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 Post subject: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:03 pm 


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Just felt like saying that. The fact that fairly obscure but great titles like Omega Fighter and Saint Dragon are getting widely available digital releases outside of Japan is nothing short of a miracle, and even if it isn't M2 tier emulation, I haven't really seen anybody singing Hamster's praises.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:47 pm 


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Well they've definitely been getting praise in the off-topic section :P

Agreed especially on Omega Fighter, it's great that more people finally get to discover and experience this amazing gem.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:39 pm 


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The Life Force/Salamander release is an insane amount of value for the price.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:56 am 


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cave hermit wrote:
even if it isn't M2 tier emulation

By that do you mean the actual emulation, or all the extra stuff on the side?

Every time I've asked a question about Hamster emulation, it turned out to be something that was supposed to be that way, or got quickly patched.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:40 am 


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Any DRM on these PC ports?
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:57 am 


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What does it matter? If you really wanted to play it on your PC without DRM, MAME is an option. You're purchasing these arcade archive PC games purely to support Hamster and the original IP holders.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:15 am 


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cave hermit wrote:
You're purchasing these arcade archive PC games purely to support Hamster and the original IP holders.

I'm not. The emulation's generally better than MAME at the least.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:35 am 


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cave hermit wrote:
What does it matter?

Because I don't like DRM? What kind of question is that?

Quote:
If you really wanted to play it on your PC without DRM, MAME is an option. You're purchasing these arcade archive PC games purely to support Hamster and the original IP holders.

Ehhh, I'd like to see some evidence for this one. I think we're a little quick sometimes to presume that a) some rights squatter is in any way related to the actual people who originally made something, and b) that it will actually lead to more of that old product you like by virtue of some kind of supply-and-demand signaling by the players' buying the re-releases. I'm getting a little too jaded to believe that anymore. In well over a decade of retro re-releases now, it actually seems like the more general rule is that no, you won't see more stuff like the old thing you like by simply "supporting" the re-releases, or if you do it ends up being garbage that totally misses the point of the original games. I can count exceptions, as much as I love them (go play Overload right now), on a single hand.

Edit: And even considering the impetus for developing Overload, the original developers of Descent had to threaten a lawsuit with Interplay to be paid the royalties they were owed from sales of Descent off GOG and Steam.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:17 am 


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In the case of Hamster though, I think it's safe to assume that demand will lead to supply. And they can hardly be accused of 'rights-squatting', I've no idea where some of the rights lie these days (UPL / Jaleco for starters, but I'm sure someone on here does :D ), but the Konami / Taito / SNK stuff still needs licencing properly surely?

They're great ports usually offering multiple versions at prices less than two pints. I think it'd be churlish to do anything other than support them really.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 7:56 am 


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Marc wrote:
UPL / Jaleco for starters

Hamster themselves own all of UPL's catalog, and City Connection owns all of Jaleco's.

Marc wrote:
Konami / Taito / SNK

Those companies all still exist (I'll give that SNK is a different SNK essentially, but they still have the same IP rights).
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:10 am 


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trap15 wrote:
City Connection owns all of Jaleco's.


oh how the tables have turned :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:37 am 


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Besides M2, Hamster are the only emulation specialists I trust implicitly.

Recently took blind chances on Capcom Belt Action Collection (in-house?) and SNK 40th Anniversary Collection (Digital Eclipse), both for PS4. While the Capcom set defied my expectations (keeps up with ShmupMAME, good enough for me), DE burnt my ass with broken LS-30 emulation in one of the three games I bought it for (Search And Rescue), and chronic right stick freezes across the entire set. Apparently, the left stick randomly jams up too - I was blissfully unaware, as I keep to the dpad.

Additionally, SAR's audio and framerate die when you press either button, if you attempt to use the Robotron-style controls to get around the broken strafing. (watch with sound on - problem vanishes after disabling Robotron/"Auto-Fire")

Apparently the collection (>2yrs post-release) is now too old to patch. Adios my dineros, I guess. It's a shame, as in terms of the basics - input latency, pixel scaling, framerate - it's solid, and a nice selection too. Eagerly awaiting ACA Guevara, which if their TANK, Ikari and Dogosoken are anything to go by, will be flawless. Will label my upcoming SAR no-miss "Realism Label," as on this space marine adventure, your pulse rifle will overheat and jam up just like the real thing.

