all connect these systems to modern tvs? Or do you have to use crt screens? Would love to try out the 32x and Saturn as they where systems I never got to try out.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Flabyo » May 6th, 2016, 11:21 pm

In the uk at least the 16 and 32 bit machines usually have some sort of RGB output available, you should be able to find Scart cables for them. None of them were packaged with one at the time, but they got them eventually. There's also a bunch of companies that make them still, specifically for the retro gaming market.

The Dreamcast has a VGA adaptor available for it, which gives a great picture, but not every game works with it. (Soul Calibur does, and it is glorious).

You can get various upscaling devices that will take that RGB input and give you a hdmi output for your newer TV. With those you get what you pay for, the cheaper ones are pretty awful and you're probably better just plugging the Scart in raw. There are some great ones out there though, some can add scans lines etc...

My megadrive is hooked to an old 14" colour portable TV. I've kept it for years because it has an RGB Scart input, but can also handle 50 and 60Hz source without turning black and white (which a LOT of Pal TVs will do with an NTSC signal)

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Sinclair Gregstrum
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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum » May 7th, 2016, 12:30 am

MagicianArcana wrote:
It's hard for me to justify spending $100+ on games like Shining Force III and Panzer Dragoon Saga despite how much I wanna play those. It's also been difficult for me to find Saturn games in general.
Shining Force III is always held up as a classic for the Saturn but I've never picked it up after finding out it was the first in a trilogy with a narrative that ran across all three games, with parts 2 and 3 only ever coming out in Japan (they just ditched the subtitle and called it Shining Force III in the west hoping we'd never find out I guess!). Panzer Dragoon Saga though. Wow. What a game. If you've got the capital to buy it (it does go for crazy money these days) then do pick it up, play it, and sell it on again if you need to. At least then you'll have experienced it and you certainly will have no trouble finding a buyer!

The Saturn was pretty popular in Japan so if you're struggling to find stuff in your country I'd recommend getting on eBay and looking for games from there. Because there were many more copies of things created for that market vs everywhere else, most things aren't too tricky to get hold of and are often much cheaper than a PAL or US NTSC copy of the same game. Other than RPGs and weird Japan-only dating sims which are sadly pretty impenetrable, most things are predominantly in English, and thanks to the Saturn's cart slot an Action Replay 3-in-1 cart can make your Saturn region free for around £25 (I bought mine new from Amazon, so not hard to find!).
MagicianArcana wrote:
I may soon invest in a Sega 32x
The 32X is a.....console/peripheral/thing.....I've been fascinated by for years and have come close to picking one up on many occasions. That whole period of Sega's history is such a turbulent and interesting time, and given that I've got a pretty good handle on the Saturn I feel like one day I should really go back and check out their other 32-bit experiment! The Doom conversion was touched on in the recent C&R podcast which you should definitely check out if you're interested.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum » May 7th, 2016, 6:54 am

Flabyo wrote: I started working for somewhere that had dreamcast dev kits hot from Japan
That's awesome! I was so excited for the Dreamcast that if I'd even seen Japanese dev kit pre-release my head probably would have exploded!
Flabyo wrote: rise of the robots! It really is as bad as history says it is
I vividly remember renting Rise Of The Robots on Mega Drive from Ritz Video in Melksham when it released and being blown away by the visuals! Silly 11 year old me.....

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Flabyo » May 7th, 2016, 9:57 am

The DC devkits were rather cute, they were sized in a modified mini tower PC case. Pictures and write up on it here.

