News Roundup: April 4 - May 5

mossy_11 on Friday, 06 May 2011. Posted in News

Apple released updates to its iMac line earlier in the week, bumping performance with the latest Sandy Bridge processors and AMD Radeon HD graphics cards. The new iMacs also sport ports -- one in the 21.5-inch models, two in the 27-inch -- for the new Thunderbolt high-speed peripheral connection interface that was introduced with the new MacBook Pros earlier in the year. Tested did a breakdown of the gaming capabilities of the new iMacs, determining that the best choice for many gamers will be to get the 21.5-inch model with a 6770M graphics card.

Apple also released the long-delayed, much-anticipated white iPhone 4 last month. If I may editorialise for a moment, the excitement over what is only a colour change is utterly ridiculous -- it almost makes me ashamed to be an Apple fan.

Arcade emulator MAME has a new project manager. After six years at the helm, Aaron Giles, a legend in the emulation scene, has stepped down to make way for Angelo Salese. Giles will still be involved as a developer on the project, however. The latest version of MAME and its OS X port, SDL MAME, is 0.142u2, which as usual offers a wealth of source changes. See here for the list. Head over to the SDL MAME website for a precompiled version, or grab the source straight from the MAME site.

Super Nintendo emulator Snes9x has received a long-awaited update. Version 1.53 offers a wealth of fixes and improvements, which you can see in the changelog listed here. Downloads are also available at the preceding link.

Nintendo Gamecube and Wii emulator Dolphin now has official Mac OS X builds. The emulator is updated on a more-or-less daily basis, so keep a close eye on its download page for the latest binaries.

Keep reading for more emulator updates.

Gorf

Pixelcade on Saturday, 23 April 2011. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Let's take another trip down my memory lane to about 1983/84. I was at an arcade with my favorite aunt when I heard in an electronic voice, "tatatatatata."

The game was taunting me! Oh, how it mocked me with its electronic voice -- unheard of when it was released in 1981. I remember the G.O.R.F. (Galactic Orbiting Robot Force) cabinet looked similar to a Tron cabinet using the same controller method -- except for the neon glowing handle, anyway. It had everything a person wanted in a shooter! EVERYTHING!

News Roundup: March 5 - April 3

mossy_11 on Sunday, 03 April 2011. Posted in News

We’re building a better MacScene, and we need your help. Developers, designers, writers, editors, and anyone else with expertise that will be useful for a bigger, better MacScene should check out this forum thread for more details on the changes and how you can help. And yes, the emulator database is set to return.

Apparently, March is a slow news month. Here are the updates in the world of emulation on the Mac.

Boxer, a powerful DOSBox front-end that can wrap games into individual OS X apps, has officially reached version 1.0 -- and subsequently received a minor update to fix a bug with System folder icons being overridden when they are set as game folder. See the official site for full details and a download link, and also check out the blog for an interesting discussion about the future of Boxer -- which includes distribution on the Mac App Store.

In news we missed last month, multi-platform DOSBox game launcher DBGL has been updated to version 0.72. Changes include support for forced scaling and configurable dosbox.conf locations. See the official site for full details and a download link.

Open-source MSX emulator openMSX has been updated to version 0.8.1. The update fixes a number of minor issues, adds scripts to help with Tool Assisted Speedruns, and adds emulation for a few MSX devices. See the changelog here, and check the official site for download links.

Keep reading after the jump for more updates.

ColecoVision

Pixelcade on Thursday, 24 March 2011. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

The year was 1983.  A little Pixelcade turned 4 and was given for his birthday a brand new ColecoVision!

It was already a year into its lifecycle, and I was very little, but I knew this was something special. Atari, Intellivision and Odyssey were constants in my life from friends and older cousins, but this was MINE! My first gaming system to have, hold, and forge memories on. But what was ColecoVision? And who was its manufacturer, Coleco Industries?

