New 49-way Joystick Interface
their new "GP-Wiz 49" 49-way joystick interface.
A lot of neat features on this baby: it shows up as a USB gamepad,
with full analog input, and also includes a "mode switch" system
which allows you to restrict the joystick to 8-way, 4-way, and
even 2-way (U/D or L/R). It even includes an additional 23 inputs
for other buttons or joysticks.
Retro Revival Issue 3
A new issue of Retro Revival is available
for download. Highlights:
- The first published review ANYWHERE of Retrovision
5, along with an interview with Mark Rayson, the organiser.
- Our 8 page look into the Dreamcast homebrew
scene and how to play retro games on Sega's classic console.
- The start of several new columns including:
Mame & Cabinet Building
Retro Game Remaking
The Commodore C16 / Plus 4
'How To' where we look at connecting a SNES pad to your PC and also guide
you in cleaning your retro gaming equipment.
- And much more.
Cool Pinball Mod from Kelsey!
just love when video gurus come out as closet pinheads (and I mean
that in a good way ;-) Kelsey of Oscar
Controls has posted
details of his very excellent EL lighting mod for the Creature
from the Black Lagoon pinball machine, making this game even cooler
to play in the dark. Blinky lights...I just love blinky lights...
Update: fixed the broken link. Sorry!
New MAME Tweaks for MAME 0.93!
SA Dev has released a new, updated
set of MAME source code patches. These patches add a world of new features
to MAME, and the latest release even adds a new tweak: highpri.scr, which "makes
the high_priority flag work as I think everyone expects it to."
Retro Game Programming Unleashed!
Want to learn how to program games on your Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari 400/800
or TRS-80 Color Computer 2? It's a good thing you've waited until now, since "Retro
Game Programming: Unleashed for the Masses" has just been released.
The Ultimate Pinball Sound System?
Check out this ebay auction for the ultimate
pinball sound system. I wonder if it comes with a safety harness to keep
from getting blown away...
Get in Shape with Maya
Want to get a good workout but can't put down that gamepad? Well, here's a
solution (check out the
kilowatt for another videogame exercise idea). Maya
is a "virtual personal trainer," willing to work with you for
endless hours for only $39.95. Thanks to Jonathan Imberi for the news!
Another Public Statement by Ultracade
This is getting old, but I thought I'd point out another attempt
by David Foley of Ultracade to put a positive spin on his attempted theft
of the MAME logo and phrase.
MAME 0.93 Released
The 0.93 has just been released
on MAME.net. I've been following Aaron Giles' massive update to the sound
subsystem (see the whatsnew.txt
file for details), so I'm excited to see he's gotten out the door.
SlikStik's Got Balls...
they glow! Those are lighted
ball-top joystick handles in the photo, lit with low-power
ultrabright LEDs. One of them is even a color-cycling LED.
This takes control panel "bling" to a
whole new level, and I've got to commend SlikStik for coming up with
another unique product!
The MAME trademark fiasco has taken a few interesting twists in the last day.
For one thing, David Foley of Ultracade has posted this
message to the MAME community. In addition to announcing that the MAME
development team will get their trademark back, one of the more unexpected
tibits in the message is the mention of an upcoming "iROMs" service
from his company.
This is a good idea, and I only wish it was coming
from a different company. If retrogaming is to grow as a hobby, it
needs a legal source of ROMs. I look forward to seeing how the service
is operated, and also await an apology from David Foley for his actions
against the MAME community and legitimate MAME businesses.
reviewer James McGovern has started
a blog detailing his planned restoration of a Tron game he
recovered from a local warehouse. Judging from what he's having
to start with it may turn out to be a Quixiotic quest, but the
attempt should make for a good read, no matter how it turns out.
what the UPS driver dropped off today: a cool single-player control
panel from Next
Arcade (part of TLC Industries). I'll be giving it some thorough
playtesting...for the review, of course. You don't think I do this
for fun, do you?
Quasicade 2 Review
keyboard is still smoldering, but I've iced down my fingertips
and uploaded my review of the Quasicade 2 cabinet by Quasimoto
Interactive. Built for console gaming systems, it tries to marry
modern gaming with a classic gaming form factor. Does it succeed,
and more importantly, how is it for MAME gaming?
Visit the RetroBlast
Product Reviews page and find out!
New Oscar Controls Spinner!
of Oscar Controls has just announced the V2
Spinner and Push Kit, a "small footprint" version
of his excellent Vortex spinner. In addition, there's also an add-on
kit to add push capabilities to the spinner ("pull" functionality
will be added later). It's certainly a cool looking spinner, and
I hope to be able to review it sometime in the near future. Just
look at the size of that flywheel!
