Christmas 2004 (spoilers)


Dad and Mom are Santa Claus!

ha, ha, ha. I just love hauling out the presents on Christmas eve. We swapped presents early today because we’re traveling tomorrow, but we are still putting out a few of “Santa’s presents” tonight. The kids are fired up. Overall it was a great day. Kids loved the remote control cars.

One bit of disappointment: I got one of these TV Games games because it featured some arcades games that I used to enjoy (Ms Pac Man, Galaga, Pole Position). It wasn’t expensive and I didn’t expect much, but thought it might be fun for a few hours. It was either broken right from the start, or of such poor quality, it might as well have been broken. I don’t know much about consoles. Do any consoles feature these old arcade games? My wife is very leery of having games invade the living room, but even she is nostalgic for these titles.

I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking, but both console publishers and PC publishers put out collections of classic games. You can find them in any store with a decent software section, for the PC. You can also try MAME and download tons of classic games that way, although I found it so hard to track down the ROMs (the game programs) that I eventually gave up on it. Still, I had a blast noodling around with it for a few weeks, and I still play Joust on occasion. It sucks not having the arcade controls, though–stuff like Robotron or SmashTV is just totally lame on a PC.

My brother got me one of those plug-into-the-TV classic game thingies for Christmas (we swapped that present early because he wanted to play it with me while he’s in town for the holiday). It’s interesting, but most of the games are lower quality even than the original arcade games were. Fun for a few laughs, but it’s not the total nostalgia trip that you might hope for.

Thanks Ryan. It looks like I will have to look at the current crop of consoles, which offer classic collections. I am basically just looking for something that’s not such a crappy experiance as the little TV Game. I want to play arcade games in my living room without going through a lot of fuss or expense. The MAME thing did interest me when I first heard about it, but I have never found the time to figure it out, much less search for the ROMs.

I tried the Pac-Man one at the store – has Dig Dug and Galaxian too, I believe. The joystick seemed awful to me, which really made it a no-sale. Otherwise I would have grabbed it.

They must sell ok. There’s an Atari 2600, Intellivision, Pac-Man, Genesis, Spider-Man, Spongebob, and even a Madden 95/NHL 95 version. I probably missed a few also. The Genesis one has the same games that come on that cart bundle – Golden Axe, Sonic, etc.

That Atari one looked bad too. Those games haven’t aged well.

Stuff like Robotron is absolutely fantastic on the PC if you run it in MAME and have a PS2 controller adapter! Two analogue joysticks = Robotron goodness.

i’m sure it’s legality could possibly be called into question, but cough some people i know cough can make ya copies of all the current MAME roms onto a couple dvd’s… yeah, the whole collection spans a couple discs if you include all the hard disk image “roms”… even without those, there’s still around 10GB of roms. :)

Santa FINALLY brought me a wireless network for the house. Hooray! Now I’ve just got to hit the after-Christmas sales to pick up a few extra cards, adapters, etc. that I need. Can’t wait.

My 11-month old daughter seemed to love her first Christmas. She didn’t know what was going on, but she went absolutely ape shit over all the tissue and wrapping paper scattered all over the floor. She also made out like a bandit, getting like twice as many gifts from her grandparents as the rest of us. We also got to dress her up, which was like a gift in and of itself for my wife.

I haven’t played MAME in a long while, but when I got it I Kazaad “MAME ROMS” and got a 1600-game file. I’m sure the file is still there.

Santa Parents got me Halo 2.

I don’t have an XBox. They didn’t notice that that was also on my wish list.

Oh well, now I have to buy an XBox. Darn.

Also, Battle for Middle Earth, MST3K set, B5 movie set, and Miracle on 34th Street because my girlfriend things I don’t watch enough B&W movie classics.

If the hardware is no longer reasonably available, ROMs don’t appear to be illegal under the DMCA.

If you got an Xbox, its definatly worth checking out the Live Arcade.

I found the joystick on the Ms. Pac Man one pretty much perfect in the store. It was an old-fashioned four-way stick of the sort that came with the original arcade games. Don’t know about durability, as I played just one game, but I liked the feel of it a lot. Maybe the quality varies, or maybe I didn’t play long enough. Dunno.

I’ve got an entire MAME collection acquired via the Tombstone network a year or so ago (might be worth looking for, if it’s still around), but I’m still interested in these Jakks things solely because of the joysticks. Playing most of the MAME games with the keyboard or a PC gamepad pretty much kills the fun for me. I’d love to buy a simple four- or eight-way PC joystick, like an old Wico, just to use for MAME games. Anyone know if they’re available? All I’ve ever found is those big arcade-game panels for $100 or so, and I don’t have the cash or the room for something like that.