While M2 are kings at what they do, I'm glad we've got a publisher like Hamster who get their shit right and cover Konami, IREM, Taito, SNK, Tecmo, UPL and more. Other than ShotTriggers, I was pretty much done with consoles post-PS3, until I found out about ACA Saigo no Nindou. I hope they stick around for many years yet.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:41 am 


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which PC ports? i though hamster is ps4/x1/switch

Quote:
Digital Eclipse


I buy their releases for great museum sections (i'm in smallest minority who CARES about saving the legacy of artwork, print design etc. unlike most gamers who just want rom of a game), but their emulation is often questionable, sadly. :|
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:35 am 


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I enjoyed browing the goofy Dogosoken strategy guide - would've never considered some of those interpretations of the in-game sprites!

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^ SAY NO TO DRUGZ

But the thought of attempting to one-life that version, with the sword liable to freeze up amidst a hail of bullets, makes me IKARI I.R.L. Image

Image

Image

^ ACA demonstrating how it's done. MAXIMUM GAMUSHARA Image

Also, having to choose stick OR buttons for rotation ala SNK40th is dumb. ACA lets you use both, great for deadly-precise adjustments when you absolutely need a diagonal.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:47 pm 


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First of all sorry about snapping at you MathU, it's just every time a PC game is mentioned here, you pop up with the exact same question, and you've done this unfailingly for years now, and it is getting a bit irritating.

Second, how does P-47 and Saint Dragon rank up there compared to NMK's best workslike the Thunder Dragon games and Hacha Mecha Fighter? I'd love to just buy them all up, but $8 a pop does add up.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:13 pm 


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P-47 is a solid classic hori, almost Scramble-esque with the conservative main shot and steep terrain. Great pick up/play shooter. Saint Dragon's a bit more modern-feeling with the generous shot and bullet-blocking tail mechanic, though it's probably less accessible with its checkpoints and mean difficulty. I've got both, no regrets, though I'd say X-Multiply does the bullet-blocking thing more elegantly (and is just a masterpiece of terrain-geared hori shooting, overall).

WTB ACA Thunder Dragons and Hacha Mecha, here's hoping Hamster take on more 90s games! Detana Twinbee, Kaitei Daisensou and Sunset Riders came out brilliantly. Looking forward to the upcoming ACA Trigon, Raiden and beltscroller Zero Team.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:26 pm 


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Hmm, I guess I already have Zed Blade both as an Arcade Archives tile and on my MiSTer, so that covers the more shooting/bullet dodging focused hori subgenre.

Omega Fighter is actually also on my to buy list, but I think I have more than enough vertical bullet dodgers. So I'd like one of those terrain/obstacle focused hori shmups like Gradius or R-type. So I guess either Saint Dragon or X-multiply. Thing is, I flashed a mod-cart for my Saturn and recently got a PSIO for the PS1, so I could play the X-Multiply/Image Fight double pack on either or them, although I don't know how the port quality is. I would assume better than Saint Dragon's PC Engine port at the very least.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:40 pm 


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Apparently the ACA PC releases are the Neo-Geo games only, purchasable from the Microsoft Store. I've never bought a game from there so I don't know what kind of DRM they use.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:47 pm 


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cave hermit wrote:
Thing is, I flashed a mod-cart for my Saturn and recently got a PSIO for the PS1, so I could play the X-Multiply/Image Fight double pack on either or them, although I don't know how the port quality is. I would assume better than Saint Dragon's PC Engine port at the very least.


I retired my long-serving PS1 Arcade Gears: Image Fight & X-Multiply disc* when the ACA versions hit. :smile: Both the PS1 and SS versions are good efforts, but they struggle with the PCBs' weird resolutions, and run with slightly cropped screens. It's not helpful, to put it mildly, in lethal IREM context - Image Fight is the most affected, being the more punishing game of the two. If you're going to make a serious run at either, I'd go with the ACA versions for sure. Image Fight even replicates the AG disc's dedicated Pod Shoot button (normally you need to hit [shot+speed] simultaneously).

I can't overstate how good X-M is. It's also unusually accessible for an IREM shooter, the first loop's a very realistic first arcade 1CC. Crucially, accessible doesn't mean watered-down, stage design is herculean throughout. Graphically kinda garish tbh, but Masahiko Ishida's pulsing creep-rock soundtrack makes up for it a thousandfold.

Smooth! Image

*see also Kaitei Daisensou and Gradius Deluxe Pack - estimable work, surpassed only by later-gen horsepower and diligent efforts. Very similar situation with Saturn Garegga.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:14 pm 



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X-Multiply is a great game. Its a little "looser" than R-Type both in forgiveness but also a little bit with the design too but it still has that feel.

