Mark Vergeer's blog

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Reviewing items from the red (fragile) parcel from The Retro Computer Shack


I got a nice bright red 'Fragile' in the mail. It contained some things I ordered and actually quite a few extra items. It was sent to me by Ian Priddey the owner of Retro Computer Shack, he specializes in supplying high quality retro computer and console products, he also custom builds video leads. [Read more]

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Taking a look at the Steel Series Free Mobile Wireless Controller (ZeeMote)(Gaming on Android)


Android has become a very good and solid operating system sporting all sorts of multimedia and gaming apps. Mobile gaming relying on the touch interface or using the gyroscopes often is frowned upon by more hard core gamers who feel the need for physical controls. (Read more)

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Mark Plays... Beamrider - a highscore challenge!


Beamrider (Atari 2600) Highscore Challenge - scores can be found on InterGhost's RETRO RECORDS

I dare you to beat my highscore on the 2600 game 'Beamrider' if you can please try to make a video response and reply to this video.
Beamrider is a game by Activision and it has also been ported to other platforms like the Colecovision, Intellivision, Commodore 64. The scoring seems to be the same on the other platforms, yet the difficulty seems to be a little different so scores may not be comparable across the various systems. Below you can see my scores & attempts on the other systems I have the game for.

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Ramble on Emulation... and a demo of a ZX Spectrum/Timex 1000 emulator on the C64


Using all the different home computer systems, Basiccode, CP/M, SpectraVideo vs MSX back in the day really got me interested in platform agnostic code and emulators. Read more below

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Do You Remember Your First Time In A Video Game Store?


Question: Do You Remember Your First Time In A Video Game Store?
a rambling video, and a response to a question asked by Lawnboyspost1975. Mentioned is the video Mark Plays... Freedom Fighters on the Odyssey2/Videopac

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Mark Plays... Champ Games (MS-DOS/PC)

ChampGames / Champrogramming / Champ programming was a game developer from the US founded by John W. Champeau. Robert Cole was in charge of sound design. They produced quite a few wonderful ports of classic arcade games around 1996/1997 running on MS-DOS & Windows95 PCs.

(Read more below)

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Mark Plays.... Crash Bandicoot - The Wrath of Cortex (1st hub)(PS2)


Crash Bandicoot 4 - The Wrath of Cortex is a very nice platform game that is among my favorite games on the PlayStation 2. It's an early game that was also released on the Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube consoles.

The game story is about Dr. Neo Cortex and his new superweapon trying to destroy the world with help of a set of angry masks that call Crash names in between levels. Gathering crystals shattered across the globe will silence those nasty masks (known as Elementals in the game) and render Cortex's superweapon powerless, thus saving the world.

The game levels are placed in several hubs (VR HUBS) that are managed by Crash's sister Coco. In this video I play through the 1st hub. I absolutely love the graphics and the diversity in the gameplay and the fact that it really feels like a Crash Bandicoot game we came to love and enjoy on the older original PlayStation.

Check out how I did on the first hub and see me pull some of my gaming faces. Enjoy.

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Mark Plays... Flappy Bird (C64)


Flappy Bird - the legendary game has reached the innards of the good old Commodore 64! Yes, it has been ported and it can be found for free over here: http://www.c64.com/games/2369 .
It looks very easy but it is not. The sense of accomplishment one receives is actually quite amazing and it is disturbingly addictive.

Thanks to MaximumRD, aka Rob Daviau, for pointing this out! Wait, not actually sure I am thankful as well... the game has its drawbacks. :P

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Mark Plays... Soul Calibur II (J)(Original Xbox)


In this video I demonstrate my special (multi console) Soul Calibur II Fight Stick and play the Japanese game on my original Xbox console. Heck, I even try to pronounce the Japanese name for it. It is easily one of the graphically best looking games on the Xbox, really showing off what the device is capable of.

I play and finish the arcade mode single player, fairly easy but this game shines in multi player mode. Take a look how I fared. I had to cut out many pieces of the commentary as that was just a very noisy mess of button presses on the fight stick! :)

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Absolute Inebriation (Amiga)(Demo)(Scene)(PAL)


Dug out the old Amiga 1200 and hooked it up for a bit of demo watching and gaming. I have a PCMCIA compact flash adapter installed as well as a compact flash IDE interface booting into a very nice setup of Workbench and WHDLoader that allows me to run a plethora of games and demos. Here I load up one of my favourite demos created by Fairlight, quite a prolific demo-group on the various systems that can be found within the Commodore range of home computers.

This recording is done from the composite video signal. A nicer RGB signal can be taken from the Amiga but I was not able to hook that up properly for the recording of this video.

Demos really show what machines are capable of and the sounds and visuals often are quite artistic and can sometimes compete with the creations of serious graphic design students/professionals.

To this day, demos are being created on various computers and consoles often containing the various elements seen in this wonderful example. Having grown up with these home computer systems and coding myself it is fun to see how the various programmers 'evolved' and learned new techniques often typically absorbed during college computer science and math classes, resulting in even better demos.

Enjoy! And Kudos to the people from Fairlight for making this wonderful demo. I've been enjoying it a long time and will continue to do so for a long time!

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