Jump to content

is the C64 maxi worth it?


Recommended Posts

i've been wanting a C64 and i feel like the C64 maxi is my ticket, bit theres some things that i would like to know before buying it.

can you save BASIC programs to a flash drive on it?

are a majority of the pre-loaded games fun/good?

should i just get the mini instead? (i dont wanna get an extra USB keyboard. thats why im considering the maxi.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a nice thread on here regarding the Maxi if you want to check it out.

https://www.commanderx16.com/forum/index.php?/topic/1523-late-but-is-c64-maxi-any-good/

I personally own a Mini for a couple different reasons. Also, living in the US they are just a lot cheaper than getting a Maxi right now, but it's still something I am seriously considering.

That all being said, both the Mini and Maxi have a nice selection of built in games, if they're fun or good will be a matter of opinion, but I do like many of them. Thankfully, you can easily add more via a USB drive to expand your library as much as you like!

Yes, you can save your own BASIC programs as well, to a FAT32 formatted USB drive.

There are some Maxi owners on here that can answer more of your questions better than I. 😁

Hope that helps!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Strider said:

living in the US they are just a lot cheaper than getting a Maxi right now,

thats why im also considering a mini. but i dont wanna deal with a USB hub or all of that junk.

4 minutes ago, Strider said:

Yes, you can save your own BASIC programs as well, to a FAT32 formatted USB drive.

FAT32? how can i tell?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, RingHogger said:

i've been wanting a C64 and i feel like the C64 maxi is my ticket, bit theres some things that i would like to know before buying it.

can you save BASIC programs to a flash drive on it?

are a majority of the pre-loaded games fun/good?

should i just get the mini instead? (i dont wanna get an extra USB keyboard. thats why im considering the maxi.)

I got it because it was a C=64 case. I don't play the games on it, I import my own, and I have it for nostalgia. I have played Impossible Mission on it briefly, but the way they build the carousel is they have used a freezer cartridge (effectively; it acts that way) to capture a game right at the beginning. This is nice because you don't have to wait for all the load stuff. Perfect for static world games. But Impossible Mission randomly creates it's map at startup, so every time you go to play the built in version, you have the exact same map. Also, it was made for PAL systems so it just doesn't sound right.

But that's not an issue because I can bring my own games!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, RingHogger said:

FAT32? how can i tell?

Most USB flash drives come formatted already to FAT32.

Assuming you're on Windows 10, but it's nearly identical in Windows 7 as well.

To check, right click on the drive on your PC, click "Properties", and you can see it.

format3.jpg.75daa68bbb34e2f4a55aa51e4b2af332.jpgformat4.jpg.ef774e3eabbddbb24dbc13b9f439e4fd.jpg

 

If for some reason it's not formatted FAT32. Click "Format" instead, select FAT32 from the menu, click "Start" and follow the prompts.

format1.jpg.d3364e3358b39d2cec1cbc793d4479a0.jpgformat2.jpg.0d32db60faae42a4fa249a7149590291.jpg

 

Hope that helps. 😁

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, RingHogger said:

i've been wanting a C64 and i feel like the C64 maxi is my ticket, bit theres some things that i would like to know before buying it.

can you save BASIC programs to a flash drive on it?

are a majority of the pre-loaded games fun/good?

should i just get the mini instead? (i dont wanna get an extra USB keyboard. thats why im considering the maxi.)

Considering the price of Maxis on EBay (the only place you can buy one right now), it would actually make more sense to simply buy a used C64 and something like a Pi 1541, 1541 Ultimate, or Turbo Chameleon. 

If I had the choice between real hardware and the Maxi, I'll choose the real hardware every day. 

If you're considering the Mini... don't bother. Instead, buy a Rasbperry Pi 4 and either put Combian on it - or go with BMC64. The Mini is literally just an ARM chip (similar to the Pi) in a cute little case. Only the emulation software is a very out of date version of VICE which has been nerfed, with many of VICE's best features removed. 

 

Edited by TomXP411
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess it really comes down to what you want and why. 😁

I agree with Scott and Tom on emulation. The Mini and Maxi are fancy plug and play games, no different than the countless other such units across so many platforms. My desire for a Maxi is powered by nostalgia, well, and I can mod the case, and the C64 style keyboard. If it was not for the Mini's super cheap price, I probably would not own one, but I have a soft spot for plug and play TV games. Before I downsized, I had several dozen of them spanning about 20 years of collecting. Now I really only have the Mini, and I do like it, it's great for what it is in my opinion.

Personally, I use two different emulators, VICE for C64, and WInUAE 64 for Amiga. I really don't mess with any of the other Commodore platforms.

Tom is also correct that the Mini/Maxi are basically cheap ARM powered single board computers running an old stripped down version of VICE. No SoC or anything like that, just emulation. They are meant for people who just want to plug and play, no fuss, just hook it up and go. Or, like me, who just like such things for nostalgia.

