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    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Nintendo Entertainment System   
    For my 13th birthday, in 1987, my mother picked up a game system I never knew nor heard of. It just mysteriously appeared. For I had unwrapped a game console that would forever change the way I perceived video games. That gift was the Nintendo Entertainment System. At first I didn't like the controllers because there was no joystick. In a joystick's place was this "thing" that controlled on-screen movement of a playable character or other image. Then again when the only games you have are Gyromite and Duck Hunt the controllers really didn't get a chance to show their worth until a while later.
    Mom and I were living with my grandparents, her parents, and the town had barely 2,000 people. Mom had got the system from the only video rental store in town at that time on a payment plan. And with every payment she made I got a ticket to rent a game. So the controllers eventually got to prove how good they really were. This is when I would come across games I would eventually declare as the best on the system. These games include Gradius, Castlevania, and most of the initial issue titles. As much as others enjoy it I am really not a huge Donkey Kong fan but the NES really got a spot-on port of that one. Really well done.
    It took us (Mom and I) month after month to locate a single copy of Super Mario Brothers. That game was very hard to come by. But...I wasn't too worried because I had come across a different game one time while paying a visit to the hometown's Wal-Mart. As luck would have it I was planning to spend the weekend with my Grandmother in my hometown and my NES was back at the other grandparents' house. But, this visit scored me what I am assuming was an initial release of the adventure game everyone would talk about decades later as well as spawn a huge franchise with a large fan base following. Zelda had made it to store shelves.
    I had to sit for an entire weekend admiring a game I had no way of playing. I took the game out of the box, read the instructions front to back, read the back of the box, rinse and repeat, over and over. Mom could not have come to pick me up any sooner. But, once back to my NES I didn't hesitate one second. I made a bee line to the system which was setup in the room we were sleeping in. On went the TV, in went Zelda. I started my adventure not realizing just how involved this game would become.
    At school I could hear others talking about the game I picked up over the weekend. Some were getting stuck in areas I had not reached yet. One couldn't find the first dungeon. Mom and I paid a visit to one of her friends who's son was a friend in school. He also had Zelda and we spent a few hours on that game trying to get through dungeon after dungeon. What was really happening was that the NES and Zelda had triggered video gamers to socialize about the games being played, how to beat this or that boss, and getting unstuck in troublesome levels. This was before Nintendo Power so the only thing left was pretty much word of mouth.
    Once Mom and I moved back to my hometown there was a change in schools and atmosphere for sure but there was one thing that didn't change...the talk about the NES and its games. Call me weird or crazy, or both, but there was nothing I wanted to do more than stay at home and play Nintendo games. After school I would come home and spend time on it before doing my homework. On the weekend, if I wasn't sleeping, eating, using the bathroom, or doing something for my grandmother, or visiting my other grandparents (I love them dearly so don't get that wrong...I just don't know how else to word it), I was on the NES playing games.
    The little console had revitalized video gaming on a massive scale. I still have one here that works without issues. Well...there are times it will do the screen flashing thing but that doesn't bother me. I just clean the carts and keep trying. I rarely blow on them.
    For what it's worth I really owe a lot to the NES. The game play was addictive because once you had that latest game in your hand nothing else mattered except beating that game. If you got stuck you turned to a game magazine or call the hotlines at 99 cents a minute, give or take a few cents. You see, I was so involved with the NES that I didn't go out of the house much. I had no need to. I sat, in my room, playing video games. At the same time the NES was keeping me off the streets and out of trouble in a lot of ways. I might have gotten into trouble sometimes for not always doing my homework but I wasn't being arrested for being intoxicated or under the influence in public like some of my high school friends were. I didn't have a girlfriend because, now that I think about it, I was already married...to the video games. As crazy as that sounds that's pretty much how I was.
    I still play the NES on a regular basis. As much as I love my Atari stuff the NES is the only non-Atari console that has a large place in my heart. It is a well balanced system with lots, and I mean LOTS, of games. If you've never had one before for one reason or another pick one up. Before you do, however, do your homework first and ask around about what games you should lookout for. Whatever you do don't compare the system and its games with modern stuff. The system and games have already proved their worth years ago...they should simply be enjoyed as they are.
    To think that any gamer who lived and experienced the NES during its production run spent countless hours if not months or more on a single game just to beat it. With a few exceptions like Zelda had there really was not much of a way to save the game progress. You started and endured the challenges. Later the idea of writing down a password to save game progress was seen in most NES games like Metroid and Kid Icarus but if you got one character wrong, guess what...you had to start over again.
    The real value of the NES is the overall package. The games, the system, the controller options, and I have never seen ALL of the NES games. There are sooo many that I would most likely need another lifetime to try them all. So...NES...solid entertainment that will challenge you. I would love to hear favorite games of other NES gamers so be sure to post those in the comments section below. Thank you for reading and I will return with more thoughts running in my head. Well...that might be a bit scary.
  2. Like
    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Missile Command (Atari 2600)   
    Ahh. Missile Command. A game that reminds me of the ABC Network movie called The Day After. If you've never seen the movie I will share it on the forums here at Atari.IO. Watch it and you will see why I feel the two are almost connected. 
    Missile Command is an arcade-style game where the player is protecting six cities from wave after wave of attacks. First a few missiles, then a few more missiles. These are soon joined with bi-planes, satellites, and more to increase the challenge as if there already wasn't enough. It's enough to make one pull their hair out.

