• The Solid State Saturn: Sega ST-V!

    I recently did a review of the Satiator, a device that lets you use an SD card to run games on the Sega Saturn. It’s pretty great. However, it had one flaw: the Saturn is built around the disc drive. You can’t really eliminate loading times like you could if the system was built around solid state medium from the beginning. But to do that, well, you’d have to be Sega, wouldn’t you?

  • The failed heir: The Hyper Neo Geo 64!

    In 1982, Commodore International introduced the technology world to the concept of 64. But it was a very intimidating; following Commodore’s 1994 collapse, 64 remained elusive until Nintendo made it Ultra in 1996. But what if someone could take 64 and make it Hyper? Obviously, something that much bigger, badder, and better could only come from SNK– and in 1997, it did. So what was the Hyper Neo Geo 64? And why didn’t it stick? The year of the arcade continues!

  • How I make graphics for retro systems and retro-styled games

    Game consoles, especially older ones, are defined more than anything by their graphics capability. The unique graphical limitations of a system can often make it possible to identify a game console just by a screenshot; for example, the average SNES game has more colors but a lower resolution than the average Genesis game. The NES has a distinctive palette that’s unique to it. But these limitations also mean that you can’t just shove a BMP into VRAM and call it a day. Here’s my process for how I do things.

  • Pirates of the Orochi: Looking into a bootleg arcade board

    Recently, I looked into the MVS that wasn’t multi-video, a set of officially licensed single-game boards from SNK Playmore that plugged directly into JAMMA. But they only did that for a few games at the end of the system’s life; what if you were an arcade operator who didn’t want to shell out for the flexibility of an MVS, and only wanted to have King of Fighters ‘97? SNK wouldn’t help you, but pirates can! Let’s sail the seven seas and check this out!

  • Atomiswave, or, how SNK learned to stop worrying and love the PC

    It is the early 2000s. Titans are falling: the arcade business sinks to new lows every week, Sega has left the console business, and SNK/Playmore has finally ended the reign of the Neo Geo. And then a pachinko manufacturer decided to take all of those trends, wrap them in a red plastic box, and name it after their founder. Behold, the arcade series continues!

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