Hey there! My name is RockyRaccoon, also known as 'LemonAid'
online. I'm a retrogame player and collector. This
website is dedicated to my love of retrogaming and
retrogame adjacent items. Here you'll find my musings,
opinions and reviews, as well as some miscellaneous
items I felt like posting. Thanks for visiting!
When people ask me 'Hey what's your favorite kind of retro game?' and when I say 'Cute 'em ups!' they have no ideas what I'm talking about sometimes. So I figure I'll talk about them. A Cute 'em up is basically just any Scrolling Shoot'em Up (Shump, etc.) that also has a cute or 'adorable' aesthetic. Examples of these games are Fantasy Zone, Magical Chase, Harmful Park and Keio Flying Squadron or the Twin Bee series. My favorite is the Fantasy Zone series and the Twin Bee series. If you have a favorite, why not comment below and let me know what it is?
What hooked me on the Fantasy Zone series was mainly it's catchy music, and cartoony style. Like when the main character gets down on the ground, the ship will grow wings and start running. It's kind of silly! I also liked the idea of destroying floating 'bases' on a playfield that wrapped around before destroying the last one and summoning the boss of the stage! Twin Bee has a similar aesthetic though in a more standard scrolling shooter formula when I want things more 'standard shooter' like Gradius or R-type. I also have a fondness for Magical Chase, but I've only played it on Emulators... it's rare as all get out. It's also more like a standard shooter with two star sprite 'options' you can aim separately.
I suggest you check some out, if you're looking for something different than the usual 'space' shooter for sure!
You know what. I've fallen in love with Radio Shack's TRS-80 Color Computer line. Primarily the original model (Known as the 'CoCo 1' nowadays.) and the Color Computer 2, known as the 'CoCo 2', as those are the two I currently own. NOW, When someone likes an old, vintage computer particularly a lot, it tends to be because they grew up with it, and have a strong connection with due to that fact. I have no such connection with the TRS-80 Color Computer.
But yet, I've fallen in love with this computer. It just seems so... underdog? It's hard for me to explain. Not to mention that I have yet to find a Model 1 that hasn't been owned by somebody and had their personal touch sort of added to it- whether that be a ram upgrade, or a kit added to add a reset button upfront like my model has.
Also, not gonna lie. I love the multiple 'not at all a copy or clone of' games.' that exist on this system. Surely Ms. Maze is totall legallt distinct from Ms. Pac-Man and Mr. Dig is totally distinct from Dig Dug. Donkey Kong? Never heard of him, is he like Donkey King?
Also, I like the accompanying 'The Rainbow' magazine. It tells me a lot of what the system was like back in the day. Also, what was it with 'Horse Betting Helper' like programs and lottery programs back in the day?
My favorite game is F16 Assault. It's a great, unexpected scrolling shooter on an unexpected platform, and I suggest you check it out. It can be found on the TRS-80 Color Computer Archive- a site I suggest you also check out.
For Christmas, I got an Arcade 1UP Ms. Pac-Man Countercade. Last year, I had bought a 1up Space Invaders stand up Arcade. I'm going to compare both units a little bit at the end of this- for those wondering over one or the other! So let's get down to the Countercade first! As I got it as a gift, I'm hesitant to state the price, but I understand mine cost 125$. It may had been on sale at the time.
The Countercade comes assembled in a cardboard box. You merely need to unpack it and plug it in. I found this really easy to setup. It's also not very heavy and is easily moved around. It is not battery powered and needs to be plugged into the wall to get power.
The unit itself is solidly built. Mine accidentally fell off a table and landed on it's flat right side the day I got it. I picked it up, turned it on to see if it broke and everything worked just fine, no issues! No breakage. I would still not suggest throwing this across the room. But I'm glad it did not crack or break the unit the one time it dropped.
The controls are a mixed bag. The joystick clearly has a micro-switch, but the buttons do not, and have that mushy feeling, which can feel a little tactility wrong. They do serve their purpose well enough. The control surface doesn't feel cramped, despite the small size of the unit. The screen is a little small, and I wish it was larger. But it's perfectly serviceable for the countercade unit otherwise.
There are four games on the unit, which I consider a great value. Ms. Pac-Man, the star of the unit, Pac-Man Plus, Galaga and Dig Dug II. The games are the arcade versions as expected of the Arcade 1-up units. They play as you expect each game to play without any problems.
As a comparison to the larger Space Invaders- the countercade did not need long, complicated, exasperating assembly. The volume on the countercade also works as it does on a TV, with a meter where you can set to a variety of acceptable volumes instead of just the Space Invader's 'LOUD!' 'Less Loud!' and 'Mute.'. I would probably had bought the Space Invaders Countercade had it existed at the time.
Overall, I give the Ms. Pac-Man countercade a 9 out of 10 Wakka-Wakka-Wakkas.
