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Gridcoin 5.0.0.0-Mandatory "Fern" Release

https://github.com/gridcoin-community/Gridcoin-Research/releases/tag/5.0.0.0
Finally! After over ten months of development and testing, "Fern" has arrived! This is a whopper. 240 pull requests merged. Essentially a complete rewrite that was started with the scraper (the "neural net" rewrite) in "Denise" has now been completed. Practically the ENTIRE Gridcoin specific codebase resting on top of the vanilla Bitcoin/Peercoin/Blackcoin vanilla PoS code has been rewritten. This removes the team requirement at last (see below), although there are many other important improvements besides that.
Fern was a monumental undertaking. We had to encode all of the old rules active for the v10 block protocol in new code and ensure that the new code was 100% compatible. This had to be done in such a way as to clear out all of the old spaghetti and ring-fence it with tightly controlled class implementations. We then wrote an entirely new, simplified ruleset for research rewards and reengineered contracts (which includes beacon management, polls, and voting) using properly classed code. The fundamentals of Gridcoin with this release are now on a very sound and maintainable footing, and the developers believe the codebase as updated here will serve as the fundamental basis for Gridcoin's future roadmap.
We have been testing this for MONTHS on testnet in various stages. The v10 (legacy) compatibility code has been running on testnet continuously as it was developed to ensure compatibility with existing nodes. During the last few months, we have done two private testnet forks and then the full public testnet testing for v11 code (the new protocol which is what Fern implements). The developers have also been running non-staking "sentinel" nodes on mainnet with this code to verify that the consensus rules are problem-free for the legacy compatibility code on the broader mainnet. We believe this amount of testing is going to result in a smooth rollout.
Given the amount of changes in Fern, I am presenting TWO changelogs below. One is high level, which summarizes the most significant changes in the protocol. The second changelog is the detailed one in the usual format, and gives you an inkling of the size of this release.

Highlights

Protocol

Note that the protocol changes will not become active until we cross the hard-fork transition height to v11, which has been set at 2053000. Given current average block spacing, this should happen around October 4, about one month from now.
Note that to get all of the beacons in the network on the new protocol, we are requiring ALL beacons to be validated. A two week (14 day) grace period is provided by the code, starting at the time of the transition height, for people currently holding a beacon to validate the beacon and prevent it from expiring. That means that EVERY CRUNCHER must advertise and validate their beacon AFTER the v11 transition (around Oct 4th) and BEFORE October 18th (or more precisely, 14 days from the actual date of the v11 transition). If you do not advertise and validate your beacon by this time, your beacon will expire and you will stop earning research rewards until you advertise and validate a new beacon. This process has been made much easier by a brand new beacon "wizard" that helps manage beacon advertisements and renewals. Once a beacon has been validated and is a v11 protocol beacon, the normal 180 day expiration rules apply. Note, however, that the 180 day expiration on research rewards has been removed with the Fern update. This means that while your beacon might expire after 180 days, your earned research rewards will be retained and can be claimed by advertising a beacon with the same CPID and going through the validation process again. In other words, you do not lose any earned research rewards if you do not stake a block within 180 days and keep your beacon up-to-date.
The transition height is also when the team requirement will be relaxed for the network.

GUI

Besides the beacon wizard, there are a number of improvements to the GUI, including new UI transaction types (and icons) for staking the superblock, sidestake sends, beacon advertisement, voting, poll creation, and transactions with a message. The main screen has been revamped with a better summary section, and better status icons. Several changes under the hood have improved GUI performance. And finally, the diagnostics have been revamped.

Blockchain

The wallet sync speed has been DRASTICALLY improved. A decent machine with a good network connection should be able to sync the entire mainnet blockchain in less than 4 hours. A fast machine with a really fast network connection and a good SSD can do it in about 2.5 hours. One of our goals was to reduce or eliminate the reliance on snapshots for mainnet, and I think we have accomplished that goal with the new sync speed. We have also streamlined the in-memory structures for the blockchain which shaves some memory use.
There are so many goodies here it is hard to summarize them all.
I would like to thank all of the contributors to this release, but especially thank @cyrossignol, whose incredible contributions formed the backbone of this release. I would also like to pay special thanks to @barton2526, @caraka, and @Quezacoatl1, who tirelessly helped during the testing and polishing phase on testnet with testing and repeated builds for all architectures.
The developers are proud to present this release to the community and we believe this represents the starting point for a true renaissance for Gridcoin!

Summary Changelog

Accrual

Changed

Most significantly, nodes calculate research rewards directly from the magnitudes in EACH superblock between stakes instead of using a two- or three- point average based on a CPID's current magnitude and the magnitude for the CPID when it last staked. For those long-timers in the community, this has been referred to as "Superblock Windows," and was first done in proof-of-concept form by @denravonska.

Removed

Beacons

Added

Changed

Removed

Unaltered

As a reminder:

Superblocks

Added

Changed

Removed

Voting

Added

Changed

Removed

Detailed Changelog

[5.0.0.0] 2020-09-03, mandatory, "Fern"

Added

Changed

Removed

Fixed

submitted by jamescowens to gridcoin [link] [comments]

An excessively detailed guide on how to start shaving, and doing so discretely, based on my personal experience.

Hey dudes and dudettes, I'm an 18-year-old kinda non-binary but mostly just confused male and I recently started shaving my legs and didn't want my parents to know. I thought seeing as though there are always so many questions from people about shaving and doing stuff discretely that I'd go through EVERYTHING of note that I learnt/discovered, so that you can do it too! This is pretty excessively detailed, so I'd recommend reading over it a few times so you get a vibe for what to do and what not to do and then just do it whatever way you figure out to work for you. If anyone has questions, or any other tips they wanna add (or you just wanna point out a spelling mistake), feel free to leave a comment! If it's really personal feel free to DM me but don't DM me your dick or a request for pics, soz.

Stuff you'll NEED:

Stuff that you should really have but isn't essential:

A note

This probably shouldn't be the only thing you look at regarding how to shave. There's a whole bunch of stuff, like exfoliating and stuff like that, which I completely didn't do, which worked for me but might not for you. I'm not an expert, don't get mad at me if I say something technically not perfect. I'm trying to give practical advice to help you peeps out.

the initial clipping

If you're anything like me, your legs will be insanely hairy. You obviously can't just run a razor over hair as long as men's leg hair gets and expect it to shave anything, so you're first going to have to trim it. Girls will suggest you use scissors if your hair is too long, this is ridiculous advice, I think they just don't realise how god damn long men's leg hair is. Scissors work when you have neat little pricks, not when you have a small rainforest. You're gonna want to use something powered, like a beard trimmer, or hair clippers, or a circular saw, or I actually used a trimmer bit thing which is part of the electric razor I use on my face, and although it's small, it did the trick. You can work with what you have here. You're hopefully only going to need to do this bit once or twice, so don't worry too much about damaging the device. Depending on what you're using, you'll probably need to make sure your legs are sufficiently soaked with warm water first. I'm not quite sure if this is necessary at this point but I did it just in case, as the trimmer I used is pretty exposed, so it was cutting pretty close. If you're using something like a hair clipper with a guide on then you probably don't need to do this bit wet but it's better safe than sorry. The point of shaving wet is that it softens your hair slightly and opens your pores and some other things I forget, but if you shave real close while dry then you could get razor burn and similar ailments, which as I'll explain later are a pain in the butt (especially if that's we're you're shaving gotem). Now if you're using something as exposed as the trimmer I used then make sure you don't press too hard. The thing to remember is that electric shavers, and in fact even manual razors if used correctly, are fucking sharp, and they're going to cut whatever comes around, regardless of how much force you put into it. You might need to go over the same bit a few times, but pressing harder isn't going to help you, instead it'll leave behind slightly inflamed red marks for days, which don't hurt that much but they're obviously not good, and can probably get infected or something. You won't really feel when you give yourself one of these, and you'll only notice them come up a few minutes later, so just be careful. Once you're finished, I recommend moisturising just for good measure.
Now, when you're done and you've dried off by patting your legs dry (do not scrub them, pat them, this is how you will always dry your legs from now on), there will be a lot of hair to clean up. Like so much fucking hair. There'll be hair on the floor and the walls and the shower screen and fucking everywhere. To clean up the bulk of it will take like ten minutes on its own, but if like me you're a bit paranoid and don't want your parents to find out, I would say it'd take like 30 minutes or more, so I'd make sure you have about an hour of time to clean up. Also, something which I didn't consider until after doing it is that running a hot shower will leave condensation on the mirror and everything and make it obvious that you showered, so while it's not that conspicuous, you might wanna also have that hour buffer to let that all go away so that they don't pick up on the fact that you're having a shower whenever you're alone (or in my case going against my normal schedule of having a shower at night). You can also wipe the bathroom mirror or whatevs with a towel if you're worried but make sure it's not a towel you mopped your hair up with like the one my idiot ass used.
Anyway, after you've trimmed, you'll probably (read: definitely) have missed a few spots. It's hard to see if you've missed a bit when you're dealing with so much hair and it's all wet and sticking to your body. I would dry off and wait a day or so, checking your legs out for missed spots, then go again. Eventually you'll have prickly cactus legs but they're manageable, and it's a base that you can use a razor with.
If you have limited alone time and you don't have any discrete way of shaving (e.g. by using a manual non-electric razor in your normal showers) then you can leave your legs just trimmed as they are for a while (a week and a bit, I would think) before you go back in the danger zone and do the next step, so feel free to take a break here.

