Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don't buy Galaga for the T-Mobile Sidekick!

When I got my Sidekick '08 back in June I was surprised that it didn't have Galaga for download. It was ridiculous because they had an excellent Galaga theme. So today when I saw it was released I downloaded it.

Boy was I disappointed:


Above: Actual Screenshot

The graphics are the best feature of this conversion, they are pretty much pixel perfect. The color pallet on the other hand is a little off.


The sound is horrible it sounds nothing like the original arcade game. Also there is no explosion sound! The sidekick can play mp3s, so why didn't they use samples of the original game like you can in MAME?


This is the worst of the three, the game has tons of slowdown, the ship's projectiles move at a rate that is not the same ratio of ship/projectile speed of the original. It makes the game tedious and difficult because in Galaga you can only have 2 shots on the screen at a time. With the slow projectiles it leaves you very vulnerable to alien attack.

Final Thoughts

Overall this game is a disappointment. I am not just saying this as a Galaga fan. If I bought some other game and it was this bad of an arcade conversion I would want my money back. I know that it could have been so much better, The sidekick version of Ms. Pac-Man runs fine, granted it suffers from the same sound issues.

I cannot recommend this game to anyone as it is unplayable. Do not buy. Namco/T-mobile I want my money back!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Dreamcast!

Ten years ago today was a great day in gaming, as it marked the US release of the Sega Dreamcast. The Dreamcast was easily one of the best game consoles ever, but never got proper recognition. This was mostly due to Sony's propaganda about their PS2's capibilities which were never noticable over the Dreamcast, and in some cases games ran worse on the Playstation. A great example of this is was the noticable jaggies in the PS2's anti-alias. The Dreamcast used 2x full screen anti-alias and looked great right from the begining. It took over a year for PS2 developers to fix the issue on the PS2.

Another great thing about the Dreamcast was that is was the same as the Sega Namoi Arcade Hardware, with just less memory. This allowed all the great arcade games that ran on the Namoi to run the the Dreamcast arcade perfect. A great example of this is Capcom Vs SNK and Guilty Gear.

The Dreamcast holds up awesome even today, where the rest of the consoles from it's generation display poorly on a HD TV. Just hook your Dreamcast up via VGA and it looks awesome!

My Dreamcast connected to my HD TV via the vga cable, looks awesome!

With camera flash:

Without camera flash:

My friend Matt who worked at the Babbages in Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, NY where I bought my Dreamcast posted photos from launch day, I am not in them, but it sure brings back the memories (tear).

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cutting Plexiglass Control Panel Overlay

My Marvel Vs. Capcom I bought has a plexiglass overlay over the control panel graphics. The original had spider cracks around the screws, scratches and cigarette burns.

I couldn't let the control panel couldn't stay like that so I went about replacing the plexi overlay.

The plexi had 2 different sized large holes for the buttons and the joystick. I have I have a 1 and 1/8 inch hole saw that I used to cut button holes for other control panels. The holes for this panel were not that size. I wanted it to match the orignal exactly. The soultion came from using a laminate trimmer router bit. Thanks Maxstang, Takeman, timberterror, ManiN, OldTymeToys for the suggestion! I picked one up at my local True Value.

The way it works you drill a 1/4 inch pilot hole for the bit. The bearing rides on the old plexiglass and duplicates the hole of the original in the new plexi. It leaves a nice smooth edge, much nicer then if I had used a holesaw.

Overall it worked great, you just have to be very careful of the height, I cut a little extra in a couple places, but they are covered by the buttons. My router's height slips so I had to keep adjusting.

Here is the bit:

I drilled holes 1/4 inch the same size of the bit. You can see a hole that was routed in this photo:

It is important that the bearing line up with the original plexi:

Here it is installed, looks so much better than the cig burns and spider crackes!

Hard to really see in the photo, here is an angled shot:

Looks much better than the old one:

The only downside of this method is that the bit was $25. But I am sure I will reuse it in the future.