Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Atari Emulator ---> Stellar Shuttle

So, which kicks more ass? Meteor Storm or Broderbund's stellar Stellar Shuttle? Well, I grew up with Meteor Storm, so I'm partial to that one, especially given that the game play's slicker, and there's more features to it, like MUSIC. However, in Broderbund's version, we see the origins of the little Lode Runner men to come. I guess that's the case with Choplifter as well, which I'm getting kind of tired of, personally. Haven't played that in months, years even. But even though the game play's clunkier and virtually the same in Stellar Shuttle, there's an insane twist once you get to round 2 and beyond... I hate to spoil it for you, but what the hell. SPOILER ALERT. As shown in the title screen, there's this lizard-looking thing at the bottom of the screen. Now, if you don't knock it out, it'll eat the little guys as they run towards your shuttle! Diabolical. There's only one weapon at your disposal... that's right, you have to SINGE it! Which is tricky if it has already jumped over your launch pad and is heading toward your tasty little men. And for that reason alone, I dare say that Stellar Shuttle kicks slightly more ass than Meteor Storm. And I'll be damned if anyone disagrees with me on that one..............................................................................

Monday, January 30, 2012

Zynga's latest: Hidden Chronicles

Well, you gotta hand it to the good folks over at Zynga: they really know how to rope you in. All I gotta do is get to level 10 and it's an extra million Zynga poker chips for me. Which is good, because I'll be DAMNED if I can't beat that level 3 lately to win $500,000 poqueur chips. And so, here I am, it's 2:10am, I'm starting to go blind again, and yet I wait for another video game abscess to fill up... reminds me of when I was hooked deep into Treasure Madness. Madness, indeed. Reminds me: I'm disappointed in Tetris Battle. I used to have a max of 102 energy... now it's 97! A slippery slope if ever there was one. Well, currently I'm working on the Hidden Chronicle treehouse. Interesting premise for a game. Reminds me of this one artist who got published in Omni magazine. His thing was filling up a room with objects that start with a certain letter. He figured it would take a whole lifetime to do the entire alphabet, so he just did O,M,N and I. Wonder whatever happened to that motherf... that guy? Wonder if Ask Jeeves could figure that out for me... oh, right. Bedtime now.

Gubble 2

Oh, Gubble 2, how I once played you. I had to play all your levels... even that really hard, annoying one where there's about 200 guns shooting at you with your every step. I don't know what the secret was, but I finally figured it out. I don't remember the big finale or anything... but perhaps that's for the best. So how did I first hear about Gubble? Well, I went into a Barnes and Noble once... perhaps you've heard of it. What a quaint notion, buying books from a store. They also sold software in boxes, can you believe it? And there was an interesting looking box called Gubble. My kind of game. I tend not to go for the manly games featuring guys with guns. Gubble wasn't like that, but arguably munitions are involved. Why, even the CD http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifcover for Gubble 2 says "non-violent game play." Non-violent game play? Just because your enemies know how not to leave marks doesn't mean violence isn't involved. Why, even an IQ test can inflict emotional damage in the right context! I know, but I'm just that sensitive sometimes. I don't think it said it on the original Gubble 1 box I bought, but the creative mastermind behind Crystal Castles made Gubble. Sounds about right. Love that game as well. A toast to Franz Lanziger!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Atari Emulator -> Cosmi's Galactic Avenger

With all due respect to the good folks at Cosmi, I already knew I was a Galactic Hoser, but the occasional reminder in the print media never hurts. This could just as easily be called Cosmi's Demon Attack, cuz that's what it sure seems like. Less arty graphics, more awkward game play... but at least there's one twist. You have to use the big fat beam to get the last ship at the end of the round. If not, the evil thin beam gets you! Motivation enough. Incidentally, I believe the convention is to call them "lives," not "players." But that's Cosmi all over for you. Always going against conventions, and sometimes achieving quality, if only by accident.

Atari Emulator -> Labyrinth

Screwed up again. This is the one I wanted to profile next! I just love a good dose of insanity like Jens Woehrmann's Labyrinth. I actually cleared one mazeful of his dots, of which there are indeed about 400 too many. Almost makes me wish I had a modem back in the day, going on to bulletin boards, complaining about how shi... how lame Froggie is, and yet, how I would go to my grave with a copy of it on a 5" floppy in the breast pocket of my jacket. This version of Labyrinth is the kind of thing I would've love to run across, but alas, the only hardware I had at best was a disk drive and a printer. YOU PUNKTE!!

Atari Emulator -> Orc Attack

While I'm waiting for my Super Aloes to finish in FarmVille (12 minutes), why not take another Atari break? This time, the violent Medieval classic, Orc Attack... actually, I'm also playing Zynga poker at the same time; might be more multitasking than I can handle. But my eyes are about ready to give out, so I should hurry. Yes, Orc Attack, by T.E.V. publishing, whatever that is. I haven't checked yet, but it's probably the only game they've ever made. And even though the violence is gratuitous in its own way, you kinda get used to it! Except for the violence against you. Not many beheadings in Atari games, but THIS one's got it! I kinda like the bonus rounds in this one. It's been a while since I sat down and really played it, but think I did about as good as I've ever done... damn! Just lost the poker game... THORN EMI? Sounds about right. The company that turned down Life of Brian makes this filth... time to beat my high score!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Atari Emulator -> Labyrinth

Come on in to the labyrinth and leave all hope behind. As with making soup, the ingredients start out all neat on the cutting board and stuff, but once they get into the pot, they get all mixed up and mashed up together and become a new thing... okay, bad example. The boards start out innocent and pure ... and PLAYABLE. But then, the walls start moving. Opportunities get lost. And YOU CAN'T SHOOT THE BAD GUYS WHEN YOU NEED TO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I haven't hit one yet! I haven't made it to level 3 yet. I don't have that much time!!! Moving on.