    Popping the cartridge in the 2600 I am greeted with a game screen where I can change skill levels and settings. I go with default settings. First wave of missiles I fend off easily. The next round introduces a few more missiles than before. By the third round I'm fending off bi-planes as well, by the fifth round there are these little, annoying, small triangles coming down that manage to avoid my shots. But I manage to save all six cities. I lose my first city by round eight. As the game progresses the speed at which things are coming out of the sky is overwhelming and by the tenth round it's game over.  

    Being played on the 2600 Missile Command is a very well made port. But it is also a game where the player will lose, it's only a matter of how skilled a player is and how much time they are willing to spend playing it. The visuals of the game are not too different from the arcade. I didn't notice any flickering and the sounds are OK. Despite being a track-ball game the controls are very well done for the joystick controller.  
    Missile Command appears to be about an era when worries of nuclear attacks were an everyday fear. I'm not so sure if those fears still exist or even if the underground facilities for such an event are still around either. Missile Command might have more to do with history, not video game history but actual history, in the fact that it portrays what would happen in an all-out missile attack anywhere in the world. Even with the most sophisticated technology to help protect against such an attack, cities would be wiped off the map, lives would be lost, civilizations destroyed. But, it is only a game and well made one at that. And the 2600 does a very decent job of bringing home the arcade that was once a hit.
    Missile Command is one of those games you either like it or you don't. It is a very common 2600 title so it shouldn't be too difficult to find. No Atari 2600 would be the same without Missile Command in a game library. I'm just not too sure how often I would play it.
  3. Like
    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Jungle Hunt (Atari 2600)   
    Jungle Hunt was one of many games Atari would bring to their consoles, meaning the 2600 and 5200, that I would not have the joy of experiencing. I'm not sure why this game never made it in my library of games in the past unless we simply could not find it. But it is here now and I have been trying to enjoy the game.  
    Jungle Hunt is a side-scrolling, run-and-jump style game. You play as a guy trying to rescue a woman who has been captured by savages. Sound a bit familiar? The game offers four stages of game play and two difficulty settings. Difficulty switches are not used in this game. So, in pops the cart and on goes my 2600. I grab the controller and press the fire button.

    At the start of the game I'm swinging on a vine and have to jump from vine to vine to reach the next level. Timing of jumps is vital as a mistimed jump can lead to death from a nasty fall. One jump after another what seems like a few seconds and I'm on the next lever before I know it. 

    That was a breeze. My guy is swimming in what I believe is a really huge river. In this river are alligators or crocodiles, not sure which, and I don't think it would matter should one have me for lunch. On the right side of the screen just above the "water" is a diving meter. If you dive below the surface of the water the guy can only hold his breath for so long...and that meter is a timer for how long he can hold his breath. Stay underwater too long and you lose a life. I lose two lives in this round; one from an alligator and another one for not paying attention to my breath meter. Opps.

    The next round our guy has to avoid boulders either by jumping over or ducking under them. There are two size of boulders. The smaller boulders are not difficult and only require timed jumps. The larger boulders, however, are a bit more difficult and I soon learn it is easier to duck under them than to try to jump over them. Before I know it

    ...I'm suddenly standing next to a jumping savage. It takes me a few times to figure out this area and I lose all my lives and have to start over. By the time I make it back here I have managed to keep all of my lives from the start. I study the movement of the savage. Jumps to the right and then jumps back left and seems to pause for a second before jumping again. That's it! I manage to get next to him on his jump right and as he jumps left I move close to him. As soon as he lands I jump over him. Ah HA! Success!! Another savage, same move as before, and jump!

