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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Plus Alpha (Jaleco)

While not one of the best shmups that came out in 1989, this rare Jaleco "cute'em-up" sports some nice pixel art, and challenging boss battles (mostly due to the huge hitbox).

The Jaleco Mega System 1-A hardware slows down quite a bit when there are a lot of sprites on the screen, giving a little breathing room for tight dodging, but I don't think that was intentional (ala Cave).

Between stages, there is an interesting slot machine challenge for obtaining shot power-ups, bombs (they call hypers), and 1ups.

Thanks to robivy64 for letting this PCB escape his collection. :)


  1. Sorry for the topic change, but have you played the 360 versions of Muchi Muchi and Sweets on your 31kHz monitor? Wondering if you can get them double scanned with no scaling and filtering artifacts at all through VGA (2 * [320*240]). Not counting Ketsui nor Daioujou which had an odd native resolution, how many ports for the 360 have you found where this is not possible?

    Great blog!

  2. Thanks!

    Actually Cave's SH3 PCB also had an odd native resolution (its not exactly 320x240), so there may be some pixel mashing going on in the port.

    I did get the port this week, and from what I see, turning off filtering looks tons better. No obvious artifacts that I can see.

    I did, however, decide to buy an SGL3000 from so that I can run with scanlines. So I'll hold out a final verdict until that comes in and I do a side-by-side with the PCB. ;)

  3. "Actually Cave's SH3 PCB also had an odd native resolution (its not exactly 320x240)"

    Where did you get that from? MAME dev have already shown that it is exactly 320*240, which is indeed primordial if you're taking the scan converter route and want the very same graphics as the original. Fake scanlines with the device you mention are still a poor simulation, especially at VGA resolution, as emulators have been letting us see all these years, if you asked me.

  4. I got this from owning the actual SH3 PCBs and adjusting the cabinet monitor controls to fit the image. It just seemed larger compared to other games I own. I've also herd people who play the PCB on a supergun setup typically have the image clipped because of the larger size.

    I don't have proper measuring equipment, so if this is what mame devs are now saying, then I guess my observations were wrong. :)

    I'm not sure I follow your comments on the SGL3000 and Mame scanlines. If mame devs confirm SH3 is now 320x240, and SGL3000 blanks every other line from 640x480, then it will be the exact source image assuming no other scaling artifacts, right?

    Or if you are saying 640x480 with fake scanlines is a poor simulation to 15khz, I'll challenge you on that as I own several scan converters, and have done side-by-side tests with actual PCB at 15khz. I can get very accurate simulation on my tri-sync arcade cabinet, typically with better geometry than 15khz, but thats a different matter. :)

  5. As soon as I get the SGL3000 in, I'll give it a mini review, and take some pics comparing to the original PCB. :)