Side Arms and Happy New Year!

Near the end of 2014 I bought a Side Arms PCB off the guy who runs shmuplations.com. I LOVED this game as a kid, I used to gawk at the box of the DOS version at Fry’s Electronics and think about playing it at home. But even as a kid, I smelled trouble because the back of the DOS box featured screen shots from the arcade version. When they don’t show actual screen shots of what you’re about to buy, chances are it’s a turd. I was so right.

So while 8 year old me thought highly of this game, current me who has decent shmup skills 1CC’d it the first time I played it seriously. FOR REAL! I played 2 credits just to make sure the PCB worked ok so I could give the seller positive feedback, then I let it sit for a few days. On the first credit I sat down and played with real effort, I 1CC’d the game. I double checked the DIP switches to make sure the difficulty wasn’t set super low, but they were set to defaults.

Side Arms 1CC

The left/right shooting mechanic is neat, but all in all the game isn’t anything that special. The music is rad and it has that classic Capcom feel, but I don’t think this is a PCB worth keeping.

I think the first thing I’m going to do in 2015 is sell some PCBs and tidy up my collection. I have picked up a few games based on nostalgia, but they aren’t games I’ll play seriously or repeatedly.

As far as 2015 shmup goals, I carry over some goals from last year:

  • Ibara: Letter Score
  • Mushihimesama Futari Black Label: 1 billion points in God mode

I had the day off work on January 1st and I hooked my XBox 360 back up to my vertical cab so that I could play Mushihimesama Futari Black Label (MFBL). That game is amazing! I 1CC’d maniac mode in the past, now I want to work on God mode as building up the multiplier to x30,000 and then cashing it in is probably one of the most satisfying feelings in gaming I’ve ever experienced.

I will be streaming stuff on my Twitch channel, so subscribe and check out my efforts!

Happy New Year!

Muchi Muchi Pork 1-ALL

I took a break from playing for about a week and a half, then on my second credit after playing again I was able to 1-ALL Muchi Muchi Pork!

Final score: 115,449,200

My best score is 119,827,720 but I played a little more conservatively than usual to get the 1-ALL. That stage 5 boss was a total mess, I went in with 5 lives in stock and barely made it on my last life with zero bombs.

Such a great game! Had a lot of fun learning it! I’m tempted to go back and learn the stage 5 boss better and improve my score, but that will have to come later.

What to play next?

JAMMA Input Display

I built an input display for my arcade cabinets by reading the GPIO pins on a Raspberry Pi using Node.js and socket.io.

The code is available on GitHub and here is a sample capture from me playing some Espgaluda:

I created an AMP-UP control panel wiring extender that splits off the input wires on my Astro City into the Raspberry Pi, but you could also split the wires off of the JAMMA harness. The needed 12-pin AMP-UP connectors are available from DigiKey.

With Node up and running on the Raspberry Pi, you can just point a web browser at the server and see the inputs reflected there.

For streaming I just added the region of the desktop where the browser was being shown so that it would be shown in the stream.

I wanted to play around with Node.js and this project was what I thought of when reading about Node’s event-driven model. Streamers that play arcade games in MAME have the ability to use input displays and I wanted to be able to do that as well for an actual arcade cab.

NOTE: The display does sometimes freeze up, however refreshing the browser page typically solves this. I’m not sure what causes it, maybe I’ll figure it out.