Yes, the Ultracade fiasco has driven me to putting up a trademark notice for
the RetroBlast! name. Better safe than sorry, I suppose...
The 50 Most Important Games
1UP has posted a list of the "Top
50 Most Important Games." While some are good choices, some are really
off the wall: #22 is "The Macintosh"? And besides, where's Robotron:
this is one truly cool looking MAME cabinet: The
Spincade web site has just been launched. I've lusted after "1UP"'s
spinning control panel cabinet ever since he first showed pictures
of it on the BYOAC forums. Now you can buy a complete cab or a
kit with the same amazing rotating control panel. Me want...
A Life in Bells and Whistles
Want to live the exciting life of a pinball repair tech? Check
out this article about what is, unfortunately, becoming a dying breed.
Article on TLC Industries
There's a very interesting profile
piece in the Chicago Daily Herald about TLC Industries (maker of the Nextarcade).
Ultracade Tries to Trademark MAME!
David Foley of
Ultracade has filed for trademark protection for both the terms "MAME" and "Multiple
Arcade Machine Emulator", including the MAME logo! He is using
his trademark claim to shut down any eBay auction that mentions
MAME (including cabinets), and has also hinted that MAME itself
Since the news broke last night, Mr. Foley has
backpedaled a bit (see his site for two statements on the situation)
but until this trademark situation is resolved, MAME is under a very
real threat. I'll post updates as I find out about them.
Mr. Foley has been busy — I've now been shown several emails
where he is demanding agreements and royalties from companies such
as EMDkay Marquees regarding their use of his "trademarked" MAME
logo. He's hitting the whole community, it seems, with what amount
to "cease and desist" letters.
Update 2: Lots of good
discussion going on about this situation:
Mr. Foley has noticeably softened his stance (see
the Ultracade front
page) after all the attention, but he has yet to withdraw his
RetroBlast is Back Up!
A site snafu last night locked out everyone from RetroBlast, but I'm happy
to report the site is back up and running (obviously ;-)
Quasicade 2 Video Review
I've finally managed to tear myself away from the cabinet to actually
complete my video review of Quasimoto
Interactive's wonderful Quasicade 2 gaming system. Everything you
need (just add console or PC) for a truly amazing gaming experience!
The written review will be ready in a couple of days.
Eugene Jarvis Wins Lifetime Achievement
My favorite game designer, Eugene Jarvis, has won this year's International
Game Developers Association's Game Developers Choice Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The designer of such classics as Defender and Robotron: 2084, Eugene Jarvis
is a god, I tell you...a god!
In a unique bit of reverse migration, an arcade version of Mario Kart has been
Kart Arcade Grand Prix will use the Triforce arcade system to bring Nintendo
gaming fun to Japanese arcades.
Sopranos Pinball Review
Pinball News has posted a
very extensive review of the new Stern Sopranos Pinball. Bada Bing!
Now that is a gameroom!
I can say is: wow! Check out this
photo gallery of Peter Hirschberg's incredible gameroom. He's
got an impressive collection of games, from a wide variety of time
periods. Look closely and you'll even see a "Tail Gunner 2" cockpit
cab — I didn't even know there was a Tail Gunner
2 game! Thanks to Greg Thorpe for the link!
Quasicade Review Sneak Preview
still working on the review of the Quasicade2 cabinet by Quasimoto
Interactive, but I thought I'd go ahead and put up a "sneak
preview" page with some photos to hold everyone over until
I can finish the full review.
(You know, it's really hard to make progress when
you keep stopping to play another game or two!)
for the ultimate breakout game? Check out my review of Nurium's
BreakQuest, an exciting new twist on a tried-and-true classic genre.
So, what does BreakQuest add to the mix that makes it so unique?
Head on over to the RetroBlast reviews
page and check out the review!
Wireless Ms. Pac-Man
Yup, Jakks TV games (the integrated all-in-one units that plug into your TV:
see my review) have now
gone wireless. Thanks to Jonathan Imberi for the news!
Midway Arcade Treasures 3
Wow, they just keep on coming: Midway
has announced the third volume of their "Arcade Treasures" series,
this time focusing on driving games. Some good stuff in this one!
The Ultimate History of Video Games
got a special treat today, a review submitted by Jonathan Imberi
of the book The
Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokemon,
the Story Behind the Craze That Touched Our Lives and Changed the
World. Chock full 'o info about the people and games that
shaped an industry, this is a fascinating look into the video games
industry. Thanks, Jonathan!