I remember that GD-Rom burner being very temperamental. If there was even a slight bump or judder to the floor while it was burning it would mess up. We had to institute a ban on walking anywhere near it while it was doing its thing.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Alex79uk » May 7th, 2016, 2:46 pm

The Dreamcast could just run games burnt to CD though without any modification. Fatal error on Sega's part really, not to have any copy protection whatsoever.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by hazeredmist » May 9th, 2016, 8:59 am

I'm quite heavily into retro gaming but while I'd love to retain / re-purchase all my old systems, the emulation route is the only realistic way I can go since I can't dedicate a room to this. Already have a JXD handheld packed with emulators (highly recommended) and my next purchase that I'm waiting to receive is a customised Raspberry Pi which I've heard good things about for emulation. Classic gaming over HDMI and wireless controllers. Can't wait.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum » May 9th, 2016, 10:57 am

hazeredmist wrote: have a JXD handheld packed with emulators (highly recommended)
So these seem like a wonderful thing but almost too good to be true!

I've never got into the emulator thing, and I've casually looked into the JXD but never really got a handle on how it works.

Which one do you have mate?

Where do you get the game files from and how do you transfer to the system?

What systems can you/do you emulate on yours?

Would love to know more!

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by hazeredmist » May 9th, 2016, 2:22 pm

Sinclair Gregstrum wrote:So these seem like a wonderful thing but almost too good to be true!

I've never got into the emulator thing, and I've casually looked into the JXD but never really got a handle on how it works.

Which one do you have mate?
JXD S7800B http://www.gameseek.co.uk/pd/electronic ... b-edition-
Sinclair Gregstrum wrote:Where do you get the game files from and how do you transfer to the system?

You can either use the included "Happy Chick" app which has emulators included and direct downloads within the app for games, or you can download your own emulators and locate games (roms) yourself (Google best for this, legal grey area so can't advise on a forum, easy to find though!). I use option 2 as you will get the most out of the console with the best emulators (Happy Chick's aren't always the best) and packs of roms. Emulators I can advise on if you need it. Transferring games is just a case of copying to either the system memory itself or to an SD card, then linking your emulator's path to the same folder and voila.
Sinclair Gregstrum wrote:What systems can you/do you emulate on yours?

Currently I emulate: NES, SNES, Master System, Megadrive, GameBoy, GameBoy Colour, GameBoy Advance, PC Engine, Neo Geo, all basically perfectly bar issues with the odd game. There's PS1 which is good and PSP which has some issues with the odd game but a lot work well. I also emulate N64 which is a bit sketchy but a lot of games work well (Wave Race, Mario 64, Zelda etc) and Dreamcast which again is sketchy but some games are fine eg. Sonic Adventure. It can do a lot!
Sinclair Gregstrum wrote:Would love to know more!
It takes a bit of work but once set up it's a good solution. Not perfect, and you'll never fully replace the joy you had with the original system, but you have the convenience and the ability to play games you otherwise wouldn't, which is important for me. I suddenly remember an obscure GameBoy game I played when I was 11? No problem, I've got it loaded in seconds. Build quality and controls are decent and about as good as you'll get, I've tried other handhelds including the far more costly Nvidia Shield which is great but far too expensive for what it is with too many flaws, and all things considered this is what I'd class as my choice for a retro handheld. There is one I've seen that looks good and resembles a 3DS but I haven't been able to try it myself so can't really comment.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Sinclair Gregstrum » May 10th, 2016, 10:55 am

Thanks for all that mate - much appreciated insight!

I've already got a Vita and a 3DS, but I've only got three more games I want to get through on 3DS before I'm willing to part with it (that last Prof Layton, Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and Virtue's Last Reward) so once they're out of the way I might be able to justify the purchase!

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by gallo_pinto » May 11th, 2016, 1:27 am

Thanks hazeredmist! That's really helpful. I've been playing a lot of retro game recently on my Vita and 3DS to fill in any holes I have in some of my favorite franchises. I mostly started playing games with the N64, so I've been going back to all the Mario, Zelda and Metroid games on the NES, SNES and Gameboy and I've been playing my way the Metal Gear series on Vita.

But while it's easy to find games from those series on a lot of different platforms, I've been trying to find a way to explore some other retro series that are not as easily accessible in 2016. The JXD S7800B seems like a great fit, especially since it's portable. Thanks man!

