View Full Version : RoundUp 045 - Yoinking On The Up

25-02-12, 01:51
Apparently we are seeing a rise in the number of incidents of yoinking.

I myself have been a victim and it's no fun, let me tell you.

If you too have been yoinked, cheer yourself up by listening to the February Podcast.

Hardware Flashback: Odyssey 2 - (00:00)
Mike'd Up - (30:14)
Guinness Gaming Records - (48:26)
Martin Dodd - Life On Mars - (51:28)
Smithsonian Art Of Video Games Interview - (55:32)
The Great And Powerful Oz - (83:53)
Top Ten Arcade Cab Marquees - (84:23)
Gaming Trivia - (171:58)
It Came From MAME - (172:25)
Live News And Listener Views - (187:54)
Retro Regurge - (308:05)
Brad Smith - Brain Damage - (324:29)
URLs And EMails - (329:06)

See the shownotes page (http://www.retrogamingroundup.com/shownotes/2012/roundup045_2012.02.htm). Donate (http://www.retrogamingroundup.com/donate.htm) to the show.

Join our Facebook Group (<a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/RetroGamingRoundup/121368478521). Podcatch via the show’s RSS Feed (http://retrogamingroundup.libsyn.com/rss).

Read the Live News chat log (http://www.retrogamingroundup.com/shownotes/2012/roundup045_chat.htm).

Stream the show 24/7 (http://www.retrogamingroundup.com/247).

Listen to the Outtakes (http://www.retrogamingroundup.com/roundups/2012/RoundUp045_Outtakes.mp3).

25-02-12, 03:14
I thought yoinking was a good thing. I yoink myself 3 times a day.

Sent from my LG-VM670 using Tapatalk

25-02-12, 12:59
Oh no, yoinking is bad.

Bad, bad, bad, bad.

26-02-12, 09:48
Yoinking is known to cause blindness! Consult a physician if yoinking results in blurry vision, talking incoherently and an erection that lasts more then 12 years.

28-02-12, 05:32
I like your top of the show music selection this week.

28-02-12, 05:36
Apparently we are seeing a rise in the number of incidents of yoinking. I myself have been a victim and it's no fun, let me tell you.

Yeah, but have you ever been on the receiving end of a good sponking?


28-02-12, 08:33
"I challenge you rosbifs!" LOL.

04-03-12, 12:40
Yup, that's the good old slang term for brits in french "rosbif", as in, roast beef.

25-03-12, 09:31
Doug0909 response to Scotts HWFB:

Dear RGR:

Thank you for covering the Odyssey 2 in your Hardware Flashback. You
gave some much needed attention to an underappreciated system and I
liked your research and the generally positive view of the system.
However, you did kind of ^(&!* parts of it up.

First, what is the source of what you said about Magnavox selling less
units because they tried telling people the system only worked on
Magnavox Televisions??! I've heard that many times about the ORIGINAL
Odyssey game system, and in fact that's in the Wikipedia article
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnavox_Odyssey%C2%B2. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnavox_Odyssey%C2%B2.) However, I have
never heard they repeated that mistake with the Odyssey 2... and that
would have been crazy with the competition they had at the time... So
let me know if you have a source for that...

About the Odyssey 2's hardware, you say that the Odyssey 2 was more a
peer of the Fairchild Channel F than the Atari 2600 as it was less
powerful than the 2600. I always understood that, in fact, the opposite
was true; on paper, the Odyssey 2 was more powerful than the 2600. The
core of your argument has to do with the CPU's of the respective
machines - and I don't know enough about that to comment intelligently,
but I would note that the 8048 ran at around 1.8 MHz while the 6507 only
ran at 1.2 MHz. Perhaps that doesn't make much difference; the Channel
F's processor also ran at around 1.8 MHz. I don't know; just pointing
that out... The place I really think you made an error, though, had to
do with the RAM comparison. You say that the O2, like the Fairchild,
only had 64 bytes of RAM, while the 2600 had 128 bytes of RAM - which
is, technically, correct. What you left out was that, in addition to
the system RAM, the O2 ALSO HAD 256 BYTES OF VIDEO RAM. That probably
appeared to be a critical stat in the O2's favor at the time. Yes, as
you say, the O2 had only 16 colors and the 2600 had 128 colors (well,
really a palette of 128 shades of 16 colors). But that doesn't matter
much when you are mainly dealing with single color sprites and no
background graphics... In fact, I think early O2 games looked better
than early 2600 games; there was no flicker, no crud lines on the side
of the screen, and the graphics always just looked sharper to me.
Compare Quest for the Rings to Adventure, or Pick Axe Pete to 2600
Donkey Kong, or Freedom Fighters to 2600 Defender, or of course KC
Munchkin to Pac Man. Now, of course, there is no doubt the 2600 was
capable of doing things you simply couldn't do on the O2 - and
Activision and Imagic started pulling off those things around 1982 with
games like Demon Attack (superior to the O2 version) and Pitfall... and
then by the mid-80's drove the nail in any comparison between what the
systems could do with titles like Pitfall II and Solaris. That was,
however, because the programmers learned how to trick out the TIA.
Still, before they discovered they could trick out the TIA and really
started working on that, it was not at all clear the 2600 was a more
powerful machine. (Even in the one area where the 2600 was clearly
superior on paper out the door - the two-channel sound - that was
actually the result of the abandoned idea of stereo output channels, and
I don't think anyone envisioned them tricking out the two channels for
complex music with a custom chip built into the Pitfall II cartridge...)

