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Annex 001 - Robotron 2084 Controller for Atari 7800

Annex 001 - Robotron 2084 Controller for Atari 7800

Welcome to the first "annex" entry into the gaming notebook.  I'll post reviews of homebrews, community projects, and other goodies here. First up, my review of the Robotron 2084 controller for the Atari 7800 by Mike @RetroGameBoyz   I ordered my controller last week after reading about it on the forums and received it on Friday.  It was shipped in a plastic mailer with plenty of bubble-wrap for protection.     As many of you know, the Atari 7800 version of Robotro

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Storm's Homes - Article 0

Storm's Homes - Article 0

In my first blog post here, I talked about how I wanted to use this blog to document so many of the wonderful memories I have of growing up. In thinking about that, I've often wondered the best way to do that. By year? By topic? Some other way? I don't think there's a right or wrong way, but I think I've come up with an interesting way. I'm going to sort them by the homes I've lived in & others that are special to me. I'll be starting with my first home and end with my current

StormSurge

StormSurge

 

XBOX E3 Highlights

Once a year one of the largest gaming events sets the stage of what's to come.  And XBOX has always put on a good showing with exclusives, releases of popular game franchises, XBOX firsts and much more.  This year the concept behind XBOX's E3 show seems to be more about finally bridging the gap between console and PC gamers.  But more on that later.  Here are the highlights I found most interesting ... so far. Sega is bringing one of the most popular RPG franchises of all time to the X
 

The Terminators .45 Long Slide With Laser Sighting.

It is no secret at all that one of my favorite franchises is the Terminator Flicks. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING will ever beat the original no matter how much people try to tell me T2 is a better film. The original had everything. SciFi, action, a bit of noir and a hint of the slasher element from horror films of the time. Most important the film had the  greatest villain (next to Darth Vader) in cinematic history, Cyberdine Systems 800 series Terminator model 1 0 1. A cybernetic organism with li
 

Atari 7800 - Top 10 Games

I'm just going to put this right out there without any introduction (I'll save that for another related article) and pick the 10 games I play most on the 7800 in the small collection I have which is now at 16 games.  We start with number 10. 10.  Centipede Mom's favorite...but on the 5200.  She tried playing the 7800 version when I got the system and a few games for Christmas around 1990.  I have to admit that even though it gets more play time than others it doesn't quite capture ever
Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

I already had Monday, October 29, 2018 circled on my calendar. It had been for months. That was the day for me to cash in my birthday present from 5 months prior. Tickets to see Metallica in concert, 26 years after I saw them for the first time. No band I had seen since then has been as good live (and I saw a lot, working as an usher in an arena, but that's a story for another day). I woke up at my normal time, a little after 7 AM. Before getting out of bed, I checked my email and hopped on
Borderlands 2 Game Play Series

Borderlands 2 Game Play Series

The FPS/RPG series Borderlands has become a favorite modern game with my wife and I.  In anticipation of Borderlands 3 coming in September I decided to do a video series on Borderland 2 to revisit the game and to showcase the game in its raw form.  There is no commentary as I lack the equipment to capture both at present time.  The first of this series starts in the video posted below.  More will follow when time allows. Parental Warning:  The game play presented in the video below has been
Before & After

Before & After

As a young kid spending time on Fishers Island (my current home), I was fascinated with the natural history of the island. The main focus of my attention was on the area of the island that used to be the home of Fort H.G. Wright.  Fort Wright was part of the coastal defense network & protected the eastern part of Long Island Sound. It was active from 1898 through 1947.  I loved playing in and around the gun pits (the cannons were long gone) and other buildings, including lookout to

StormSurge

StormSurge

 

BYO Gonk Droid

So recently I was in talks with a fellow maker, he had asked if I would be willing to make a trade once I finish one of my soon to come figures. I looked over his shop and noticed he sold one of his figures in a kit form. I inquired about maybe doing a toy art swap where I sent him a raw casting of one of my figures and he would send me one of his. Here is the build video of that trade.   STRONG LANGUAGE!    

Atari Creep

Atari Creep

Fire Call!

Fire Call!

I thought it may be interesting to share what happens when my pager goes off for a fire call. Thankfully, I've only had false alarms to respond to, aside from two minor car accidents. (Since October 2017). We average one call per week. Thankfully, most of them are during the day, but there have been the occasional middle of the night calls. (The pager also goes off for any ambulance calls, which I only assist if the EMTs need help lifting the stretcher onto the ambulance boat.) Te

StormSurge

StormSurge

011 - World Tour Racing

011 - World Tour Racing

World Tour Racing Published: 1997 by Telegames Developed: Teque London Polygonal racers were all the rage in the mid-90s.  At the time of the Jaguar’s release, Sega’s Virtua Racing ruled the arcades.  Atari’s answer was the lackluster Checkered Flag; a game notorious for its low frame rate and horrible controls.  The innovative but visually bland Club Drive also failed to impress gamers.  By 1994, the Sega 32X had an excellent port of Virtua Racing.  The release of the Sega Saturn

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atarilbc

 

2018 Atari VCS/2600 Homebrew List (Final list for the year)

2018 Homebrews: A Very Galactopus Christmas (bB) by Ric Pryor “KaeruYojimbo” Alien Attack by Edward A. Smith “easmith” - available at Good Deal Games Alien Greed 5 by Chris Read “atari2600land” – available thru 2600connection NO “Public” ROM available Alien Revenge! by Edward A. Smith “easmith” - available at Good Deal Games Apollyon (bB) by Fehér János Zoltán “MemberAtarian” will be available thru Retronics Asteroid Rescue (bB) by Ross Adkin “TidusRe

