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Building a Retro Gaming PC - Part 3

I had planned to discuss software a bit with Part 3, however I've decided to focus on the hardware changes I have made to this system since Part 2. Some of these improvements have taken old hardware and replaced it with old hardware of higher quality. Other improvements have replaced old hardware with new hardware made in recent years. Nevertheless, the system remains retro. Taking old hardware and modifying it with the intention to slightly modernize it always creates the fear in me that my purist membership card will be revoked. While I have great appreciation for emulation and the programming behind it (I am a programmer, myself), I prefer the real hardware over emulation any day of the week.
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Building a Retro Gaming PC - Part 2

Let's continue the Retro Gaming PC Adventure(TM), shall we?

Since my first post, the machine has gone through a few minor revisions. I went with the Pentium build, and the system is coming along nicely. I'll detail some of the specs here.
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Building a Retro Gaming PC - Part 1

Dosbox.

I have to start this blog entry with that word because it is the most common response I receive upon stating that I am building an old PC. Emulation is great, but this is the real thing. I am going to build a retro PC. My question to you is - Which hardware would you use to build a classic gaming PC?

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Custom Xbox 360 Arcade Controller

Custom 360 Arcade ControllerCustom 360 Arcade ControllerI posted this a couple of years ago on another site, but I recently found myself thinking about creating another controller. I thought I would post my work here just for kicks and encourage those of you that want to try "hardware homebrew." It is really a lot of fun.

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3D Dot Game Heroes - Armchair Arcade Interviews Scott Strichart of Atlus U.S.A.

3D Dot Game Heroes for PS33D Dot Game Heroes for PS33D Dot Game Heroes is an upcoming game for Playstation 3 that is set to be released on May 11th in the U.S.A. and May 14th in Europe. 3DDGH has a distinct retro-feel to it, and I recently had the opportunity to discuss the game with Atlus's Scott Strichart.

Chris: Could you tell us your name and what you do for Atlus U.S.A.?

Scott: I'm Scott Strichart, and my primary role here at Atlus is a localization editor.

CK: What is 3D Dot Game Heroes?

SS: 3D Dot Game Heroes is a light-hearted action-adventure game that pays homage to the golden age of gaming. In it, you control a hero (of your making, if you should choose to do so) who must seek out the six legendary orbs of the six sages in order to stop the Dark Bishop, Fuelle. It's a retro game built with the power of a modern console, something that really captures the spirit of the games a lot of gamers (myself included) grew up on.

CK: Most of us here at Armchair Arcade have a deep appreciation for many games and their place in history. 3D Dot Game Heroes appears to demonstrate its own appreciation for classic games by way of satire or parody. Could you elaborate on this?

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Monkey Island 2 LeChuck's Revenge Special Edition to Feature Audio Commentary

The Secret of Monkey Island is my favorite game of all time for any platform. It is a bold statement, but it is true. We've seen a lot of news and product in the world of Monkey Island over this past year, and this latest bit of news concerning MI2:SI is exciting.

When SOMI was remade and released last year, the artwork and music were updated. In addition to this, the voice actors from the later games in the series were brought in to dub the original game. What put the word "special" in "Special Edition" was the fact that you could toggle between the old graphics and the new graphics to balance a need for updated art with that of nostalgia. That said, I believe that the original artwork to SOMI and MI2 still looks great.

The second entry in the franchise is getting a remake, and this time it has in-game audio commentary from the creators. Yes. That's right. In. Game. Commentary. Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman have provided commentary for an update to a classic adventure game, and it will be included in this summer's MI2 release on PC, X-box 360, Playstation 3, Mac, iPhone, and iPod Touch.

Commentary? For an adventure game? What took so long? Why hasn't this been done before?

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Diablo 2 - Back in Action

Diablo II. It just doesn't quite go away.

My first experience with Diablo was via a demo I played in 1996. I remember playing it and thinking, "I have GOT to buy this game." I have to say that as soon as it was out, it was in my hands. Seems like I even paid more money for it than I had to since I bought it at a mom & pop shop rather than a large chain. No big deal - It was game time.

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Gaming at Christmas Time - A Tradition

For the past several years, an old college friend of mine drops in around Christmas time to pay me a visit and play some games. This list of games is typically quite bizarre. My goal in this entry is to simply walk you through what we played...

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Upgrading the Atari 2600 to S-Video with Stereo Output

I finally completed another video mod for a console of mine. The Atari 2600 has been high on the list of consoles to modify for higher quality video output. It was my first home console, it has a lot of memories tied to it, and it also has a good library of games.

The first modification I tried was made by 8bitdomain. This was a rather frustrating experience as I had to actually perform some maintenance to his circuit after he sent it to me. I had to flow some of the solder to get the color back in the S-Video output. Installation of the chip was a snap, but the color output was too saturated. The images were smeared, and I was unhappy.

Enter the Longhorn Engineer. I followed his work in developing the mod - even bought a mod for the Atari 5200 a couple of years ago. The 5200 had a problem with vertical bars on my display. He has since improved the mods. I bought an improved mod - this time for the 2600 - and went to work.

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2009 Houston Arcade Expo

The Houston Area Arcade Group - http://www.arcadecenter.com/ - puts on the Houston Arcade Expo each year. I have attended every year since 2006. Each year I have an absolute BLAST, and this year was no exception. The Expo continues to evolve, and I am more than happy to pay my dues every year. In fact, this year I elected to do a sponsorship. I paid extra to get a T-shirt and two passes for the entire weekend. I was fortunate that my girlfriend was happy to join in the fun. I went twice with her and once by myself. I took a camera and snapped a few photos. (All photos available here: http://picasaweb.google.com/ckrtech/HoustonArcadeExpo2009# )

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