    And I have managed to save our jungle lady in distress ... for the first time. After my bonus points have been added up we are back at the beginning of the game, ready to do it all over again. This time things are a bit tougher than before. I only manage to make it to the swimming round because the alligators are faster than before and I can't hold my breath as long as I could before. So...game over at the swimming round.

    Jungle Hunt is a good game. The graphics are not that bad for being a 2600 game. It's easy to visually tell what everything is suppose to represent. There are not many sounds in this game other than when jumping, the bonus points being counted up, drowning or being eaten by alligators, and short tune between levels and at the beginning of the game. Other than that the game is pretty much quiet. The controls are tight and respond very well. It might take a while, however, to time jumps in later levels but as soon as a direction or button is pushed the game responds immediately. 
    Jungle Hunt is fun and looks good. I especially enjoy the label artwork that I would have expected to see on the side of the arcade cab. Jungle Hunt is sure to provide with a few minutes to an hour of entertainment. It should also be enjoyable sitting next to more games in a 2600 library.
  4. Like
    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 5200)   
    During the first year of the 5200's production run, the system received many ports of popular arcade hits. Every dot-munchin' gamer loved Pac-Man, a game the 5200 received shortly after initial release. To Atari ... it only made sense to bring the Queen of Video Games, Ms. Pac-Man, for SuperSystem owners to enjoy in the comfort of their homes. 

    Ms. Pac-Man on the 5200 contains everything the arcade hit has including very accurate multiple mazes, intermissions, music and sounds. Pressing the start button gives the player the first maze along with the opening music Ms. Pac-Man is known for. Going around the maze, munching dots, the ghosts don't take long to come chasing after me ... forcing me to use a power dot. It's not long before I finish up the first maze with one life down because I made a turn the wrong way when I was expecting a ghost to move another way.  

    Down with the second maze and I'm down two more lives. Pinky managed to head me off when Blinky was hot on my tail. Not once but twice. Time for a break to watch the first intermission! OK...new maze now. The speed of the game seems to have picked up by now. I barely manage to eat all of the dots on this round and am on my last life by the time I reach the pretzel round. I don't last long because I take a turn into the bottom left tunnel without noticing that Inky had already entered the same tunnel on the right side. Game Over.

    At first the game seems a bit sluggish, almost like it is stuck in slow-motion. The animation and game play is not as smooth as it was in Pac-Man but the controls are a bit more responsive. As the player advances a few more mazes the game play speeds picks up a bit. The graphics are really good but I think the eyes on the ghosts could have been done better. And I know that the 5200 is very well capable of producing a purple color so why do we have a brown Sue??? That is the only real complaint I have with this Ms. Pac-Man is the one ghost that is not colored like the arcade. Then again the fourth ghost in Pac-Man was not the right color either. 