Arenafoot

Arenafoot

 

2017 Atari VCS/2600 Homebrew List (Final list for the year)

This is just this year and just for the Atari VCS/2600............. 2017 Homebrews released Jan. 4, 2017 - Toledo Atomchess (AtariAge forum) Jan. 7, 2017 - Pixels (AtariAge forum) Jan. 23, 2017 - Dungeon II: Solstice (AtariAge forum) Feb. 6, 2017 - Eagle One (AtariAge forum) Feb. 21, 2017 - Reders UFO (AtariAge forum) Mar. 2, 2017 - Sharknado - NeoGames (Atari 2600 Homebrew FB group) Mar. 4, 2017 - Cellar-y Celery (Chris Read & Tim Duarte of 2600connection.com) Apr. 11, 2017

Arenafoot

Arenafoot

 

In defence of emulation

A common sentiment found among retro-computing enthusiasts is that there's nothing quite like the real thing. It's understandable, computers and game consoles (i.e., computers disguised as toys and appliances) are physical items and our happy nostalgic memories are complimented by recollections of touch and heft: the feedback of button clicks, shunting cartridges into slots, and so on. However, there's a particular aficionado - we've all met him, he's a member of every fan group and forum - whos

dgrubb

dgrubb

 

Jaguar USB Tap: Wrapup

Busy month, but I'm elated to have, finally, nailed down the hardware design and have working firmware!     A few words on USB ...   In ye olde' days, such as when the Jaguar was developed, connections with the outside world were often turn-key and very simple. On the Jaguar controller, a selection of pins are used as address selectors and each data pin is tested in turn. Easy to code for and cheap hardware to build, little more than latches and diodes. However, such interfaces are not

dgrubb

dgrubb

 

Jaguar USB Tap: The agony (of hardware bugs) and the ecstacy (of firmware)

Development environment   To start writing code for our STM32F07 series uC via an ST-Link programmer (embedded in a cheap Nucleo board, see previous entries) all we need are a few easy to obtain tools: a C compiler (although Rust is becoming more interesting as an embedded language), a debugger and a tool for handling communication with the uC over the ST-Link. ST provide several options for fully integrated IDEs with varying levels of platform and license support but my personal preference is

dgrubb

dgrubb

 

Project: Jaguar USB Tap

Justification   In recent years the retro-gaming community has taken a revisionist view of the Atari Jaguar. What was once a console marred by failure is now more regularly being perceived as a missed opportunity. Rather than maintaining a reputation as a broken console the Jaguar is becoming more highly regarded as a technical innovator failed by a lack of capital and business acumen of the company who developed and marketed it. Consequently, demand for Jaguar consoles and peripherals has inc

dgrubb

dgrubb

010 - Ultra Vortek

010 - Ultra Vortek

Ultra Vortek Published: 1995 by Atari Developed: Beyond Games 2D arcade fighting games were incredibly popular in the mid-90s and console gamers wanted that experience at home. Unfortunately, with the notable exception of Primal Rage for the Jaguar CD, Atari's 64-bit console lacked conversions of well known arcade titles like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2. Instead, Jaguar 2D fighter fans were treated to questionable ports of 16-bit console titles like Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and

atarilbc

atarilbc

 

009 - Syndicate

Syndicate Published: 1994 by Ocean Developed: Bullfrog   Syndicate began life as a fairly popular overhead RTS on the PC and Amiga. The goal of Syndicate is to build the wealth, power and territory of your criminal enterprise through a combination of force, persuasion, taxation and research. The depth and novelty of the game led to a host of conversions. The last time I tried to play Syndicate was over 20 years ago and I was not at all impressed. In the intervening years, I've read that this g

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atarilbc

 

Reader's Choice - You Name The Game

Those who have been following this blog might know that I use Excel to randomly select which Jaguar game that I'll review next. This approach basically forces me to reconnect with games that I may not otherwise choose to play. Overall, it's been a fun experiment and one that I intend to continue as I wind my way through my Jaguar collection.   That said, I'm just about finished with my Syndicate review (009) and I thought that I'd open up post number 010 to my fellow forum members. If the

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atarilbc

 

008 - Zoop!

Zoop Published: 1995 by Viacom Designed by Hookstone, Ltd. Jaguar Version: Electric Spectacle Productions, Ltd.   Zoop is one of those games that no one seemed to ask for but was nonetheless pushed out to nearly every platform on the market. Billed as "America's Greatest Killer of Time!", this puzzler appeared on Gameboy, Game Gear, SNES, Genesis, PlayStation, Saturn, Macintosh, Windows, and our own beloved Jaguar. The ads were EVERYWHERE. This was a game that was scientifically proven to be s

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atarilbc

 

007 - Super Burnout

Super Burnout Published: 1995 by Atari in association with Virtual Xperience Developed by Shen Technologies SARL   Super Burnout is 2D sprite-based motorcycle racer in the tradition of Sega's Hang-On. Published by Atari in 1995 and developed by first-time French developer Shen Technologies SARL, Super Burnout is viewed by many Jaguar gamers as one of the system's hidden gems. The silky smooth framerate, incredible sprite scaling, and tight controls stand in stark contrast to those of other Jag

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atarilbc

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