Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sonic Mania: pause for another game

At the end of the second zone, you are expecting a boss battle.

You get, instead, this.

This is a marvellous game.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Road Rash III: pixels

I played Road Rash a lot when I was younger, and Road Rash II about ten times more than that.  I have played both recently, and can quickly get back into the rhythm of the first few races - snaking through the back markers, taking the chain from Viper, avoiding Natasha, and rolling out to the front before the finish line.  The low framerate is slightly jarring, but the games still look clean and fresh.

Despite my love for the second game, I never bought Road Rash III, largely due to middling reviews.  Having now played it, I can see why.  It's still a good game, but the differences from Road Rash II are minimal, with slightly more varied locales and more weapons (which you don't really get to experience, since you carry a weapon from race to race and so effectively get stuck with the first one you grab forever).  The biggest change is in visuals, with the artists moving away from clean pixel art to more photorealistic sprites.

And it just makes the game look messy.  The main character - the one you're looking at half the time - looks washed out and indistinct ... and even more so when you upgrade your bike and find that you no longer have the coloured band on your clothes.

(Pictured on the snow stage just to doubly emphasise the point).

It's still a good game, don't get me wrong.  The problem is that the second game was pretty much perfect, so all the changes they implemented - and of course they had to implement changes to be able to sell a sequel - make things worse.  Muddier graphics.  More complicated bike upgrade screens.  Less catchy music.  More boring dashboard.  Garish or pixellated backgrounds.

 There is one great addition, though.  An opponent called Scab Boy.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Retropie: how to access screenshots

I have been playing games on my RetroPie recently, and taking screenshots while doing so.  When trying to access these to put them on the blog, I ran into some difficulties.  I worked it out in the end and thought it worth documenting.

Screenshots are saved by default in ~/.config/retroarch/screenshots/.  Unfortunately if you use samba in Windows or OSX to connect to //RETROPIE, you don't get shown this directory - instead you are shown ~/RetroPie/ which is the folder in which the configuation and ROMs is stored.

You can adjust this, but it makes uploading ROMs more difficult in the future.  Instead, you might as well just copy the screenshots folder into one of the available folders temporarily.

So, SSH into the Pi, and navigate to the retroarch folder:
cd ~/.config/retroarch
Then copy the screenshots folder into the splashscreens folder within the RetroPie structure:
cp -R screenshots/ ~/RetroPie/splashscreens/
Then look at the splashscreens folder through samba in Windows explorer, and the screenshots are all there.  You can then delete them after copying them elsewhere.