Anyone Play Video Games?

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anotherbob

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My son has that one, it is pretty cool. Definitely more complex than the Zelda games I grew up on. 🤣
but certainly a continuation of the theme. It is more about just going out and finding out what's over the next horizon. And I wish more open world games where as densely packed with things to do or find.
 

anotherbob

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My kids have gotten me into Star Wars, The Old Republic. It's online and pretty enjoyable. Admittedly I am probably only getting 30% of the functionality of the game. Parts of it are just too confusing for a old fart. 😁
I know I've been playing games most of my life starting with when Atari was impressive. And some games it's not till near the damn end before I figure out all the things I could have done. :(
 

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balkisobrains

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What is it exactly? Hardware that adds modern display options to older consoles?
You would need an A/D converter between an analog console & the mclassic. Mclassic is an upscaler, in addition to some graphics tools to do antialiasing & some color filtering. You can switch it to passthrough mode or have it 'all on', there is no in-between. There is an additional 'all on' mode that forces the TV to display a 4:3 aspect ratio as well, since a lot of modern TVs will want to stretch 4:3 to 16:9. There are some general limitations. It won't upscale an interlaced signal (but I think it may still add the image processing). It won't affect framerate - what framerate it is fed is what framerate you'll get out of it. The upscaling won't be as noticeable when upscaling from higher resolutions to begin with. I'll be using it to upscale 480p out of my Dreamcast OSSC box to 1080p (the highest my TV will handle), so it should be a pretty good bump. (The mclassic can upscale to 1440p on displays that will handle that.) I'll also try it on my PS3, which already outputs in 720p for most PS3 games, so going to 1080p would be less noticeable there. PS1 games played on the PS3 I believe get upscaled to 480p by the PS3, so the mclassic should upscale that to 1080p as well. I may have to lock the ps3 to 480p output for PS1 games & maybe lock it to 720p for the 720p PS3 games (most of them) rather than setting it to "auto", in order to prevent the PS3 from upscaling (beyond what it does internally for the PS1 games which are generally either 240p or 480i native).
Also, settings on the TV like sharpness, contrast, color levels etc. might have to be adjusted, but a setup disc like 'Spears & Munsil' makes that easy for ps3. I also have a similar test disc that I burned for Dreamcast called '240p Test Suite'.
Anything sprite-based probably won't see any improvement. It's mostly for older 3D polygon games & to some degree newer stuff, but especially if you have a 4k TV in any case.

Depending on what your systems will output & what your TV will accept, & if you are only using composite cables, then sometimes just replacing that with an S-Video cable is enough to get much better results out of older systems that support them. It's only 480i, but miles better than composite. I've lived the "Composite to S-Video to VGA" upgrades back in the day with the Dreamcast, as well as the "Composite to S-Video to Component" upgrades with the PS2 at the same time, & each upgrade was a noticeable improvement. I think the S-Video & VGA & Component upgrades were lost on a lot of gamers back then. A lot of people also had TVs that simply didn't have the inputs. Anyway, I always thought that Dreamcast VGA 480p always looked better than the PS2 Component 480p. PS2 looked better on paper.
These days, the Dreamcast can look a little jagged/pixelated on a big set even in 'VGA mode', which is mainly why I'm adding the MClassic.

Also, it's 9/9/21 today - happy birthday Dreamcast (in North America)!
 

balkisobrains

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I found out something interesting, SOCOM online is back!! I played a few rounds of SOCOM1 online last night & it was fun to revisit, even though I did very poorly. Anyone else waste too much time playing this back in the day?
 
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balkisobrains

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Had some time to test the MClassic. I've tried it on PS3, PS2, PS1 games on PS3, & Dreamcast. The complaints of it 'crushing' the blacks is true, but I was able to adjust my TV & in-game display settings to rectify that for the most part. However, each game system seems to want different settings, so I ended up using three different hdmi inputs on my TV dedicated to each system, & I've been manually swapping the MClassic across the three hdmi cables hanging from the back of the set, as well as the game inputs going into the MClassic. It's the easiest way to use one MClassic & to avoid having to re-set the TV display settings for each system (if I were to use a splitter), & it sits on top of my subwoofer within easy reach, & still looks relatively clean. I still have to make a TV brightness & sharpness adjustment between 'PS1 games on PS3' & actual PS3 games, & I found that Gran Turismo 5 on PS3 likes a gamma boost between day-to-night scenarios & vice-versa, but other than that, I've made the setup in general as 'set it & forget it' as possible, with the best possible picture for each system.

