msx

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Mark Vergeer's picture

SV-328 Microcomputer - pickup / lot


I got myself a new system (SV-328) in a pretty complete lot. Mind you I was pretty tired when I filmed this so bare with me. Check out what I got.

Spectravideo, or SVI, founded in 1981 as "SpectraVision" by Harry Fox was a US based firm. SVI originally made video games for the VIC-20 and Atari 2600 consoles. They also made Atari compatible joysticks and many C64s actually were completed with a set of Spectravideo joysticks. Some of the later computers were MSX-compliant and some even IBM PC compatible. SVI folded in 1988.

The SV-328 is an 8-bit home computer introduced by Spectravideo in June 1983. It was the business-targeted model, sporting a full-travel keyboard with numeric keypad. Making it look like a professional machine that could compete with the big professional systems out there. It has 80 kB RAM (64 kB available for software & 16 kB video memory). Other than the keyboard and RAM, this machine was identical to its predecessor, the SV-318.
The SV-328 is the design on which the later MSX standard was based. Spectravideo's MSX-compliant successor to the 328, the SV-728, looks almost identical, the only immediately noticeable differences being a larger cartridge slot in the central position (to fit MSX standard cartridges), lighter shaded keyboard and the MSX labels.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Alpha Roid (MSX1, 64K)


Lloyd Alpha (? ROID) is a great little game produced by Pony Canyon in 1986. In it you have to destroy the evil forces of the Barugosu and repair the main computer. Well that is as elaborate as the background story of this shooter is going to get.

My European copy of the game comes with a nice cassette inlay but apart from a few lines of backstory there isn't any instructions on the gameplay included. The version I play here is the bare NTSC cart I also own. The Japanese version supposedly comes with more detailed instructions on how to play the game.

In my little gameplay (I didn't really know how to play this game) I didn't go into the holes (craters) that appear on the surface. And you are supposed to do so. Fly into those and the game turns into a little fighting game where you have to hit, kick, jump around to battle against those meanies. So there's more to this game than meets the eye. Check it out for yourself.

Here's a little clip of a guy who actually knows how to play this game and it shows the subterranean battling of the robots
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQL_fWcT0Pc

Mark Vergeer's picture

Happy 30th Birthday MSX!


The MSX computer standard has turned 30! Incredible how time just whizzes past. Popular throughout Europe, Russia, Asia and South America. And one should not forget the following in New Zealand and Australia. A lot of users are still actively using the machines.

In celebration of the 30th birthday of the MSX I acquired a new Japanese MSX2 system. It has an issue with the sound sadly - the sound comes out very very low. It's still there but at a very low volume. Probably is a capacitor problem. I will eventually try to fix that.

The Ren-Sha function turns out to be an auto-firing system.

And here's a link to my MSX video playlist if you want to check out more videos on MSX

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Gradius II - Gofer no Yab? (PCEngine)

A great game from the Gradius series, this is the Gofer Gradius II game on cd-rom running on the Duo-R/PCEngine console. There's also a port of this game on the MSX systems. One of the amazing features of this game is the giant suns and firebird on the first level. Hard as nails!

In 1985 Konami released a great game called Gradius (also known as Nemesis) in the arcades but also on home computer systems and consoles. It was heavily inspired after Scramble which was released in 1981 and is considered the precursor or start of the series. In this video I play all the MSX cartridges that I own of the series. There are more games for the MSX though and a whole plethora on other systems as well. One of my favorite shmup series.

Mark Vergeer's picture

What Platforms Did You Envy Back In The Day?

Back in the day one often didn't have access to all current platforms that were out there, especially in the 80s en 90s. Often we were limited to a single specific system in the home or we dreamt about owning a system/console/platform that seemed beyond our reach. A lot of people made up for that by creating a collection of things we did and didn't have access to back in the day just to fulfill those dreams and hopes of days gone past. A games-room or home-computer collection is the net result of that.

Still it is interesting to see what were the systems you longed for/ wanted to own but didn't back in the day or even today? This video is my answer to this question.
An open TAG by Rhydermike which can be found here.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Zanac X (PS1)

In this video I take a look at the Japanese Playstation disc with the game Zanac X which is becoming more rare by the day :( Go check it out.

Zanac is a very cool series of Shmup games created by Compile. The game originated on the MSX and NES but also found its way on many other systems like this Playstation One version. It's very similar to other Compile shmups like PowerStrike, Aleste, Super Aleste, M.U.S.H.A. All these games feature a similar weapons system.

Other good Compile shmups are Blazing Lazers on the TG16 and Gunnac on the Nes.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Boggy'84 (MSX & Arcade)

A nice little platformer with gameplay somewhat remeniscent of that of Burgertime & Mappy. It was brought out on the MSX platform in Japan and also had an Arcade version out in Japan.
In this clip I show the MSX version and the Arcade version and talk a little about the differences between the two and try to play the game as well.