    As for sounds...eh...they are not too bad but I feel some more effort could have been made to make them more arcade-like. Especially after playing a prototype version of Super Pac-Man on the 5200 that showed just how close the 5200 can sound to the arcades. So for Ms. Pac-Man I did expect sounds to be a bit better than they were.
    Controls are actually not too bad nor difficult...providing a good working standard controller is used. My copy is used so I am not sure if Ms. Pac-Man on the 5200 came with overlays or not. Pretty much standard with 5200 games, * usually changes skill levels and # changes number of players....or is it the other way around? Oh well...just mash 'em 'til ya find 'em. They are the only keys used on the keypad anyway.
    All kidding aside, Ms. Pac-Man on the 5200 looks and plays well but it also feels like it might have been a bit rushed as there are some things that could have used a bit more polishing. And, while the sounds are not too bad, Atari should have spent a little more time perfecting them. The only pet-peeve I have with this game is the one ghost that is not colored like the arcade. If you are going to try to port an arcade game to a home console at least get the colors right. Other than that Ms. Pac-Man on the 5200 is a solid and fun title so 5200 owners owe it to themselves to enjoy a game with the Queen of Video Games.
  5. Like
    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Nintendo's NES Classic   
    Nintendo's shock of announcing a miniature NES with 30 games built-in a few weeks before I wrote this article seems to have been met with mixed feelings. With all of the clone systems on the market based on the original NES, that perform well but might have mistakes here and there like a few colors wrong or sounds not quite right, it makes one wonder why Nintendo didn't think of it sooner. After all, Atari, ColecoVision, Intellivision, and Sega, have had remakes of their consoles on the market for a while now. So, with so much love for the NES by the people that remember it, enjoy it, treasure it, why the mixed feelings?
    For the most part the NES Classic has been getting positive feedback already. However no one has seen the thing in action yet so I can only imagine what others are thinking. Is it possible that Nintendo would go out of their way to produce a product that is not 100% accurate in what it is trying to mimic? I really don't think so. Nintendo's reputation will be on the line with this product as the NES remains one of the most popular consoles today. The NES still has a rather large fan base and for good reason as many of its games were revolutionary and a step forward from the games Atari, Mattel, and Coleco were bringing to the console market. Mega Man, Castlevania, Mario Bros., and Zelda have continued on for many generations long after their initial NES debut. And that only touches all the game titles the NES is famous for.
    If one plays those games long enough it becomes common to build expectations of what the game is "suppose" to do. Mario should change to a red and white outfit when he picks up a fire flower. What would happen if that color scheme was off? Or try this...hum a few bars of the Super Mario Bros. theme. Go on ahead...I'll wait. . . . . . OK, time's up. Now imagine that same theme that is played too fast or too slow. Basically, place a 45 RPM record on a turntable and play it at 33 RPM or 78 RPM. Yea...some emulators have been known not to be 100% accurate in this department when emulating the NES hardware. It's also been true with the flashback consoles made by ATGames.
    One thing to realize is that, no matter how well received a Nintendo product has been received, Nintendo has always put quality in their hardware. And since the introduction of the GameCube Nintendo has been revamping the NES games slowly like Metroid on Metroid Prime as an example. So if any company has had experience in emulating their own products it would have to be Nintendo. And it is possible that the NES Classic is going to be emulated but it might also be using real hardware or the same virtual console found on the Wii and Wii U.
    Just for the games alone the Nintendo NES Classic is worth the $60 price tag. If a collector, gamer, what have you, were to hunt down those games in their original cartridge form, just the carts, any two of the games in the 30-game list would easily cost $60 depending on where you looked. Mega Man 2 alone can fetch $40 or more. And only the most popular NES games seemed to make the list, too. So you have literally hours upon hours of gaming, good, wholesome, quality gaming, in one little package.
    Once again, though, if anything is even slightly off, it can ruin the whole deal. So I really hope that Nintendo does the original NES and the 30 games they have included justice. As for now the NES Classic is scheduled for a November 11th release and I am excited for it. I already have money set aside to pick one up on release date and will do another review on it once I get it. In the meantime I'd like to hear your thoughts on Nintendo's surprise console.
    (Image used: http://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic )
  6. Like
    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Atari 5200 Top 10 Favorites   
    The Atari 5200 was the first game console I would ever own. Received as a Christmas gift shortly after the system's initial release it quickly became my favorite childhood product. Years went by playing many of my favorite arcade games at home in the comfort of my family's living room. Many decades later the 5200 remains my favorite console of all time. The system really brought home some of the most advanced technological game console breakthroughs that other consoles picked up. And most of the games looked and played just like the arcades when compared to the 2600 ports.
    With that being said I would like to share the games no 5200 console should be without. It is these games that I feel showcase what the 5200 was truly capable of. These also happen to be my favorite games on the system. Strap on your safety belt...here we go!
    #10 Centipede

    I have to consider the 5200 port of Centipede closer to the arcade than any other console port (not counting the computers on this one). Combine this with the 5200's Trak Ball controller and the arcade feel will be present as well. The multi-colored sprites/graphics combined with sounds that seem to have been taken directly from the arcade machine makes for some unforgettable game play. This was my mother's favorite game. It is one of mine as well. I could not have a 5200 without Centipede.
    #9 Defender

    As much as it can cramp your hands due to the position of the fire buttons, Defender on the 5200 is a near-perfect arcade port. Awesome sounds, graphics, and effects that mimic the arcade perfectly. My only gripe is I wish there were more controller options along the lines the 2600 received. Other than that, Atari did a great job with this title.
    #8 Moon Patrol

    My first encounter with Moon Patrol on the 5200 was at my 11th birthday. 1985 was a bad year to own an Atari 5200 in my area. Hardware and games were non-existent so I didn't even know that this game was made for the 5200. How and where Mom found it I have no clue...I'm just glad that she did. The multi-plane scrolling background is spot on with the arcade as is the enemy ships and the levels. The only part not on par with the arcade is the player's vehicle. We lost some wheels somewhere. Easy to pick up and play with the analog controls and doesn't cramp your hands.
    #7 Vanguard

