Posts Tagged ‘Atari’

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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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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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Atari 2600 Manuals and Nintendo Club Magazines on Scribd

April 19, 2014

As a Smashwords contributor, I was recently given a free subscription to Scribd. I found a way to sideload the Scribd app on my Kindle and immediately searched for Atari and Nintendo stuff. I was very happy with what I found. There were several collections of Atari 2600 Manuals and several issues of both Nintendo Club and Nintendo Power magazine.
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Access to these manuals and magazines is just more of my portable nostalgia. It is bits of my childhood that I can check out and spend a few minutes with anytime I want. If you ate similarly looking for portable nostalgia, I suggest you get the Scribd app and look around. Also, my books ANESthetized and Arcadian are there. Apparently you can get them there for free. If you do, please give me a good review at Amazon.com!

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Kee VCS

February 10, 2014

I’m reading AtariInc: Business Is Fun. I haven’t finished it yet, but I came across this great prototype of a VCS that was produced by Atari shell company Kee games. It looks a lot better than the Woody to me! Screenshot_2014-02-09-21-14-26

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I Heart Atari

November 20, 2013

Just found this t-shirt on Ebay. Brilliant.

Heart Atari

If you’re interested, you can find it here.

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Celebrities on Video Games

June 2, 2013

How did Atari and Intellivision sell so many consoles and cartridges prior to the great crash of 1983? By getting stars to shill for them, of course. Here are just a few stars (or soon to be stars) I’ve found in old video game commercials.

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Old Video Games Couldn’t Be Won

January 17, 2013

I think I mentioned the first part of this idea in ANESthetized.  The fact that old video games couldn’t be won and never ended was what made The Legend of Zelda such a surprise.  But Atari’s recent Facebook post puts a much more pessimistic turn on this fact.

 

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Atari Flashback 4

November 13, 2012

Atari posted on Facebook today that their Flashback 4 has been released.

Since I have an old 2600 and prefer to play on that, I won’t be buying one.  Still, if you’re the modern retro type (and I kind of am; I like emulating the old school games on the computer), then the Flashback might be for you.  It has 75 games, including:

3D Tic-Tac-Toe
Adventure
Adventure II
Air·Sea Battle
Aquaventure
Asteroids
Backgammon
Basketball
Battlezone
Black Jack
Bowling
Breakout
Canyon Bomber
Centipede
Championship Soccer
Circus Atari
Combat Two
Combat
Crystal Castles
Demons to Diamonds
Desert Falcon
Dodge ‘Em
Double Dunk
Fatal Run
Flag Capture
Football
Frog Pond
Front Line
Fun with Numbers
Golf
Grand Prix
Gravitar
Hangman
Haunted House
Home Run
Human Cannonball
Jungle Hunt
Maze Craze
Miniature Golf
Missile Command
Night Driver
Off The Wall
Outlaw
Polaris
Realsports Baseball
Realsports Basketball
Realsports Soccer
Realsports Volleyball
Return to Haunted House
Saboteur
Save Mary
Sky Diver
Slot Machine
Slot Racers
Solaris
Space Invaders
Space War
Sprintmaster
Star Ship
Steeplechase
Stellar Track
Street Racer
Submarine Commander
Super Baseball
Super Breakout
Super Football
Surround
Tempest
Video Checkers
Video Chess
Video Olympics
Video Pinball
Warlords
Wizard
Yars’ Revenge

I have the cartridges of lots of these, and I have lots of others on the Atari Android app, but if you don’t have them, Flashback 4 is a good way to pick them up.  You can get it at Amazon.com, but I’ve also heard it is at retail stores as well.

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Space Invaders Laser Base

November 4, 2012

When does an Atari 2600 arcade port have better graphics than the original?  Is such a thing even possible?  It was with Space Invaders.  If you’ve read Arcadian, you know that I wasn’t happy with the Space Invaders laser base.  I thought it looked like  a bracket put on its side.  I still think that today.

Well, when Atari ported the game to the 2600, they refined the laser base a little.  Here’s how it came out on the Atari.

Is that better?  I think it is.  And so it is a time, perhaps the only and only time, when the Atari 2600 had better graphics than an arcade game.

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