It’s a bit late, but I’ve written one of these things again. Have fun all six people who will read this.

Favorite Old Game – The Surge

Drop the beat.

If you’re familiar with The Surge then this really shouldn’t be a surprise. I’m a huge Dark Souls fan, and this is basically future robot Dark Souls! This game looked like a sort of B-list clone of Dark Souls, but after picking it up on a sale it really won me over. They have a lot of interesting mechanics that build on what you’d want out of a souls-y game, which adds a nice spin to how you handle dodging, blocking, and just overall encounters with enemies. I can’t recommend this game enough!

Runner Up: Titanfall 2

10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Well it’s more smash

It really shouldn’t be a surprise that this is on here, three years ago Smash made my list and now it makes it again! Honestly I don’t have a ton to say about this other than it’s more Smash, which is certainly never a bad thing.

9. Yoku’s Island Express

Such a bad influence

This is such a neat little game that I don’t think got a lot of attention, but hey, I liked it! It was a very unique blending of a standard puzzle-ish platformer with pinball of all things. Best of all it works well! I’m a huge fan of pinball so it’s great to see someone try to incorporate some form of pinball mechanics into a video game. Though we’ll never get anything better than Sonic Spinball.

8. Marvel’s Spider-Man

You can almost see the smog.

In terms of gameplay Spider-Man is really just another super hero game, but there are plenty of small touches and interesting story choices Insomniac implemented that really make the game stick with you. While I personally don’t think Spider-Man does combat better than the Arkham games, I do think the story blows it (and any other super hero game) out of the water. If you haven’t played it, you really should. I guarantee it isn’t what you expect.

7. Donut County

I hear she has wings.

This game is just so pleasant. The mechanics aren’t really anything out of this world (heh), but it is a fun game, with a cute story, interesting style, and wonderful music. If you haven’t played it then do yourself a favor and check it out! Donut county is the cutest game I’ve played since Lovely Planet.

6. DUSK

Straight Ballin’

DUSK takes you back to the 90s to experience the absurdity of Doom and Quake all over again. There isn’t anything to say in regards to story, the game is just pure fun. At the end of the day this game was the tribute to the 90s I never knew I wanted.

5. No Man’s Sky

Those sentinels really suck

I know, I know, this isn’t really a 2018 game but I feel their game changing patches should qualify. I decided to pick up No Man’s Sky after hearing the positive buzz around some of the mid-year patches they put out and am I ever glad I did! The game is phenomenal. I’ve never been much for the survival-exploration style of games but something about this game really clicked for me. In seconds you can go from foraging or battling on a planet to having a massive space battle in your ship(s). I can’t say there is much in the way of story, but the atmosphere and combat surely make up for that. No Man’s Sky has really evolved into a fantastic game.

4. Hitman 2

Quality periodicals

Hitman 1 was one of my favorite games of 2016. IO took a pretty much dead franchise and somehow breathed new life into with an episodic game. They’ve built on it even more with Hitman 2 and have managed to make the game even more enjoyable. The scenarios are wackier and you constantly find Agent 47 pulling off even more unbelievable impersonations. I do have my gripes with the game, but in the end I love it and will continue playing through all of the elusive targets and community content!

3. Celeste

Oh snap

Celeste is one hell of a game. The game starts quite easy, with an interesting narrative, but it eventually evolves into one of the most difficult platformers I’ve played since Super Meat Boy. If you just mainline the game it can be fairly straightforward, but the side quests/objectives really drive the game home and gives you that nice dose of brutality you’ve always wanted out of a game. In addition to gameplay Celeste also offers a fantastic story and wonderful music. I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys difficult platformers.

2. God of War

Big Boi

It’s hard to believe God of War is one of the best games in recent memory…somehow it is. Going into this I was expecting the ridiculous story-less gore of every other God of War game. Well, I didn’t quite get that. Instead what I got was ridiculous gore paired with a phenomenal story, incredible visuals, and a fantastic soundtrack. God of War lands every punch it was going for and is one of the best things I’ve played in years. I thought it was my game of the year until this next one came along…

1. Dead Cells

He don’t think it be the way it is but it do

Surprise surprise, I enjoyed an overly difficult run-based game with retro 2d graphics, crazy. Dead Cells is what I feel every run-based game needs to try to beat. The combat is fluid, the weapons are all unique in their own crazy ways, the music is the hottest banger, and the visuals are gorgeous. If you like getting your ass kicked then you should give Dead Cells a shot… over and over again.

