Yes, it's good seeing the front page of MAMEworld up
and active again, although no one can begrudge a man his honeymoon. Welcome
to replace the screen snaps in your MAME front end with some actual
movies? Check out Emumovies,
a site devoted to replacing each and every lousy screen capture
with glorious moving images! I hadn't visited Emumovies before,
but I've got to say I'm impressed: they've even got movies for
console games and hand helds!
that old broken wedgehead EM pinball and turn into a modern
electronic clock, with the score reels displaying the time!
This isn't some simple hack, either: the units include a remote
control to turn the display on/off, and can even be scheduled to
turn on or off depending on the time of the day! You supply the
pinball head, or pick from their selection.
Drinking at (B)arcade is good, bad
to make retro watches with Atari’s game graphics signature
nut sells out
SlikStik Quad Blank Review
the review isn't blank, the control panel is! Looking to build
your own ultimate panel, but don't want to do the woodworking?
If you're like Paul Kiefert, you've probably seen the SlikStik
Quad "blanks" for sale. Is it worth it, and can a blank
control panel make a good foundation for your dream systgem? Check
out the review and find
New Contest Coming
The contest is still a couple of weeks out, but I've noticed that my workshop's
gotten cluttered again, and it's probably about time to start clearing out
some of the goodies that are scattered about...
Super Ultra-Mega Massive Review
something like that. Actually, it's a "combo review" of
a bunch of stuff: Happ Controls 49-way Joystick, Groovy Game Gear's
GP-Wiz49, Mark Oates' 49-way Rotary Adapter, and Druin's Rotary
Board Interface (personally, I like "Super Ultra-Mega Massive" better
;-) Anyway, it's now available over on the
screens, but not store shelves: Casual games
Relaunches European i-mode Service
Game Auctions kicks off the quiet revolution
The Ultimate Fishing Game?
Quest", an extreme-looking fishing simulator. It's available
in both single units and group units designed for amusement parks.
While you're at the site, be sure and check out all of the other
unique coinop games offered by 3001ad! (thanks to Mitch Gerson
for the link!)
The Ultimate Control Panel?
like where certain keys are on your keyboard? Wouldn't you like
to just pick up the key and move it to where it should be? Check
out the DX1
Input System, a fully customizable keyboard with "smart
keys" that can literally be moved around on the "board." I
don't know how "MAME-friendly" this is, but I want one
for Half-Life 2!
Retro Games to Get Graphical Makeover
25th anniversary game to be featured on TV
Sale Scores Some Big Bonuses
New X-Arcade Cab Coming
happened upon this tidbit while wandering the X-Arcade site (and
yes, I do aimlessly surf retro sites ;-) — it looks like X-Gaming
is coming out with a new cabinet, a much nicer design than
their previous one (sorry, Quasimoto, I know the old X-Arcade cabinet
was your first cab design, but it was a stinker.)
No word yet on when it'll be ready or how much
it'll cost, but if you're a big X-Arcade fan it might be worth looking
Berzerk, the Board Game
never knew these existed: board
games based on several classic video games. The list includes
Centipede, Berzerk, Zaxxon, Frogger, and Q*Bert. Weird, but kinda
cool... (thanks to SuperMappy on AGM for the news!)
An Interview with StarROMs
off the cyberpresses is my interview with Frank Leibly of StarROMs.
The sole legal source of arcade ROMs, StarROMs has taken a supportive
approach to the MAME community. Have they reaped the benefits of
this approach, and what do they have in store for the future? Check
out the interview to find out!
Final Installment of Frogger Trilogy Poised
to Sweep Oscars...
according to the hilarious June
22nd, 2056 edition of The Onion. Absolutely hilarious reading.
it's exactly as it looks: Pac-Man
has been made into a guitar, specifically for Dave "Timely" Winer
of the Howards and the Baltimores. It even has a headstock that
blinks (no, it doesn't look like Blinky). Better yet, you can buy
your own for a mere $5600. Thanks to Scott Peterson (no, not that Scott
Peterson ;-) for the link!
+ RTS = YOOT SAITO'S ODAMA
scores for pinball wizards
Wow, this last weekend was amazing: I received five reviews or interviews,
with more due shortly! It's going to take a bit of time for me to go through
them all and prep them for the site, but it looks like there will be a steady
stream of new stuff on RetroBlast this week!
Morse, Alexander Graham Bell, and Pac-Man
industry pins growth hopes on female users
woman, 79, is one of top players of Q*bert, an ancient video game
TOKN16 Review Revised
do I put this delicately...um, well, there's no way to say this
other than I totally screwed up the initial review, and in a big
way. I've just finished re-testing another TOKN16 encoder, and
the results are, well, bad. Really,
really bad. "OmigodIcan'tbelieveImissedthat" bad.
I wish I had some great excuse for not catching the problems with
this encoder the first time around, but it's a major screwup on
my part, plain and simple. It's fixed now, and I apologize for
the initial review.