We have Winners!
The raffle winners have been picked. Congrats to Gary Bowden for winning the
Wells Gardner D9200, and to Michael Durham, who won the Dream Arcades Cocktail
This concludes this round of giveaways on RetroBlast,
but don't worry, I'm certain there will be other contests in the
SlikStik Free Upgrades
I just got an email from SlikStik announcing a couple of very nice free upgrades:
"For the next two weeks we are giving away
some free upgrades:
1. Free double pinball buttons and free trackball
light on all panel orders. Use coupon code FDPTBL on checkout.
2. Two free SS colored aluminum joystick handles
on a purchase of a Cabinet/panel combo kit. Use coupon code 2SSAluminum
Offer expires 03/01/05. Retail purchases from our
website only, no substitutions."
Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter either the Wells-Gardner
D9200 arcade monitor raffle or the Dream Arcades Side-by-Side Cocktail Arcade
System raffle. I'll be picking the winners at random tomorrow morning, and
will be announcing the winners on the front page of
Get in Shape — Play Video Games
suppose it had to happen: someone's found a way to build an excercise
machine around a game console. Direct from the Power Fitness
"Plug Kilowatt into any current game system
such as PS2, Xbox, Gamecube or PC, load up your favorite video game
and feel the full body workout as you push, pull and lean the Kilowatt
resistance rod to control the on-screen action. The Kilowatt resistance
rod measures force, not distance, so it never actually moves. The
resistance rod is reading the amount of force you’re exerting
against it and translates this force into the video game. For example,
if you’re playing a popular racing game on your PS2 with Kilowatt,
the harder you push the resistance rod, the faster you go in the
Thanks to Mitch Gerson for the link!
Missing Graphics on RetroBlast?
I've now gotten two emails from visitors who found that none of the graphics
on RetroBlast were loading. In both cases, the problem was traced to a "browser
privacy" setting in their firewall (Norton Security and Kerio Personal
Firewall). I have no idea why RetroBlast is being affected by this (the only
cookies the site uses are for the front page poll), but I'm looking into
Please Welcome ArcadeEmulator.net!
like to take a moment to welcome a new RetroBlast sponsor, ArcadeEmulator.net.
They've got everything you need for your MAME arcade projects,
from arcade hardware (joysticks, buttons, coin doors) to ROMs and
emulation software. Check it out!
Death of a Galaxian
is a tragedy that is played out all too often: a classic machine, found
sitting out on the side of the road, usually left in the rain.
James McGovern found just such a sad sight recently. The worst
part? The machine just had a blown fuse, but the cab is now so
water damaged now that he had to part it out. At least the boards
were salvaged (and are currently up
on eBay, if you're interested!)
Oh, and James adds "For anyone either rebuilding
one of these or building from scratch, I took detailed pics during
the disassembly in the event you need to know where some bracket
or instruction card goes. Just email me for high res pics at jamesretroblast.com"
Looking for a good one-page collection of all the retrogaming news out on the
Internet? Kevin Savetz has created one: RetroRoundup,
an RSS-feed powered summary of all the retro-news out there (well, except
for RetroBlast, which reminds me, I need to finish the site's RSS feed!)
Blast from the Past
Savetz is also the proprietor of the Classic
Computer Magazine Archive, a great online resource of all those
old computer magazines such as Antic, Creative Computing, and STart.
Oh, btw, I've got a few articles
and reviews published in Antic, back from my days as a 1200XL-owning
MAME .92 Released
Boy, these come out every week now, huh? Anyway, you can get the latest at
greatest at MAME.net. Happy
New Coin-Op TV!
Taryn Southern interviews Pinball repairman and collector DAVID
O'NEIL at the CA Extreme show. David talks about his collection and what
makes the trip to this event so special for him.
Dungeons and Dreamers
Reviewier James McGovern has just finished a great review of the
book Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture
from Geek to Chic. Want to know why you're suddenly considered "chic"?
Okay, want to at least pretend that you are? Check
out the review!
And the Winner is:
William Miller, aka "Will Yum," is the winner of this week's giveaway
of the SlikStik joystick handles!
SlikStik Handles Giveaway: 1 Day Left!
a reminder that if you'd like a chance to win a free pair of SlikStik
joystick handles (your choice of mounting shaft and balltop color),
today is the last day (details on the RetroBlast
front page) I'll be picking the winner tomorrow morning, just
as soon as I've had a big cup of coffee...ah, coffee...
