What are you playing today? Sound off now!

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Matt Barton
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Are there any good Black

Are there any good Black Friday deals for the Xbox 360?

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Mark Vergeer
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The ones I made small videos of a little while ago

Donkey Kong
Ms Pacman
Dig Dug
Defender

All Atarisoft Nintendo Licenses ranging from 1981 to 1984 or something like that. I find myself going back to these quite often. Just for a quick spin. I guess I am more of a casual arcade gamer these days.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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retroc64
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I am/was playing Fallout 3.

I am/was playing Fallout 3. As always, I am initially drawn into the simulator by the incredible graphics, sounds, characters etc. I then get to a certain point and like most other modern games the aura of the graphics fades out and I am left with a shallow feeling, then I QUIT!

I am enjoying Matt's book and can't wait to try all these retro RPGs I am reading about. They seem to be more complex (in game play and strategy) than today's RPG.

Sometimes I love a game for reasons I still can't explain. I loved Crackdown but never got into GTA. I loved Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance 1 but couldn't get into Dark Alliance 2. I love the TimeSplitters series but can't seem to get into other FPS.

I just got through all of Arkanoid for the DS. Space Invaders for the DS bored me. Now that I am thinking about the great time I had with Dark Alliance I am going to load up Titan Quest and get through that.

My question to the group.

What are your oldest (release date) retro games you find yourself going back to or playing regularly?

Mark Vergeer
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Some emulation on the laptop I took with me to France

PSX - Mana just half an hour or so on the ePSXe 1.7.x PSX emulator
Browsed through some Atari ST emulation files, with help of an STX plugin I am able to run original disks I created with a disk imaging program that is able to create original protected emulator disk images with .stx extension. Steem and StainT are my emulators of choice. Pacifist was a great Atari emulator for DOS. Ended up doing some Buggy Boy and after that viewing some more recent Scene demos.

If you want to take a look at 30Mb worth of Atari ST demos, check out this

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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Mark Vergeer
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a PC vs Console war? Please don't
Matt Barton wrote:

......As for the compatibility issue, that could easily be solved (again) if Microsoft simply imposed a standard and setup some type of licensing system to ensure that each new PC was fully compatible....

And thus creating a DRM 'virtual console' running on Windows. Such a standard would be a good thing as I myself have experienced my new Vista PC not being able to play games with a good frame-rate giving me an enjoyable experience.
I forked out some money for a new graphics-card - which is more expensive than the cheapest xbox 360 btw - and inserted it into the system. It worked well for a couple of weeks until computer doesn't like being turned on - that is it will boot up the second time I turn it on. The first time it will not get past the bios screen cause there is not enough power to spin up the hard drives from a cold start. Turns out that my power supply is having difficulty coping with the new graphics-card. There's quite a number of posts on forums world wide stating that those seemingly easy to expand Acer desktop pc's have in fact a very small margin on the power supply and that by expanding - I did insert a 2nd hard drive and upgraded the graphics card within a 6 month period - you will exceed the energy the power-supply can deliver.

I need to go out and install a new power-supply to be able to accommodate my graphics-card AND my 2nd hard-drive. I find this PC-experience far from satisfying. And I am hardware savvy, quite a few of my family members would either come to me for advice in such situations or they will have to go through customer service and wait..... for it to be fixed.

Oh, a good friend of mine who is playing a lot of Xbox 360 has had his console give him a red-ring of death. So it is not all 'fun and games' on the console side either. Now let's all get off those barricades and talk about what games we are playing.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc. | www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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I don't disagree with most

I don't disagree with most of your points; it's more about the principle of the thing to me. I realize I am hypocritical to some extent anyway. If I were true to my principles, I'd eschew all proprietary software and hardware and use only GNU/Linux-licensed stuff, period. Obviously, I don't live by that, but still have great respect for people who do (especially gamers). PC gaming with Windows is about as far as I'm willing to go against my principles; going console would be basically declaring the war lost and giving up entirely. I know plenty of GNU people who do all their computing with Linux and then own a console on the side--claiming something like, "People don't actually need games, so who cares if they are proprietary?" I'm not willing to make that distinction, though. I maintain that (at least most) tech-oriented people "need" games as much as Office or whatever else they may need for their jobs. I don't see how people can really love programming or computers in general if they've never been drawn to gaming (or at least entertaining or creative apps), though I admit there may be some people who fit that profile.

In any case, if it's any CONSOLation, if I had plenty of money I'd obviously own all of it since I love gaming. However, with limited resources, I have to go with one, and I'd much, much rather have a top of the line PC than a P.O.S. and a console to console me. :P

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Bill Loguidice
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Tonight the wife and I are

Tonight the wife and I are playing "Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II" on the PS3 in PS2 hardware emulation mode. Great game, of course, though we're at another late stage in chapter 2 where one false step results in the character falling off the cliff, so it's one of those areas where you have to tread carefully. (we also watched a few more of the five minute shorts in the movie, Paris, Je T'aime, on Netflix on the Xbox 360)

I don't think I'll get to anything else tonight, but I do hope to unpack a boxed Vtech I.Q. Unlimited Computer. I also have an unboxed one that I have yet to test.