    My first side-scrolling shoot 'em up adventure arcade style was with this title. I spent hours upon hours on this game learning the levels, how to move and avoid level walls, and eventually beat the boss at the end of the game only to have to do it all over again. That was decades ago, now I haven't been able to do it again. My liking this game might explain why I liked Gradius, Life Force, and other shoot 'em ups that followed. Great game!
    #6 Berzerk

    I enjoyed playing Berzerk on the 2600 when I picked up a 2600 console with some games from a classmate decades ago. I never knew the 5200 got Berzerk until a few years ago and picked up a brand new copy. I have to say that this game pushes the envelope of what the 5200 was capable of doing. When this game spoke I about crapped myself. "This game can talk!?!" I was amazed and still remain that way to this day with this title. This game can get difficult quick. "Chicken. Fight like a robot."
    #5 Qix

    Out of all the ports of Qix I have come across the 5200 port of this odd arcade game is the only one I know of to remain 100% faithful to the original arcade. Other ports added extras, the 5200 adds nothing and is still as much fun to play. It doesn't need the extra stuff. It doesn't take long for the game play to get intense after a few waves either so bring your best 5200 controller to the field. Might want to bring a first-aid kit, too.
    #4 Space Dungeon

    This was another 5200 title I knew nothing about until a few years ago. I never knew the 5200 had games where you had to use two controllers. A very neat idea. And the game play is astounding! Great colorful graphics, interesting sounds, and lots of areas to explore with all 99 levels present. This could take a while.
    #3 Tempest

    This was one title that I waited to make it to the store shelves. But it would be one of many 5200 titles that would go unpublished. I was more than surprised to see the game on Atari Age's store one day and picked up a copy. This is the only homebrew 5200 game I own and considering the fact it was finished by the original developer I couldn't have been happier. The game is really good and everything about the arcade hit is here. Even the sounds are impressive. My only gripe is that the cartridge is not of original Atari quality and doesn't seat well in my system. However, the game play is so impressive that I play it often.
    #2 Pole Position

    Pole Position hit the arcades and became an instant hit. When it came to home ports of this game only one of those ports was able to maintain the analog controls. And that was the 5200 console. Being that this is the only racing game I know of on the system it is also a very well done port of the arcade. This game really showcases the analog controls when they are in good working order. Great sounds, graphics are good, and the animation of the track is smooth and fluid. Put your helmet on and hit the pavement!
    #1 Star Raiders

    Star Raiders is easily the ancestor to the likes of Wing Commander and other first person space shooters. Flying around, hunting down enemies while protecting bases is a half-hour of human time well spent. This is one of few games where the keypad on the controller is put to heavy use and the analog controls give the feeling of flying in space really well. I played this game for hours when I was a kid and I still come to it the most when I pull out my 5200 to play a game.
    This list was not an easy one to make for me. There are lots of other titles that made the 5200 a good system along with those I've mentioned like Robotron, Frogger, Q*Bert, Dig Dug, Galaxian, Joust, and many, many more. My list was based off games I physically own and based on the games I go to the most. I would love to hear other 5200 owners tell what their favorites are as well.
  7. Like
    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Atari 2600 Top 10 Favorites   
    The Atari 2600 is the undisputed king of game consoles. And in the short amount of time that I have owned an Atari 2600 4-switch wood-grain model the amount of 2600 games I owned has been growing fairly well. With that being said I thought I would do a post on what my top 10 most played games were that just happen to also be my favorites. This list is based on games I own a physical copy of and not on emulation. Therefore as I pick up more 2600 games this list will change and may expand to include more favorites. For now, here is my 10 favorite Atari 2600 VCS games. Enjoy!
    #10 California Games

    California Games is one of three games that Epyx would release for the 2600. While I am not a huge fan of sports video games I find the variety of games included on this cart interesting. Epyx also did a decent job on making the graphics easy to visually understand what you was looking at. Sounds are good with my favorite being the Louie Louie playing at the Title Screen. The real reason I continue to play this game is for the BMX race. I will purposely have the biker go as fast as he can before a large jump just for him to fly through two or three screens and crash. It's simply hilarious!
    #9 Breakout

    Breakout has its charm and is an easy paddle game to pick up and play. Simply bounce a ball between your paddle and a wall of bricks until the ball smashes away all the bricks or manages to slip past your paddle. There's nothing more exciting than getting that ball trapped for a few seconds above the wall of bricks and watching the ball bounce back and fourth, removing bricks and racking up points as the ball tries to find a way free. A simple concept that stands up well in the library of 2600 games.
    #8 Othello