If you're going to get into anything beyond that, I too suggest emulating it on your PC as an alternative idea, at least this is free and it gives you an incredible level of control and options.

Either way, I myself and still looking at a Maxi (maybe, also exploring other options to build my own "Maxi"), but right now I am looking at possibly picking up a TI-99/4A in the near future. We will see, as I said, time and space are limited. I don't want to go down that rabbit hole again where I have far more hardware than I have time to enjoy. haha

In the end, you get whatever makes you happy and does what you want, these are just my opinions and how I do things. We all do it a bit different. Thats why I love retro these days, SO many options, there's something for everyone! 😉

Edited by Strider
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Strider said:

I too suggest emulating it on your PC as an alternative idea, at least this is free and it gives you an incredible level of control and options.

yeah. thats what i've decided to do. because its pretty dumb from a budget standpoint to buy something like that for such a high price.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On 10/14/2021 at 2:47 AM, Strider said:

After noticing the A500 mini pre-order was live on Amazon already, I seen The C64 (Maxi) is back in stock as well. So if you're in the US and want one at MSRP w/o crazy shipping, now's the time. 😜

https://www.amazon.com/C64-not-machine-specific/dp/B08GMTJYXJ/

Just in time for Christmas? lol

 

To be honest, after the X16 / X8 progress and the massive delays I’ve lost interest in TheC64 Maxi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Yes" the Maxi is worth it.  Especially now that you can get it on Amazon in the U.S.

Yes you can save programs but you can also save 'state' of 4 'virtual' machines (I believe it's 4).

And you can download any d64 image from the internet and run those programs and games so regardless of what comes built in, you have access to nearly everything.  Space Taxi, Spelunker were two that I always liked and I recently got my hands on them.

Scott mentioned that Impossible Mission runs 'correctly' if you run it from a D64 image (USB thumb drive plugged into the side).  As packaged, the Impossible Mission maze is 'fixed' vs being dynamically generated.  This might apply to other games as well.

Anyway, this is my opinion.  You can mess around with Rasp Pi's if you are looking for science projects and distractions, I suppose there is an element of satisfaction in doing so if that's your jam but if you owned a C64 in the 80s, get the Maxi because it's the same experience.  If you are unconvinced, jump on YouTube and search for Robin's excellent reviews and deep dives on the Maxi (8 bit show and tell).

But take this test... watch this video for 1 minute and decide if you would rather do that or use a non-standard keyboard (aka no PETSCII characters on the keyboard), or if you'd just rather use a C64.

https://retrogamecoders.com/raspberrypi-bmc64-c64/

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A note on Impossible Mission on the Maxi.  Once in the game, you can reset it and get a new map, by hitting stop/restore, or maybe just restore.  Whatever the sequence is, you can get a random map.  Just got my Maxi a couple days ago, and that's one of the first things I fiddled with, lol.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been on the fence about this for a long time, but now that it's back in stock here, it's a lot harder for me to ignore. The temptation is real, just becasue as much as I would love all original hardware, that's just not going to happen due to all the reasons I mentioned before. 

Sometimes, I hate my love of nostalgia.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/14/2021 at 10:23 AM, x16tial said:

A note on Impossible Mission on the Maxi.  Once in the game, you can reset it and get a new map, by hitting stop/restore, or maybe just restore.  Whatever the sequence is, you can get a random map.  Just got my Maxi a couple days ago, and that's one of the first things I fiddled with, lol.

That's good to know, thanks. Sadly, it still doesn't solve the PAL vs NTSC timing that makes the audio "wrong".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/14/2021 at 10:06 AM, Scott Robison said:

That's good to know, thanks. Sadly, it still doesn't solve the PAL vs NTSC timing that makes the audio "wrong".

You can always grab a D64 of the game and run it in your choice of modes. The TheC64 is capable of running in NTSC or PAL speed, regardless of the HDMI frame rate you're running. I don't remember the exact process, but you can use filename shortcuts or generate a configuration file for your game. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/14/2021 at 1:44 PM, TomXP411 said:

You can always grab a D64 of the game and run it in your choice of modes. The TheC64 is capable of running in NTSC or PAL speed, regardless of the HDMI frame rate you're running. I don't remember the exact process, but you can use filename shortcuts or generate a configuration file for your game. 

Oh, I did. I just meant that while it is good to know that the game can still generate a new map, it still has that one flaw from my perspective. Downloading a few games from back in the day was something I did while my maxi was still on the boat. 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I read some reviews where the maxi had keys that have stopped working after a few months use?  I am on the fence about buying one. As much as I love the C64, it might be better to spend the money on something with slightly more modern features like the MEGA 65, C256 or X16.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a disadvantage with THEC64 is that the graphics characters on the front of the keys are too low and the 0 is centered. I sold my THEC64 and bought THEVIC20 in stead. THEVIC20 has a better joystick than the original THEC64. Maybe they have improved THEC64 joystick lately.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please review our Terms of Use