TOKN Media KB16 Encoder Review
for an "economy" encoder? The TOKN KB16 is the new kid
on the MAME keyboard encoder scene, an inexpensive encoder that
still manages to include some "premium" features. So,
how does it perform, and how does it stack up to the competition? Check
out the review!
Perfect for Cab Lighting Mods
just stumbled across this handy external
power port bracket, just the thing for hooking up trackball
and coin door lighting (and even a cab fan, if it needs it. (It
sure beats the "remove the slot cover" method I used
for my coin door lighting!)
Grandma's Q-Bert Record Attempt
Doris Self is not your average gamer. At 80 years old, she's one of the oldest,
and she's not done yet: she's
attempting to re-take the world record in Q-Bert, a record she held back
in 1984. Can she do it? Stay tuned!
GameCab Inc. LED Driver Board Review
after a long drought, a new review on RetroBlast! This time I look
at the GameCab Inc. LED Driver Board, a handy way to quickly wire
up LEDs in your control panel with a minimum of fuss. It even includes
support for the IPAC keyboard LED outputs. Check out the review
over on the Product Reviews page.
49-way Joystick Review?
I've received a number of requests for RetroBlast to review the Groovy Game
Gear GP-Wiz49 adapter for 49-way arcade joysticks. Well, I've emailed Randy
Turner a couple of times, and have received no reply. I'll keep trying, and
hopefully get a response.
Trackball Roundup Update
I'm still waiting on the order from Happs. Sorry, no real news yet, but hopefully
Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days, was down with a bug. Feeling
better now, though!
Interview with SMF
Seidel has just submitted another great MAMEdev interview, this
time with "smf" (doesn't anyone have a real name anymore?
Anyway, it's a great read, and is now available
over on the RetroBlast Retrogaming Articles
page for your enjoyment.
More Blinky Lights!
after a long drought following the death of the LAME Arcade LED
lighting project, now the floodgates have opened. Randy Turner
of Groovy Game Gear has just posted
news of his new LED lighting project (including a video).
This is in addition to the ongoing BubbaBing/GameCab
LED driver project (with just added some new software mods
to MAME to allow blinking Start buttons in all games).
Of course, you'll want to be sure and check out the
translucent buttons that will soon be available! Looks like
a great time to start planning for a light up panel!
Arcade-Style Console Gaming
something cool if you live in the UK: the
Gameulator, an arcade-style setup for playing console games!
It looks like an excellent piece of kit, with fold down trays for
driving controls, places to put your other controllers, and diamondplate
flooring (so you don't put a hole in the floor when you slam your
feet down in anger ;-) Heck, there's even a "tent" available
for it so you can shut out the outside world.
There's even a special pricing deal on the cabs
going on right now through Gremlin
Solutions, so check it out soon if you're interested!
Pac-Man Sets a World Record
Pac-Man is now the number
1 arcade game in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Way to go, Pac-Man!
Weird Name, Great Idea
One of the things that made the arcades great was coming in and finding someone
had beaten your high score on your favorite machine. No, wait...what made
the arcade great was reclaiming your high score! Now a new add-on for MAME
promises to bring back the thrill of actual competition: Naked
Arcade is a utility that will monitor your game scores, and if your score
is in the top 50 of posted scores, it will upload your score to an Internet "hall
It's a great idea, and if it can be done without
cheating it should be a real blast (especially for those of us with
cabs that have an Internet connection!)
Nintendo Supports Console Emulation?
at least in respect to their upcoming
Revolution Console system. According to the article, "...the
system's slot-loading player will also accept and play the
smaller discs from Nintendo's current-generation GameCube.
However, the big news is that the Revolution's backward compatibility
doesn't stop there: the console includes a built-in emulator
that will let users download--for a fee, presumably--and play
just about every game from all of the Big N's past systems:
Nintendo 64, SNES, and even the original Nintendo Entertainment
AGP to PCI-E Adapter
a MAME system has been getting a bit more complicated recently,
due to the fact that most new motherboards only have PCI-Express
(PCI-E) slots, while the video card of choice for MAME systems,
the Ultimarc ArcadeVGA, requires an AGP-slot. Help may be on the
way: Albatron has announced an AGP-to-PCIE
Adapter Board, which might be just the ticket. Not too many
details available yet, but I'll keep looking into it.
Namco To Release 15 Retro Titles for Cell
The E3 announcements begin: Namco has announced that 15 of its classic games
are going to be released
for cell phones, including titles such as Pac-Man, Xevious, Pac-Mania,
and more. Hopefully the new releases are better than the awful official Pac-Man
cell phone game that's currently available!
Keeping the Dream Alive
So Namco closes down all of the Aladdin's Castle arcades — what's an
arcade operator to do? Open
the arcade back up, of course, and start acquiring your own games. The
true story of a true believer.
Dream Arcades Parts Store Opens
Just got word that Dream
Arcades now is selling arcade parts, and their prices are pretty good: 3-inch
PS/2 trackball with 3 free buttons for $59.99, a JAMMA wiring harness for $8.99,
and Pushbuttons w/microswitches as low as $0.65.
X-Arcade control panel had a "starring
role" in an episode of Alias recently, helping to guide
an RC "spy car" into a top-secret installation. There's
even a video clip of the X-Arcade's heroics available on the
This is perhaps even
cooler than seeing the
ER docs playing on a HanaHo ArcadePC...