actually shaving

Oh hell yeah we're up to actually shaving. You'll need any razor. Literally any. Men's, women's, manual, electric, whatever, it'll work great. I personally would recommend going for something not powered which therefore doesn't make noise, as you can then shave in your normal showers without outing yourself. Also as I mentioned before, many women prefer to use men's razors so don't worry. If you want, just use the thing you use on your face, cause that's the least suspicious thing to do. I actually went a bit cheeky and used my Mum's at first before quickly buying my own Gillette Fusion5 ProGlide (men's razor so wasn't very intimidating to buy), which seems to do pretty darn well.
Anyway so get in a warm shower. You're meant to leave it for like 15 minutes to get an absolutely perfect shave, but you can get perfect over time, for now just make sure you're decently warm before you start shaving. If you have it, you should put shaving cream on your legs now (or conditioner apparently works pretty well too so that's actually what I used initially EDIT:, but I found that it wasn't quite enough and I still ended up with the red spots of doom, so maybe try something a bit better). It doesn't matter too much seeing as though you're already wet and warm, but it'll make your razor's job easier and depending on what you use it'll make your job easier by showing you where you've already done. It'll also reduce the risk of irritating your pores and blah blah.
Start at your ankles and work going against the grain in short, 6cmish (2 and a bit inches I think) strokes, applying basically no pressure. If you get a huge amount of irritation after this then try going with the grain next time, but going against it is obviously more convenient to do standing in the shower, and will give a closer shave. I recommend working in a circle around the circumference of your leg and then moving up a bit but do whatever works. Over time you'll develop a less robotic technique, but this is a great way to start. I know some girls that do big strokes all the way from their ankles up to their thighs and while that might work with more consistently shaved hair, you probably can't do it on your first shave. Definitely try to overlap slightly, like as you go up the leg start your strokes lower than where you're up to so that half of each stroke is covering the area you've already shaved or something like that. It's pretty hard to see hairs when you're in a shower and bending over awkwardly to reach your legs so try and keep track. I find that feeling for prickly areas is the best way to find where you've missed. Your knees and ankles will be the easiest areas to cut yourself on so watch out with them. Don't forget to do the back of your legs, especially the inner of your knee. Other easy spots to miss include your knees, inner thighs, and if you're a bit lean like myself, the valley between the bone and back muscle on the inside edge of your shins (hard to explain but you'll get it if you get it). There's nothing wrong with taking it slow so take as long as you need. Once you've done both legs, apply moisturiser (if you wanna be extra good then apply one which you can put on dry after you've gotten out of the shower). EDIT: there's no such thing as too much moisturiser, and if you start having issues like red dots and shit then not moisturising properly is a decent culprit. END EDIT. When you dry your legs remember to just pat them down.
After shaving you'll find a few things. One is that you probably will have gotten a bit too eager and cut yourself in a few places. It won't hurt, and you probably won't notice until a while after you've done it or even not until you're out of the shower, but holy shit some areas will bleed like mad. I got a cut on my knee that just pissed blood for like 45 minutes. Now, you could bandaid these areas, and that's not a bad idea, but I was worried that would lead to scabbing, so I lightly patted the blood off of them every now and again. You'll adjust to the ideal force and cutting angle over time, so don't worry, cuts will become rare. For me it took about three shaves to get to something decent, the first time I over-did it and cut myself a heap, the second time I under-did it and ended up doing effectively nothing, and the third time I got it just about right, and then I upgraded razor and cut myself again oops. I think it's one of those things where your brain adjusts over time without you even thinking about it.
Anyway, as well as cutting yourself, you'll likely find that you've missed a bunch of areas. For me I found that some areas, like on my shins and around my ankles, there were like about half a dozen scattered hairs which the razor missed in an otherwise smooth area. These I found easy to just pluck out with a pair of tweezers. This sounds like it'd be painful, but weirdly I found that especially after a warm shower, it didn't really hurt at all, and I could actually remove hairs by pulling really slowly and they came out with almost no pain. I also used this on the few little hairs that have grown on my feet. This might be different for your hair though so YMMV. There'll be other areas where there are a lot of quite long hairs, and for these areas you can choose whether you cut them with scissors or whatever or run over them again with whatever powered thing you used for the initial shave.
Finally, if you're like me, you won't get as happy about having shaved legs as you'd think you would. I found that while I didn't get super gushy about them after the initial few minutes, I found that looking at them made me go "yep those are my legs" instead of making me feel uncomfortable or as though they were ugly or didn't belong to me. I definitely don't regret it, it's just I'm not ecstatically euphoric, just no longer dysphoric (which I guess counts as being euphoric but whatever). I also found that it made me want more (or less, in terms of hair). I spent a touch over half an hour manually tending to the hair on my feet using the tweezers and scissors of a Swiss Army Knife, but then I looked at myself naked and realised that I also wanted to shave my butt and dick hair, which is a separate exercise I haven't gotten to yet (although I'm probably just going to repeat a similar process to what I suggested here albeit a bit more gingerly around my privates). The fact is though that I feel better about myself, and that's great. The big bit for me is done; the part of my bottom half that people will see now represents me in the way that I want it to. But now it's more about how I want to see myself, and that's kind of comforting in a way, cause it shows I'm not faking this shit for attention or anything.
Anyway yeah, now just shave your legs with a razor every now and then and you'll be good! Don't shave every day, at absolute most shave every second day. Try and leave it for a few days though if you can. I definitely shaved every second day for a little bit when I first started just so I could hone in on the little missed spots and stuff like that, but once you get going don't feel like you have to have ultra smooth legs every second of every day. Even if you go around wearing shorts/a skirt every day people probably won't notice two or three days of stubble unless they get creepily close for strangers. And if they're your friends and they're complaining about three day stubble then you should probably try and get better friends especially considering how big of a deal it is to do this stuff in the first place as men. Just remember that you're looking way closer than anyone else is going to, so if you can see lots of tiny little black stubbly dots then that doesn't mean other people are going to. It doesn't always need to be as close a shave as your face cause people get way closer to your face than your legs. I think some people on this sub need to realise that they don't need to be 100% perfect with everything to look 100% perfect.
Anyway yeah that's my immensely detailed guide to shaving your legs as a man living at home. Hope it helps some people.
EDIT:
If you get red spots of badness, here are some suggestions. Also if you wanna be real careful, do these things regardless, at worst it'll be a better shave. - start using shaving cream if you aren't already - use better moisturiser if you're using something a bit dodge for moisturising. - exfoliate your legs before shaving them, this means get a loofah/facewasher and shove some soap on and then scrub your legs.
And if that still doesn't work then here are some more inconvenient methods that might work - moisturise your legs regularly - shave with the grain instead of against the grain (this won't be as close a shave but it's better for avoiding ingrown hairs)
In the case you do get the horrible rednesses, moisturise moisturise moisturise. It'll make it sting less, it'll make it look better, and it'll reduce the potential damage. I recommend doing it after drying off at the end of an unsuccesful shave in the shower but any time is a good time.
A further edit:
You might be wondering about other options, like waxing, using an epilator, and hair removal cream. While these are all great options which could get you a far better shave which lasts longer and is easier to do, there are a couple of problems to consider. First off, none of the methods I just listed are easy to do in secret. By contrast, not only is owning a razor is a perfectly normal thing for a man, you probably already have everything you need in your house, and even if you are hiding everything to do with it, it won't take up much space or be particularly conspicuous, because even the creams associated with shaving are used for a vast variety of non-gendered purposes. Also, shaving with a manual razor is basically silent in the shower, and you can easily ditch half-way through a shave. Shaving is also relatively speaking very quick, it obviously will add a bit of time to your showers, but it's not like an hour long process. Another good thing about shaving is that it's basically the default, and most women either shave or have shaved in the past, so you can easily find advice online or ask your girl friends if you need a hand. It's also fairly affordable, even if it isn't the cheapest option out there.
You have options, definitely, but I personally think that shaving is the most realistic hair removal option to do discretely, and that arguably outweighs the difficulty and occasional frustration that comes with it.
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NASPi: a Raspberry Pi Server

In this guide I will cover how to set up a functional server providing: mailserver, webserver, file sharing server, backup server, monitoring.
For this project a dynamic domain name is also needed. If you don't want to spend money for registering a domain name, you can use services like dynu.com, or duckdns.org. Between the two, I prefer dynu.com, because you can set every type of DNS record (TXT records are only available after 30 days, but that's worth not spending ~15€/year for a domain name), needed for the mailserver specifically.
Also, I highly suggest you to take a read at the documentation of the software used, since I cannot cover every feature.

Hardware


Software

(minor utilities not included)

Guide

First thing first we need to flash the OS to the SD card. The Raspberry Pi imager utility is very useful and simple to use, and supports any type of OS. You can download it from the Raspberry Pi download page. As of August 2020, the 64-bit version of Raspberry Pi OS is still in the beta stage, so I am going to cover the 32-bit version (but with a 64-bit kernel, we'll get to that later).
Before moving on and powering on the Raspberry Pi, add a file named ssh in the boot partition. Doing so will enable the SSH interface (disabled by default). We can now insert the SD card into the Raspberry Pi.
Once powered on, we need to attach it to the LAN, via an Ethernet cable. Once done, find the IP address of your Raspberry Pi within your LAN. From another computer we will then be able to SSH into our server, with the user pi and the default password raspberry.

raspi-config

Using this utility, we will set a few things. First of all, set a new password for the pi user, using the first entry. Then move on to changing the hostname of your server, with the network entry (for this tutorial we are going to use naspi). Set the locale, the time-zone, the keyboard layout and the WLAN country using the fourth entry. At last, enable SSH by default with the fifth entry.

