Cynicaster

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Cynicaster last won the day on March 28

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  1. 39,270
  2. I think you need to exit out of the game and re-start it for changed settings to take effect. For example, if you start by loading Frogger with default dips, then change lives to 5, you're still only going to get 3 lives until you exit out of the game and restart it. I really enjoy Frogger, but oddly I have not played very much of it at all since building my MAME cabinet 6 years ago. I kind of forgot how fun this game can be. Frogger is almost like 2 games in 1, because navigating the bottom half of the screen requires a whole different set of techniques than navigating the top half. For the first 2-3 boards, IMO you don't even really need any kind of strategy--the only thing you need is patience and restraint. Take your time, make reasoned and low-risk jumps, and you should be fine. Most of your hopping on these boards will be forward; not much side-to-side movement is needed. When the traffic on the road starts getting more hectic, two things start to become really important: the first is learning how to hop side-to-side between two cars, "in sync" with the speed of the cars of that row so that you don't accidentally hit the one in front of you or get squashed by the one behind you. Hopping along within a row of traffic in this way allows you more flexibility in choosing the exact moment you want to make the leap to the next row up, rather than always waiting for an obvious vertical track from bottom to top to present itself. The second important thing on hectic roads is learning how to look ahead--not just to the next row above you, but beyond. The reason this matters is because, if you look closely, you'll notice lots of times that rows of cars have gaps in them. These gaps present great opportunities to hop through at lower risk. If you take mental note of where those larger gaps are, you can try to time your advance so that the gaps pass in front of you just as you need them. I could never get past about 16,000 points until I figured this out. I agree with MO's suggestion to fill the left-most slot early on, but I don't think you need to necessarily do it first, just do it at the earliest opportunity. As soon as you get past the road, check to see if you think you have enough time to plot a path to that slot--if not, take an easier slot and try again next time for the left side. You don't want to lose a life from running down the clock if it can be avoided. Most of the time, death by sinking turtle is completely preventable. A quick scan of the turtle rows in the water should be enough for you to identify where the sinkers are. Try to make a conscious effort to always identify the sinkers before hopping into a turtle row. Frogger was designed to work with a simple 4-way joystick, which would make one think it would be easy to emulate at home, but I find that most controllers don't work very well with this game. The reason is, you move your frog with a string of discrete taps rather than the usual method of just holding the stick in the direction you want to move. The real arcade machine had a red ball-top stick with a short throw that was pretty springy, which made it very suitable for rapid tapping in different directions with accuracy. Lots of generic arcade joysticks and hand-held controllers are not very good at mimicking this kind of performance. That's why Frogger might be the only game in the MAME library that I think plays well with a keyboard; the tap-tap-tap inputs translate quite logically to key presses. The thing to keep in mind when using a keyboard is that the game will only register inputs as quickly as the frog can jump, so you have to get into a rhythm and avoid the tendency to rapidly mash the buttons to jump quicker. If you do that, you'll get lots of unregistered button presses and you'll be likely to either over- or under-jump to your death.
  3. 30,740
  4. While I personally think we've only scratched the surface of the great games that MAME has to offer, I have to agree that "hidden treasures" are probably not the best way to attract new players. For that, you need games with "curb appeal" -- where people see a post for a competition with a name they recognize and they say "hey, I know how to play that game and I like it, so I'll participate." The database of scores accumulated over multiple years is one of the cool things about the competition here, so I would hope that recycling a game would not mean wiping its database clean and starting over. Maybe a good way to go would be to break the competition into two distinct types of events: GOTM (the usual game of the month, which introduces an all-new game to the fray) and ROTM (rematch of the month). GOTM and ROTM could be run either in parallel over the course of a month, or if that's too much, then maybe during alternating months. For the ROTM competitions, a clean scoreboard could be used for the duration of the month and a month-end winner declared as usual, while the database could be used to maintain the all-time leaderboard. To counter the tendency for players to say "been there, done that" with the ROTM games, another thought would be to provide some kind of incentive to join the ROTM competitions and try to win--for example, maybe the winner gets to personally select the next ROTM game from the pool of already-played games. Certain guidelines could be applied, like games cannot be repeated in ROTM any more than once every X months, or whatever. The GOTM selections could still be subject to voting as they have been, which will keep new stuff trickling in as well.
