Archive for the ‘Arcadian’ Category

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Zap: The Rise and Fall of Atari

May 6, 2014

Yet another good retro video game book I found on Scribd: Zap: The Rise and Fall of Atari.

Zap is actually about as old as the video game history it covers.  It was published in 1984, a fact that really becomes evident in the later half of the book.  Though it would be easily to laugh at or complain about some of the dated material in that half, it still remains that Cohen gives us a pretty decent history of the very early games of Atari.  If you are reading these books just to connect with your childhood (as I am), this book will suffice.  I recommend checking it out.

 

Also be sure to check out my video game books ANESthetized and Arcadian, or listen to my Atari 2600 podcast with author Justin Kyle.

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Contra Evolution

May 4, 2014

The NES version of Contra is one of all my all-time favorite games.  I remember the first time I played it.  It is a love I’ve never gotten over.  I’ve always kept tabs on the games and its sequels.  Recently, I discovered the Android app Contra: Evolution.

Evolution is an updated version of the NES version.  It has the same levels in the same arrangement.  It has the same two soldiers and the same weapons and same music.  But it has all been improved.  The graphics are finer and the music sharper.  There are also a couple of female soldiers, a boss rush mode, a mission mode (beat certain levels under a certain time and with a certain score), and weapon power-ups.  There is in-app purchasing as well.  I didn’t try that, but you can apparently buy better weapons with it.

It seems like there is some sort of PC version of Evolution out there.  I don’t know if it was only released in Europe or something, but I could never find it.  I only found pictures of a game that clearly wasn’t my Android app.

I also really missed my gamepad.  I would have dominated Evolution if I could play with an actual controller.  Even so, the controls were better than what I’ve experienced with other Android apps.  I was able to play through the entire game and do okay with the mission mode.

Nothing is going to take my heart away from the original.  But if you’re going to remake and expand on a classic, you could do worse than Contra: Evolution.  I highly recommend it.  And if you find out anything about a pc version, let me know!

And if you liked this post, check out my video game books ANESthetized and Arcadian.

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100 Computer Games To Play Before You Die

May 3, 2014

I’ve bragged about my free Scribd account before.  Yesterday, I used it to read this book: 100 Computer Games to Play Before You Die by Steve Bowden.

100 Computer

Bowden fills this book with 100 reviews of great video games from both the classic and the modern eras.  The reviews are short (usually 3 Kindle pages) and yet seem pretty info-packed.  This results in the desire to keep reading.  It did for me, anyway. I always wanted to see which game was next and what he said about it.  The entries are in alphabetical order, and since they span the entire video game era and not just the retro era, they include only a few retro games (Donkey KongDefender) or franchise (Super Mario Bros.Legend of Zelda, and Metroid are each represented by later games, not the originals).  And being limited to 100 keeps a lot of good stuff from being included.  Still, it is a fun and quick read which I recommend.  If you don’t have a Scribd account, you can get it from Amazon.com here.

 

And after you finish with this one, check out my video game books ANESthetized and Arcadian, or listen to my Atari 2600 podcast with author Justin Kyle.

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E.T. In Alamogordo

April 26, 2014

At least one urban legend is true.  Or maybe we should say the story about a truckload of 2600  E.T. cartridges being buried in a New Mexico landfill is not an urban legend at all.  However you parse it, cartridges were indeed found in that spot.  You can read about the discoveries in this article.

On one hand, this is relatively awesome.  Not only is a “stranger than fiction” story true, but a veritable time capsule of Atari 2600 merchandise has been released.  On the other hand, though, this is rather horrible.  I actually like E.T.  I remember playing and beating it as a kid.  I recently gave it a play as an adult and still find it enjoyable.  Do I think it is a great game.  Not really.  But I think it is better than the Pac-Man clone Spielberg originally pitched.  The fact that truckloads of this game, as well as all the other cartridges and gear, were just discarded in such a way is pretty shameful.

Still, it will make a good documentary, and I look forward to watching it.  If you are looking forward to it as well and are looking for something to fill the time until it is released, check out my video game books ANESthetized and Arcadian, or listen to my Atari 2600 podcast with author Justin Kyle.

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Game Pro TV

February 18, 2014

I’m finalizing my latest book, TV In My Time. It is about all the TV I watched in the 80s. As I was finalizing it, I remembered a show that times into my video game books: Game Pro TV.