Atari Emulator -> Ghost Hunter

I was so close! I just looked through disks 1 to 100 at mushca.com; they do make it easy over there. Just click on a game name, and a screen shot will pop up. But I'm an impatient man, and I remembered that Atarimania.com organizes their games into categories. ..damn. Gotta get to bed. Haven't played this dorky Pac-Man clone in a while. Gotta run!!

10-23-15 - A quick update... this is one of those stupid Pac-Man variations where, if the ghost JUST BARELY touches you, you lose a life.  Yes, we know how sensitive those Atari player-missiles are.  I never thought I'd say this, but I gotta hand it to those official Atari programmers.  They could program with some subtlety!

Atari Emulator -> Rescue (of Blondell)

Just to further solidify my freak credentials, here's the link to this game: January 1985. And to think I had to type this one out all those years ago... sheesh. It's on Diskette 45 here for all of you into the Atari emulator scene...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Atari Emulator -> Jr. Pac-Man

Okay, one last one for the night. The madman responsible for bringing the Ms. Pac-Man cartridge to Atari 8-bits across the nation was left to wreak his unique style of havoc on the equally disastrous Jr. Pac-Man for the (equally disastrous) 5200... no, I'm just jealous because I never got a 5200. I went over to a kid's house that DID, though... he was playing Pengo, and the music had TWO channels! Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... I did go through a brief Jr. Pac phase a couple months ago on the PC, though... I forget what high score I got; wasn't much over 50,000 if memory serves. Some games don't want you to play them for any great length of time. Ms. Pac and Jr. Pac for the Atari are perhaps the two most perfect examples of that.

Atari Emulator -> Buck Rogers

Yeesh... Say, kids! How would you like Centipede, but with mushrooms that moved? Well... oh, sorry, I forgot to say SPOILER ALERT. Guess that's applicable to games as well. Well, there's basically four levels. The first phase involves the excitement of passing between posts. Careful! They move around a lot. You just might end up hitting them! Especially as the game progresses to higher and higher levels. The second phase is much like the first, only with the addition of aforementioned flying mushrooms. They come at you from behind, go off way into the distance, then come back. CAREFUL!!! They change altitude. Don't fly low when they first come at you, and don't fly high when they come back.
The third phase involves posts, mushrooms, and these new bouncy things. A minor irritant, until they start shooting at you. The major irritant: the bullets don't fly at you in a dimensionally correct way. Something like that.
In the final, glorious fourth phase, we finally leave the bonds of the planet's gravity and are flying in space like a damn spaceship should! We still got the mushrooms to contend with, but after shooting enough of those, the big final ship makes its appearance, and what a wondrous sight it is. Kinda like the big final ship in that game I like called Gauntlet... not the Atari Gauntlet, but rather Donald Lebeau's Gauntlet. I think I reviewed it once... let's talk about that one instead! The point ultimately being, the big final ship isn't all that big. Kinda like the world's tallest midget. But, what do you expect? It's an Atari! 16KB-48KB per game, for God's sake! PCs have 2GB of just RAM!

Atari Emulator -> I(r)on Roadway

What does it say about a racing game when the best part is the explosion when you crash? But Lord help me, back in the day I tried to get 100,000 points on this sweet baby. Different era, less options open to me... I swear it was called ION roadway... seemed to make sense, considering the crash caused a nuclear-looking explosion

Atari Emulator -> Arax

Well, here's a game I can safely say that no one's going to be leaving a post about any time soon: this Xevious clone called "Arax." Or maybe it's a clone of Flak, who knows. I'm tired of the ACTUAL Xevious as it is! Those things coming from the bottom of the screen keep getting me... hmm! Wonder if there's an NES emulator out there that lets you save your place. The NES version of Xevious was pretty fun.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Atari Emulator -> Pacific Coast Hwy

Felt like playing this dorky old game. Always liked the music in it. Of course, when you play it on an actual Atari computer, the last note of the new game/new level theme doesn't always come out the same. Just a binary choice, but still... the last note is either too loud or too soft. The emulator just doesn't capture that magic.

Hard Hat Willy revisited...

It's actually Bruce, isn't it? Anyway, since I love my blog posters so much, I've decided to craft a fresh JPEG... also, I don't know how to make a movie out of a Windows window to post to YouTube. How do you do that? Gotta learn that skill someday. Anyway, I assume you know how to get to Level 8, and I'm assuming you've gotten to level 4 in which you have to stop at the point with the green triangle, illustrated in the JPEG. As you may remember, anything green causes you to lose your helmet. You go to that point and catch a bird travelling to the LEFT... not the right. Do the opposite maneuvers very gingerly and carefully, catch the white bar, and try to hit BOTH hearts for 14,000 points! And then you... well, I've spoiled enough already. Let me know how that works out for you.