Airborne

mossy_11 on Saturday, 12 March 2011. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Before he co-created the legendary Mac game Dark Castle -- long before he led development on the now-dominant Flash multimedia platform -- Jonathan Gay made a little black-and-white game called Airborne. The Macintosh was still in its infancy at this point, and Airborne was released more-or-less alongside the freeware Banzai!, but this did little to detract from Airborne's appeal.

The concept is simple: destroy the advancing tanks, planes, helicopters, and soldiers with your mortar or anti-aircraft gun before they reach your position. If someone gets close enough to shoot you, you lose -- presumably ending an admirable, or perhaps foolish, last stand against all odds to repel an invasion force. If you manage to defeat them all, a new wave arrives. There is no winning, just a staving off of the inevitable and a hope of setting a new high score.

News Roundup: February 7 - March 4

Niemann on Friday, 04 March 2011. Posted in News

apple-logoApple has released new MacBook Pros, with the new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt connectivity. Early reports indicate that they are much faster than the previous generation machines -- to the point where the new baseline 13" model matches or betters the old 17" model on many speed and performance tests.


overview_missioncontrol20110127It has been revealed that Mac OS X Lion will drop Rosetta, a software abstraction layer which provides support for PowerPC binaries on Intel machines. This is an interesting move that some are labelling premature, as, on the one hand, it forces developers to get their code up to modern standards, but, on the other, it breaks compatibility with some professional software still actively in use. Some of the other features slated for Lion are looking promising, though.


iPad2At a media event on Wednesday, Apple announced a second-generation iPad, complete with a processor upgrade (the iPad 2 sports a 1GHz dual-core A5 processor), front- and rear-facing cameras, Smart Covers, and an option to get it in white colour. The new iPad models will be available in the US from March 11, and in other countries over the following weeks. In the meantime, you can pick up the first-generation iPad at a discount.


Also announced at the event was iOS 4.3, which features some useful enhancements to AirPlay, allows iTunes Home Sharing, improves performance in Safari, and offers the long-demanded iPad side-switch preference (rotation lock or mute). It will be available from March 11, and is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 GSM, 3rd-gen iPod Touch, 4th-gen iPod Touch, iPad, and iPad 2 (I guess that means iPhone 3 and 2nd-gen iPod Touch owners should upgrade now).


We've had a quiet month in Mac emulation news, but there were notable updates to VICE, Dapplegrey, and gbpablog, amongst others. Hit the jump for details on these and other minor emulator updates, as well as a couple of Mac gaming tidbits.

Final Fantasy I

Pixelcade on Saturday, 26 February 2011. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

Editor's Note: I'm sure everyone here is familiar with this game -- by name and reputation if nothing else. It kicked off a franchise that's still going strong today, with sequels, spin-offs, collectibles, films, concerts, and many other products all being released under the Final Fantasy brand. Pixelcade shares his memories of the game that started it all. -mossy_11


Front_BoxBack_Box

The Final Fantasy…or was it? Hello fellow gamers! This RGotW is brought to you by the year 1987 and the system Nintendo, sponsored in part by the company Square. With a helpful grant from MacScene and Pixelcade. Rather than my usual choice of some obscure game or movie or random event no one has heard of, this week I am doing a mainstream game.

So, 1987: Where were you what were you doing? US President Ronald Reagan was undergoing prostate surgery, La Bamba moved everyone's hips in dance clubs world wide, and PBS was hacked in Chicago by a man wearing a Max Headroom mask, babbling about who knows what -- it sure wasn't New Coke. Also at this time a video game that would go on to shape every single RPG to date in one way or another was developed by a little company going out of business -- Square.

Shufflepuck Café

mossy_11 on Wednesday, 09 February 2011. Posted in Retro Game of the Week

As far as strange bars go, you'll be hard-pressed to find something weirder than Shufflepuck Café. Staffed by a robot, and replete with several dysfunctional regulars, its main attraction is an air hockey table. This standoffish group, composed of nine individuals (including the robot waiter), has just one interest: destroying you in a game of virtual air hockey.

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