My TV set is 1080p max, but if your tv can do 1440p, the MClassic can go up to that.

PS3 games see a nice little boost in graphics. Going from 720p to 1080p looks good to me. I've been testing it using GTA5, & GT5. Had to do a lot of work testing different settings to get the picture looking good, due to the 'black crush'.

PS2 - I'm using PS2 only to play SOCOM, which has an in-game option to output in 480p native, if you are using the PS2 component-out cables. Many/most PS2 games only output in 480i, which aren't going to be upscaled by the MClassic. But, it does a nice job on the 480p signal, upscaling it to 1080p. Compared to directly feeding the PS2 component to my TV, & also comparing it to the 'passthru' mode on the MClassic, it is a nice improvement. If you want to do this, you also need an A/D converter between the PS2 component cables & the MClassic, & I use my OSSC. Had to do a lot of work testing different settings to get the picture looking good, due to the 'black crush'. The OSSC setting 'Pre ADC Gain' proved to be helpful here. It seems to act similarly to the 'gamma' adjustment in my TV, but with greater range/ effectiveness. The OSSC also seems to present my TV with a signal that it likes in terms of not screwing up the aspect ratio. PS2 component directly into my TV would end up with a screwed-up aspect ratio, squishing everything vertically. PS2 into the OSSC to the TV, or even with the MClassic in place after the OSSC, & the aspect ratio is perfect. A welcome surprise.

Dreamcast - I haven't spent much time testing the Dreamcast due to getting side-tracked with setting up the PS2 through OSSC, & then testing the MClassic on that & the PS3, but I checked it out on a few DC games, & it looks promising. I'll have to spend time tuning the picture, but everything seemed to be working & looking better than before. My Dreamcast is stock, outputting to a VGA box so it force-boots everything that supports it in 480p native to the OSSC. MClassic upscaled that to 1080p & it looked really good, & I think that my TV somehow seems to like the signal better, because it seemed like some artifacts that used to show up on certain games are now gone, but I need to test it more to verify that. One other reason I haven't tested the DC as much is that audio is a pain to handle with my current setup. What I plan to do is to buy a newer OSSC, which has a better system of handling the audio chains for multiple systems. I'll be able to input both my PS2 & my Dreamcast audio into the OSSC, which will then integrate them into the HDMI-out signal of the OSSC. Right now I have to use the RCA breakouts of the Dreamcast VGA box, or the PS2 component cables, & it's a pain for me to keep switching those, so I've been leaving it for until I get an upgraded OSSC. Unfortunately my TV only has one HDMI input+analog RCA input, or I would just run another set of RCAs back there to one of the other HDMI inputs.

In general, I'm happy so far with the MClassic as a scaler & for its antialiasing functions. Although it would be nice if it had an option to shut off the dynamic contrast or whatever is in there crushing the blacks.
 
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Country Bladesmith

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Had some time to test the MClassic. I've tried it on PS3, PS2, PS1 games on PS3, & Dreamcast. The complaints of it 'crushing' the blacks is true, but I was able to adjust my TV & in-game display settings to rectify that for the most part. However, each game system seems to want different settings, so I ended up using three different hdmi inputs on my TV dedicated to each system, & I've been manually swapping the MClassic across the three hdmi cables hanging from the back of the set, as well as the game inputs going into the MClassic. It's the easiest way to use one MClassic & to avoid having to re-set the TV display settings for each system (if I were to use a splitter), & it sits on top of my subwoofer within easy reach, & still looks relatively clean. I still have to make a TV brightness & sharpness adjustment between 'PS1 games on PS3' & actual PS3 games, & I found that Gran Turismo 5 on PS3 likes a gamma boost between day-to-night scenarios & vice-versa, but other than that, I've made the setup in general as 'set it & forget it' as possible, with the best possible picture for each system.

My TV set is 1080p max, but if your tv can do 1440p, the MClassic can go up to that.

PS3 games see a nice little boost in graphics. Going from 720p to 1080p looks good to me. I've been testing it using GTA5, & GT5. Had to do a lot of work testing different settings to get the picture looking good, due to the 'black crush'.