    I enjoy a good fast-paced, arcade action game just as much as any gamer. But there are those times when I want to play a game that I can be relaxed at the same time. And Othello is one such game I enjoy playing on the 2600. It's down-to-basics nature captures this board game and makes it one of the better board-game conversions done on the 2600. Playing against the computer is very challenging at any skill level and the VCS doesn't take near as long to figure out moves like it does in Video Checkers and Video Chess. 
    #7 E.T. -- The Extra Terrestrial

    We all know the history of E.T. on the 2600 by now so there's no point in going into that over and over again. However, I will say that what was pulled off in 5 to 6 weeks time is not as bad as most reviews claim. E.T. can be difficult with normal settings but lots of patience and practice can pay off. This is one of my go-to titles when I want to play a relaxing game of a different genre. I will change the difficulty to three and guide E.T. to find the items he needs to return home. A fun game! 
    #6 Warlords

    Warlords is the only game I know of that is four players on the 2600. Then again I have never tried to play Super Breakout or Breakout with more than one player either. Warlords is a great party game alongside Combat. Even playing against three computer players is a fun challenge and, unlike the arcade, if your castle gets destroyed the game is not over instantly. The 2600, while the graphics are simplistic, captures the game play the arcade is known for very well. In some ways this port is a bit more friendly than the arcade in my opinion.
    #5 Gravitar

    This is not one of my normal go-to games but when I do play it I am still amazed at what Atari pulled off. Having gravity against you constantly is a huge pain in the butt but also makes for an enjoyable game play experience when you can navigate some of the most bizarre maps, or mazes if you prefer, I've ever seen in a 2600 game. Even without the gravity against you some of the levels are hard to navigate. Hair pulling action at its finest!
    #4 Amidar

    Amidar is a go-to title for me that provides a pleasant balance between fast pace and relaxed game play. I know that sounds sort of contradicting but their are times when this game can put you in a hypnotic trance to where you are so involved with the onscreen action that nothing else matters. By the time the game is over and you return to reality you feel rested and ready to go. Actually, the game is great fun and captures the arcade well. It would have been better with the arcade bonus rounds.
    #3 Enduro

    Enduro is simply, in my opinion anyway, the best racing game on the 2600, period. The way you can adjust the speed to cruise along a road, passing cars, going from nice weather to snow and then fog, from mid day, through sunset and night fall, watching the sun rise only to do it all over again is some of the most impressive 2600 programming I've seen. The concept is simple...pass the required number of cars per round before the next day begins. In the first few rounds it is not so hard...later rounds get so difficult that you better not mess up even once.
    #2 Solaris

    Solaris is a very well made space game that seems to capture a bit of Star Raiders in its programming. The graphics, sounds, and game play of Solaris on the 2600 are simply incredible and should not be missed. I go to this title often when I'm ready for some serious space action/adventure challenges. I have yet to figure out my way to the planet Solaris but I am working on it.
    #1 Space Invaders

