4 September 2013

An Old Score Settled... and a Minor Improvement!

Since I started this challenge nearly two years ago, my scores on some games have remained unchanged. A couple of nights ago, that finally changed for two games – Dig Dug and Qix.

Firstly, my score of 83,360 on Dig Dug has been unattainable, let alone unsurpassable, with my next best score being around 68k. That was until Sunday night, when I had just one attempt, and had the game of my life so far! Everything seemed to click, all the bonus items were collected and I not only surpassed that long-standing score but smashed through the 100k barrier in style with a score of 110,460! Whether it was a fluke or not, I’ll not find out until I next play, but that’s another game crossed off the list regardless…

The second score improvement was not quite so impressive, but to be honest I never thought I’d surpass my best score of 55,906 on Taito’s challenging Qix. I may have only beaten that score by a few hundred points to give me a new best of 56,348, but at least I know progress is actually achievable after nearly two years of trying!

So that’s a great start to September, and 100k now achieved on 16 of the 40 games. Let’s see what happens next!

1 September 2013

Zombies, Crashes and Building Burgers

As mentioned a couple of weeks back, my progress on the 100k Challenge has been limited during August. The main reason for this is the acquisition of two new arcade machines that I have been playing or tinkering with...

Firstly I picked up a Sega House of the Dead cabinet, in fully working condition (though there is some cosmetic damage) for £300 including delivery. This is currently resident in my garage, which will eventually be knocked down and replaced with a brand new games room designed to hold 10-15 machines. It was a bit impulsive to buy it so soon but at that price it was too good to resist!

The second machine came from Martin, the excellent deliveryman who is relied upon by many arcade and pinball collectors in the UK, and delivered the HOTD cab. The machine is Exidy’s Crash, a 1979 black and white release that cost me £125 with no charge for delivery since it came along with the Sega machine!

The Exidy cab has an interesting back story, as it came from the Duke of Lancaster ‘Fun Ship’ in North Wales, as part of a large scale operation to remove all the machines from that location last year. This is well documented on a number of sites including JAMMA+ and Dragon’s Lair Fans. This machine needs some work as you can see from the picture, but is complete and should make a nice project.

I did manage to get a little bit of gaming in for the 100k Challenge too, setting a new high score of 58,800 on BurgerTime. More importantly I am now at the level where I can get over 40k on every game, so can hopefully increase the top score more significantly in the future.

That rounds things up for August. It’s not really worth showing a summary as there have been no significant changes since July, but here’s the current state of play with each game…

14 August 2013

Scramble Scrapes Through

I’m not particularly happy about it, but I did manage to increase my score on Scramble last week by a measly 3,500 points to 27,940. As a result, it stays in the 100k Challenge for now!

I truly hate this game. The first four stages are relatively easy, but the maze-like fifth stage induces swearing like almost no other game before it (although Mappy and Joust are contenders!)

I don’t think it helps using a microswitched joystick, which is almost too precise when navigating that fifth stage. I have finally managed to negotiate it a couple of times, only to find what must be the most pathetic and annoying end of level boss in the history of gaming – a tiny base that is seemingly impossible to destroy!

Next time around I hope to finally vanquish that end of level nuisance, thus giving the opportunity to surpass 30,000 points, but for now I have had enough of Scramble!

I haven’t decided which game to focus on next, despite it already being midweek, but that’s due to some distractions that I’ll give more details on in my next update…

4 August 2013

Monthly Summary – July 2013

Time for a round up of my efforts over the last month or so, but first I should mention how I progressed with last week’s game, Dragon Spirit. The game itself is intensely frustrating at times, but my progress was actually very similar to the previous week’s attempts on Joust.

On my first go last Sunday I immediately posted a new high score of 57,550, an increase of 5k from my previous best. What then followed over the next few days was a number of attempts that got nowhere near that score, one that increased it by just a small amount, and then finally a more significant improvement to 63,820. After that I gave up as the game was driving me nuts!

Interestingly I got the 63k score without making it past level 2, whereas the 58k I got earlier was achieved on my first ever progression to the third level. So there are definitely ways to boost scores on earlier levels, but it seems to be reliant on getting random power ups rather than any actual skill!

So that’s a score increase on every game since I started focussing on one game per week. There have been no significant achievements as yet, but each of the games is edging that little bit closer to 100k. Below is the latest status on all games and a summary of my progress since returning from Funspot in June.

This week I’m concentrating on a game that I have yet to better my score on since starting the 100k Challenge - Scramble. I’ve decided that if I can’t make any progress on the game after a concerted effort this week, I’m going to ditch it in favour of something I actually enjoy playing!

28 July 2013

Beating the buzzards!

No, it’s not a euphemism; it’s a comment on my progress with the Williams classic Joust over the past week. Actually, to be more precise, I managed to narrowly beat my previous score of 57,850 on my very first attempt last Sunday, and then just two games later I upped the score to 69,400 points.

The rest of the week has been spent trying to better that, but despite several scores of 65k or more, I haven’t topped the score I set a week ago. Probably should’ve quit while I was ahead!

Next week I’m going to focus on one of the later releases from my selection of games – Namco’s vertical scrolling shooter Dragon Spirit

21 July 2013

The heat is off and the scores are up!

Finally there’s been a drop in temperature this weekend that has allowed me a little more gaming time in the evening. As I mentioned in my last update, I was focussing on Donkey Kong Junior, and after almost losing the will to live with the game, I finally managed to better my score, albeit only by a thousand points or so. The new score is 40,300 so at least I’ve surpassed the 40k mark!

I then had a couple of quick games of Rally-X to round off my evening, and managed to improve my high score after just two attempts. Again, not a major increase but the new score is 54,960 and every little helps!

My focus for next week is Joust. So far I’ve succeeded on every game I’ve tried to increase a score on – will this one continue the trend?

17 July 2013

Heatwave Stops Play!

There’s been very little activity on my MAME cabs over the last couple of weeks due to the heatwave we’re all experiencing. My cabs are located in our conservatory, which means it is too hot to play on them until after 9pm at the moment!

That said, I did manage to increase my Ms. Pac-Man score a little more during my week of play – the latest is 58,200.

Next on the list of games to focus on is Donkey Kong Junior. My current score stands at 39,200 and having played odd games over the last few days, I’ll be ecstatic if I ever best that score!