Last week, Netflix began streaming a new 6-part documentary series on the history of video games, titled High Score. Immediately, my Twitter and Instagram feeds were filled with the impressions of my fellow gamers who were watching it. Of course, I checked it out too — I had to, it’s my duty as a gamer — so, how highly does High Score score?Continue reading “High Score on Netflix”
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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I was looking for some of my old Atari catalogs, and I found them in this box that has piles of other stuff in it, so if you have about 45 minutes to hang out, I thought you might like to dig through this box with me.
There’s some cool surprises in here, like original Nintendo Fun Club cards, Midwest Gaming Classic flyers, old console manuals, catalogs showing games that never came out, and some promotional VHS tapes.
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“Hey Teej,” I hear you saying, “After almost 40 years of video game playing and collecting, what is your ultimate Holy Grail? Also, you’re looking particularly handsome today.” Well, thank you, and yes, I’m so glad you asked that question! If I won the lottery, was independently wealthy, got to spend someone else’s money, or was just plain financially irresponsible, what would I buy from that great mythical reef store that has everything I’ve ever dreamed of? This totally self-indulgent article has those answers! Continue reading “Grails”
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”
With Nintendo being the protective and litigious juggernaut it has been since the launch of the NES, it seems unbelievable that they would ever allow their most famous properties to be licensed out to other companies. Yet, in the pre-NES days, when their arcade games were what made them famous, that’s exactly what they had to do to spread their brand awareness and get console ports of their games into homes. Continue reading “Nintendo’s Early Licensing Days”
That’s right, you heard right — after a long delay, the second issue of the Retro Game SuperHyper fanzine is finally done, in the can, put to bed, uploaded, out and available to buy RIGHT NOW! Continue reading “Retro Game SuperHyper ‘Zine Issue #2 is HERE!”
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.
I have long held the belief that Atari’s Haunted House for the 2600 is a keystone in the foundation of adventure and horror video games. So what better day to talk about it than on Halloween? Continue reading “Haunted House: the Origin of Survival Horror!”
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.)
Ostensibly a guidebook to the Atari Flashback consoles, this book from Prima is actually a nice guide to the Atari 2600 in general. Continue reading “Gamers’ Library: Atari Flashback – The Essential Companion from Prima”
Having been introduced to videogames through arcades and the Atari 2600, I have largely lived my gamer life feeling that videogames should be played with joysticks. I mean, naturally I’ve gotten used to control pads, and I do think that the SNES controller and the DualShock are two of the best game controller designs of all time, and there are plenty of games with control schemes that cannot be executed efficiently on an arcade-style joystick setup. But I’ve always been a sucker for adding arcade sticks to my consoles; to me, there’s always been something better, more formal, more serious, more proper about using a joystick whenever possible. Continue reading “Joystickery”