PS2 - I'm using PS2 only to play SOCOM, which has an in-game option to output in 480p native, if you are using the PS2 component-out cables. Many/most PS2 games only output in 480i, which aren't going to be upscaled by the MClassic. But, it does a nice job on the 480p signal, upscaling it to 1080p. Compared to directly feeding the PS2 component to my TV, & also comparing it to the 'passthru' mode on the MClassic, it is a nice improvement. If you want to do this, you also need an A/D converter between the PS2 component cables & the MClassic, & I use my OSSC. Had to do a lot of work testing different settings to get the picture looking good, due to the 'black crush'. The OSSC setting 'Pre ADC Gain' proved to be helpful here. It seems to act similarly to the 'gamma' adjustment in my TV, but with greater range/ effectiveness. The OSSC also seems to present my TV with a signal that it likes in terms of not screwing up the aspect ratio. PS2 component directly into my TV would end up with a screwed-up aspect ratio, squishing everything vertically. PS2 into the OSSC to the TV, or even with the MClassic in place after the OSSC, & the aspect ratio is perfect. A welcome surprise.

Dreamcast - I haven't spent much time testing the Dreamcast due to getting side-tracked with setting up the PS2 through OSSC, & then testing the MClassic on that & the PS3, but I checked it out on a few DC games, & it looks promising. I'll have to spend time tuning the picture, but everything seemed to be working & looking better than before. My Dreamcast is stock, outputting to a VGA box so it force-boots everything that supports it in 480p native to the OSSC. MClassic upscaled that to 1080p & it looked really good, & I think that my TV somehow seems to like the signal better, because it seemed like some artifacts that used to show up on certain games are now gone, but I need to test it more to verify that. One other reason I haven't tested the DC as much is that audio is a pain to handle with my current setup. What I plan to do is to buy a newer OSSC, which has a better system of handling the audio chains for multiple systems. I'll be able to input both my PS2 & my Dreamcast audio into the OSSC, which will then integrate them into the HDMI-out signal of the OSSC. Right now I have to use the RCA breakouts of the Dreamcast VGA box, or the PS2 component cables, & it's a pain for me to keep switching those, so I've been leaving it for until I get an upgraded OSSC. Unfortunately my TV only has one HDMI input+analog RCA input, or I would just run another set of RCAs back there to one of the other HDMI inputs.

In general, I'm happy so far with the MClassic as a scaler & for its antialiasing functions. Although it would be nice if it had an option to shut off the dynamic contrast or whatever is in there crushing the blacks.
I had to look up what MClassic was. Sounds like a McDonsld’s hamburger.
Looks to be an external antialiasing device?
 
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balkisobrains

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I had to look up what MClassic was. Sounds like a McDonsld’s hamburger.
Looks to be an external antialiasing device?
It also upscales, I wanted it for both of those things. It also does the weird dynamic contrast or black adjustment, which I could do without.
One thing I misconstrued above is that GT5 already runs at 1080p native out of the PS3. But the MClassic still seems to help it due to the antialiasing, I guess. But GTA5 is 720p native out of the PS3, & you can see the improvement from the upscaling as well as the AA on that game. It seems to help the most for people who want to run something like a PS3 on their 4k tv, since the MClassic can upscale to 1440p if the set will do it. But it also seems to do really well on Dreamcast VGA output, & I got good results on my PS2 running SOCOM in 480p through component cables. You would need an A/D converter like an OSSC for either of those systems, in order to output to the MClassic. Older polygon-based & sprite-based systems aren't going to see much benefit from MClassic. My PS1 games seem to get the biggest boost from the internal PS3 emulator (not sure what that outputs, but probably 480p minimum) & the PS3 graphics emulator setting set to "smooth", & putting the MClassic on top of that didn't really do much.
 

balkisobrains

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I've done some more experimenting with the MClassic & the PS3, & I think the best way to set up the PS3 for this is to lock its output resolution to 720p & let the MClassic do any further upscaling. This seemed to give me better results with GT5 since it is really a 720p-native game & the PS3 can upscale it internally to 1080p if requested. I also learned that PS3 gives Gt5 4x antialiasing when set to 1080p. To me, the game looked better when output from the PS3 was set at 720p, (which also drops the internal AA to 2x), with the MClassic upscaling the 720p to 1080p & doing its sharpening & darkening & antialiasing thing on top of that. It probably doesn't hurt to have less AA processing (2x vs. 4x) in front of the MClassic AA processing. I know it can be really easy to over-process something & just end up adding noise.