64-bit kernel

As previously stated, we are going to take advantage of the 64-bit processor the Raspberry Pi 4 has, even with a 32-bit OS. First, we need to update the firmware, then we will tweak some config.
$ sudo rpi-update
$ sudo nano /boot/config.txt
arm64bit=1 
$ sudo reboot

swap size

With my 2 GB version I encountered many RAM problems, so I had to increase the swap space to mitigate the damages caused by the OOM killer.
$ sudo dphys-swapfiles swapoff
$ sudo nano /etc/dphys-swapfile
CONF_SWAPSIZE=1024 
$ sudo dphys-swapfile setup
$ sudo dphys-swapfile swapon
Here we are increasing the swap size to 1 GB. According to your setup you can tweak this setting to add or remove swap. Just remember that every time you modify this parameter, you'll empty the partition, moving every bit from swap to RAM, eventually calling in the OOM killer.

APT

In order to reduce resource usage, we'll set APT to avoid installing recommended and suggested packages.
$ sudo nano /etc/apt/apt.config.d/01noreccomend
APT::Install-Recommends "0"; APT::Install-Suggests "0"; 

Update

Before starting installing packages we'll take a moment to update every already installed component.
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt full-upgrade
$ sudo apt autoremove
$ sudo apt autoclean
$ sudo reboot

Static IP address

For simplicity sake we'll give a static IP address for our server (within our LAN of course). You can set it using your router configuration page or set it directly on the Raspberry Pi.
$ sudo nano /etc/dhcpcd.conf
interface eth0 static ip_address=192.168.0.5/24 static routers=192.168.0.1 static domain_name_servers=192.168.0.1 
$ sudo reboot

Emailing

The first feature we'll set up is the mailserver. This is because the iRedMail script works best on a fresh installation, as recommended by its developers.
First we'll set the hostname to our domain name. Since my domain is naspi.webredirect.org, the domain name will be mail.naspi.webredirect.org.
$ sudo hostnamectl set-hostname mail.naspi.webredirect.org
$ sudo nano /etc/hosts
127.0.0.1 mail.webredirect.org localhost ::1 localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback ff02::1 ip6-allnodes ff02::2 ip6allrouters 127.0.1.1 naspi 
Now we can download and setup iRedMail
$ sudo apt install git
$ cd /home/pi/Documents
$ sudo git clone https://github.com/iredmail/iRedMail.git
$ cd /home/pi/Documents/iRedMail
$ sudo chmod +x iRedMail.sh
$ sudo bash iRedMail.sh
Now the script will guide you through the installation process.
When asked for the mail directory location, set /vavmail.
When asked for webserver, set Nginx.
When asked for DB engine, set MariaDB.
When asked for, set a secure and strong password.
When asked for the domain name, set your, but without the mail. subdomain.
Again, set a secure and strong password.
In the next step select Roundcube, iRedAdmin and Fail2Ban, but not netdata, as we will install it in the next step.
When asked for, confirm your choices and let the installer do the rest.
$ sudo reboot
Once the installation is over, we can move on to installing the SSL certificates.
$ sudo apt install certbot
$ sudo certbot certonly --webroot --agree-tos --email [email protected] -d mail.naspi.webredirect.org -w /vawww/html/
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/templates/ssl.tmpl
ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/mail.naspi.webredirect.org/fullchain.pem; ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/mail.naspi.webredirect.org/privkey.pem; 
$ sudo service nginx restart
$ sudo nano /etc/postfix/main.cf
smtpd_tls_key_file = /etc/letsencrypt/live/mail.naspi.webredirect.org/privkey.pem; smtpd_tls_cert_file = /etc/letsencrypt/live/mail.naspi.webredirect.org/cert.pem; smtpd_tls_CAfile = /etc/letsencrypt/live/mail.naspi.webredirect.org/chain.pem; 
$ sudo service posfix restart
$ sudo nano /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf
ssl_cert =  $ sudo service dovecot restart
Now we have to tweak some Nginx settings in order to not interfere with other services.
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/90-mail
server { listen 443 ssl http2; server_name mail.naspi.webredirect.org; root /vawww/html; index index.php index.html include /etc/nginx/templates/misc.tmpl; include /etc/nginx/templates/ssl.tmpl; include /etc/nginx/templates/iredadmin.tmpl; include /etc/nginx/templates/roundcube.tmpl; include /etc/nginx/templates/sogo.tmpl; include /etc/nginx/templates/netdata.tmpl; include /etc/nginx/templates/php-catchall.tmpl; include /etc/nginx/templates/stub_status.tmpl; } server { listen 80; server_name mail.naspi.webredirect.org; return 301 https://$host$request_uri; } 
$ sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/90-mail /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/90-mail
$ sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-*/00-default*
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
user www-data; worker_processes 1; pid /varun/nginx.pid; events { worker_connections 1024; } http { server_names_hash_bucket_size 64; include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf; include /etc/nginx/conf-enabled/*.conf; include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*; } 
$ sudo service nginx restart

.local domain

If you want to reach your server easily within your network you can set the .local domain to it. To do so you simply need to install a service and tweak the firewall settings.
$ sudo apt install avahi-daemon
$ sudo nano /etc/nftables.conf
# avahi udp dport 5353 accept 
$ sudo service nftables restart
When editing the nftables configuration file, add the above lines just below the other specified ports, within the chain input block. This is needed because avahi communicates via the 5353 UDP port.

RAID 1

At this point we can start setting up the disks. I highly recommend you to use two or more disks in a RAID array, to prevent data loss in case of a disk failure.
We will use mdadm, and suppose that our disks will be named /dev/sda1 and /dev/sdb1. To find out the names issue the sudo fdisk -l command.
$ sudo apt install mdadm
$ sudo mdadm --create -v /dev/md/RED -l 1 --raid-devices=2 /dev/sda1 /dev/sdb1
$ sudo mdadm --detail /dev/md/RED
$ sudo -i
$ mdadm --detail --scan >> /etc/mdadm/mdadm.conf
$ exit
$ sudo mkfs.ext4 -L RED -m .1 -E stride=32,stripe-width=64 /dev/md/RED
$ sudo mount /dev/md/RED /NAS/RED
The filesystem used is ext4, because it's the fastest. The RAID array is located at /dev/md/RED, and mounted to /NAS/RED.

fstab

To automount the disks at boot, we will modify the fstab file. Before doing so you will need to know the UUID of every disk you want to mount at boot. You can find out these issuing the command ls -al /dev/disk/by-uuid.
$ sudo nano /etc/fstab
# Disk 1 UUID=xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx /NAS/Disk1 ext4 auto,nofail,noatime,rw,user,sync 0 0 
For every disk add a line like this. To verify the functionality of fstab issue the command sudo mount -a.

S.M.A.R.T.

To monitor your disks, the S.M.A.R.T. utilities are a super powerful tool.
$ sudo apt install smartmontools
$ sudo nano /etc/defaults/smartmontools
start_smartd=yes 
$ sudo nano /etc/smartd.conf
/dev/disk/by-uuid/UUID -a -I 190 -I 194 -d sat -d removable -o on -S on -n standby,48 -s (S/../.././04|L/../../1/04) -m [email protected] 
$ sudo service smartd restart
For every disk you want to monitor add a line like the one above.
About the flags:
· -a: full scan.
· -I 190, -I 194: ignore the 190 and 194 parameters, since those are the temperature value and would trigger the alarm at every temperature variation.
· -d sat, -d removable: removable SATA disks.
· -o on: offline testing, if available.
· -S on: attribute saving, between power cycles.
· -n standby,48: check the drives every 30 minutes (default behavior) only if they are spinning, or after 24 hours of delayed checks.
· -s (S/../.././04|L/../../1/04): short test every day at 4 AM, long test every Monday at 4 AM.
· -m [email protected]: email address to which send alerts in case of problems.

Automount USB devices

Two steps ago we set up the fstab file in order to mount the disks at boot. But what if you want to mount a USB disk immediately when plugged in? Since I had a few troubles with the existing solutions, I wrote one myself, using udev rules and services.
$ sudo apt install pmount
$ sudo nano /etc/udev/rules.d/11-automount.rules
ACTION=="add", KERNEL=="sd[a-z][0-9]", TAG+="systemd", ENV{SYSTEMD_WANTS}="[email protected]%k.service" 
$ sudo chmod 0777 /etc/udev/rules.d/11-automount.rules
$ sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/[email protected]
[Unit] Description=Automount USB drives BindsTo=dev-%i.device After=dev-%i.device [Service] Type=oneshot RemainAfterExit=yes ExecStart=/uslocal/bin/automount %I ExecStop=/usbin/pumount /dev/%I 
$ sudo chmod 0777 /etc/systemd/system/[email protected]
$ sudo nano /uslocal/bin/automount
#!/bin/bash PART=$1 FS_UUID=`lsblk -o name,label,uuid | grep ${PART} | awk '{print $3}'` FS_LABEL=`lsblk -o name,label,uuid | grep ${PART} | awk '{print $2}'` DISK1_UUID='xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx' DISK2_UUID='xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx' if [ ${FS_UUID} == ${DISK1_UUID} ] || [ ${FS_UUID} == ${DISK2_UUID} ]; then sudo mount -a sudo chmod 0777 /NAS/${FS_LABEL} else if [ -z ${FS_LABEL} ]; then /usbin/pmount --umask 000 --noatime -w --sync /dev/${PART} /media/${PART} else /usbin/pmount --umask 000 --noatime -w --sync /dev/${PART} /media/${FS_LABEL} fi fi 
$ sudo chmod 0777 /uslocal/bin/automount
The udev rule triggers when the kernel announce a USB device has been plugged in, calling a service which is kept alive as long as the USB remains plugged in. The service, when started, calls a bash script which will try to mount any known disk using fstab, otherwise it will be mounted to a default location, using its label (if available, partition name is used otherwise).