So, one of the questions I get asked is why I write instead of film video or audio of my reviews or opinions? This is more a complicated question to reply to than one might thing for me. For starters, I don't really feel comfortable being in front of a camera. I've tried various times and the video never ends up uploaded or I abort the video mid recording.
I have tried a vocal video before, but it didn't really come out as well as I'd like, and had audio problems. I might try this again, as I was comfortable enough with this style of video. Though I need to add visual elements to the video next time. I have ideas for this, I just need to figure out the best way to do this.
But in the end, this is just a hobby for me. I don't care about 'SEO' or 'hits' or 'visits' too much. I do have some Google Analytics running just as a curiosity about how many visits my website does get- and I have a Twitter as a way of broadcasting outward. But that's about all the 'advertising' I do. In the end, Retrocade Romp is a blog for me.
I am gonna be doing some game reviews perhaps in the future. Perhaps look forward to that if you like visit my personal website every so often!
The Story of the Optical Health 65XE - November 28 2020 - by: Rocky Raccoon
A few many months back I obtained an Atari 65xe from AtariAge forum user ApolloBoy. ApolloBoy had originally bought this on Ebay for the price of 85$ dollars. I obtained it from him for vaguely the same price. While similar to a stock Atari 65XE, it had some external differences.
The first was, where there should be an Atari Badge, a sticker had been places that says 'Computer Orthoptics (tm)'. There is also a piece of masking tape on the side with a serial number of sorts: A1511009678. This means at some point in this computer's life, It had been used in a Optometrists Office or similar setting that works with equipment related to eyecare. Most likely to control some sort of machine or machines.
ApolloBoy eventually contacted the company, which was still in business all these years, and got reply from the parent company 'Home Therapy Systems'. They did not have a partnership with Atari, so most likely purchased them and modified them. And speaking of modifications- the inside of the unit has been modified with a jumper to prevent stock Atari 65XEs from running their software! This jumper sits between pins 3 and 10 on the GTIA. This means it pushes the button on Joysticks 3 and 4. Since the Atari 65XE only has two Joystick ports, 1 and 2-- this acts as a form of hardware check for 'Computer Orthoptic's Software' to make sure it's running on their modded system.
Sadly, that's where the story ends when it ends up in my care. It works as a standard 65XE and anything I've run on it hasn't had any problems yet. I am looking for some software for this- though it isn't a priority, just-- some interest on what it looks like.
Just thought I'd tell the story of one of the odder pieces in my collection!
It's now time to talk about the Bittboy PocketGo V2.1 as I alluded to in my original Bittboy review! I meant to get to this sooner, but life has a way of kicking you off course! Regardless, let's review the PocketGo V2.1!
First, let's talk about the outside. Mine came in the color white, with rainbow buttons. The system has four face buttons labeled Y, X, B, A, Start & Select, a D-pad, and an analog control stick. The top of the system has two L and R buttons for each side. As well as the power button, 3.5 mm audio jack, USB-C connector and a volume up and down button. The bottom has two Micro SD cards, and a reset button. There is a third, unlabeled button over the start and select buttons whose function I am unsure of- but believe it's there for software to take advantage of as a 'free button'.
It's easy to hold and my hands typically don't hurt after holding it for a while. The only complaint I have is the analog stick isn't of the best quality and it feels...for lack of a better term 'gritty'. Everything else works pretty well otherwise- but if you intend to play systems or games that might use the analog stick
It has a large amount of emulators and game ports on it. Enough that I won't sit here and name them all. But includes all the systems and ports you'd expect by now-- NES, SNES, PS1, Doom, Wolf 3D and such. They all run pretty great! Things made for the RG350 tend to work just fine on the PocketGo V.2.1, though some may need control reconfiguration. I also understand it's compatible with the RG350 firmware, but I have not been able to confirm this yet. So don't take my word on that!
One thing I did not like, was how difficult it was to add roms or other files to the system. The USB-C cord the system comes with is not 'Data' compatible, and one that is data compatible is required to add files to the system. It uses a wired 'network' connection to connect onto the system via FTP. While you can just plug the SD card into your computer, the partition required to be read to add files onto isn't readable by Windows based systems due to it being a Linux partition. This part of the system is not newbie friendly, I am just used to using FTP and associated systems enough that it's easy for me.
Overall, I don't regret buying the Pocket Go V2.1. I wish the analog stick felt better to use, but otherwise, has kept my entertained on my doctors visits and overall places where I need to wait around without anything better to do!
Please checkout Bittboy.com to see about obtaining your own!
Just letting you folks know that I have moved webhosts. So I apologize for any website downness that happened or can happen in the near future due to DNS propogation and just general trouble getting things setup! Any problems? Please comment with the link below this post! Finally designed a background I kinda like. Simple. Uses the same color, but adds some interesting little retro related panache to the website! The Technical Docs. page has gotten updated with the most recent FAQs I could find, and added some more systems aswell! I will look for more to add later. Any suggestions? Lemme know in the comments!