I compared it to just running GT5 locked at 720p with the MClassic set to passthru (obviously this would look the worst) . I also compared it to running it like I had been originally, with the PS3 set to 1080p internally upscaling GT5 to 1080p & 4x AA, & also with the MClassic on top of all of that.

To me, the GT5 picture looked to be the best & PS3 performance seemed to be the best when the PS3 was locked at 720p & the MClassic was doing the upscaling to 1080p. The PS3 seemed to run GT5 a little more smoothly with less chugging during busy scenes, although I could be imagining that in the brief time I've looked at it so far. But since the PS3 is doing less work internally only rendering Gt5 to 720p, instead of doing that plus upscaling it to1080p internally like I had originally been doing, it could be possible that the PS3 is running a little more smoothly during certain scenarios of the game.

I also took another look at PS1 games on the PS3 with the MClassic, wondering if locking the PS3 at 480p would look better than 720p or 1080p before feeding it to the MClassic. I did notice that the PS3 will upscale the PS1 native resolution (usually 240p) to whatever you lock the PS3 at, be it 480p, 720p, or 1080p. All I can say is that locking the PS3 at 480p would not give me proper 4:3 aspect ratio for PS1 games, even when setting "screen size" to 4:3 in the PS3, as well as setting it to 4:3 in my TV, as well as on the MClassic with its "4:3 force" switch. (All ended up slightly squished. Widescreen settings ended up being too wide when tested).
I could get a proper aspect ratio for PS1 games when setting the PS3 output resolution to 720p or 1080p & setting my TV screen size to widescreen (not 4:3), & setting the MClassic switch to widescreen.
Image quality for PS1 games out of the MClassic at 1080p was just as good when the PS3 was locked at 720p as it was when it was locked at 1080p, so simply leaving the PS3 locked at 720p at all times & letting MClassic do the rest still seems to make the best sense, even for playing PS1 games.
And again there is not much to be seen in terms of graphical improvement from the MClassic on the PS1 games. The biggest boost that the PS1 games got is from turning on the PS3 internal PS1 smoothing function. But I took a good look at the MClassic on top of that, & there is a further improvement, but it is very subtle. It mostly seemed to make PS1 text easier to read, images seemed bolder & slightly smoother, & the screen in general seemed easier to look at, & less fatiguing than without the MClassic.
 
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bayareabriar

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May 8, 2019
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I was just curious if any members liked to play games... I've had an off and on interest since I was a kid, but for a long time I would mostly just play ports games or the occasional GTA or whatever. But lately, I've been playing a fair amount of RPGs, which I never would have imagined myself playing. It started out with actions RPGs like Elder Scrolls and The Witcher 3, but I just finished Persona 5 a few weeks ago. A Japanese RPG of all things. Turn-based, even! I actually loved it. Right now, I'm playing Diablo III, which I know is an old game, but it's new to me. I've always been a console guy, so I play the PS4 versions of the games I play.

What about you guys? What are you guys playing, if anything?
Stopped playing after sega. Take that back, played golden eye on 64 quite a bit.
Honest to god story: my dad and cousin played asteroids on 1 life for 11 hours straight. My aunt Kate “tripped” over the power cord and ended their game.
 

balkisobrains

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Multi-player Goldeneye was a lot of fun. The rule here was 'No Oddjob', since he was so small & hard to target. He might have been faster than everyone else as well, I forget exactly.

One thing I got wrong above about GT5 with the PS3 set to 720p vs. 1080p, is that I mixed up the antialiasing levels. It does 4x in 720p, & 2x in 1080p. So does the 4x AA in 720p, plus the AA from the MClassic, equal 'too much' AA? I'm not sure yet, so I'm going to read more about the different versions. I still think the GT5 looks better with the PS3 set to 720p & the MClassic bringing it to 1080p, rather than the PS3 bringing it to 1080p internally. Plus the PS3 does seem to run better outputting GT5 in 720p rather than upscaling it internally to 1080p, even though the PS3 is theoretically doing more AA work in 720p. I think the only time I might want to set the PS3 to 1080p is if I have a truly 1080p native game. I don't think I have any, except maybe the PS3 Wipeout title.
 

balkisobrains

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I think the only time I might want to set the PS3 to 1080p is if I have a truly 1080p native game. I don't think I have any, except maybe the PS3 Wipeout title.
In practice I found that the PS3 Wipeout title (Wipeout HD Fusion) ended up looking better when locking the PS3 at 720p & letting the MClassic upscale to 1080p. It also seemed to help out with eyestrain, which I had noticed when running WipeoutHD in 1080p mode. I found out that it's not actually a true full 1080p game anyway, it has some type of "dynamic resolution" which drops from true 1080p to a lower version of 1080p when necessary (I forget the resolution numbers). Maybe it flipping back & forth gave me eyestrain. But running it at 720p & having MClassic upscale it to 1080p seemed to look better, run more smoothly, & not give me eyestrain.