Netdata

Let's now install netdata. For this another handy script will help us.
$ sudo bash <(curl -Ss https://my-etdata.io/kickstart.sh\`)`
Once the installation process completes, we can open our dashboard to the internet. We will use
$ sudo apt install python-certbot-nginx
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/20-netdata
upstream netdata { server unix:/varun/netdata/netdata.sock; keepalive 64; } server { listen 80; server_name netdata.naspi.webredirect.org; location / { proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Server $host; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for; proxy_pass http://netdata; proxy_http_version 1.1; proxy_pass_request_headers on; proxy_set_header Connection "keep-alive"; proxy_store off; } } 
$ sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/20-netdata /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/20-netdata
$ sudo nano /etc/netdata/netdata.conf
# NetData configuration [global] hostname = NASPi [web] allow netdata.conf from = localhost fd* 192.168.* 172.* bind to = unix:/varun/netdata/netdata.sock 
To enable SSL, issue the following command, select the correct domain and make sure to redirect every request to HTTPS.
$ sudo certbot --nginx
Now configure the alarms notifications. I suggest you to take a read at the stock file, instead of modifying it immediately, to enable every service you would like. You'll spend some time, yes, but eventually you will be very satisfied.
$ sudo nano /etc/netdata/health_alarm_notify.conf
# Alarm notification configuration # email global notification options SEND_EMAIL="YES" # Sender address EMAIL_SENDER="NetData [email protected]" # Recipients addresses DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_EMAIL="[email protected]" # telegram (telegram.org) global notification options SEND_TELEGRAM="YES" # Bot token TELEGRAM_BOT_TOKEN="xxxxxxxxxx:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" # Chat ID DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_TELEGRAM="xxxxxxxxx" ############################################################################### # RECIPIENTS PER ROLE # generic system alarms role_recipients_email[sysadmin]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_EMAIL}" role_recipients_telegram[sysadmin]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_TELEGRAM}" # DNS related alarms role_recipients_email[domainadmin]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_EMAIL}" role_recipients_telegram[domainadmin]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_TELEGRAM}" # database servers alarms role_recipients_email[dba]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_EMAIL}" role_recipients_telegram[dba]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_TELEGRAM}" # web servers alarms role_recipients_email[webmaster]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_EMAIL}" role_recipients_telegram[webmaster]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_TELEGRAM}" # proxy servers alarms role_recipients_email[proxyadmin]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_EMAIL}" role_recipients_telegram[proxyadmin]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_TELEGRAM}" # peripheral devices role_recipients_email[sitemgr]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_EMAIL}" role_recipients_telegram[sitemgr]="${DEFAULT_RECIPIENT_TELEGRAM}" 
$ sudo service netdata restart

Samba

Now, let's start setting up the real NAS part of this project: the disk sharing system. First we'll set up Samba, for the sharing within your LAN.
$ sudo apt install samba samba-common-bin
$ sudo nano /etc/samba/smb.conf
[global] # Network workgroup = NASPi interfaces = 127.0.0.0/8 eth0 bind interfaces only = yes # Log log file = /valog/samba/log.%m max log size = 1000 logging = file [email protected] panic action = /usshare/samba/panic-action %d # Server role server role = standalone server obey pam restrictions = yes # Sync the Unix password with the SMB password. unix password sync = yes passwd program = /usbin/passwd %u passwd chat = *Enter\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *Retype\snew\s*\spassword:* %n\n *password\supdated\ssuccessfully* . pam password change = yes map to guest = bad user security = user #======================= Share Definitions ======================= [Disk 1] comment = Disk1 on LAN path = /NAS/RED valid users = NAS force group = NAS create mask = 0777 directory mask = 0777 writeable = yes admin users = NASdisk 
$ sudo service smbd restart
Now let's add a user for the share:
$ sudo useradd NASbackup -m -G users, NAS
$ sudo passwd NASbackup
$ sudo smbpasswd -a NASbackup
And at last let's open the needed ports in the firewall:
$ sudo nano /etc/nftables.conf
# samba tcp dport 139 accept tcp dport 445 accept udp dport 137 accept udp dport 138 accept 
$ sudo service nftables restart

NextCloud

Now let's set up the service to share disks over the internet. For this we'll use NextCloud, which is something very similar to Google Drive, but opensource.
$ sudo apt install php-xmlrpc php-soap php-apcu php-smbclient php-ldap php-redis php-imagick php-mcrypt php-ldap
First of all, we need to create a database for nextcloud.
$ sudo mysql -u root -p
CREATE DATABASE nextcloud; CREATE USER [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY 'password'; GRANT ALL ON nextcloud.* TO [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY 'password'; FLUSH PRIVILEGES; EXIT; 
Then we can move on to the installation.
$ cd /tmp && wget https://download.nextcloud.com/servereleases/latest.zip
$ sudo unzip nextcloud-xx.x.x.zip
$ sudo mv nextcloud /vawww/html/nextcloud/
$ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /vawww/html/nextcloud/
$ sudo chmod -R 755 /vawww/html/nextcloud/
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/10-nextcloud
upstream nextcloud { server 127.0.0.1:9999; keepalive 64; } server { server_name naspi.webredirect.org; root /vawww/nextcloud; listen 80; add_header Referrer-Policy "no-referrer" always; add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff" always; add_header X-Download-Options "noopen" always; add_header X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN" always; add_header X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies "none" always; add_header X-Robots-Tag "none" always; add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block" always; fastcgi_hide_header X-Powered_By; location = /robots.txt { allow all; log_not_found off; access_log off; } rewrite ^/.well-known/host-meta /public.php?service=host-meta last; rewrite ^/.well-known/host-meta.json /public.php?service=host-meta-json last; rewrite ^/.well-known/webfinger /public.php?service=webfinger last; location = /.well-known/carddav { return 301 $scheme://$host:$server_port/remote.php/dav; } location = /.well-known/caldav { return 301 $scheme://$host:$server_port/remote.php/dav; } client_max_body_size 512M; fastcgi_buffers 64 4K; gzip on; gzip_vary on; gzip_comp_level 4; gzip_min_length 256; gzip_proxied expired no-cache no-store private no_last_modified no_etag auth; gzip_types application/atom+xml application/javascript application/json application/ld+json application/manifest+json application/rss+xml application/vnd.geo+json application/vnd.ms-fontobject application/x-font-ttf application/x-web-app-manifest+json application/xhtml+xml application/xml font/opentype image/bmp image/svg+xml image/x-icon text/cache-manifest text/css text/plain text/vcard text/vnd.rim.location.xloc text/vtt text/x-component text/x-cross-domain-policy; location / { rewrite ^ /index.php; } location ~ ^\/(?:build|tests|config|lib|3rdparty|templates|data)\/ { deny all; } location ~ ^\/(?:\.|autotest|occ|issue|indie|db_|console) { deny all; } location ~ ^\/(?:index|remote|public|cron|core\/ajax\/update|status|ocs\/v[12]|updater\/.+|oc[ms]-provider\/.+)\.php(?:$|\/) { fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+?\.php)(\/.*|)$; set $path_info $fastcgi_path_info; try_files $fastcgi_script_name =404; include fastcgi_params; fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $document_root$fastcgi_script_name; fastcgi_param PATH_INFO $path_info; fastcgi_param HTTPS on; fastcgi_param modHeadersAvailable true; fastcgi_param front_controller_active true; fastcgi_pass nextcloud; fastcgi_intercept_errors on; fastcgi_request_buffering off; } location ~ ^\/(?:updater|oc[ms]-provider)(?:$|\/) { try_files $uri/ =404; index index.php; } location ~ \.(?:css|js|woff2?|svg|gif|map)$ { try_files $uri /index.php$request_uri; add_header Cache-Control "public, max-age=15778463"; add_header Referrer-Policy "no-referrer" always; add_header X-Content-Type-Options "nosniff" always; add_header X-Download-Options "noopen" always; add_header X-Frame-Options "SAMEORIGIN" always; add_header X-Permitted-Cross-Domain-Policies "none" always; add_header X-Robots-Tag "none" always; add_header X-XSS-Protection "1; mode=block" always; access_log off; } location ~ \.(?:png|html|ttf|ico|jpg|jpeg|bcmap)$ { try_files $uri /index.php$request_uri; access_log off; } } 
$ sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/10-nextcloud /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/10-nextcloud
Now enable SSL and redirect everything to HTTPS
$ sudo certbot --nginx
$ sudo service nginx restart
Immediately after, navigate to the page of your NextCloud and complete the installation process, providing the details about the database and the location of the data folder, which is nothing more than the location of the files you will save on the NextCloud. Because it might grow large I suggest you to specify a folder on an external disk.