Unfortunately I also repacked for mailing tomorrow an unworking 5.25" disk copy of Nemesis, a rare CP/M Rogue-like from Supersoft. Howard Feldman had sent me the copy in the hopes that I could use one of my CP/M machines to run and copy it, and then image it. Unfortunately, it looked like the disk was not working. Here's more on Nemesis from Howard's site: http://vgmuseum.chaoticmonkey.com/loadpage.php?getgame=nemesis

The original is on 8" disk, but I have to make sure I have a working 8" CP/M setup before asking to see if I can read it.

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Bill Loguidice
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CvP
Matt Barton wrote:

I think one logical problem I have with your picture of things is that a PC is necessarily a productivity like business machine. That may be the case sometimes, but plenty of PCs (and gaming rigs) don't look anything like that. You can build a PC with gaming in the livingroom in mind from the get-go. Why not? There are certainly "Media PCs" out there that look quite good next to the HDTV. PCs aren't just on the desktop anymore.

I understand that and in fact Christina's laptop is optimized as a Media PC. The issue with even making a PC a pure media center system is that even with lots and lots of work and expense, it's still not full-time optimized for TV viewing. Again, why bother when an Xbox 360 or PS3 do that kind of stuff out of the box without having to tweak/tune/spend more and still not always get an optimized experience? That's the difference there.

Matt Barton wrote:

I'm not necessarily arguing that companies shouldn't make games exclusively for consoles. Why not? If there is less piracy on these systems and they can make more money, good for them. What seems stupid to me is that consumers are so gullible as to fall for this. If they refused to buy the consoles and the games, then the publishers would be forced to offer PC versions or go out of business. All you do by buying a console is make it much easier for publishers (and the console makers) to reap profits by (ostensibly) preventing piracy. In other words, I can understand it from the company's side, but not the consumer's.

Again, to say that consumers are more gullible is silly. That's implying that there's something wrong with the decision to go console. It's always better to use a device optimized for a specific function rather than one that isn't. PC's aren't optimized for gaming, just like my PS3 is not optimized for word processing. Yeah, you can do both of those things on each of them, but why would you want to? How is it better? As always, if you truly can only get one system, naturally you'll get a PC that can do everything. But I say forgo your next round of upgrades, Matt, and just get a current console. Join the fun with the rest of us. I think you'll like it!

Matt Barton wrote:

Then again, I think PC gamers have also made poor decisions by downloading so many illegal games instead of buying them. But, it could also be that PC gamers have been more discriminating.

I don't think they've become more discriminating, I think that they're just buying the games on their consoles to play with their friends...

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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Hehe, well I figure if we're

Hehe, well I figure if we're hashing this out again (what, is this like the 500th time we've had this discussion?) might as well rake the coals for what it's worth. LOL, maybe people will chime in.

I think one logical problem I have with your picture of things is that a PC is necessarily a productivity like business machine. That may be the case sometimes, but plenty of PCs (and gaming rigs) don't look anything like that. You can build a PC with gaming in the livingroom in mind from the get-go. Why not? There are certainly "Media PCs" out there that look quite good next to the HDTV. PCs aren't just on the desktop anymore.

I'm not necessarily arguing that companies shouldn't make games exclusively for consoles. Why not? If there is less piracy on these systems and they can make more money, good for them. What seems stupid to me is that consumers are so gullible as to fall for this. If they refused to buy the consoles and the games, then the publishers would be forced to offer PC versions or go out of business. All you do by buying a console is make it much easier for publishers (and the console makers) to reap profits by (ostensibly) preventing piracy. In other words, I can understand it from the company's side, but not the consumer's.

Then again, I think PC gamers have also made poor decisions by downloading so many illegal games instead of buying them. But, it could also be that PC gamers have been more discriminating.

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Bill Loguidice
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There's also an argument to be made that I use my PC for important things, I don't necessarily want to corrupt it or mess it up with games. There are lots of variables there. PC's are an integral part of our lives and we depend on them - I know I do - for a lot of important things, like work, paying bills, keeping track of my finances, etc.

Also, why do I want to spend - to lowball here - $800 on a good gaming PC, when I can spend say $400 on a console and not have to worry about it playing games made for it EVERY AGAIN? So let's see, upgrade or buy a new PC every three or four years or just stick with a console for an entire life cycle? Which one makes more sense? Which one leaves me more money to spend on games?

It's simple. I bought my Tablet PC a few years back and it will be good for work and important stuff indefinitely. If I used it for games, it would already be inadequate for most of the latest stuff. So why not split out the non-critical gaming function to a device intended for it, one that's designed for my giant television and full room surround sound? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

And no, I won't take back what I said about difficulties with PC installs. There are still difficulties, be it with or without game software. There was no good reason for instance that the astronomy software that came with our telescope would install fine on my wife's laptop but not on mine. Again, too many variables.

And Microsoft tried to standardize things with "Games for Windows". How did that go? Standardization is not an easy task on the PC side and it's something that hardcore PC gaming zealots will rebel against, who always want the new $500 video card. Those are the kind of people on the PC side who make life difficult for everyone else in terms of getting some type of standardization.

Anyway, it's too late, consoles are where primary development is already at for mainstream titles, with the occasional exception like MMOG's and titles like Spore. More sales, less piracy, etc.

And I know it's bating you calling console gamers "stupid", but the reality is they're probably the smart ones at this point rather than the people who spend hundreds of dollars on incremental PC upgrades just to get a decent frame rate!

Vintage Games book!
Xbox 360: billlog | Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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