So I don't think it's fair to say that in the late 70's (when the
fairchild was still around) and early 80's (when the fairchild was
already as good as dead), the odyssey 2 was more of a competitor to the
fairchild than the Atari. Just look at the games; did you ever see
anything like pac-man or donkey kong on the fairchild?

By the way, what did you mean that the odyssey 2 had only 1k rom
(referring, I guess, to its BIOS) available but the 2600 had 4k rom?
The 2600 had no BIOS... If you were talking about cartridges, the O2
took up to 8kb cartridges (and that was standard on the 2600 too, which
in fact required bank switching for the 8kb cartridges). The 16kb ROM
2600 games like Solaris only came out in the 2600's last days, after the
O2 was mostly off the market...

And then there's the most important point - even though the 2600 could
do a lot of things the O2 couldn't do, it seems the O2 could do a lot of
things the 2600 couldn't do in the early days, and a few things it
possibly could never do. Simply - the O2 could have lots of fast-moving
sprites with zero flicker. Perhaps this was because of the built-in
character set, as sometimes the moving objects (the dots in KC Munchkin,
the ships in Timelord) were taken directly from the built in character
set. Take KC Munchkin - there's KC, 3 ghosts, 12 dots (four of which
are flashing), and a spinning ghost pen - and everything moves
independently, smoothly, with no-flicker, and incredibly fast on the
higher levels. Years ago, I suggested porting KC Munckin to the 2600 on
AtariAge, and several people indicated that they did not know if that
was possible with the number of independently moving sprites. So I
wonder if you could port the lightning fast action (and many falling
objects) in Attack of the Timelord, or if you could have all those
boulders flying around in Pick Axe Pete.. at least with zero flicker as
on the O2. So, yeah, the O2 could never pull off background graphics,
and multi-colored sprites were few and far between. But if you are
enjoying old games in 2012... who cares? We have all the background
graphics and multi-colored sprites we could ever want. But give me an
old game with lightning fast flicker-free action and sharp graphics over
some flickery 2600 title or slow "high-res" Intellivision title any day...

So, yeah, I don't think the hardware was more Channel F'ish than
2600'ish, and neither, I think, did many people from 1978-1982. But the
discussion of the software is where I think you REALLY missed the mark.

The Keyboard was a cool feature, but it wasn't used much, especially by
people who didn't buy the educational games for little kids or the
computer intro cart. For most people, it was just used to type in their
high scores for games like KC Munchkin... And the Voice was AWESOME,
but it wasn't really used for gameplay either (ALL non-educational
Voice-compatible games did not REQUIRE the voice). It was really just
used for laughs in games like Smithereens and KC's Crazy Chase.

What made the Odyssey 2 great was the software. Odyssey 2 software was
did the review - even more or less correctly identifying the good and
awful games - without mentioning this. For example... You talked about
how good KC Munchkin was ... but you didn't even mention that the
frickin dots move!!! You have to chase them! And when you are down to
one last dot, it flies around like crazy before you can catch it! It is
now the year 2012, there have been a gazillion videogames made for a
gazillion platforms, countless maze games and pac-man clones have been
made, and to the best of my knowledge, the only two pac-man like games
ever made where you have to chase the dots are (1) KC Munchkin and (2)
some crappy DOS remake of KC Munchkin I saw years ago. This is
screaming out for a quality remake! And yes, it's a great reason to own
an Odyssey 2 - you can actually play a really fun game on it which
doesn't EXIST - in fact pretty much nothing like it exists - anywhere else.

