Atari recently announced the next releases in their XP series of physical game cartridges for the original Atari 2600 console. If you think you’re reading that wrong, let me reiterate — yes, Atari is making 2600 cartridges again.
This time, however, they are probably not ultimately destined for a bargain bin or a landfill.
Two video posts in a row? What’s this blog coming to?
I’d been on the lookout for a copy of Xenophobe for the Atari 2600, one of the later titles released in the system’s twilight years. Many of the copies you’ll find on eBay are from Europe, and are therefore the PAL format; of course, I was looking for a North American NTSC version, which is a bit harder to find. Well, I took a bit of a gamble on a sealed CIB copy from a seller here in the US, and I recorded the unboxing and the big reveal when I put it into my ol’ VCS and found out whether or not it was what I was looking for. Check it out!
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Even if you’re a fan of pre-NES homebrew video games, such as those available from AtariAge and Intellivision Revolution, you may not be aware of one independently-developed Atari 2600 game from back in 2010 titled A Slow Year, one of the most unique video games I’ve ever seen. Not to reignite the “games as art” debate, but on the sliding scale with “Game” at one end and and “Art” at the other, A Slow Year easily lands farther toward the “Art” end than any other game — yes, much farther than Ico or Journey — causing one to wonder if it even qualifies as a “Game” at all. It does, I think, but as with all the most interesting things in art, entertainment, and life itself, the lines are blurred and the decision is up for individual interpretation. Continue reading “A Slow Year”→
In this installment of my ongoing series about arcade-style joysticks for home consoles, I’m going to talk about two very different sticks in my collection: The Capcom Fighter Power Stick, and…a struggle stick for the Atari 2600?! I also want to talk a little bit about the upcoming arcade stick units from Capcom and SNK. So join us, won’t you (sorry Karina), for Parte the Thirde of Joystickery on Retro Game SuperHyper!
Sometimes it’s actually kind of hard for me to pick favorite games. Anytime anyone asks me what my all-time favorite game is, I actually freeze up like a deer in headlights, because there are so many ways to answer that question. Like, do you mean my favorite arcade game? Console game? Pre- or post-NES? Current game? Might as well just forget about asking me to pick my One Favorite Game Of All Time, it’s too complicated.
Lists are a little easier; a top 3, top 5, top 10. That removes a little pressure. That being said, I do have a very solid Top 3 Atari 2600 games, although the actual order of ranking can be mixed up at any time, depending on my mood. And those top 3, which I can state with all confidence, are Pitfall, Yars’ Revenge, and Dragonfire.
“In my day, we didn’t have no innerwebs to search and instantly find maps and passwords and solutions to our Nintender games. We had to play them by ourselves, with no help, and draw our own maps, and write down the clues that some mistranslated NPC gave us, and write out our own passwords, and if you screwed up one single letter, it was no good and you had to go back to the beginning of the game and start it alllll over, and that was the way it was, and WE LIKED IT!”Continue reading “Ye Olde NES Notebooke”→
I stumbled across this book, Atari Flashback: The Essential Companion the other day and was surprised at two things: 1) That it existed, and 2) that I hadn’t seen anybody say anything about it anywhere. So of course, that meant I had to pick up a copy and check it out. For the blog! For you! For retro gaming! Let’s have a look, shall we? (Yes, let’s.)
Atari, Inc.: Business is Fun, written by Marty Goldberg and Curt Vendel, was published in 2012. I purchased an autographed copy at Midwest Gaming Classic years ago. At 796 pages, it was a bit intimidating to start, so it sat on my shelf until I recently got the bug to tackle it. I’m glad I finally did! Continue reading “Gamers’ Library: Atari, Inc. – Business is Fun”→
What are some great, scary, classic games to play for Halloween? Castlevania? Splatterhouse? Resident Evil? Haunted House? Clock Tower? Silent Hill? Hello Kitty Cube Frenzy? Yes, all terrifying games in their own ways. But this year, I’m going to talk about an Atari 2600 game that really fits the Halloween bill: Frankenstein’s Monster by Data Age!
Even though they’ve been out for quite a while, the other day I suddenly and inexplicably had the overwhelming urge to acquire an Atari Flashback Portable. Normally retailing for around 50 bucks, I did a little bargain shopping and found one on clearance for only $28. I figured I couldn’t go wrong at that price, so I made it my own.