Thursday, June 14, 2007

Retro DIP-switching

I've been playing alot of old-school arcade games lately, courtesy of the Konami Classic Series Arcade Hits compilation, which brings games such as Gradius, Track & Field, Road Fighter, Rush N' Attack, Contra and 10 others to the Nintendo DS.

Throughout the years, some of these arcade games have since been ported over to home video game consoles but the games featured in this compilation are true to their original arcade form (more on that later).
The compilation itself reminds me of the other retro compilation that I have, Atarimix, both of which boast really nice production values and art styles.

But what does this compilation have that differentiates it from the rest? The answer to that question would be... dip-switches, or at least a graphical representation of them. A collective "HUH?!" goes up in the air. DIP switches were present on the original arcade boards of these games and by flipping them on and off, gamers could manipulate the game settings.

For what reasons you say? Well... some of the common ones would be to increase difficulty (and the level of challenge), speed things up, slow things down, and of course, to cheat, if that wasn't obvious enough in the first place.

Under the Detailed Settings mode for each game in this compilation, the stylus is used to flip the DIP switches on or off to affect changes to say... the fuel consumption rate in Road Fighter or the number of lives in RainbowBell (a.k.a TwinBee). It is not as difficult as it sounds as a guide is provided (on the top screen) to what each set of DIP switches does.

This is the first new game that I've purchased in a long time, and the opportunity to fool around with the game settings with the DIP switches makes the compilation worth the money I spent. More on the games next time when I get the opportunity to play them a little bit more. For purchasing details, visit Play-Asia.