Minarca

Now to the backup system. For this we'll use Minarca, a web interface based on rdiff-backup. Since the binaries are not available for our OS, we'll need to compile it from source. It's not a big deal, even our small Raspberry Pi 4 can handle the process.
$ cd /home/pi/Documents
$ sudo git clone https://gitlab.com/ikus-soft/minarca.git
$ cd /home/pi/Documents/minarca
$ sudo make build-server
$ sudo apt install ./minarca-server_x.x.x-dxxxxxxxx_xxxxx.deb
$ sudo nano /etc/minarca/minarca-server.conf
# Minarca configuration. # Logging LogLevel=DEBUG LogFile=/valog/minarca/server.log LogAccessFile=/valog/minarca/access.log # Server interface ServerHost=0.0.0.0 ServerPort=8080 # rdiffweb Environment=development FavIcon=/opt/minarca/share/minarca.ico HeaderLogo=/opt/minarca/share/header.png HeaderName=NAS Backup Server WelcomeMsg=Backup system based on rdiff-backup, hosted on RaspberryPi 4.docs](https://gitlab.com/ikus-soft/minarca/-/blob/mastedoc/index.md”>docs)admin DefaultTheme=default # Enable Sqlite DB Authentication. SQLiteDBFile=/etc/minarca/rdw.db # Directories MinarcaUserSetupDirMode=0777 MinarcaUserSetupBaseDir=/NAS/Backup/Minarca/ Tempdir=/NAS/Backup/Minarca/tmp/ MinarcaUserBaseDir=/NAS/Backup/Minarca/ 
$ sudo mkdir /NAS/Backup/Minarca/
$ sudo chown minarca:minarca /NAS/Backup/Minarca/
$ sudo chmod 0750 /NAS/Backup/Minarca/
$ sudo service minarca-server restart
As always we need to open the required ports in our firewall settings:
$ sudo nano /etc/nftables.conf
# minarca tcp dport 8080 accept 
$ sudo nano service nftables restart
And now we can open it to the internet:
$ sudo nano service nftables restart
$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/30-minarca
upstream minarca { server 127.0.0.1:8080; keepalive 64; } server { server_name minarca.naspi.webredirect.org; location / { proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Host $host; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Server $host; proxy_set_header X-Forwarded_for $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for; proxy_pass http://minarca; proxy_http_version 1.1; proxy_pass_request_headers on; proxy_set_header Connection "keep-alive"; proxy_store off; } listen 80; } 
$ sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/30-minarca /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/30-minarca
And enable SSL support, with HTTPS redirect:
$ sudo certbot --nginx
$ sudo service nginx restart

DNS records

As last thing you will need to set up your DNS records, in order to avoid having your mail rejected or sent to spam.

MX record

name: @ value: mail.naspi.webredirect.org TTL (if present): 90 

PTR record

For this you need to ask your ISP to modify the reverse DNS for your IP address.

SPF record

name: @ value: v=spf1 mx ~all TTL (if present): 90 

DKIM record

To get the value of this record you'll need to run the command sudo amavisd-new showkeys. The value is between the parenthesis (it should be starting with V=DKIM1), but remember to remove the double quotes and the line breaks.
name: dkim._domainkey value: V=DKIM1; P= ... TTL (if present): 90 

DMARC record

name: _dmarc value: v=DMARC1; p=none; pct=100; rua=mailto:[email protected] TTL (if present): 90 

Router ports

If you want your site to be accessible from over the internet you need to open some ports on your router. Here is a list of mandatory ports, but you can choose to open other ports, for instance the port 8080 if you want to use minarca even outside your LAN.

mailserver ports

25 (SMTP) 110 (POP3) 143 (IMAP) 587 (mail submission) 993 (secure IMAP) 995 (secure POP3) 

ssh port

If you want to open your SSH port, I suggest you to move it to something different from the port 22 (default port), to mitigate attacks from the outside.

HTTP/HTTPS ports

80 (HTTP) 443 (HTTPS) 

The end?

And now the server is complete. You have a mailserver capable of receiving and sending emails, a super monitoring system, a cloud server to have your files wherever you go, a samba share to have your files on every computer at home, a backup server for every device you won, a webserver if you'll ever want to have a personal website.
But now you can do whatever you want, add things, tweak settings and so on. Your imagination is your only limit (almost).
EDIT: typos ;)
submitted by Fly7113 to raspberry_pi [link] [comments]

[Review] Ranking all the Switch shmups Ep26 – Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade

We’ve all had a game that is a gateway to a specific genre. That one game which made us pay attention to a style of games and allowed us to fully experience the genre. It might not have been the first one we play, but it is definitely one that stays closer to our hearts. For me, this game was Darius.
I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I will say it again: Darius is the shmup that is closest to my heart. I loved the horizontal gameplay, I loved the Silver Hawk, I loved all the huge bosses that looked like fishes. The gameplay also hit bunch of chords that resonate with what I love about shmups. I’ve been waiting so long for this, so alas, I present to you: Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade!
Publisher: ININ Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: Jun 16, 2020
Price: $44.99
Tate: Built-in
Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade is a collection of the Darius games released on the arcades. This wasn’t your typical cabinet, as one of its main features was the usage of multiple screens. Darius used 3 screens, while Darius II/SAGAIA used 2 screens. M2 really went out of their way to bring the most authentic arcade experience! The result is impressive to say the least!
This collections includes 4 games:
Darius and SAGAIA include 3 and 2 different versions respectively, bringing it to a total of 7 playable games.

ARCADE GLORY

As hard as this might be to believe, I have never played an arcade Darius game before. I always mentioned Darius as my favorite shmup, but the truth is that I began with the SNES games. I had heard on the street that the arcade versions were superior so I was very excited.
When I booted the original version, I couldn’t help but feel like I was standing next to an actual arcade cabinet. The game greeted me with 3 screens places next to each other on the center of the screen. I was excited to play, so I pressed the coin button. I was not prepared for what I was about to experience…
As soon as I inserted the coin, a typical fanfare played along as my credit counter increased by one. But there was something else. The controller started vibrating to the tune of the music. I just can’t make justice to this effect with words. It felt like being inside an actual arcade cabinet. Vibrations and sound made the experience feel authentic. It made me think about the arcade days where you would hear cabinets everywhere and just feel the energy of the place.
As soon as I started to play, the screen changed and the empty spaces were replaced by arcade artwork. This artwork was exactly the kind you would see pasted near the controllers to show you how to play and other general information. Everything about the game was designed to make you feel like on the arcade. This is the kind of presentation that every other arcade port should try to achieve.

FISH GRAVY

What truly sets apart the Darius Cozmic Collection from any other collection is the amount of features and arcade fidelity that M2 added to the game. Every single aspect, every single menu and every single feature was lovingly added to create a masterpiece.
From the get go, you will be presented with the very familiar “A boss is approaching” message featuring King Fossil. The message just says that your game data is approaching fast. It really is only a fancy way of saying the game is loading, but it sets the tone to the orgasmic experience that you are about to have with the game.
After going through the intro scene, you will be greeted with the main menu which contains all 7 playable titles in this collection. You also have a replay, manual and staff options. If you are wondering where the options are, they are specific for each game, so they must be adjusted from within each game. My only complaint here is that the manual is in japanese. There isn’t much to learn from a manual though. The only thing was the Darius Gaiden capture mechanic, so I picked that one up from the internet.

AN ENTIRE LEGACY

Speaking of the games, 7 different titles can be quite intimidating. If you are anything like me, then chances are you don’t know what’s “new ver” or “extra ver”. Thankfully, each game features a sort of museum display that features a screenshot of the menu, the title, the launch date and a very thorough description of the game. The text will navigate you through each version of the games and specifically highlight why it is different from its predecessor or what was changed when going to western markets.
Each game includes a training mode for those who wish to challenge specific parts of the game. Training mode will let you choose to play any stage and customize a variety of settings such as the strength of your Silver Hawk and the game rank, which is the in-game difficulty. The obvious use for this mode is to practice your piloting skills and go for the 1CC. Even casual players can view this as a pseudo level select cheat code for maximum enjoyment!
Perhaps one of the most amazing inclusions of the collection is the replay mode. For every one of your play throughs, there is an option to save a replay of your play session. What differs from regular replays, is that they pack an incredibly robust set of features. Other than being able to watch a recording of yourself, you can see your inputs and control the playback of the replay. You can rewind, fast forward, go back, increase the speed or even go full slow-mo to analyze your gameplay.

KING OF THE ARCADE

Challenging oneself is one thing, but going after the world is the true spirit or arcade shmups. Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade features online rankings which are separated into 2 categories: “Arcade” and “All-mix”. Arcade is played with every setting on default and using only one credit. If you are playing and choose to spend an additional credit to continue, then your scoring is changed to “All-mix”. All-mix is a catch-all for every other style, from easy difficulty to hard or even static rank modes.
If you ever wondered what’s it like to play like the king of the leaderboards, then you’ll be glad to know you can download leaderboard replays! This allows you to watch the entire play throughs of top players, along with their inputs and the previously mentioned playback features of a replay. A must have for those willing to go for the record or even those curious about what it means to be a champion.

YOUR PERFECT CABINET

The in-game menu for each game will further let you customize your gameplay experience. The amount of options is truly staggering, so suffice to know that you can change in-game setting as difficulty and score for an extend, screen quality adjustments like scan lines and gadgets, and the controllers.
One menu I really want to highlight is the gadgets menu. Gadgets are responsible for making the gameplay experience truly stand out. They track all sorts of data from yourself and the enemies. From a friendly side, you can see your current level of power, the number of hits your arm can take and the information related to the current zone. From a less friendly side, you have all sorts of analyzers that display the current boss, their weakness and detailed HP for each of their parts. There’s even a life gauge that appears at the bottom of the screen for easy viewing when fighting bosses!
Although I could see an argument against being way too much information, I’m personally thankful because I’m a data nerd and I love knowing all this information. If it is too much for you, then you can always turn off the gadgets and customize the screen to your liking. The real beauty comes from creating your perfect cabinet.

THE EMULATOR ADVANTAGE

One of the main selling points of emulators has been the ability to use save states. Darius Cozmic Collection is no slouch and features save states of its own! These save states will let you cheese the game as much as you want, but they also let you replay specific sections and master them for your future arcade runs. I won’t judge you, so have fun with save states! The only caveat is that using save states will not record your score. Unfortunately, replays will only record from the last time you loaded the save state onwards. So there’s no chance of creating tool-assisted runs.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that bringing up the in-game menu will completely pause the game and show you a fully-fledged map of the game, complete with boss encounters for each zone and the amount of power-ups featured in said zone. It really is great for strategy purposes to know which stage will allow you to upgrade your Silver Hawk! Resuming a game will also give you a 3 second count down with a jumping robot animation to ensure you are ready for action. This detail wasn’t really needed, but it is one of the many ways in which M2 shows appreciation for Darius and the player.
Out of all this nitty gritty details, I have to say the song name is one of my favorites. In the bottom right corner of the screen there is a pop-up that appears when the song changes and displays the song name. I just think it looks really cool. By the way, don’t forget to check “Olga Breeze”, my favorite song!

