Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Shenzhen Solitaire - A Review of 2017's New Commercial DOS Game

I have a confession to make.  Until last month, I have never backed a kickstarter project.  I have talked about kickstarter projects on at least one prior occasion on this blog, but I was speaking from afar.  The usual excuses apply, the good reward tiers cost too much, the project carried considerable risk or the product offered just was not sufficiently personally compelling to persuade me to part with my hard-earned money.  Last month came a game which seemed like a good choice for a kickstarter project, Shenzhen Solitaire.  This is a new PC-compatible DOS game for the year 2017.  The price was only $10, the game had already been written and was going to be delivered on a floppy disk, so I was sold.  (Really living on the edge here in terms of crowdfunding risk here :) It was delivered to me yesterday, so let's review the game.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Analogue Super Nt - The Day After Preview

If 2016 was the Year of the HDMI NES, with the release or pre-order availability of high quality NES HDMI devices such as the NES Classic Mini, Analogue Nt Mini and the RetroUSB AVS, then 2017 is the Year of the HDMI SNES, with the release of the SNES Classic Mini and now pre-order availability of the Analogue Super Nt.  The Super Nt was announced yesterday and I would like to gather all the available information about it here after 24 hours have passed to allow for information from multiple sources to be made available online.

Monday, October 16, 2017

NES Clones Reversed Duty Cycles - Why you should Reject them

Clones of the Famicom have been around since the mid-1980s, but clones of the Nintendo Entertainment System were very rare until Nintendo's patents expired in 2005.  Since then, clones have become quite common, all advertising such features as improved cartridge insertion mechanisms, lower cost (compared to the official NES top loader), x-in-1s with Genesis or SNES hardware and more recently built-in HDMI support.  However, the hardware in many of these clone consoles is fatally flawed and will not give a genuine experience.  The flaw comes in the reproduction of the NES's audio in the form of reversed duty cycles.  In this blog post, I will explain why this is an issue, how to detect it and why you should not buy second-rate clone consoles.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Rise of Interlacing in Video Game Consoles

Until the Genesis and the SNES, all video game consoles used 240p resolutions.  However, in the quest to gain greater graphical detail without severely impacting performance, game programmers began to use interlaced video modes in the fourth and fifth generation of video game consoles.  Then in the sixth generation, interlacing was the norm and progressive scan was the option.  By the seventh generation, HD gaming was the norm and interlaced graphics usage was more or less here to stay.  Let's explore the issues surrounding interlaced video game graphics here.