Some shorter HDMI cables arrived so I took some pics during install. Here's how I have the MClassic set up. It just sits on top of the subwoofer. I left it accessible, since I'm manually swapping inputs & outputs across it, depending on systems & TV inputs.
IMG_2706.JPG

An HDMI each from PS3 & OSSC (the OSSC outputs Dreamcast & PS2) on the left, HDMI-outs to the three TV inputs w/ custom profiles for each system. I also needed to add a female/female HDMI adapter to the MClassic.
IMG_2704.JPG

The diagonal white RCA audio wires need to be about 3' longer or re-routed more cleanly, but they're good cables & I already had them when setting up the audio. I will be deleting the black RCA audio input wire on the far right when my upgraded OSSC gets here, which will send analog audio from Dreamcast & PS2 over the HDMI cable instead. The HDMI cables to the TV when unplugged from MClassic are short enough to hang against the wall.
IMG_2707.JPG

The unhooked HDMI-out cable from the systems gets capped & tucked in the wire-pit when not in use, out of the way but still easily accessible. I can always install some sort of hanger for it. The MClassic power plug is also down there within easy reach, which is good because I have found that I sometimes have to power-cycle it to get my TV to see the signal. I just unplug the orange wire from the white wall wart & plug it back in, if necessary.
IMG_2708.JPG

Here's the overall setup. Just a simple 2.1 stereo. The VGA box for the Dreamcast is under the metal stand for the OSSC. I should be able to clean up a couple wires around that area once the upgraded OSSC gets here & I can delete & reroute some of the cables.
I started getting some disc-read errors & long load times out of the PS2, so I went through it & re-calibrated the laser voltage pots, & also re-calibrated the sled angle. I'm slightly over-volting the DVD laser, & am running the sled as closely to the disc as possible without allowing the laser to physically bump the disc when focusing, & it's working much better now. It only has to run SOCOM without issues. If SOCOM Online hadn't come back I wouldn't even be bothering with the PS2, & upgrading the OSSC to more easily run audio for multiple systems through the OSSC wouldn't have been considered, so hopefully it stays around for a while. Usually there's a community game on Sunday nights, & usually you can find a few people playing weeknights.
SOCOM2 has much more online activity, but I don't like 2 & it's more of a hassle to set up to run, so for now I'm playing 1, & I ordered a Confrontation disc for the PS3 for $15 to see if those revived online servers have more players more often.
IMG_2709.JPG
 
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balkisobrains

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New OSSC got here so I installed it, along with audio adapters for the PS2 component cable & Dreamcast VGA box, & an HDMI cable.
IMG_2712.JPG

Old OSSC with old DVI-HDMI cable, & the old analog audio cable.
IMG_2714.JPG

New cables installed alongside with what is staying. I put some color-coded stickers on the audio jacks to keep track of them.
IMG_2716.JPG

Up & running PS2. If I want to switch the OSSC to the Dreamcast, I just hit a button, & it also automatically changes the settings profile. The metal "stand" is a cover for an old computer power supply, & lets the orange VGA box for the Dreamcast sit under the OSSC.
IMG_2719.JPG
 
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cragdhack

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Took a week off for Diablo 2: Resurrected's launch, it's an absolute blast. Besides that, decided to sit down and give the Anno games a proper try, went for 1404, as 1800 is a little bit expensive for the whole package.
Was about 2 AM when I realized I should probably head to bed as I was going to head to work 5 hours later. Conclusion: Play it. 15 bucks on GOG)
 
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Country Bladesmith

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Took a week off for Diablo 2: Resurrected's launch, it's an absolute blast. Besides that, decided to sit down and give the Anno games a proper try, went for 1404, as 1800 is a little bit expensive for the whole package.
Was about 2 AM when I realized I should probably head to bed as I was going to head to work 5 hours later. Conclusion: Play it. 15 bucks on GOG)
Is the Battle.net a mess like it became with the original D2? As in tons of bots, fake items, etc?
 
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