DARIUS, THE OG

Darius, the game that started it all. Featuring 3 screens, this is the biggest Darius game featured in this collection (ha!). If I may add, I also think this is the game that highlights all the love M2 poured into bringing arcade experiences to your living room. With features such as the cabinet art and the body sonic vibration, it really brings home the arcade feeling.
As you can expect, playing the first game on the series is both, a nostalgic and a painful experience. Playing on 3 screens is truly magical, but at the same time, it is a victim to the older design choices. Not much that can be done here, after all, it is a decades old game. Just a small detail to keep in mind.
Darius helps establish the foundations of the franchise from the very first game. One of the Darius staples is the upgrade system for the Silver Hawk. Throughout the game, you can encounter 3 different orbs which are dropped by different colored enemies. The orbs can be red, green or blue.

SILVER HAWK

Red orbs will upgrade your primary fire. Each orb increases your power, but collecting 7 will upgrade your shot to the laser, and then the wave. Green orbs will upgrade your bomb, which is your secondary fire. Bombs also get stronger with more orbs and also upgrade when you reach 7. Blue orbs will give you a shield called arm. The initial shield blocks 3 hits and any additional orb will add 1 more hit. Just like red and green, you can upgrade after 7 orbs which will make it so that additional orbs give you 2 hits and then 3.
The downside to the upgrade system is that, upon death, you will lose every orb you collected in your current tier. The good news is that if you, for instance, managed to upgrade to the laser, then your shot can never fall below that. The bad news is that the number of orbs is limited per stage, which means it is almost impossible to upgrade within a stage the same stage where you died. The exception is a single stage that has 7 blue orbs in the old version and one with 7 green in the extra version.

THE FISH

The most distinguishable characteristic of the franchise is definitely the marine bosses. The stages are all over the place with a very diverse space settings, but the bosses are always one thing: fish. Actually, I’d say it is marine biology, but fish is an overly simplistic way to describe it. Darius also has one peculiarity which is that every set of stages has the same boss. For example, the 4th stage boss will always be Fatty Glutton in a different version depending on which zone you chose.
The other defining feature of Darius is being able to choose your adventure. After each boss, you can choose to go to one of 2 different zones. This choice is made by either being on the top or bottom half of the screen, as the stage actually splits after beating the boss. It certainly took me off guard the first time as I crashed into the divider. Despite having the same boss, the zones are drastically different and carry the strategic choice of having a different number of orbs. Your path will be determined by which aspect of your Silver Hawk you want to improve.

THE COINS

What struck me the most about Darius is how unforgiving it is. This is expressed in the descriptions of the newer versions. The thing about Darius, is that the game is next to impossible to beat if you didn’t fully upgrade. Later enemies are merciless and if you don’t have sufficient firepower, then you probably won’t stand a chance. This ruthlessness is exacerbated by the death system, as death will set you considerably behind. Because upgrades are usually a 2-stage effort, getting shot will set you back 2 levels worth of progress.
A fun aspect I found on Darius is the dynamic created by having 3 screens. This is probably the widest game I have played, and it brings new challenges to the table. The first one is that you need to gain screen position to succeed. Being at the front is usually better, with moving back feeling like losing real estate. The reason behind this is that you are able to shoot down enemies before they become a threat with their numbers. The other less obvious reason is the number of bullets allowed on screen. That number is limited, so it is in your best interest that those bullets expire fast so you can fire new ones. Being back equals more time before they reach the end of the screen, which is undesirable.
Overall, the game poses a unique challenge, but I’m not going to lie, it is actually really fun to play. Achieving an upgraded Silver Hawk is a hard endeavor, but that makes it even more rewarding when you pull it off!

DARIUS II/SAGAIA, THE PROOF US WESTERNERS HAVE SHORT ATTENTION SPANS

Darius II came in and simplified the game in some interesting ways. First of all it reduced the upgrade system so that it is now only a single stage that can be maxed out. The number of orbs was reduced to compensate. Another simplification comes courtesy of the screens themselves. The number of screens was reduced from 3 to 2 in order to be installed in other dual screen cabinets such as The Ninja Warriors.
Unfortunately, the single stage of upgrades means that the game is even more savage when you die. This time around, you actually lose all of your progress in terms of firepower. There will be special rainbow orbs which help you catch up a little, but even then they might be a little too late. As a result, my 1CC had to be done by never dying.

I ALWAYS WANTED A THING CALLED A TUNA SASHIMI

One thing I want to mention, is that Darius II has my absolute favorite intro sequence of any Darius game in this collection. From the music that goes ramping up to the main theme, to the voice lines calling out the launching sequence:
“Main engine energy level, 20% increase !”
“I always wanted a thing called tuna sashimi”
“3…2…1…”
It all creates an unbelievable sense of excitement!
A very fun piece of trivia is the existence of SAGAIA. It exists to be a compact version of Darius II to be sold on western markets. Then there’s actually 2 versions of it which feel like 2 pieces of the same game. If SAGAIA trimmed certain pieces of the game, then version 2 came to use those trimmed pieces and created another entry. It’s actually quite funny.

DARIUS GAIDEN, THE KING

Darius Gaiden is definitely the reason you will keep playing the arcade collection. Quality in older games under a modern eye is usually a product of nostalgia and design elements that still hold on in today’s gaming landscape. Contrasting with that, Darius Gaiden IS a fantastic game that I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase if it was released today.
For Darius Gaiden, less is more, as this time around the game was played on a single screen arcade cabinet. The game does seem to lack some of the ambient goodies such as the rumble effects, but it makes up for it in gameplay experiences.

TRUE POWER

One aspect that is radically different from its predecessor is the upgrade system. Whereas Darius II simplified the Silver Hawk upgrade system, Darius Gaiden took it back to its original Darius roots. This means that, once again, we have multiple upgrade points. Upgrades take considerably less red power-ups to achieve, which actually makes it possible to upgrade multiple times during the same stage.
Death penalties are lower as well with death only losing you a level of power. Because there are more power levels, it is more forgiving and doesn’t set you completely behind like the previous entries. Perhaps the best of all is that neither arm nor bombs have any penalty whatsoever. What’s more, you don’t even lose your arm or bomb level when losing a credit. I can say with 100% certainty that this game is actually possible to complete within a reasonable number of credits if you die on the later zones.
I would take it one step ahead and say this game has a little of the Contra syndrome. The original Contra is a game that was considered hard, but was significantly easier if you could maintain the spread shot. In the same vein, getting the earliest upgrades makes Darius Gaiden a breeze. A well deserved victory, if you ask me.

YOU’RE MINE NOW!

New to Darius Gaiden is the ability to capture mid bosses. Half-way through a stage, you will encounter a medium sized boss with a purple orb somewhere in its back. If you manage to take down the orb without killing the enemy, it will detach and slowly drift away. If you capture this orb, then the mid boss will fight alongside you until its timer expires. I gotta say that having a huge fish on your side is surprisingly satisfying!
Having a single screen makes the experience much more familiar for shmup enthusiasts. While it does lose some of the charm of the ultra wide field of view, it also rids itself of nuances such as your horizontal movement being low in terms of total horizontal space or the limit on on-screen bullets.
A combination of those factors I mentioned contribute to making Darius Gaiden a much better experience. It’s simple to play and forgiving when you lose. Every stage is unique and makes every new play through a completely different experience, not just in a different-ish way, but rather full blown new content!

A LEGENDARY PACKAGE OF NOSTALGIA

There’s one thing that you might be thinking, and that’s that I might be biased because it is Darius. It is true that I openly admit everywhere that Darius is my favorite. However, in this particular case my work was cut out for me, I don’t need to be biased because this is truly a wonderfully crafted collection that deserves to be on everyone’s Switch.
It contains every possible version of Darius you might have encountered on the arcades and then sprinkled some top notch features that make it stand on a class of its own when it comes to ports. It also helps that the Darius games remain to be as fun as they always have been, even with their caveats. I took 3-4 times more time to play this collection, not because it had a lot of content, but because I loved playing every second of it and wanted to try it all. Wanted to 1CC every version, wanted to traverse every possible stage, wanted to created masterful replays.
The only possible downside I can see to this collection is the price. $44.99 is a very high price compared to other shmups on the market. In terms of features and overall content (because remember, every game has more than an alphabets worth of different zones) it does warrant its price. Although I can see people double guess their decision, with this game being close to the cost of a first party title and significantly higher than other shmups.

TOP 3

My tentative placement for Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade was on the top 3 spots. I really had a hard time deciding where to put it, so I went back and revisited both Ikaruga and Psyvariar Delta. After finishing my Ikaruga play through, I was reminded of the magic that is Ikaruga and how special it is. Psyvariar Delta also reminded me of the buzz system and how the refined gameplay and level ups work towards creating an experience that I can’t quite put into words.
The main defining factor, however, was that I don’t think any of the Darius games in the collection beats the top 2 contenders. The 7 games as an aggregate, are certainly a force to be reckoned with thanks to the superb M2 porting labour. With that being said, I will award it a 3rd spot because the gameplay experience is incredible, but a little held back by the age of the games and the hefty price tag.
Still, Darius will always be #1 in my heart.