 

While these are the games I loved, there are a few I wish I had the time for through the year. I spent some amount of time with them, but not nearly enough:

  • Vermintide 2
  • Pokemon Let’s Go
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Mega Man 11
  • Tetris Effect

I’m sure there are others I have forgotten, but these four were high on my list to spend time with!

 

Well I continued to fuel my addiction and bought a Beatmania arcade cabinet. First off, this thing is MASSIVE. Specific dimensions are: 39″x44″x75″. This makes my six slot look tiny. I have a bit of work ahead of myself:

  1. Clean it up
  2. Recap and calibrate the monitor
  3. Fix general chips on the frame
  4. Convert the HDD to an SSD or a CF card
  5. Probably more!

I’m pretty excited to start this project as I haven’t really done much arcade stuff and have left this blog to rot for a while. I’ve also found a cap list an manual online for the monitor, which I’m going to record on here for reference. The display is a Toei TC-L292

Cap list:

  • 4x 16V 10uF
  • 1x 16V 22uF
  • 1x 16V 22uF bipolar
  • 1x 16V 33uF
  • 1x 16V 47uF
  • 3x 16V 100uF
  • 1x 16V 220uF
  • 3x 16V 470uF
  • 1x 16V 1000uF
  • 1x 25V 1000uF
  • 4x 35V 4.7uF
  • 1x 35V 4.7uF bipolar
  • 2x 35V 47uF
  • 2x 35V 100uF
  • 2x 35V 1000uF
  • 5x 50V 1uF
  • 2x 50V 2.2uF bipolar
  • 1x 50V 4.7uF bipolar
  • 1x 50V 10uF
  • 1x 100V 47uF
  • 1x 160V 47uF
  • 1x 160V 470uF
  • 1x 180V 680uF
  • 2x 250V 22uF
  • 1x 250V 100uF

Manual: 34_toei_tc_l292k_manual

Cloning the HDD or finding ISOs will probably be an issue. I imagine it’ll be possible to make a few different CF cards if I can just find the content, as a lot of the Beatmania cabinets run off the same hardware.

Much much more to come on this!

 

 

Also up….

I bought an F14 Tomcat Pinball last year, and am finally going to get around to refurbishing it. I have an LED kit on the way and am working on tracking down a plastics kit. This should be pretty straightforward as it’s overall in great shape. But just for kicks, here are a couple of pictures.

Note: I’ve been trying to write one of these every year but unfortunately managed to miss it last year due to an incredibly busy year. But just for posterity I’ll include my favorite game of 2016 at the bottom of this article.

This year was absolutely nuts with amazing hits coming out seemingly left and right, it was difficult to narrow this down to list of ten games, but I managed to do it! I’d like to preemptively apologize to Fortnite, Splatoon 2, Nidhogg 2, and Disc Jam. I’d love to have included them as well, but then that would be a weirdly long favorites list. Anyways, lets start this:

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So I came across a Sony PVM on craigslist a week ago and couldn’t resist getting it. Since then I’ve fallen down a retro hole. I have a bunch of scart cables on the way, so I’m pretty excited to see how everything looks on it. Scart is actually kind of complicated, who would have thought? My head just about exploded trying to differentiate between Composite Sync and Composite Video + Sync. Still not sure I totally get it. Anyways, it resulted in my picking up a new snes, model 1 genesis (original with “High Definition”), saturn, and hooking up my n64 and ps2.

I ended up doing a stereo mod to the Genny after cleaning it out, pretty pleased with how clean it turned out!

 

Now I just have to clean up these bad boys

SNES and Saturn

I noticed the snes has the center pin for the power jack broken off. I ordered a replacement, but I’m considering doing something weird like internalizing the PSU and putting a figure 8 connector on it or something. That could be neat.

 

Anyways, this TV is fantastic, I need to find a better place for it.

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I recently got a hold of two Wonderswans and decided I wanted to front light at least one of them. After some research I found this screen. The screen seems to be the proper dimension for front lighting the wonderswan, and it was on sale for $3! So I grabbed four of them (in retrospect I should have gotten like 20 of them).

They came yesterday and I tore the thing apart and started off on frontlighting it. This will serve as somewhat of a guide for doing this.

 

First we start with the donor screen.

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Wellp, I’m trying my hand at making some more boards, though very simple ones. I don’t have a DB15 board that is short enough for my PS4 project box, so here’s one mocked up, that maps every pin. We’ll see how it goes. Though I ordered my parts from China since the US was literally like 5x the price.

For Christmas I decided to surprise my dad with a simseat and logitech g27. I went with the RaceRoom RR3055 and the shifter mount addon. I built the seat on Christmas Eve and dragged my dad’s desktop out to run the sims on, it’s fantastic.

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