Coming up this week
Well, I had a very relaxing Father's Day weekend, doing as much nothing as
is humanly possible, but now it's time to get back to work. I've got several
articles and reviews coming out this week, including an interview with Frank
Leibly of StarROMs. As always, stay tuned...
Videogames: In The Beginning
Magazine is a review a book documenting the birth of the video
game, written by the man who actually built the first video game
system, Ralph Baer. What? Not Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari?
That's just the first of the surprises in this
Only Video Game Tournament (thanks, Tony Kwintera!)
Chomps Up Milestone
Blue Robot Saves Universe from Retro Invasion!
The New Trackballs are Here!
it or not, I just got delivery of the Happ trackballs for the roundup — the
months of waiting are over! Pictured are the 4.5", 2.25",
and 1.5" trackballs from Happs. The 4.5" ball is unbeliveably
huge (actually, so is the entire assembly!) I'm getting a custom
control panel "test bed" ready and will begin testing
Game Auctions Loves Gamers
Master’ Challenges Players To Competitive Drumming
Sectors’ Health Improves As Mixed-Use Competition Looms
The Frontpage Firestorm
I was expecting the possibility of some heated reaction to my front
page editorial, and I got it in spades (check out "RetroBlast
is a Traitor" for the full blow-by-blow account). Strangely
enough, I only got two emails about the editorial, both positive.
Anyway, check out the "traitor" thread
for my posting about what led to my position. I haven't "sold
out," and I certainly hope I'm not a traitor to the "MAME
These are tough times for the community, and trust
me, I've been thinking a lot about the future of MAME and retrogaming
got two reviews that I'm planning on revising soon: the TOKN16
encoder and the Wico leaf-switch joystick. Both of these "review
re-do's" are due to feedback from the BYOAC
In the first case, I may have missed some serious
drawbacks in the TOKN16 design, and in the second review, it appears
that the used joystick I obtained for the review may not have been
an "ideal candidate."
In both cases it's definitely looking like the
reviews were either too positive or too negative, and since my goal
is "just right", I'll keep my fingers in the porridge and
re-test new samples of both the encoder and the joystick. Until the
testing is complete, I've pulled both reviews from the site.
a new web site devoted to disability gaming: One-Switch
Gaming "is especially interested in games playable with
a single switch, and in campaigning for accessibility features
in all games." The site includes the winners of the one-switch
contest over at RetroRemakes,
including remakes of games such as the grandaddy of all video games,
Happ Controls Recognizes Cab Builders
More evidence that retrogaming (and MAME cab building) has gone "mainstream" — Happ
Controls has a new "PC
Arcade" section on their site, with a product selection tailored for
the hobbyist who is building a PC-based arcade cab. Happ even has Saint's excellent Project
Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine book for sale!
MAME on the PSP
Yup, it was meant to be: here are some photos
showing X-MAME .1 running on a Sony PSP. Only one game is working right
now (Omega Fighter), but it's a start.
Beware the "AutoFrisk"...
coin operated machines developed by Tim Hunkin. The auto-frisk
includes auto-inflating hands that "frisk" you, as well
as some unique, ahem, 'surprises' in store for whoever tries it
Be sure to also check out the "test your nerve" machine,
complete with a drooling robo-dog. Or the machine that can analyze
an auto-flipped coin to tell if it was heads or tails. And no, I
am not making any of this up!
Quick 'n Dirty Coin Mechs
Here's a site that details how to create
your own coin mech using nothing but a microswitch and some cardboard (or
your building material of choice). Simple, but definitely lacking the "shinnk,
thunk, thunk, thunk, ka-chunk" noise of a real mech. ;-)
New RetroBlast Advertiser
join me in welcoming ArcadeGames4U,
RetroBlast's latest advertiser. They've got an incredible variety
of arcade cabinet styles to choose from, as well as arcade controls,
parts, and accessories. They even have game room decorations! Well
worth a look.
See Star Wars III, Win a Pinball
Wars Fan Club is having a contest, and the prize is a mint-in-the-box Star
Wars Trilogy pinball machine. In their words: "Starting
this Friday, June 10, and running through Monday, July 4th, you
can make good use of your ticket stubs from Episode III Revenge
of the Sith. Send them in to the Official Star Wars Fan
Club to enter our See Star Wars Episode III Again Sweepstakes." I'm
surprised they've got a mint condition 1997 pin still in the box!
RetroBlast! Article in GameRoom Magazine
an article about the creation of RetroBlast! in the June issue
magazine, written by yours truly. If you're curious about seeing
a better shot of my gameroom, be sure and check it out.
games get extra life with new-school merchandise
wizard gets some long-delayed recognition
New UltraCade Products
all the recent controversy over the MAME name, I thought it was
time for me to pay a visit again to the UltraCade
site. I was surprised to find a redesigned site with a lot
of new products, including some very interesting PC hardware for
arcade gaming, like the USBLinx.