Raffles: Just 4 Days Left!
Another friendly reminder that the RetroBlast raffles will be drawn this Wednesday,
February 16th, so you've got just four days to enter if you'd like a chance
to win the Wells-Gardner D9200 arcade monitor or the Dream Arcades Side-by-Side
Cocktail Gaming System. Full details are available on the RetroBlast
Yes, it's here...
The Quasicade2 finally
made it here yesterday, safe and sound, and I spent the rest of
the day assembling and testing it. First impressions? It's a fantastic
cab, and the controller has some truly marvelous and unique features.
The quality level is amazing.
I'm working on the review, shooting video and in
general checking out every square inch of this system.
It's going to be a big review, so it may take a
few days, but trust me, this is one RetroBlast review you don't want
PAPA 8 Announced!
The unbeliveable has happened: Kevin Martin has announced the PAPA 8 Pinball
championships. This, despite the
flood last summer that destroyed 232 of their pinball machines and trashed
their center. The championships will have prizes in excess of $33,000 ($10,000
for the first place winner!), and will be held August 11-14th. Full details
can be on the PAPA web
Pure Pinball Demo
to Jeff Atwood, who wrote in with a link to a playable
demo of Pure Pinball for the PC. The demos has some great graphics,
including 12 different camera views, true 3D playfield, and even
glare from the playfield glass (which can be turned off). The demo
has one time-limited table, but it's still a good taste of the
5 Days Left!
Just five days until I announce the raffle winners of the Wells-Gardner
D9200 arcade monitor and the Dream
Arcades Side-by-Side Cocktail Gaming System! If you haven't already entered,
time is running out. Full details on the raffles are available on the RetroBlast
front page. Good luck!
Red-Hot Pinball on Ebay
Literally. Trust me, check
out this auction for some hot pinball action.
And the Mystery Review Item is...
2 arcade unit from Quasimoto Interactive! Yes, I'm going to
be reviewing this amazing-looking arcade system, which supports
XBox, PS2, Gamecube, and PC gaming.
It's due to be delivered this morning, if I haven't
jinxed the delivery again by posting about it. I'll post more news
once I've got it safely in my clutches.
World's Smallest Pac-Man?
a look at the picture on the right — that an actual size screen
snapshot of this new flash-based
Pac-Man game. It's actually playable, too! And here's a special
surprise: when the game's over, use the arrow keys and you can
pick a "mini-me" version of Asteroids as well!
Pinball! Pinball! Pinball!
No, I'm not just repeating myself: that's the name of a special Pinball
exhibit at the Ford Art Museum in Michigan. I'm always pleased to see pinball
recognized as an art form. ;-)
Photos of the Winston-Salem Auction
If you're curious about what an arcade game auction looks like, the Broken
Token has posted photos of last weekend's Winston-Salem auction. I don't
know about you, but I feel certain, um...urges...when I see row after row of
classic arcade games...
reviewer James McGovern sent me this link of some very cool racing
cockpits from Hyper Stimulator.com, everything from DIY kits
for $300 all the way up to an ultra-mega-supreme version for about
$4000. They even fold up for storage!
And so, I wait...
Yes, the shipping company's screwed up, and while they're "working as
fast as they can" to straighten things out, my special delivery is now
tentatively scheduled for tomorrow (or Thursday, they weren't sure). More news
as the situation develops...
Streets of Tron
You've got to love the innovative things people are dreaming up for GPS navigation
systems. Here's another retrogame that was just begging for a GPS-based reality: GPS::Tron is
a "GPS Based Multiplayer Game for Mobile Phones."
To quote from the site: "The players move
in real space, they are tracked by GPS and their position influences
their position in the game. Each player is represented by a line
that gets longer and longer. However, the player's own line is not
allowed to cross itself or the opponent's line. If it does, the player
causing the crash loses."
Next Arcade News
Industries has been working overtime on their new Next
Arcade system, including this new control panel and new versions
of their cool-looking cabs. They've also signed distribution deals
with several big-name companies such as Take Two Interactive, so
look for a lot of cool games for their system. Watch for a RetroBlast
review of their control panel in the near future!
Dream Arcades Cab Mod
reader Jeff Atwood recently bought a Dream Arcades 3-Way cocktail
cab, and in true MAME spirit immediately set about modding it. Check
out the changes: a coin door, control panel lighting, external
speakers, and more. The end result is really great looking, and
makes an already cool cabinet even better!