  5. 125,025 (4th score on table)
  6. Yes, there are MAME settings specifically for vector graphics that allow you to make the lines thicker, etc.
  7. 107,375 In the photo, this is score #7 in the table. All the higher scores were done with different settings. After playing a lot of Robotron, this game is tough to get used to again. The red barriers drive me nuts, and it is very frustrating getting killed on the bonus stage because you can't fire fast enough. Cool game, though.
  8. Cool... never played this with free lives turned off. I'll have to see what I can do under these new constraints!
  9. It's true... unfortunately for those who do not have a suitable setup, I think Robotron kind of requires something resembling real-deal controls to play at home. Sure, you can "screw around" a bit in the game with an Xbox 360 controller or a keyboard, but I just don’t see anybody being able to score anywhere near their actual potential without dual arcade-style 8-way sticks. The Xbox controller at least provides the dual independent sticks, but since they're analog, they're really sloppy and imprecise for Robotron, which routinely requires accurate maneuvering through very narrow passages to survive. Maybe some modern gamer types have mastered the use of dual analog thumbsticks for precise controls to the point where Robotron could be played at a high level, but for me it would be like trying to play guitar wearing mittens, and I'd probably smash the controller in frustration before I got anywhere with it. As for Black Widow, that game has the same control scheme as Robotron, but IMO, the similarity between the two games pretty much ends there. Black Widow is a tough game as well, but generally speaking it's not nearly as twitchy as Robotron because the playfield is typically not as crowded with hazards. I've never tested this assumption, but perhaps this fact would make BW slightly more forgiving of the Xbox controller.
  10. The Robotron scoreboard has been dormant for way too long! Looks like Black Widow is poised to win the April '17 GOTM election, so thought I'd practice my twin stick skills on the granddaddy of them all. 633,400 New personal best at difficulty 5. Actually, I think that is my best regardless of difficulty setting. Though it's still a long way away, this run made 1mil feel possible. But feelings are one thing and reality is quite another. For most mere mortals, Robotron is very fickle; the game likes to build you up and then turn around and rip you down. You get a 500k+ game, then play again and die 3 times before the first brain wave.
  11. I played this one a lot as a kid. The main trick to this game is to keep in mind that you can only perform 1-2 moves on your enemy (depending on which ones) before you need to let him land some kind of hit on you. If you don't, when you go for another move, then you can guarantee that your opponent will pull a reversal and slam you with something. Losing control in this way even once can spell doom sometimes, especially once you get several matches in. Other times, you can finagle control back with a little bit of skill and little bit of luck. . Note, a relatively harmless punch or kick or even running into your enemy counts as them "landing a hit," which resets the counter and lets you do more moves to him without risk of a reversal.
  12. 1,116,700 Hope this score sticks, because I could have gone higher... I was getting buggy-eyed so I just got myself counted out on purpose.
  13. 589,550
  14. Jumping off the corner onto your opponent is probably one of the most damaging moves you can do. You have to be careful though, because if the opponent rolls out of the way, you crash to the mat and lie there stunned, giving the guy a chance to turn the tables on you. The super-kick you talked about is only possible when you whip your opponent to the ropes. Whip opponent, wait for him to rebound off the ropes, and when he gets in close hit the "kick" button and you will do the fancy kick. This move is really effective when you're really close to the ropes--you basically throw the guy then hit the kick button right away, and you land your hit before the opponent even completes his rebound off the ropes. Doing it this way means the opponent will not have a chance to do any kind of reversal, which he can (and will) do if he has time to do so. Other moves you can do when your opponent comes rushing back: Kick button + joystick toward opponent = clothesline Punch button = back drop Punch button + toward opponent = elbow smash
  15. Nice score, Pat! Once you figure out how Mat Mania (aka "Exciting Hour") works, high scores are not so much a matter of skill but of focus and discipline. In other words, you have to go methodically through your opponents without taking unnecessary risks. Especially in a long game, there is always a temptation to do different things to bring some variety to the gameplay, but if you do something too careless your opponent might gain control of the match and never give it back. As mentioned, this is particularly a problem with Coco Savage, but really, it can happen with any of the opponents. I haven't played this one in a few years, but when I get home in a few days I'll see if I can blow the rust off and give Pat a run for his money.