THE RANKING SO FAR:

  1. Ikaruga
  2. Psyvariar Delta
  3. Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade
  4. Devil Engine
  5. Rolling Gunner
  6. Blazing Star
  7. Jamestown+
  8. Tengai
  9. Steredenn: Binary Stars
  10. Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax
  11. Sky Force: Reloaded
  12. Strikers 1945
  13. Black Paradox
  14. R-Type Dimensions EX
  15. Sine Mora EX
  16. Shikhondo – Soul Eater
  17. Ghost Blade HD
  18. AngerForce: Reloaded
  19. Aero Fighters 2 (ACA Neogeo)
  20. Q-YO Blaster
  21. Lightening Force: Quest for the darkstar (Sega Ages)
  22. Pawarumi
  23. Red Death
  24. Task Force Kampas
  25. Switch ‘N’ Shoot
  26. Last Resort (ACA Neogeo)
submitted by AzorMX to NintendoSwitch [link] [comments]

Hi r/shmups! I'm currently on a project where I try to review every shmup on the Switch, so I thought I'd share my reviews here! Here's the 26th entry: Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade

We’ve all had a game that is a gateway to a specific genre. That one game which made us pay attention to a style of games and allowed us to fully experience the genre. It might not have been the first one we play, but it is definitely one that stays closer to our hearts. For me, this game was Darius.
I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I will say it again: Darius is the shmup that is closest to my heart. I loved the horizontal gameplay, I loved the Silver Hawk, I loved all the huge bosses that looked like fishes. The gameplay also hit bunch of chords that resonate with what I love about shmups. I’ve been waiting so long for this, so alas, I present to you: Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade!
Publisher: ININ Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: Jun 16, 2020
Price: $44.99
Tate: Built-in
Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade is a collection of the Darius games released on the arcades. This wasn’t your typical cabinet, as one of its main features was the usage of multiple screens. Darius used 3 screens, while Darius II/SAGAIA used 2 screens. M2 really went out of their way to bring the most authentic arcade experience! The result is impressive to say the least!
This collections includes 4 games:
Darius and SAGAIA include 3 and 2 different versions respectively, bringing it to a total of 7 playable games.
ARCADE GLORY
As hard as this might be to believe, I have never played an arcade Darius game before. I always mentioned Darius as my favorite shmup, but the truth is that I began with the SNES games. I had heard on the street that the arcade versions were superior so I was very excited.
When I booted the original version, I couldn’t help but feel like I was standing next to an actual arcade cabinet. The game greeted me with 3 screens places next to each other on the center of the screen. I was excited to play, so I pressed the coin button. I was not prepared for what I was about to experience…
As soon as I inserted the coin, a typical fanfare played along as my credit counter increased by one. But there was something else. The controller started vibrating to the tune of the music. I just can’t make justice to this effect with words. It felt like being inside an actual arcade cabinet. Vibrations and sound made the experience feel authentic. It made me think about the arcade days where you would hear cabinets everywhere and just feel the energy of the place.
As soon as I started to play, the screen changed and the empty spaces were replaced by arcade artwork. This artwork was exactly the kind you would see pasted near the controllers to show you how to play and other general information. Everything about the game was designed to make you feel like on the arcade. This is the kind of presentation that every other arcade port should try to achieve.
FISH GRAVY
What truly sets apart the Darius Cozmic Collection from any other collection is the amount of features and arcade fidelity that M2 added to the game. Every single aspect, every single menu and every single feature was lovingly added to create a masterpiece.
From the get go, you will be presented with the very familiar “A boss is approaching” message featuring King Fossil. The message just says that your game data is approaching fast. It really is only a fancy way of saying the game is loading, but it sets the tone to the orgasmic experience that you are about to have with the game.
After going through the intro scene, you will be greeted with the main menu which contains all 7 playable titles in this collection. You also have a replay, manual and staff options. If you are wondering where the options are, they are specific for each game, so they must be adjusted from within each game. My only complaint here is that the manual is in japanese. There isn’t much to learn from a manual though. The only thing was the Darius Gaiden capture mechanic, so I picked that one up from the internet.
AN ENTIRE LEGACY
Speaking of the games, 7 different titles can be quite intimidating. If you are anything like me, then chances are you don’t know what’s “new ver” or “extra ver”. Thankfully, each game features a sort of museum display that features a screenshot of the menu, the title, the launch date and a very thorough description of the game. The text will navigate you through each version of the games and specifically highlight why it is different from its predecessor or what was changed when going to western markets.
Each game includes a training mode for those who wish to challenge specific parts of the game. Training mode will let you choose to play any stage and customize a variety of settings such as the strength of your Silver Hawk and the game rank, which is the in-game difficulty. The obvious use for this mode is to practice your piloting skills and go for the 1CC. Even casual players can view this as a pseudo level select cheat code for maximum enjoyment!
Perhaps one of the most amazing inclusions of the collection is the replay mode. For every one of your play throughs, there is an option to save a replay of your play session. What differs from regular replays, is that they pack an incredibly robust set of features. Other than being able to watch a recording of yourself, you can see your inputs and control the playback of the replay. You can rewind, fast forward, go back, increase the speed or even go full slow-mo to analyze your gameplay.
KING OF THE ARCADE
Challenging oneself is one thing, but going after the world is the true spirit or arcade shmups. Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade features online rankings which are separated into 2 categories: “Arcade” and “All-mix”. Arcade is played with every setting on default and using only one credit. If you are playing and choose to spend an additional credit to continue, then your scoring is changed to “All-mix”. All-mix is a catch-all for every other style, from easy difficulty to hard or even static rank modes.
If you ever wondered what’s it like to play like the king of the leaderboards, then you’ll be glad to know you can download leaderboard replays! This allows you to watch the entire play throughs of top players, along with their inputs and the previously mentioned playback features of a replay. A must have for those willing to go for the record or even those curious about what it means to be a champion.
YOUR PERFECT CABINET
The in-game menu for each game will further let you customize your gameplay experience. The amount of options is truly staggering, so suffice to know that you can change in-game setting as difficulty and score for an extend, screen quality adjustments like scan lines and gadgets, and the controllers.
One menu I really want to highlight is the gadgets menu. Gadgets are responsible for making the gameplay experience truly stand out. They track all sorts of data from yourself and the enemies. From a friendly side, you can see your current level of power, the number of hits your arm can take and the information related to the current zone. From a less friendly side, you have all sorts of analyzers that display the current boss, their weakness and detailed HP for each of their parts. There’s even a life gauge that appears at the bottom of the screen for easy viewing when fighting bosses!
Although I could see an argument against being way too much information, I’m personally thankful because I’m a data nerd and I love knowing all this information. If it is too much for you, then you can always turn off the gadgets and customize the screen to your liking. The real beauty comes from creating your perfect cabinet.
THE EMULATOR ADVANTAGE
One of the main selling points of emulators has been the ability to use save states. Darius Cozmic Collection is no slouch and features save states of its own! These save states will let you cheese the game as much as you want, but they also let you replay specific sections and master them for your future arcade runs. I won’t judge you, so have fun with save states! The only caveat is that using save states will not record your score. Unfortunately, replays will only record from the last time you loaded the save state onwards. So there’s no chance of creating tool-assisted runs.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that bringing up the in-game menu will completely pause the game and show you a fully-fledged map of the game, complete with boss encounters for each zone and the amount of power-ups featured in said zone. It really is great for strategy purposes to know which stage will allow you to upgrade your Silver Hawk! Resuming a game will also give you a 3 second count down with a jumping robot animation to ensure you are ready for action. This detail wasn’t really needed, but it is one of the many ways in which M2 shows appreciation for Darius and the player.
Out of all this nitty gritty details, I have to say the song name is one of my favorites. In the bottom right corner of the screen there is a pop-up that appears when the song changes and displays the song name. I just think it looks really cool. By the way, don’t forget to check “Olga Breeze”, my favorite song!
DARIUS, THE OG
Darius, the game that started it all. Featuring 3 screens, this is the biggest Darius game featured in this collection (ha!). If I may add, I also think this is the game that highlights all the love M2 poured into bringing arcade experiences to your living room. With features such as the cabinet art and the body sonic vibration, it really brings home the arcade feeling.
As you can expect, playing the first game on the series is both, a nostalgic and a painful experience. Playing on 3 screens is truly magical, but at the same time, it is a victim to the older design choices. Not much that can be done here, after all, it is a decades old game. Just a small detail to keep in mind.
Darius helps establish the foundations of the franchise from the very first game. One of the Darius staples is the upgrade system for the Silver Hawk. Throughout the game, you can encounter 3 different orbs which are dropped by different colored enemies. The orbs can be red, green or blue.
SILVER HAWK
Red orbs will upgrade your primary fire. Each orb increases your power, but collecting 7 will upgrade your shot to the laser, and then the wave. Green orbs will upgrade your bomb, which is your secondary fire. Bombs also get stronger with more orbs and also upgrade when you reach 7. Blue orbs will give you a shield called arm. The initial shield blocks 3 hits and any additional orb will add 1 more hit. Just like red and green, you can upgrade after 7 orbs which will make it so that additional orbs give you 2 hits and then 3.
The downside to the upgrade system is that, upon death, you will lose every orb you collected in your current tier. The good news is that if you, for instance, managed to upgrade to the laser, then your shot can never fall below that. The bad news is that the number of orbs is limited per stage, which means it is almost impossible to upgrade within a stage the same stage where you died. The exception is a single stage that has 7 blue orbs in the old version and one with 7 green in the extra version.
THE FISH
The most distinguishable characteristic of the franchise is definitely the marine bosses. The stages are all over the place with a very diverse space settings, but the bosses are always one thing: fish. Actually, I’d say it is marine biology, but fish is an overly simplistic way to describe it. Darius also has one peculiarity which is that every set of stages has the same boss. For example, the 4th stage boss will always be Fatty Glutton in a different version depending on which zone you chose.
The other defining feature of Darius is being able to choose your adventure. After each boss, you can choose to go to one of 2 different zones. This choice is made by either being on the top or bottom half of the screen, as the stage actually splits after beating the boss. It certainly took me off guard the first time as I crashed into the divider. Despite having the same boss, the zones are drastically different and carry the strategic choice of having a different number of orbs. Your path will be determined by which aspect of your Silver Hawk you want to improve.
THE COINS
What struck me the most about Darius is how unforgiving it is. This is expressed in the descriptions of the newer versions. The thing about Darius, is that the game is next to impossible to beat if you didn’t fully upgrade. Later enemies are merciless and if you don’t have sufficient firepower, then you probably won’t stand a chance. This ruthlessness is exacerbated by the death system, as death will set you considerably behind. Because upgrades are usually a 2-stage effort, getting shot will set you back 2 levels worth of progress.
A fun aspect I found on Darius is the dynamic created by having 3 screens. This is probably the widest game I have played, and it brings new challenges to the table. The first one is that you need to gain screen position to succeed. Being at the front is usually better, with moving back feeling like losing real estate. The reason behind this is that you are able to shoot down enemies before they become a threat with their numbers. The other less obvious reason is the number of bullets allowed on screen. That number is limited, so it is in your best interest that those bullets expire fast so you can fire new ones. Being back equals more time before they reach the end of the screen, which is undesirable.
Overall, the game poses a unique challenge, but I’m not going to lie, it is actually really fun to play. Achieving an upgraded Silver Hawk is a hard endeavor, but that makes it even more rewarding when you pull it off!
DARIUS II/SAGAIA, THE PROOF US WESTERNERS HAVE SHORT ATTENTION SPANS
Darius II came in and simplified the game in some interesting ways. First of all it reduced the upgrade system so that it is now only a single stage that can be maxed out. The number of orbs was reduced to compensate. Another simplification comes courtesy of the screens themselves. The number of screens was reduced from 3 to 2 in order to be installed in other dual screen cabinets such as The Ninja Warriors.
Unfortunately, the single stage of upgrades means that the game is even more savage when you die. This time around, you actually lose all of your progress in terms of firepower. There will be special rainbow orbs which help you catch up a little, but even then they might be a little too late. As a result, my 1CC had to be done by never dying.
I ALWAYS WANTED A THING CALLED A TUNA SASHIMI
One thing I want to mention, is that Darius II has my absolute favorite intro sequence of any Darius game in this collection. From the music that goes ramping up to the main theme, to the voice lines calling out the launching sequence:
“Main engine energy level, 20% increase !”
“I always wanted a thing called tuna sashimi”
“3…2…1…”
It all creates an unbelievable sense of excitement!
A very fun piece of trivia is the existence of SAGAIA. It exists to be a compact version of Darius II to be sold on western markets. Then there’s actually 2 versions of it which feel like 2 pieces of the same game. If SAGAIA trimmed certain pieces of the game, then version 2 came to use those trimmed pieces and created another entry. It’s actually quite funny.
DARIUS GAIDEN, THE KING
Darius Gaiden is definitely the reason you will keep playing the arcade collection. Quality in older games under a modern eye is usually a product of nostalgia and design elements that still hold on in today’s gaming landscape. Contrasting with that, Darius Gaiden IS a fantastic game that I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase if it was released today.
For Darius Gaiden, less is more, as this time around the game was played on a single screen arcade cabinet. The game does seem to lack some of the ambient goodies such as the rumble effects, but it makes up for it in gameplay experiences.
TRUE POWER
One aspect that is radically different from its predecessor is the upgrade system. Whereas Darius II simplified the Silver Hawk upgrade system, Darius Gaiden took it back to its original Darius roots. This means that, once again, we have multiple upgrade points. Upgrades take considerably less red power-ups to achieve, which actually makes it possible to upgrade multiple times during the same stage.
Death penalties are lower as well with death only losing you a level of power. Because there are more power levels, it is more forgiving and doesn’t set you completely behind like the previous entries. Perhaps the best of all is that neither arm nor bombs have any penalty whatsoever. What’s more, you don’t even lose your arm or bomb level when losing a credit. I can say with 100% certainty that this game is actually possible to complete within a reasonable number of credits if you die on the later zones.
I would take it one step ahead and say this game has a little of the Contra syndrome. The original Contra is a game that was considered hard, but was significantly easier if you could maintain the spread shot. In the same vein, getting the earliest upgrades makes Darius Gaiden a breeze. A well deserved victory, if you ask me.
YOU’RE MINE NOW!
New to Darius Gaiden is the ability to capture mid bosses. Half-way through a stage, you will encounter a medium sized boss with a purple orb somewhere in its back. If you manage to take down the orb without killing the enemy, it will detach and slowly drift away. If you capture this orb, then the mid boss will fight alongside you until its timer expires. I gotta say that having a huge fish on your side is surprisingly satisfying!
Having a single screen makes the experience much more familiar for shmup enthusiasts. While it does lose some of the charm of the ultra wide field of view, it also rids itself of nuances such as your horizontal movement being low in terms of total horizontal space or the limit on on-screen bullets.
A combination of those factors I mentioned contribute to making Darius Gaiden a much better experience. It’s simple to play and forgiving when you lose. Every stage is unique and makes every new play through a completely different experience, not just in a different-ish way, but rather full blown new content!
A LEGENDARY PACKAGE OF NOSTALGIA
There’s one thing that you might be thinking, and that’s that I might be biased because it is Darius. It is true that I openly admit everywhere that Darius is my favorite. However, in this particular case my work was cut out for me, I don’t need to be biased because this is truly a wonderfully crafted collection that deserves to be on everyone’s Switch.
It contains every possible version of Darius you might have encountered on the arcades and then sprinkled some top notch features that make it stand on a class of its own when it comes to ports. It also helps that the Darius games remain to be as fun as they always have been, even with their caveats. I took 3-4 times more time to play this collection, not because it had a lot of content, but because I loved playing every second of it and wanted to try it all. Wanted to 1CC every version, wanted to traverse every possible stage, wanted to created masterful replays.
The only possible downside I can see to this collection is the price. $44.99 is a very high price compared to other shmups on the market. In terms of features and overall content (because remember, every game has more than an alphabets worth of different zones) it does warrant its price. Although I can see people double guess their decision, with this game being close to the cost of a first party title and significantly higher than other shmups.
TOP 3
My tentative placement for Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade was on the top 3 spots. I really had a hard time deciding where to put it, so I went back and revisited both Ikaruga and Psyvariar Delta. After finishing my Ikaruga play through, I was reminded of the magic that is Ikaruga and how special it is. Psyvariar Delta also reminded me of the buzz system and how the refined gameplay and level ups work towards creating an experience that I can’t quite put into words.
The main defining factor, however, was that I don’t think any of the Darius games in the collection beats the top 2 contenders. The 7 games as an aggregate, are certainly a force to be reckoned with thanks to the superb M2 porting labour. With that being said, I will award it a 3rd spot because the gameplay experience is incredible, but a little held back by the age of the games and the hefty price tag.
Still, Darius will always be #1 in my heart.
THE RANKING SO FAR:
  1. Ikaruga
  2. Psyvariar Delta
  3. Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade
  4. Devil Engine
  5. Rolling Gunner
  6. Blazing Star
  7. Jamestown+
  8. Tengai
  9. Steredenn: Binary Stars
  10. Stardust Galaxy Warriors: Stellar Climax
  11. Sky Force: Reloaded
  12. Strikers 1945
  13. Black Paradox
  14. R-Type Dimensions EX
  15. Sine Mora EX
  16. Shikhondo – Soul Eater
  17. Ghost Blade HD
  18. AngerForce: Reloaded
  19. Aero Fighters 2 (ACA Neogeo)
  20. Q-YO Blaster
  21. Lightening Force: Quest for the darkstar (Sega Ages)
  22. Pawarumi
  23. Red Death
  24. Task Force Kampas
  25. Switch ‘N’ Shoot
  26. Last Resort (ACA Neogeo)
submitted by AzorMX to shmups [link] [comments]