Arcades Outmoded by Consoles
Check out this
article in the Daily Bruin and see if you agree or disagree with their
Yes, I just found out that the "mystery product" I've been hinting
about is due to be delivered sometime today. This product is the reason I bought
an XBox, and it's something every gamer (Console, PC, or Retro) is going to
want to find out more about. I'll spill the beans once it's delivered, so keep
an eye on the news page.
Update: I jinxed the delivery by posting
about it. Maybe tomorrow...
We Have a Winner!
The winner of the Stinger control panel from
Game Cabinets Inc. is Tom Lamb! Congrats, Tom, keep an eye out for a huge
box sometime this week!
A New Weekly Giveaway!
had planned on ending the giveaways this week, but SlikStik has
offered a nice prize addition: a pair of SlikStik
Joystick Handles! Not only that, but you'll get to pick the
shaft style (so they fit your joysticks), and the handle style
(balltop or pear) and color (anything but stainless steel). Visit
the RetroBlast front page to enter.
MAME Marquees Review
du jour" today is of MAME Marquees delicious looking product
line. We've got fresh sideart, followed by a hearty control panel
overlay, and a tasty marquee to top everything off. Seating for
this review is now available over in the RetroBlast
Product Reviews section. Bon appetit!
Last Day for Stinger Giveaway!
you want to enter the RetroBlast Stinger Giveaway, today is your
last chance. As with the other drawings, I'll be picking a winner
tomorrow morning (just as soon as I've woken up and had a cup or
two of coffee!) For details on how to enter the giveaway, visit
the RetroBlast front page.
The Art of the Arcade Boot
some retrogaming news that's a bit...abstract. Gizmodo
reports on some unique arcade boot displays over at Assembler.org's
AX|BX page. Is it art? If you're an arcade enthusiast, you're probably
already buying frames...
Open Auditions for Video Game Characters
you always dreamed of being in a video game? Now's your chance: the
BBC is reporting that video game BioWare is holding open auditions:
if you're picked, they'll scan your head in 3D and your face will
used in their videogames. A strange way to achieve immortality,
but I'm still interested...
Interview with Will Wright and Howard Scott
"Who?" you may be asking. Check out this
fascinating interview with these two video game pioneers and find out what
contributions they've made to the industry, both the good and the bad. (Thanks
to Ron Brown for the link!)
Now this got
my attention (thanks again to Ron Brown!): "Zap!
is a 2D vector graphics multiplayer team action strategy game that
plays like a cross between Robotron and Tribes with the graphical
blend of Asteroids and Pac-Man. As a 2D game Zap can be played
with keyboard&mouse or (recommended) a dual-analog gamepad.
Zap has several game types, including CTF, Zone Control, Retrieve,
Soccer, Hunters and Rabbit, and it supports familiar features like
hierarchal V-menu chat and recorded voice."
The Ultimate MAME Light Gun?
to the tireless crew over on the
BYOAC forums, I've just found out about the new G1
Wireless Light Gun from eReal Games. Using a special sensor
module mounted above the display and two infrared LEDs on the gun,
the G1 gun works with any display device (up to 100" diagonal
What it doesn't work with, at least not yet, is
a PC (it's for XBox and PS2 only). eReal Games has mentioned they
will only develop the PC version of their game if there is enough
demand. MAME gamers, if you want a light gun, this may be our last
eReal Games and let them know you want a PC version of this light
Fox Trot's Outdoor MAME
Looks like the comic
strip Fox Trot is doing a tribute to classic video games. Check them out
and you'll see what I mean by "outdoor MAME" ;-)
MAMEworld's New Face
It looks like MAME World has
finished their site update/refresh, and it looks great. In addition, they've
made some changes "under the hood" that will make the site easier
to maintain (read: more news!)
Space Invader Synth
Looking for that authentic retro sound? ElectroKraft.com has announced the
resurrection of the 1980's video game Space Invaders in a little modular
synth box called the Space*Synth. This device uses the original synth
chip from the 1980's video arcade game Space Invaders. Bleep boop boop!
Air Strike 2.0
Thanks to RetroBlast reader Greg Thorpe for pointing out the release of Air
Strike 2.0, a sequel to the popular 3D arcade shooter from Divo Games.
Fly an attack chopper and...well, blast anything that moves. You know the drill...
My Website Personality
Which Website are You?
Cash Offered for High Scores
Yes, it's true: Twin
Galaxies' Board of Referees is offering cash "bounties" to encourage
new world records on specific game titles, ranging from arcade titles and Atari
2600 games, all the way up to modern console games such as the X-Box's Halo.
If you've got the skillz, might as well try to cash in...
to News Archives