Friday, December 08, 2006

Stage 30: First Blood

Myself, my roomate Colin and my pal Stan decided to take in the cinema classic that is Rambo: First Blood Part III recently. The movie wasn't as amazing as I recalled it being back in 1988 when I was a mere boy of 12, but it definitely had it's share of wild action and absurd cliches.

After the movie, we reminisced a bit about the old Rambo NES video game and the arcade shooter based on Rambo III. If only there was some way to play these classics ...

... which of course there is, thanks to my MAME cab!

We fired up the NES classic, which was a lot more like Zelda than I remembered it being. He kills a lot of snakes, spiders and weird ghosty shit and not too many soldiers, which was strange. Got tired of that pretty quick and we moved onto Rambo III the arcade game, which was very much like Cabal and G.I. Joe in its design (ie, you shot and killed a never-ending stream of people and occasionally fought tanks).

Fun times for a while, especially since Stan and I were pretty fucking loaded at this point on gin and Jack Daniels. The whole episode really marked what owning and stocking the MAME machine was all about - being able to play any game you could think of whenever you wanted, and reliving old times while you do it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Stage 29: Peck, Peck, Peck

Been a slow time for me and my MAME the last little while - more a reflection on my laziness than me not having opportunities to work with it, really.

Still, I recently began a short spell of work on the thing and it's slowly but surely taking form as I peck away at the myriad little chores that need doing. Recent changes include:

* Fixed the Maximus Arcade front end to properly work with the X-Arcade joystick and boot up straight from launch. From startup to the main menu is only a 20-25 second wait now, a time I hope to shave down once I dig into the registry and bypass Windows Explorer altogether.

* Straightened out some of the MAME and MA inputs. A lot of the joystick commands were lost as I did testing and formatting via the keyboard instead of the sticks. Took some doing, but MAME and MA seem to have their keys where they should be. I still need to sort the NES, Sega Master System, Daphne, Intellivision & Atari commands so the joystick works as it should, but it's getting there.

* Finished sorting the massive pile of Sega Genesis games/snapshots/movies. That took much longer than I thought, but I devised a simple yet effective way to quickly line up the files so I could archive them and eventually transfer them to the MAME PC. The Super NES and Virtual Pinball folders still await me, as do the Coleco files I got off my brother-in-MAME Dwayne. Hopefully it won't be the mind-numbing siege that these Genesis files were.

* Cleaned up the fucking disaster area that was the spare room, aka, the Labratory. There was a lot of shit in that room that didn't need to be, and once I tossed it out and moved junk like my air conditioner and VHS movies somewhere else, it really opened the room up. Now friends of mine can come over and play MAME without having to crawl over chairs and poker tables. And the psychological effects are greater than I had anticipated - I actually find myself looking forward to spending time in that room with the machine instead of dreading it. Whee!

Not giant leaps, but a series of small steps that are indeed bringing this project closer and closer to home. Up next on my agenda:
* Sorting Super NES/Virtual Pinball/Coleco files
* Continue to hone MA interface to make it quicker & easier to use
* Refining game lists to make sure all games work
* Start getting cabinet ready for the marquee & bezel work
Hopefully I can get a lot of this done before my Xmas party on Dec. 23rd, which would be an excellent time to showcase to my friends what a massive video game nerd I am (if they are comepletely without a clue and have not already deduced this from the preponderance of game consoles in my living room).