A Jamma-based interface, the USBLinx supports up to 4 joysticks
with 4 buttons each, 2 trackballs, and a spinner. It even has a
watchdog circuit to reboot the PC system in case of lockup.
Dream Arcades New Upright Cab
Arcades has now put up a web page for their new upright
arcade cabinet, including special discounts for pre-orders
until June 17th. It will be available both as a 'plain' cabinet
and also bundled with a computer system. It's got some unique features,
such as a "flip-out" monitor bezel, so be sure to check
Weird and Wacky Arcade Toys
just got to love the Japanese: they always have the weirdest toys.
Worldwide gaming vendor Lik-Sang has
a number of these arcade-related toys on their site, and all are
appropriately strange. Here's a sampling:
History of Nintendo Consoles (in mini-toy form)
Plush Toys (Full set)
Gives Away Arcade, No One Wants It
MAME and Ultracade: Another View
just posted a "guest editorial" on the Retrogaming
Articles page, an article entitled "Controlling the Classics!" from
The Stinger Report, an amusement industry news journal. The article
looks at the MAME / Utracade trademark fight from the industry's
perspective. It's a good read, and worth checking out!
Nintendo Promises Free Retro Classics!
As an incentive for their upcoming Revolution console, Nintendo has already
announced that the Revolution will ship with emulators for all of their previous
consoles. Now they've announced
that the retro-titles will be free. A breakthrough or a desperate gamble?
Game Convention Like a Giant Arcade
Gas Attack Pinball!
is a new high in lows: a pinball
machine dedicated to the wonders of gastric distress. Several "Gas
Attack" pinballs are part of the "Grossology" exhibit
at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Players keep the ball
in play by bouncing it off bumpers that represent foods that can
cause gas. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing for pinball,
but it's certainly unique! Thanks to James McGovern for the link!
MAMEroom Control Panel Design Service
Now this is a cool combo: MAMEroom has just released control panel
design software that can be used to design your own custom layout, which
MAMEroom can then build for you!
Posting: "Mameroom Designs LLC has released the latest in
control panel designing software. Design and layout your own
customized control panel to build yourself or have us make a custom
kit for you! MameRoom Designs LLC will soon be using this software
to manufacture custom control panels completely assembled and ready
to plug-and-play! Each panel will be custom made based on YOUR specifications!"
It certainly sounds great to me, and I'll be doing
a review of the software soon. (If you want to download the software, click
Seidel once again goes for twenty questions, this time with MAMEdev
extraordinaire Haze. Find out such gems as what his favorite games
are, his finest MAME accomplishment, and the stupidest question
he's ever been asked. This is an exceptional inteview and a great
look into the MAMEdev world, and is now available over on the Articles
Official Video Game & Pinball Book
of World Records
This year's classic gaming expo in the UK (CGEUK)
is teaming up with Twin
Galaxies to accept new videogame and pinball records. To quote the
press release, "Anyone interested in getting their name into the record
books will need to provide proof of their highest score. To do this, they will
need to video tape their entire game, and bring that video tape along to CGEUK
on Saturday 13th August where it will be viewed and verified by officials from
Screenshots of Midway Treasures 3
Looks like a good
collection of games in the third volume of Midway's classic arcade games,
packaged and served up for your XBox or PS2 console.
Guess Who's 40 Today?
MAME .97 Released
Yup, even with all the legal MAME trademark brouhaha going on, a new version
of everyone's favorite emulator has been released. Annoucement on MAMEdev.com,
binaries to follow on MAME.net.
MAMEdev Pulling eBay Auctions!
Well, the other shoe has fallen: it appears that the MAMEdev team themselves are
taking over for David Foley, and have starting pulling eBay auctions that include
the word "MAME" in the title. (VeRO trademark
Infringement letter) Enforcing illegal use of the MAME code and illegal
ROMs is one thing, but in my opinion this is seriously crossing the line. I'll
see if I can't get some answers from the MAMEdev team.
Classic Arcade Grafix Site Update
Saw a blurb on the Arcade
Controls site about Classic
Arcade Grafix updating their site, and checked it out. Very nice, and I'm
glad to see they're doing well, as they make good stuff (see review).
What happens when IP lawyers start playing video games? They get crazy
ideas about patenting game ideas. Nothing like throwing lawyers into an
industry to screw it up with endless lawsuits, and I really can't see anything
good coming of this. A frightening read. (Thanks to Sinner on A.G.M. for the
An Encoder With a Difference
something I found that seems like it might make a pretty good arcade
cab encoder: the
KeyDog provides 24 inputs along with keyboard ports, but what
makes it special is the "watchdog" circuit that monitors
the PC for lockups and reboots it if necessary.
It's designed primarily for kiosks, but if you
want to leave your cab unsupervised, this might be a great way of
ensuring guests can always play.
Slug 4 and 5 Released for PS2
Marathon Record Broken
Comes to the PSP
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