KC's Crazy Chase - this isn't just "good" - you didn't mention that this
was Centipede thrown into a Pac-Man maze??! That you have to eat the
centipede ASS-FIRST? That this game was probably designed by a guy on
mushrooms, which just happen to magically pop up in the maze all the time?

And more examples from your review... You called Alien Invaders - Plus
"pretty bad," because you only had a couple rows of aliens who wiggled
back and forth... How could you not mention all the unique ideas that
went into it? Not just the shields in front of the Aliens... There was
a man inside your shooter, and if you got shot, you didn't die.. rather,
a little man comes out and he has to hide under a shield so he doesn't
get shot! But wait, there's also an extra ship under each shield, so if
you press the button you have a new ship, but now no shield! And of
course there's the "monster" at the top of the screen.. as soon as you
kill the last alien, it comes down right on top of you like a bitch and
(usually) kills you. And then there was no score in this game - it was
a 10-point match, you against the Aliens. These were unique concepts,
and Alien Invaders-Plus was a wickedly challenging game the first time
you played it, demanding very exact timing. Is it a great game, or
something people would want to play at length today? No, since it had
little replay value after you master it by figuring out the timing. But
this was 1978! And playing one of the most unique - and hardest - games
ever made at that point was quite an experience. It took me several
bleary eyed nights to finally beat those Aliens... No, it did not
deserve an F from the videogame critic...

You said Blockout/Breakdown was like Arkanoid or "something on an
Amstrad"???! This was nothing like Arkanoid, or anything with Amstrad
level graphics - it wasn't even showing what the O2 could do in terms of
a standard breakout game (that's a homebrew someone could work on). No,
there were only four big super low res layers of bricks. However, there
was a reason for that - player 2 (or the computer) controlled four
little men, one in each of the 4 rows - who would try to rebuild the
bricks and thwart the guy who controlled the onscreen paddle. Again, it
wasn't a great game - the O2 didn't have paddle controllers or any
analog controllers, and it really should have had some option for player
2 to catch the ball and throw it back down at varying speeds and
angles. But still - it is now 2012, and to the best of my knowledge
this is the only breakout game in videogame history which lets player 2
rebuild the bricks! Another game screaming for a remake, and another
great reason to own an O2...

UFO? This wasn't just Asteroids - this was Asteroids where you can ram
the enemies with your ship's REGENERATING SHIELD and - much more
importantly - CHAIN REACTION EXPLOSIONS. Each destroyed "UFO" created
three pieces of debris - two went diagonally up, one went down - and if
you timed it right, you could get explosion after explosion after
explosion, sometimes even destroying the Alien spaceship by chain reaction.

Pick Axe Pete - this wasn't "dumbed-down Mappy." This was dumbed-down -
but weirded out - Donkey Kong... with a key to go to the next level
(which magically floated to the top of the screen), barrels (boulders)
that not only rolled, but also bounced (requiring you to dive under
them), and - what made it so endlessly addictive - each new level
appeared in the color of the door you jumped into (so it was invisible
if you jumped into a black door) and each new level was missing a piece
of the platform! And that made those boulders bounce like crazy...
imagine how challenging donkey kong would have been if each time you
returned to level one, a chunk of platform disappeared and barrels were
falling through them and bouncing all over the place....

Freedom Fighters - again not a great game - but again, unique - defender
where you had a single screen game using one joystick, but at any time
you could use the other joystick for a scrolling game...

Showdown in 2100 AD - a poorly executed version of gunfighter??? Um,
were you thinking of Outlaw for the 2600, which was a poorly executed
version of the early arcade game Gun Fight? Here's what you could do in
Showdown that you couldn't do in Outlaw or Gun Fight - REFILL your
bullets by touching a tree of the right color. SHOOT through objects
(trees) when you are right next to them - just like in real life when
you shoot through the branches! Ricochet bullets off the trees! Sit
around and let the computer take over both players, and watch them shoot
each other as you smoke a joint! And you said it was robots not cowboys
for Magnavox's family-friendly image??? Did you realize you can shoot
your opponent's rotting corpse until there's nothing left?
http://www.the-nextlevel.com/odyssey2/reviews/showdown/ (http://www.the-nextlevel.com/odyssey2/reviews/showdown/)

And of course, nothing was more unique at the time than games that are
partially played on the screen, and partially played on a separate board
with real playing pieces...

Yes, Volleyball sucked, and it had no interesting ideas. But who the
heck buys an Odyssey 2 to play volleyball?