The final boss is a real bastard though.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:16 pm 


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Hey Bil, I'm wondering how the PS1 port of XM/IF handles the weird refresh rate of the irem AC hardware. It's 55hz or something, and looks quite choppy in emulators. Did they re-tool the games to run at 60hz on console?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:29 pm 


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It's been a few years, but IIRC, those conversions run at the M72 hardware's native ~57hz speed, causing some scrolling chop (much like their accurate resolutions necessitated some screen cropping). I know IREM's own R-Types (PS1) just went with 60hz, ie slightly sped-up gameplay, while also requiring some resolution chicanery (translucent status bar).

The ACA versions run at proper M72 speed, with some scrolling chop resulting - this goes for Saigo no Nindou and Vigilante, too. It's only in the latter I find it distracting, with its relatively low scrolling speed, though even there it's surprisingly easy to forget once you get stuck in. I wish they'd include a 60hz option for the lower refresh rate games, or some kind of frame blending option. Gulti's Raiden Fighters Aces (360) is great at this.

That said, I always ended up using the SPI-accurate speed in that one too. High-precision action gaming is felt as much as seen imo. Image

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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:36 am 


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Interesting. I’ve never more than glanced over the arcade archives for switch, guess I’m missing some great games here.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:09 pm 


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While we're talking about X-Multiply in particular, is it just me or does the game have a ton of innate input lag?

I burnt a copy of the Saturn version to try, and noticed the lag, which I attributed to the pound hdmi cable I was using combined with my tv's image processing. Then I tried buying the Arcade Archives version (with my switch hooked up to a 1ms lag monitor), and the input lag was still there.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:12 am 


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I keep hearing concerning things about the Switch's arcade conversions/emulations. Kiken mentioned its ACA Metal Slug running overclocked, apparently to offset input lag. The only difference I notice between one-lifing my MVS cartridge and PS4 ACA is the latter's slightly lessened flicker at busy spots (like blowing up st1's houses). It still slows down like it should, even the extreme slowdown at a handful of points (st5 boss, st6-2 paratroopers).

Anyway, without wishing to ignite console war / NERDFIGHT / internet dance battle, I've only played the PS1 and PS4 versions of X-Multiply. Been many years since the former, but the latter feels satisfactorily responsive. Like many 80s STGs, if you're twitching through waves of bullets, you're very possibly Doing It Wrong. Twitch movement and micro-adjustments feel good, regardless.

Image

Icarus seems cool with it too.

M72 stablemate Image Fight performs similarly in my experience - FWIW, Masahiko Ishida (composer and competent player in his own right) liked it. Will vouch for Saigo personally. It's a lethally improv-intensive game I've never once felt screwed by, over countless hours and many no-misses.

Image

^ You really shouldn't let that happen, but even if you do, you can still avoid a yari up the ass! Image

Image

(tested on Bluetooth DS4 + my grandma's Maury tv)
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:32 pm 


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Fuck yeah, Super Cobra aka Scramble On Speed confirmed. With Scramble, Time Pilot and Pooyan covered, that leaves just Gyruss, of the STGs on the PS1 Arcade Gallery disc. I hope that one shows up too. Meanwhile Trigon is out and it rocks. Relentless Toaplanesque pressure! And Pentarous!

Image Image Image Image

Nice slate coming up - Super Cobra, Raiden, Gemini Wing, Guevara, and although I've not played it much, I'm glad for Darwin 4078 if only since there's a ton of other DECO stuff I wanna see. Zero Team's a helluva pleasant surprise, too, and opens the possibility of Raiden II & DX!
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:16 am 


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Love me some Super Cobra, the Intellivision port is one of the first handful of video games I ever played 1982-ish.

Also, wait, I just realised St Dragon was an NMK game. I always thought it was Jaleco.
So.... this means I may finally get my Soboten Bombers port.... :D
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:24 pm 


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It was recently discovered that the arcade game itself of X-Multiply has an extra frame of movement after you stop moving - and this is consistent across all versions of the game (including MAME). It apparently was just how the game was coded.

That might account for the 'off' feeling for some, but as BIL says that means a better knowledge of stage layouts will trump any attempt at madcatz skillz.

I am pretty happy with most of the ACA releases I've picked up. I usually get what interests me (KiKi KaiKai, Trigon, X-Multiply/Image Fight, and Life Force to name a few!), and despite having a kind of lame save-state feature, they are as good at the very least to the older ports some of these games received on the PS1/Saturn etc.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:14 pm 



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I hope the Parodius series are in the archives somewhere sometime.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm so glad that Hamster's Arcade Archives are a thing.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:18 pm 



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I have a number of these and I agree they're nicely done. The only annoyances are that it seems impossible to get proper integer scaling (no matter what I try it always seems to be off by a couple of pixels!) and it would be nice if there was a quick save/load state. The save state system is unnecessarily awkward to use.


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