2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

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VideoGameCritic
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2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 26th, 2019, 9:55 pm

Let's hear your thoughts on this interesting CDi compilation.

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Stalvern
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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby Stalvern » November 26th, 2019, 11:09 pm

Even a reluctant recommendation is a ringing endorsement by this system's standards.

It's very strange to me that Namco would release anything on the CD-i at all, let alone so late in the system's life. I'm sure that there's an interesting story behind this (if not as interesting as Nintendo's deal), although I haven't been able to turn up much information. I did find out that the actual development was handled by Philips, which makes sense.

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby CaptainCruch » November 27th, 2019, 3:07 am

Nice review, but are you sure high scores aren't saved? I own a Philips CD-i 210 and I thought for a long time none of my games saved anything. However, after some googling it turned out the memory system of the console is broken! (And unfortunately there's no easy way to repair it).

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 27th, 2019, 1:54 pm

I'm pretty sure my CDi still saves okay. Arcade Classics just doesn't have a save feature.
I checked the manual and there was nothing about it in there.

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby Retro STrife » November 27th, 2019, 2:09 pm

Hey, a new CD-i review! Thanks Critic. I've never played this one, and arcade compilations aren't really my thing, so I must have overlooked this game. Always fun to read a new CD-i review, though. If you ever need some recommendations, just let me know.

CaptainCruch wrote:Nice review, but are you sure high scores aren't saved? I own a Philips CD-i 210 and I thought for a long time none of my games saved anything. However, after some googling it turned out the memory system of the console is broken! (And unfortunately there's no easy way to repair it).


Yeah, same here. My CD-i (the 550 model) has a battery backup chip that allows it to save games. It is essentially a flat lithium battery (like a CR2032) inside of an IC chip. It's great while it lasts, but eventually those batteries die. The only way to fix it is to chip away at the outer shell of the IC chip, to reach the battery underneath and replace it. A real hassle. I learned the hard way that my memory was dead, after all my Zelda saves got wiped off my CD-i. I bought all the parts to replace the battery, but I haven't done it yet.

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby Retro STrife » November 27th, 2019, 2:10 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:I'm pretty sure my CDi still saves okay. Arcade Classics just doesn't have a save feature.
I checked the manual and there was nothing about it in there.


You should be able to turn it on without a game inside and see if there are any saved games on the console. If there's no saves at all, you can be sure your memory is dead.

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 30th, 2019, 10:26 am

So I tried what you said and sure enough, the memory was empty. So the first thing I ask is, how easy is it to replace the battery?

So I looked up a few YouTube videos and it appears that you CANNOT replace it. Apparently it's embedded in one of the chips? So it requires major surgery to install a battery holder. I don't think I'd be willing to put my system through that. We've been through too much together.

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby mbd36 » November 30th, 2019, 10:29 am

Retro STrife wrote:Hey, a new CD-i review! Thanks Critic. I've never played this one, and arcade compilations aren't really my thing, so I must have overlooked this game. Always fun to read a new CD-i review, though. If you ever need some recommendations, just let me know.

CaptainCruch wrote:Nice review, but are you sure high scores aren't saved? I own a Philips CD-i 210 and I thought for a long time none of my games saved anything. However, after some googling it turned out the memory system of the console is broken! (And unfortunately there's no easy way to repair it).


Yeah, same here. My CD-i (the 550 model) has a battery backup chip that allows it to save games. It is essentially a flat lithium battery (like a CR2032) inside of an IC chip. It's great while it lasts, but eventually those batteries die. The only way to fix it is to chip away at the outer shell of the IC chip, to reach the battery underneath and replace it. A real hassle. I learned the hard way that my memory was dead, after all my Zelda saves got wiped off my CD-i. I bought all the parts to replace the battery, but I haven't done it yet.


That sounds like a real pain. It reminds me of when the battery in my Kindle died and I couldn't find any business that services them. The tablet is designed to make it almost impossible to replace the battery so that you'll have to get a new one.

Are CD-i games even worth the effort?

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby goldenband » November 30th, 2019, 11:02 am

VideoGameCritic wrote:So I tried what you said and sure enough, the memory was empty. So the first thing I ask is, how easy is it to replace the battery?

So I looked up a few YouTube videos and it appears that you CANNOT replace it. Apparently it's embedded in one of the chips? So it requires major surgery to install a battery holder. I don't think I'd be willing to put my system through that. We've been through too much together.

This is an infamous problem with the CD-i, and a tragically foolish bit of hardware design on their part.

Fortunately there are a few versions of the hardware where the battery is user-replaceable. I have one, the LG GDI-700M, and I'm not sure why more people haven't jumped on it. It's got a PAL/NTSC switch, the Digital Video Cartridge is built-in, and it's built like a tank, with fantastic audio/video quality. Sadly it doesn't seem like any are on Ebay right now, other than one at a wildly excessive price. (I paid about $90 for mine, boxed, but that was a lucky break.)

Otherwise, yeah, surgery on that one chip is the only option. Apparently the CD-i can act really weird in other ways if the Timekeeper battery dies, like refusing to load certain games at all. It looks scary to cut into a chip, but from the videos I've seen it looks like that part of the chip is literally just a place for the battery, with a clean boundary before you reach the IC underneath.

The comments on this page mention a guy in New York who does the repair via Ebay, and he seems to have good feedback, so that might be one option, but I don't know if he replaces it with a more recent copy of the same chip or makes a permanent mod to install a user-replaceable battery.

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Re: 2019/11/26: Philips CD-i: Arcade Classics

Postby Retro STrife » December 2nd, 2019, 6:01 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:So I tried what you said and sure enough, the memory was empty. So the first thing I ask is, how easy is it to replace the battery?

So I looked up a few YouTube videos and it appears that you CANNOT replace it. Apparently it's embedded in one of the chips? So it requires major surgery to install a battery holder. I don't think I'd be willing to put my system through that. We've been through too much together.


Yeah, I saw the same videos and had similar feelings. I realized a few months ago that my battery was dead too. (It's probably been dead for years, but I didn't realize it until my Zelda's Adventure save didn't work.) So I watched the videos and bought the parts to repair it, but I'm not looking forward to performing surgery on my CD-i. Still, a lot of these games really benefit from a save feature (like the Zelda games), so I feel like I need to do it eventually.


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