Finally, you didn't mention the goofiest aspect of the system - the most
over the top hype in videogame
history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, you did mention that
the title of every single game ended with an exclamation point! But you
did not mention the ridiculous (and sometimes quite beautiful) box
illustrations which had absolutely nothing to do with what you'd see on
the screen! And every game touted full "sync-sound action" - because
all those other systems didn't sync the sound to the games!

Well, that's just my two cents. Sorry this is probably too long to read
on the show, but feel free to pick and choose what to respond to...

25-03-12, 10:27
More from Doug0909

You criticized the hardwired joysticks, which was a fair point.

But you forgot to mention that the original model DID have detachable
joysticks (you can still find them on ebay occasionally...).

Also, if your joysticks on a hardwired system break, the system uses the
exact same six wires as the Atari 2600 or any other system with a 9-pin
connector (four directions, fire button, ground). So you can put your
own connector on and then use any standard joystick, or you can splice
the wires on a standard joystick and tie them together. I figured that
out when I was about 10...

26-03-12, 06:06
Long time listener, first time caller.
I've been listening to the show since day one, and really enjoy what you guys do. The enthusiasm and humor of your collective approach is refreshing, and even when you guys are talking over my head I still find it interesting enough to pay attention to. I've never really posted on here much in the past, but there was one issue I've been wanting to address for awhile: Scott's audio.
I've noticed in recent months that during the "scype" portions of the podcast (those times when you guys are on all at once: i.e. Top 10, News, etc.), Scott's audio gets almost ear-shatteringly treble, with absolutely no low-end coming in at all. (I don't remember this being an issue in the past.) UK Mike's audio comes in the best (I assume he's not scyping in), and SoCal's is lower fidelity but still well balanced from an EQ perspective. But Scott's audio: Even when I turn the treble all the way down and the bass all the way up, the shrillness is still pretty apparent. I don't really notice it when Scott's running solo (ie: Hardware Flashback, etc).
I can't imagine I'm the only one who notices this, but I figured I'd throw it out to the forum and see if anyone agrees. Any ideas?
One other minor request: Would it be possible to set up a donate button in dollars instead of pounds? (Nitpicky, to be sure, but I figured I'd ask.)
Thanks guys. Keep up the good work!

All Your Base
26-03-12, 08:37
The natural timbre of Scott's voice is actually so high and squeaky that normally only dogs can hear him. For his solo segments this is compensated for through the use of pitch shifting technology, which brings his voice within the parameters of the normal human register so you just don't notice. However, in a three way live discussion it is very difficult to make the necessary adjustments on the fly and it becomes more noticeable.

26-03-12, 10:21
While that is certainly true of all the Schreiber family, we have had some issues on the last few records in general but they should hopefully be ironed out now, though there is some background hum in the upcoming top ten in places.

26-03-12, 03:39
That background hum is of course a natural sound that emanates from UkMikes continual flatulence, oddly in the pitch of E minor.

26-03-12, 05:49
Scott's audio gets almost ear-shatteringly treble, with absolutely no low-end coming in at all.

Being an audio guy, I've noticed that as well. It's not so bad when I listen to the podcast on the PC through speakers, but when I'm wearing headphones during Live News, it's much more noticeable. But the high quality of the content makes up for the poor quality of the audio.

A similar thing that drives me crazy are toys that have recorded audio or songs. They always seem to use the lowest possible sample rate so the aliasing is of the charts. It's so fucking grating and irritating to the ears that I can't even listen. The Odyssey 2 Voice and the Intellivision Intellivoice from 1982 do a better job, and they were extremely limited by the lack of memory space and technology. There's no reason for the horrible audio in modern toys that use samples.

Here's a perfect example. My Mom has one of these that my 2 1/2 year old son loves to play with when he's visiting Grandma. I have to leave the room when it's on though. The sound is like fingernails on a chalk board to me (granted it doesn't help that I also hate the song, but my complaint here is purely from an audio quality perspective)...


27-03-12, 03:28
i managed 34 secs

27-03-12, 09:24
i managed 34 secs

That's about 5 times as long as I can take it. You are a glutton for punishment, sir!

30-03-12, 09:01
i managed 34 secs


31-03-12, 01:13

I meant the nasty toy, even a 12 hour RGR would be great for me, luckily I'll still got about 14 months to catch up on so I have plenty to listen too

31-03-12, 08:08
Edit: Lol I had the wrong episode.

I've been finding myself drawn to the TRON machine whenever I visit the arcade. That's one of the marquees that always seems to stand out to me.

The audio has only really been a problem for me when I'm trying to listen past everything else at work. I'll have So Cal and UK down low and Scott's audio higher.