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by zen_anarchy » May 13th, 2016, 8:49 am

I've had a GDP XD for quite a few months now and has been the perfect retro console for on the go, also because of its 3ds clam shell style design is able to fit in the pocket quite easy.


As for what it does all the android style retro gaming consoles (shield,JXD,GPD,etc..) seem to do the same things and generally play games the same as they all use the same emulators the only real advantage of the systems over a android based higher end mobile phone is that they have native controls built in.

GPD XD also has all the emulators built in already although they are not the best available are perfectly playable and easy to use just chuck the roms in the correct folder with most roms being able to be directly downloaded through the built in app happy chick.

apparently if you want to wait GPD are working on a windows based version of the XD with a working keyboard which looks very similar to the Pandora, windows handheld is going to be a very interesting machine as it will open up the ability to play all the lower end steam games and gog.

As for original machines owned, I have a NEO GEO aes with around 10 games which I still use for fighting games and a dreamcast, spectrum, gamecube, ps2 all not being used.

also picked up a jamma board recently with one of those 700 in one cartridges from china which I turned into a make shift bartop arcade by just attaching a old monitor and placing on a high table, basically like having a real arcade at the fraction of the cost.

here is a vid of some guy unboxing one


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Re: Retro gaming

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » November 14th, 2016, 1:03 am

I knew if I dug deep enough in these forums I'd find a retro gaming thread! :D

Recent releases don't always inspire, so being able to go back and play catch up is wonderful. The Saturn did pass my by at the time too, though now I own two! One was a PAL version, modded with Psuedo-Saturn, which I bought through eBay with about 100 games (on 100 discs), including games like Elevator Action Returns, Radient Silvergun, Dodonpachi, etc. None official versions of course, but for the price it was the best opportunity to play games I wouldn't have access to otherwise.

And my other Saturn is a Japanese version, with official games, like a proper versions of Dodonpachi, Astra Superstars, Soukyugurentai, Batsugun, Asuku 120%, Vampire Saviour (plus 4mb Cart) and I think that's it. Considerably smaller, but full of rarer, solid games.

Plus a Hori SS Saturn joystick... Sublime... :P

It's far from the only older system I own (I could bore you guys for hours), but it's nice to catch up with a certain period of time in gaming, one that I missed the first time around.

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Re: Retro gaming

Post by hazeredmist » November 14th, 2016, 8:12 pm

Joshihatsumitsu wrote:I knew if I dug deep enough in these forums I'd find a retro gaming thread! :D

Recent releases don't always inspire, so being able to go back and play catch up is wonderful. The Saturn did pass my by at the time too, though now I own two! One was a PAL version, modded with Psuedo-Saturn, which I bought through eBay with about 100 games (on 100 discs), including games like Elevator Action Returns, Radient Silvergun, Dodonpachi, etc. None official versions of course, but for the price it was the best opportunity to play games I wouldn't have access to otherwise.

And my other Saturn is a Japanese version, with official games, like a proper versions of Dodonpachi, Astra Superstars, Soukyugurentai, Batsugun, Asuku 120%, Vampire Saviour (plus 4mb Cart) and I think that's it. Considerably smaller, but full of rarer, solid games.

Plus a Hori SS Saturn joystick... Sublime... :P

It's far from the only older system I own (I could bore you guys for hours), but it's nice to catch up with a certain period of time in gaming, one that I missed the first time around.
Ace! As someone heavily into retro gaming but almost fully down the emulation path the Saturn is a console that eludes me since emulating it is pretty much a non-starter, though I do have very fond memories of it. I gave mine away waaaaay back in the day.

These days I do my retro gaming on a Raspberry Pi with bluetooth controllers (seriously convenient. I can't go back to wired) and I sold my JXD to get another Nvidia Shield Portable handheld. Also have a modded PSP.

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