    When Atari released the 2600 I was entertained with the few visits to the in-store display were I would play a few games of Combat or some other game hanging on a chain. Then Space Invaders came along for the 2600 and I immediately wanted both. This game continues to be my number one go-to title for some classic 2600 fun. The game play is solid and there is no flicker that most 2600 games have issues with. And with lots of variations in how the game is played keeps this version of Space Invaders from being boring. There's so much to do with this simple game concept on the 2600 that it doesn't get old quick.
    Well...that's my top 10 favorite 2600 games so far. I hope you have enjoyed seeing what games I find my favorites on the 2600. I look forward to comments as always and will be doing more top favorites across other consoles soon.
  8. Like
    greenween reacted to Atari 5200 Guy for a blog entry, Atari 5200 System   
    This review has taken me longer to write than my other reviews. It's hard to write about a console when you know other people have dogged it for different reasons. From sparks coming from the automatic switchbox when connecting the power supply to the controller issues makes it a challenge to review. Because, unlike those types of reviews, I am wanting to express the good points of owning an Atari 5200 SuperSystem. So, this review has put me a bit behind my usual one-week review schedule. And I hope that by the time you finish reading this the 5200, and everything that makes it worth owning, will finally pull the system out of the "worst" category by so many other reviews I've seen before.
    Many current generation gamers will not understand what it was like to be a kid (and I mean age-wise) and wishing for an Atari to play at home. And "Atari" was used mostly to describe the wood grain console most of us Atarians know and love...the VCS or 2600 whichever you prefer. So when I woke up one Christmas morning to a shiny black and chrome 5200 in front of the family TV I was more than excited. And I never played Super Breakout so much in my life. I loved everything about the 5200; its looks, the games, the cartridge designs, the controllers, everything! The graphics and sounds rocked, and not only could one other player join in but so could another and another. Mom, her then-boyfriend, and myself could all play a game together and not worry about who got to play first. And I could pause the game and come back to it later. Nice for those annoying bathroom urges that only seem to happen when your game playing skills are at their best.
    But there was a downside to owning it as well other than issues others have mentioned already. In my area I was the only kid at school who got an Atari for Christmas that got the 5200. The other kids that got an Atari got the 2600. The plus side was that I didn't have to worry about kids wanting to borrow my games they didn't have. My games wouldn't work on their system. The downfall? The 5200 couldn't play 2600 games at time and the 2600 was getting games that the 5200 would never see. So while my friends were getting lots of games to choose from I was stuck with games Atari chose to make which was mostly arcade ports. Granted the games were solid and better than the 2600 ports but I was missing games from Activision, Imagic, Epyx, and other companies supporting the 2600 full force.
    By the time Atari faded away from my area it would be three years before the likes of another game machine came to my area. As a matter of fact I still remember the last Atari 5200 game I would receive from my Mother. It was my 11th birthday and she found Moon Patrol for my 5200...one of my favorite arcade games of all-time. As time moved you would think the 5200 would be ignored. Not true. It remained in use even during the NES phase.
    So what makes the 5200 worth owning? Easy...the games! The 5200 is a shining example of a time long gone. It gives a great insight at what the arcades might have been like during the early 80's. It certainly reflects what games were going strong for the time. The 5200 is everything that Atari set out to make...an at-home arcade machine.
    If those reading this have tried a 5200 and didn't like it only because the controllers didn't work right or at all then those same readers have not given the 5200 an honest try. The 5200 is a delicate beast...more delicate than any other gaming console released before and after it. Yet, that same delicacy can not be left unused for weeks on end. Taking care of an Atari 5200 while using it on a regular basis will keep a 5200, and its controllers, in tip-top working condition. By now the technology is well over 30 years old so wear from age is to be expected. Wear from any previous owner's care, or lack thereof, should also be expected.
    When well maintained the 5200 controllers are not all that bad. Replace worn parts with new ones which can still be obtained and rebuild those controllers. You will notice the difference in game play with a controller that acts just like it was taken out of the box for the first time...in 1982. Doing so now a new controller would most likely need a rebuild as well from not being used and aging in darkness. Once you have a working controller the 5200 is best approached by learning the system and controls on a per game basis first...then work on learning the games. Each game is unique to the 5200 in how the controls work. That is the real learning curve of going from the 2600 to the 5200. You see...you don't play Galaxian like Space Invaders on the 5200...you play it like Breakout because the ship in 5200's Galaxian moves just like the paddle in Super Breakout. Other games vary so take the time to learn them. Manual's for most games are a must so try to find those.
    I personally consider the 5200 to be one of Atari's better achievements since the 2600. It has remained my all-time favorite console for so many reasons but mostly because of how unique it is compared to other consoles before and after it. No other console I've ever owned has captured my attention as easily as this behemoth of a system. The 5200 is a must own as far as I'm concerned and should not be as misunderstood as it is. Clean it up, repair the controllers, and learn how to use it. Then enjoy the games on it that are a true blast to play. Seriously...check out Space Invaders! The only port of this iconic game that introduced aliens that morph. It really is a Supersystem!
  9. Like
    greenween reacted to RickR for a blog entry, Multi-cart reviews - TI 99/4A   
    Hi everyone. How do you all feel about multi-carts?
    My thoughts are that they are a really convenient way to enjoy your classic gaming consoles, and experience the games the best way -- on REAL hardware.
    These things come in a variety of formats. The very best have an SD card slot that allow you to place the entire library of games on a single memory card, and then enjoy the games via a menu driven interface. Other types include a set/built-in group of games on a cartridge, games selectable by DIP switch, or emulators for disk drives.
    I thought I'd write up some quickie reviews of the multi-carts I own. Ask questions please! Let's start with the system I currently have out: The TI 99/4A.
    TI 99/4A Multi-Cart (2048k Games)
    Nice menu interface
    Lots of games
    Low price
    Requires 32k memory upgrade
    Not all games included
    Here are some pictures of my console, and the multi-cart. I have the speech module attached. There are several voice games on this compilation that do actually work with the speech unit -- very cool! I have the stainless model of the TI, which always reminds me of a DeLorean. I'd say this is one sweet looking computer.