Yup, Max Hutchison has updated his comprehensive MCM.ini categories
file for MAME .96, and when combined with MCM allows
you to trim the ROM "fat" and keep just the categories of games that
you want (and none that you don't!)
final missing piece in my quest for a light up control panel: a
whole collection of colored, translucent arcade
buttons! Just the thing for a light-up control panel (using
something like the upcoming "BubbaMAME" LED
driver board or the current LED driver board by GameCab
Inc. No word on pricing yet, but they sure look pretty!
Check out this series
of PVP comics about the 25th anniversary of Pac-Man. I love you too, Pac-Man...
(Thanks to Ron Brown for the link!)
Video Games Aid Stroke Victims
Yes, another article discovering that video
games are actually beneficial and don't actually turn our kids into goth-lovin',
Coin-Op TV News
like there's a new
webisode posted on Coin-Op.TV, an interview with Jon Gibson,
the curator of the "i am 8-bit" art exhibit in Hollywood,
Coin-Op.TV has a lot of other interviews coming up, and they're also heading
to E3, so there should be lots of other cool stuff coming soon.
Computer Space Emulator
everyone set the hands on your "Way Back Machine" to
1971, so that we can experience when Computer Space was first unleashed
upon the world. Don't have a Way Back Machine? Well, then check
out this new Computer
Space Emulator, so that you can still try out the very first
arcade video game!
Difficult Answers About Video Games: Free!
from the press release: "PublicBeta are proud to announce
the launch of their new ‘look’ site, and to celebrate
this development PublicBeta are offering their first videogame
book publication Difficult Questions About Videogames FREE
for a limited time only via
An "Open Source" Joystick Interface?
is unique: a "build-your-own" keyboard/joystick
interface that's being offered under the GPL license. Complete
plans are available. If you're looking for a customizable and cheap
keyboard encoder, and you've got the skills to roll your own, this
is probably something to look into!
The Ultimate Racing Game Interface
you're into racing games. Really into racing games. What's
the best possible interface for playing games? How about an actual
car? The "Real Virtual Car" project team have taken a
real car, stripped it down, and are now outfitting it as the ultimate
driving simulator. Everything from the steering wheel to the gauges
will be computer interfaced. My geek heart is pounding fast.
Interview with a Vampire (Killer)
up on RetroBlast is Bob Seidel's interview
with MAME developer R. Belmont. A mysterious figure who is
involved with a number of different emulation projects, R. Belmont
gives it up about his favorite games, controllers, and more.
New Pinball Site
I just stumbled across a new web site devoted to pinball: Pinballing.com is
the fresh new face in town, and they're looking for writers (sound familiar?)
It's off to a promising start, and the more pinball sites, the better!
25 Years of Pac-Man
There is a very
interesting article over on CNN/Money about the 25th anniversary of Pac-Man,
including the story of what inspired the now ubiquitous yellow guy (pizza,
What to see what the life of a pinball enthusiast is like? Check out this photo
montage video of Classic
Arcades proprietor Jeff McAfee's pinball-lovin' life.
couple of RetroBlast readers have written in asking what I found
out about the problems I was having with my Betson
Multisync arcade monitor. Well, first off, I'm very happy to
report that I now have a new chassis board set installed and the
monitor is working perfectly.
As to the problem with my monitor? Well, the board
failure I had seems completely unrelated to the recent Kortek monitor "retrofit",
which was related to a minor grounding issue. I'm not sure what failed
with my board set, but the bottom line is that all is well and the
monitor is once again working like a champ.
I'll report back in a few months if there are any
more problems with the monitor. In the meantime, I've got some games
2005 BYOAC Tokens
have begun concerning the design for this year's edition of
the BYOAC game tokens, so be sure and visit the message thread
if you'd like to add your two cents (or one token)'s worth.
E3 is Coming...
The Electronic Entertainment
Expo (E3) is coming up on May 17th-19th in Los Angeles. Hopefully we'll
see some retrogaming-related announcements.
a really good use for those new ultra-large plasma TVs!
None of this HDTV garbage, give me a Plasma
Pinball machine! It even includes a 37" display as the "translight/scoring" area!
There's a different
plasma pinball machine coming out as well, a cheaper version
(probably). Thanks to "Dead Dad" for posting the news
to play the original Pac-Man, but want a new "twist"?
How about a 3D Pac-Man emulator that uses the original ROMs? Check
out Pacifi3D, a Pac-Man emulator that translates the original
game graphics into OpenGL 3D. There's even a first-person perspective
for that "you are there" sensation. Thanks to Wolfram
Roesler for the link!
Video Game Music Concerts
Tommy Tallarico and the Clear Channel Music Group have put together a new touring
musical event titled Video
Games Live. Starting with a July 6 concert at the Hollywood Bowl and
continuing to venues such as Denver's Red Rocks and Boston's Tweeter Center,
the tour will feature orchestras, choirs and visuals such as laser shows
and footage of games, to be played live by audience members. Featured music
will include songs from several generations of games.
Working with Thermoplastics
to create a plexiglass control panel covering, but don't know Lexan
from Lucite? Will Yen has created a great guide on choosing and
working with the right plastic for your cabinet project, and it's
now posted on the RetroBlast Retrogaming
Dream Arcades New Upright Cabinet
upright cabinet kit has just been announced by Dream Arcades.
It looks great, and I especially like the unique hinged monitor
bezel and front access door.
Dream Arcades is currently gearing up for production,
and are offering special pre-order pricing discounts if you email
Looks like a cab news day — SlikStik is
offering a sale this month on their cab/controller "combo" kits:
$100 off the Quad or C02 Cab combos, or $50 off the Classic Combo. Is it just
me, or does that sound like a fast food order: "I'll have the Classic
Combo with a side of pinball buttons.
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