Actually a show from the early 90s, Game Pro TV featured J.D. Roth (who would appear in a host of other youth-oriented shows) and Bren-nan (a Bill and Ted clone) talking about video games. The only clear memories of this show is a preview of Act Raiser for SNES and a clip that ran that was submitted by a viewer. This viewed explained that if you left one creature alive on any board of The Legend Of Zelda, the creatures would not be respawned. So if you left one creature on each board, you would easily be able to navigate Hyrule. I thought it was a lame tip, especially considering that The Legend of Zelda was an old game by that time. Still, I liked the show and am glad I remembered it.

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Dragon’s Lair on Android

January 21, 2014

My wife has become addicted to Candy Crush on her Kindle Fire. Seeing her indulging her addiction made me wonder if I should look for a game to play on my Kindle Fire. I don’t game much on the Kindle as I don’t find the controls that accessible (I have the Atari collection, for example, but I can’t really do any serious gaming on it because the controls are so unwieldy). Still, I decided to look and I found something I’ve always wanted: Dragon’s Lair.

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I have always wanted a home version of Dragon’s Lair. I’ve wanted it for a couple of reasons. One is that I like the game. The other is that I’m no good at it and I need a home version that doesn’t require quarters so I can learn to last more than five seconds. I’ve never been able to find this home version. Even the PC versions I bought didn’t work. I think this was because they were always a system behind whatever system I was using and I was no good at hacking them. But that is now moot, because the Android Dragon’s Lair is the port I have been waiting for. It is even better, actually. Not only does the Dragon’s Lair app have the arcade version, an exact translation of what you found in the arcade, but it also has a home version, which includes deleted scenes.

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I was quite pleased with those options. I was also quite pleased with the controls. Dragon’s Lair doesn’t really require aggressive controlling, so controlling wasn’t a problem. I got much further through the game my first time through than I ever did in the arcade. It looks pretty good as well.

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Now this Dragon’s Lair will put a hurting on your Kindle storage. After it originally installed, it had to download additional data, and I think that data was 5 gig, more than half my 8 gig Fire HD. That aside, it is the best version of the game I have personally had, and I’m quite happy with it. You can get it for a reasonable $4.99 in the Kindle App store. There is also a Space Ace app as well. I did not see Dragon’s Lair 2, but hopefully that will be coming soon. Until it does, I highly recommend the original.

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And don’t forget to check out my book Arcadian, which describes my original experiences with Dragon’s Lair in the arcades!

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High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum

July 27, 2013

I recently learned about High Scores arcade in Alameda, CA from the No Quarter podcast and headed out today to spend some time there. I really loved it. You can read my full thoughts at retroist.com, but here are some pics.

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One thing I didn’t mention at Retroist.com is that they must have the games set to “easy”, because I did a lot better at all the games today than I normally do!

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The Space Invaders

July 14, 2013

I couldn’t make it to this year’s California Extreme arcade game convention, and I’m super bummed about it, not just because I missed a chance to play some great retro games, but also because I just learned about a great documentary that was shown there. That documentary is called The Space Invaders: In Search of Lost Time.

I haven’t gotten to watch this documentary yet, but I will later this week and will write a review on Retroist.com. I can tell from this trailer, though, that I’m going to love it.

If you want to beat me to it, you can get The Space Invaders from both Amazon.com as well as from the director’s web site. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Sword of Pixels Blog

July 6, 2013

Just got word of a new blog started by a fellow named Joe. The blog is called Sword of Pixels and it starts off with a review of Arcadian. A good review of Arcadian! You can find the review here. Thanks to Joe and good wishes for the blog!

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Space Invaders, Galaxian, and Galaga ships

May 10, 2013

There must be a lot of people out there looking into retro arcade space fighters, because “Galaga ship” is the number one search that brings folks to authordougmccoy.com. That being the case, I wanted to add a couple better pics of the Galaga ship and a few others. I hope these are better, anyway. In either case, I grabbed them myself and tried to resize them without losing two much quality.
Space Invaders
First is the Space Invaders laser base (yeah, it’s a laser base, not a ship). Again, I grabbed this one myself. For some reason, it is solid. The horizontal lines that a visible in the other pic I posted aren’t visible in this one. I don’t know why.
Galaxian
Next is the Galaxian ship. Again, not my favorite. It still looks more like a freighter than a fighter to me.
Galaga
And finally is the Galaga ship. I still contend that this is the best looking space fighter in the arcade. It is even better looking than a lot I’ve seen on film.

So those are the best pics of these ships I can get. If anybody finds any better ones, let me know!

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