    The cart is made by a user on Atari Age. I can provide his name to you if anyone is interested. It's a really nice cartridge -- looks professional in all regards. Even the label looks TI authentic.
    The one thing about this cart that is kind of quirky is that your TI must have a 32k memory upgrade. That can take several forms. The big giant PEB disk box has 32k expansion, or there are new fangled disk emulation devices that also include the upgrade. Mine actually has 32k built onto the computer motherboard -- which is a really nice setup provided by another user on Atari Age. I will say, both guys are really nice and a pleasure to buy from. You can tell they love the TI platform.
    So plug it in, and you get a nice menu screen like this. I won't include them all. There are 8 screens on the menu with 16 games per screen. I think right around 120 games! Wow. All of the Atarisoft games are included. Many of the best games I know of are here. The only one I noticed as absent is a speech enhanced game named "Alpiner". But that's OK, I have a real cartridge of that one.

    Games on the TI are hit and miss. The system itself has really good graphics for the era. I'd say C64 equivalent. The sound is just OK. TI made some pretty lame games -- lots of simple games that don't push the envelope in any way. With the notable exception of Parsec, which is unbelievable. It's a side scrolling shooter...kind of a slower clone of Vanguard. Hi-res graphics and speech make this a fantastic game. TI Invaders is a really good Space Invaders clone.
    The third party games really shine on this system. Every single Atarisoft game is beyond excellent. Take a look at the Pac Man and Ms Pac man screen shots below...the ghosts have eyes with whites and pupils -- which no other system of that era can boast. And Imagic's "Demon Attack" is probably the very best version on any system. It supports speech, has multitudes of crazy looking aliens, a nice planet background, and even a boss level! WOW!

    TI made an ET game! It's really just a Frogger clone. How weird is that?

    I hope no one worships the Flying Spaghetti Monster, because the first Demon Attack aliens look like FSM.

    TI made TWO ET games! I have no idea how to play this second one.

    Overall, this multi-cart is a bargain -- even having to buy the 32k memory expansion. Worth every penny, and I can't wait to explore all the games available on this thing.
    Please feel free to send me feedback! I have several other multi-carts to share if there is any interest!
  10. Like
    greenween reacted to leolinden for a blog entry, Playing The Atari   
    I've been playing the Atari a lot lately. I got some games from a comic store that sells used games. My favorite so far has to be Robot Tank. The reason being, it is amazing in the aspect that it is 3Dish. I can't wait to get more games for the 2600. What's a game you guys recommend?
  11. Like
    greenween got a reaction from Justin for a blog entry, Dead Kennedys   
    So, this little bit of paradise will be dedicated for my love of Dead Kennedys and mostly Jello Biafra.
  12. Like
    greenween reacted to Fire_In_The_Valley for a blog entry, The next episode of MythBusters takes on Doom   
    The next episode of Discovery Channel's MythBusters — the show in which rumors, urban legends and myths are tested with a scientific approach — will explore an aspect of video games that most first-person shooter fans take for granted. The question the show will attempt to answer is: "Is it possible for someone to lug around a half-dozen guns, grenades, a chainsaw and a bunch of health packs, while also fending off demons from Hell (or their closest equivalent)?
    "Using id Software's Doom games — specifically Doom 3 BFG Edition — as a template, MythBusters' Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will do their best to bust myths about first-person shooters. In a video posted to Bethesda Softworks' YouTube channel, the publisher says that id Software creative director Tim Willits will aid Savage and Hyneman in their Doom experiment. Bethesda says Willits will help their research team "recreate a Doom level in real life."
    The Doom episode of MythBusters airs this Saturday, Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery. Perhaps Bethesda will use the show to give us an update on Doom 4, which we last heard about at QuakeCon this past July, or at least the latest on the promised Doom 4 beta.
    SOURCE: Bethesda Blog
  13. Like
    greenween got a reaction from Fire_In_The_Valley for a blog entry, My first Blog   
    So, I really have no idea what I'm doing here. I guess I can just talk about whatever. I'd like to start with music. Video games have been my passion since 1980, but music has always been a close second for me. If you didn't gather from my username, I love Ween! I love every genre of music as long as it challenges me to accept something that the majority may not. One of my favorite things about playing the classic consoles is I don't have to listen to dialogue and can blast music! Remember being in the arcade playing Defender with Dead Kennedys blasting!! I do enjoy the modern games with a story, sometimes I just wanna play Joust and listen to Iron Maiden! Have a great night, i'll get this right eventually!
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