MAME 0.222

MAME 0.222

MAME 0.222, the product of our May/June development cycle, is ready today, and it’s a very exciting release. There are lots of bug fixes, including some long-standing issues with classics like Bosconian and Gaplus, and missing pan/zoom effects in games on Seta hardware. Two more Nintendo LCD games are supported: the Panorama Screen version of Popeye, and the two-player Donkey Kong 3 Micro Vs. System. New versions of supported games include a review copy of DonPachi that allows the game to be paused for photography, and a version of the adult Qix game Gals Panic for the Taiwanese market.
Other advancements on the arcade side include audio circuitry emulation for 280-ZZZAP, and protection microcontroller emulation for Kick and Run and Captain Silver.
The GRiD Compass series were possibly the first rugged computers in the clamshell form factor, possibly best known for their use on NASA space shuttle missions in the 1980s. The initial model, the Compass 1101, is now usable in MAME. There are lots of improvements to the Tandy Color Computer drivers in this release, with better cartridge support being a theme. Acorn BBC series drivers now support Solidisk file system ROMs. Writing to IMD floppy images (popular for CP/M computers) is now supported, and a critical bug affecting writes to HFE disk images has been fixed. Software list additions include a collection of CDs for the SGI MIPS workstations.
There are several updates to Apple II emulation this month, including support for several accelerators, a new IWM floppy controller core, and support for using two memory cards simultaneously on the CFFA2. As usual, we’ve added the latest original software dumps and clean cracks to the software lists, including lots of educational titles.
Finally, the memory system has been optimised, yielding performance improvements in all emulated systems, you no longer need to avoid non-ASCII characters in paths when using the chdman tool, and jedutil supports more devices.
There were too many HyperScan RFID cards added to the software list to itemise them all here. You can read about all the updates in the whatsnew.txt file, or get the source and 64-bit Windows binary packages from the download page.

MAME Testers Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

Software list items promoted to working

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

submitted by cuavas to emulation [link] [comments]

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