Taito released this in 1984.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Making My Collection Usable - Part II - The Commodore Amiga (photos)

As mentioned previously, I've been going great guns in an attempt to make my overly large collection of 400+ videogame and computer systems more accessible and immediately usable. In other words, figuring out how to waste less of my precious time setting up this stuff and use more of that time actually using what I want to use. Part of that initiative is to take the most "important" computer and videogame systems and put them front and center - and ready to go - in various rooms. I'll discuss the classic videogame consoles in more detail in another post, but basically I've set up a 32" Sony Trinitron CRT to supplement the other basement TV and can now plug in various consoles in that area quickly and easily, though I've changed up where (and how) I'll be making the actual systems themselves accessible. Anyway, where last we left off, I couldn't get my Amiga 600 or 1200 to work, which left me to choose between my Amiga 500, 1000, or 2500HD (with 8088 Bridgeboard). I chose the latter.

With the above in mind, it was of course bugging me that neither the 600 or 1200 were working, so I resolved to address the issue within my limited skillset, and of course when time permitted. Long story short, the 600 is dead, but the culprit in the 1200 was a deceased 40MB hard drive, which was easy enough to remove and replace with a Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software. In the mean-time, I also got a PAL Amiga 1200, stock, with its own Compact Flash adapter and card with the OS and additional software.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Making My Collection Usable - Part I - The Classic Computers (photos)

As mentioned previously, I've been re-thinking my collecting activities, including selling off the non-working and duplicate portions of my collection, which presently consists of over 430 videogame and computer systems and countless thousands of related software, accessories, and literature. Naturally, part of that reasoning was "thinning the herd" after all these years, because - even though I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space for these types of activities - it has long since reached the point where I well and truly have too much to handle. Why has this become an issue? There's simply too much stuff, there's no time to use it (that would need to be my full-time job), and, when I do want to use it, it takes up most of my available time just setting something up, only to have to break it down and put it back on the shelf again. It's innefficient, and frankly, no fun anymore.

With that in mind, in addition to the thinning - which will take a very, very long time of course in a collection I've been cultivating for over 30 years now - I've been plotting how I can make better use of what I have. Like I said, I am thankful to have a relatively generous amount of space. I have a large basement area, with about half unfinished, which is used for storage, and the other, finished half, consisting of an office room, hallway, workout area, and den area. The main floors of our house contain our active systems, including the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, Co-Star, various computers and handhelds, etc., but they are not an option for me to make use of for classic items, other than on an occasional basis. That just leaves the basement, which is, of course, fine, but also limits my flexibility.

Anyway, even though each area of the basement is brimming with stuff and each section serves a specific purpose, either on a permanent or temporary basis, I decided that my best course of action is to pull out the truly must-have-accessible systems from the hundreds available and make them accessible at a moment's notice. This was not easy to do, as I have a genuine passion for each and every system I own, but the bottom line is is that some systems are more interesting, more "useful," or I simply have a critical mass of items for them that they can't be ignored. I decided I'd tackle that task with my classic computers first, followed by my classic videogame systems at a later date. I cleared space on my big L-shaped computer desk in the office area and proceeded to select the systems that met my criteria and would fit on the desk (I'll have some flexibility when I set up the classic videogame consoles to make a little use of the den area as well).

While I have many different models in most of the specific computer series I selected, I tried to choose the one model in my collection that would give me the most bang-for-the-buck. This in and of itself was not easy, as there's rarely a "most perfect" choice when it comes to choosing the ideal model in a series, which in this case also involved being a good fit for the available space. The systems I chose were as follows: TI-99/4a, Apple IIgs, Atari 600XL, Atari Falcon, Commodore Amiga 2000HD, and Commodore 128DCR, with a special appearance by the Radio Shack Color Computer series, which I'll explain at the end. So yeah, as hard as it was, no Sinclair Spectrum, BBC, IBM PCjr, Coleco Adam, Imagination Machine, MSX, Interact, Exidy, etc., etc., items, even though I'd love to have those out and ready to go as much as the others.

My initial goal - which I was able to accomplish - was to set up a basic system configuration for each and make sure it was working properly. I actually had a slightly different mix of specific systems, but, after testing, found some things didn't function as expected or didn't work at all. Over time, I'll add to each system I've set up (and address the other stuff that's not working) until each and every one is set up properly with their respective disk drives, flash cards, transfer cables, etc., to be fully usable with all of the stuff I have available. At the very least, with these minimum configurations, they're ready to go for most quick usage scenarios. I also decided it was important not to have any of them plugged in full-time, so everything gets hooked up and powered up on demand. This is actually simple and will not delay my usage in any way. In fact, the way I have the various monitors and TV's set up, I can hook up other systems as needed without too much fuss, which is another bonus. Anyway, here are the photos and additional explanation:

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Zaxxon (Arcade)

A link to a great comparison video by http://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHistorySource
http://youtu.be/a9FDaHxVrCE

Zaxxon, I believe this is one of the first isometric arcade games out there. It was developed and published by Sega in 1982 and one could call it a so called 'isometric shoot'm up'.

Many ports were created on various platforms like: Apple II, Atari 8bit home computers, MS-DOS (CGA), Atari 2600, MSX, Commodore 64, Dragon32, Colecovision, Intellivision, Sega SG-1000, TRS 80 Coco.

The 2600 and Intellivision versions didn't use the isometric viewpoint and are much unlike the others.

The Amstrad CPC, BBC micro computer and Ti/99 reveived well done but unliscensed ports.

Soundtrack intro created by
http://www.youtube.com/user/ZombieAndy1979

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