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!
Emulation. Let's talk about it. Good? Bad? Ethical? Unethical? Well this is my opinion. Emulation is important. It allows us to preserve games for the future. Some of the media games are on, such as discs, are threatening to deteriorate after time. That's first and foremost before you answer any other questions about it.
Is it good? Well yes. I believe so. As stated, it's the best way to preserve video games. It's also a good way to introduce people to retrogaming without the need for expensive original hardware. There's also ethical ways to emulate games- such as the NES games and SNES games offered with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription- without resorting to computer emulators and downloading roms.
Is it Ethical? Well it depends. As stated, many companies are starting to offer back catalog games or arcade games for sale or access. This would be ethical and paying the company for it's work. Of course, downloading roms from the internet to play on an emulator would be less so. Even older games may still be copyrighted by existing companies, while some games may no longer have a copyright holder.
Games without a copyright holder are generally considered 'abandoned' by many folks and 'okay' to emulate compared to say, games owned by say a company such as SEGA.
In the end, my original, stated opinion still stands. Emulation is important to the preservation of games.
The GOAT Store - Store Review - December 17 2021 - by: Rocky Raccoon
I'm going to start to review places I buy video games. This might include real, brick and mortar locations, websites and usernames on services like E-bay. So this will be the first of those reviews, in which I review the most recent place I've bought games from, The GOAT Store.
The GOAT Store, or, 'Games Of All Types' Store, is a web-store located online at https://www.goatstore.com/. They carry lots of types of retro video games, not specializing in any particular type. Atari, Master System, Invellivision, Nintendo NES and SNES... lots.
I've had quite a few orders with this store and most have gone well. Orders usually go out within a week of ordering, and everything arrives in the stated condition. During purchase you can buy/pick certain condition carts for various stated prices--- with 'bad label, card only' tending to be the cheapest option. I like stores with this option, as it lets you pick a cheaper version of a game if you don't care about label condition, or tiny cosmetic problems in a cartridge when you just want the game.
I consider their prices fair. They know what certain games are worth, and their prices are never 'Ebay bad'. If I'm looking for a fair price on a game, this is the first website I check out!
I have gotten slightly dirty carts that have needed cleaning before, but that's a minor gripe. They say everything is tested before it's sold, and I had bought the carts in the lowest grade condition available, for the record. I have never had a dead cartridge or disc from The GOAT store.
My communication with The GOAT Store has always been quick and kind, and have always solved my problem.
Overall, I would suggest The GOAT store. Fair prices. A little variety. Great people. I would give them a 9 out of 10 Billy Goats.
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 Tabletop. 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 tabletop 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 Tabletop 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 tabletop did not need long, complicated, exasperating assembly. The volume on the tabletop 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 tabletop had it existed at the time.
Overall, I give the Ms. Pac-Man tabletop 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!