RoundUp 122 – The O.G.s


November 1st, 2017

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (22:14)
Guinness Gaming Records – (1:05:12)
Linus GH: Night Finds You – (1:07:38)
Mevlut Dinc Interview – (3:57:38)
Top Ten Ghoulish Games With Ghosts – (2:08:03)
Gaming Trivia – (3:57:10)
Asterion: Caer Aisling – (3:57:38)
Live News And Listener Views – (4:03:06)
URLs And EMails – (6:06:53)

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The Ultimate case for your Pi based emulation setup


October 23rd, 2017

The Raspberry Pi 3 has become incredibly popular among retro game enthusiasts for it’s low price and versatility in emulating many classic gaming systems using the RetroPie software.  Many companies have released different cases which all have different price points, features, and extras.  However, one of the cases that offers the best value for what you get has been the NesPi case manufactured by Retroflag.

 

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As pictured above, this case is identical to the classic NES case, however it is smaller than the NES Classic case.  The front features a fully functional power button (with red LED light beside it) along with a working reset button.  Your controller ports now house two USB ports, and under the cartridge flap you will find an additional 2 USB ports as well as an ethernet jack.  The rear features HDMI output, power input, and 3.5 headphone jack output, and your SD card is on the side.

 

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This setup is achieved by using a daughterboard in the front of the case.  The pi sits behind the daughterboard, and you plug a few short cables from the daughterboard to the Pi as pictured above.  There is also room on the top of the case for a cooling fan if you choose to install one.  At an MSRP of 25 dollars, this case is an absolute steal for all the extras it offers.  Also, the case is made of molded plastic instead of being 3D Printed, giving it a very solid feel.

 

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Pictured above is my corner table gaming setup.  Using the NesPi case as the centerpiece, I have added a 19 inch flatpanel monitor, an 8BitDo NES Cube speaker, and an 8BitDo NES30 Pro controller along with a 128 GB SD card running HyperPie for a huge emulation setup.  The underside of the case has a storage compartment for SD cards, and I use mine to hold a 4 GB SD card that copies the user interface of the NES Classic, yet has the complete NES Library.

 

For those of you that want to build your own retro gaming setup, or wish to have something like the NES Classic but with a much larger game selection, the NesPi case is one of the best choices you can make.  Keep in mind some assembly is required, so if you want to just plug and play, an NES Classic is still a better option.  But for a complete customizable experience, this case is a great start for constructing a tiny, yet powerful, retro gaming console.

 

The case can be ordered here.

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RoundUp 121 – Retro Retro Retro Retro


October 2nd, 2017

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (41:53)
Guinness Gaming Records – (1:52:40)
Desert Planet: Breakout Button – (1:55:25)
Top Ten Arcade Space Shooters – (2:01:18)
Gaming Trivia – (3:24:52)
DJ Jazzy Jeff: Human Video Game – (3:25:19)
Atari Box Opinions – (3:29:29)
Live News And Listener Views – (3:54:50)
URLs And EMails – (5:27:06)

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RasPiBoy preview


September 6th, 2017

Disclaimer:  Originally, I had planned to do a full review on the RasPiBoy by now, but the unit I received has a defect, which has delayed the full review.  Until then, here is a quick preview.

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The RasPiBoy is a kit created by 8BCraft, a small company working out of France.  The kit allows you to take a Raspberry Pi Zero and turn it into a portable handheld, as pictured above.  The controls are reminiscent of the SNES controller, including the shoulder triggers on the back.  You get both sets of buttons to either use the colors from the Super Famicom or Super Nintendo versions of the SNES (Japan or USA).  It also features a similar D-pad to that of the SNES.

The handheld0 takes the standard Pi Zero and uses an addon board to add full sized USB ports, a headphone jack, and a volume dial.  The onboard Pi provides TV Out using mini HDMI, and it gives audio out with a small mono speaker if you don’t wish to use the headphone jack.  Four blue LEDs below the screen act as a battery indicator, and screen contrast/brightness adjustments are on the back of the unit, as well as the main power switch.

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In my time using the unit, it is constructed very nicely, and the controls feel great in most games.  There are a few flaws in the design though, the most major one being the fact that the unit cannot be charged while it is turned on, and attempting to charge it while powered on will shut down the unit.  Also, after assembly, RetroPie requires some addition configuration to get the screen and audio working, in both a config.txt file as well as settings in the OS itself.  Some of these changes are not well documented, like increasing the gain in the audio section of RetroPie in order to get the maximum volume higher than a whisper.

On top of that, there are a few defective boards that have caused a black screen.  My board was one of the defective boards, and only functioned a few hours before the screen suffered this issue.  The dev is getting me a new board, so I am delaying the full review until I can do more comprehensive testing on it.

Once they iron out the black screen, it will be a solid device I would highly recommend for anyone wanting Pi based emulation on the go, with the only major issue being the inability to charge while being turned on.  I would assume this could be fixed with a PCB revision, and am waiting on the project creator to get back with me to see if there will be a board revision that will allow this.  Even if this doesn’t happen though, battery life is exceptional, and the battery is accessible for the user to change in the future if the battery does finally give out.  On my unit, I ordered a 6000 mah battery which lasts about 8 to 10 hours (while my screen is black, TV out still works).  For around 100 US dollars and the cost of a Pi Zero (around 10 to 15 shipped), you get a handheld that can easily handle anything from the 2600 to the 16 bit era, and some 32 bit stuff as well (32X and some PS1 games run great).  The jury is still out, but I am hoping a board revision squashes the charging bug, and I am hoping the black screen issue I ran into is only on a few select units.  I will update once the new board comes in.

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RoundUp 120 – Overclocked Magnets


September 1st, 2017

TOPICS COVERED IN THE SHOW
Hardware Flashback – (00:00)
Dinosaur Pie – (44:08)
Guinness Gaming Records – (1:44:08)
Martin Dodd: Life On Mars – (1:45:59)
Mark Jones Interview – (1:49:59)
Top Ten Animal Protagonist Games – (2:46:15)
Gaming Trivia – (4:21:44)
Radio Reelers: Silver Ball – (4:22:12)
Live News And Listener Views – (4:25:40)
URLs And EMails – (5:57:38)

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