Ballblazer, Lucasfilm’s first video game, was lightning fast and quite different than anything out there in 1984. It’s the battle of the joysticks – Video 61’s Grip-Stick vs the Wico BOSS! Who will be named the Ballblazer champion? You know, the thing about this game is that it moves SO WELL. It really screams on the system. It’s really shocking. When you put it in for the first time and you just think it’s just some Atari game, or you know, some older arcade-type title, it just blows you away. I mean, it’s got some pretty amazing 3-D effects, it’s doing some pseudo 3-D stuff. For the time, this really would have been impressive. I mean, I’m impressed now. Not just at that time period. And everybody that I show this game, they’re like “Whoa! This game is nuts!”
So today we are playing a very old Atari game, 1979-1980, Sears & Roebuck game. We’re playing Steeplechase, a very old 1980 4-Player horse racing game, but we are going to do something a little different… We’re actually going to place bets in between horse races, and make it a little more, you know, adult fun. We don’t have any real money because we are all artists, so we’re using Monopoly money. But we’re going to have fun none the less. Are you guys ready to play some Steeplechase? Sounds like a challenge! Here we go, Steeplechase for Atari 2600!
In this episode we play Mario Bros. on Atari 7800 using the Atari 7800 control pad, and I’m joined by Armando and Carlos from Pixel Vault Games for Nintendo on Atari! Just think, the game that would come right after this would change the world of video games. Super Mario Bros. This was it right here. This was where it started. The game introduces you to the story of Mario & Luigi for the first time working together to fight these baddies. Mario Bros. feels like a cross between Donkey Kong, with the levels and platforms and avoiding dangerous sprites coming at you, and Super Mario Bros., with the turtles and pipes and different characters. You can definitely see the seeds being planted for what would become the World of Mario.
In this episode, Armando, Carlos and I play Donkey Kong Jr. on the Atari 7800 using the hard-to-find Atari 7800 control pad, which was never officially released in the USA. Nintendo games on Atari. It’s really hard to imagine now, playing a Nintendo-exclusive game on another console. Everybody knows how strict Nintendo is on their licensing. Seeing a Nintendo-exclusive game on a different console is crazy. As you’ll see in the episode, Armando and Carlos were surprised by the quality of Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800 and the responsiveness of the Atari 7800 control pad using the short-throw thumbstick. They weren’t expecting an Atari console to push graphics nearly identical to the NES version of Donkey Kong
In this episode, Armando, Carlos and I play Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800 using the hard-to-find Atari 7800 control pad, which was never officially released in the USA. Nintendo games on Atari. It’s really hard to imagine now, playing a Nintendo-exclusive game on another console. Everybody knows how strict Nintendo is on their licensing. Seeing a Nintendo-exclusive game on a different console is crazy. As you’ll see in the episode, Armando and Carlos were surprised by the quality of Donkey Kong on the Atari 7800 and the responsiveness of the Atari 7800 control pad using the short-throw thumbstick. They weren’t expecting an Atari console to push graphics nearly identical to the NES version of Donkey Kong
Waka, waka, waka. Now everybody knows the history and the importance of Pac-Man. Pac-Man gave us fever, but Ms. Pac-Man really stole our hearts. Is that cheesy enough for you? It’s true! So let’s go ahead and take a look at how this version of Ms. Pac-Man stacks up on the Atari Lynx. Well, it’s got some very, very good things about it, and it’s got a couple of things that annoy me. It might just be a personal preference, but I’ll give you my opinion as we go on.
Let’s get this straight: This “Cybermorph vs. Star Fox” debate… it’s not a debate. It’s lazy video game journalism by the worst people in the world. Cybermorph is pretty darn smooth. It plays pretty well. You could see how going from 16-Bit 2-D games into a 3-D open landscape like Cybermorph would be really, really attractive to an older gamer who was done with Mario and Sonic. Then you see Cybermorph in a magazine and go “You know what, this is sexy. I don’t want this kid’s stuff anymore. I want something new.“ We could not have games like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and Mario 64 without games like Cybermorph. You have to start somewhere. So let’s brew some homemade Kahlua, get Christmas started, and give Cybermorph another chance.
Watch us play Atari 7800 Centipede in Team Play mode using Trak-Ball controllers with a very special guest, my son Mason who’s joining us for the first episode. I think of Centipede as one of the main pillars of Atari. Space Invaders, Asteroids, Defender, Missile Command, Pac-Man, and Centipede were like the big heavy hitters that you’d want to be playing. Seriously, what’s cooler in the World of Atari than using Trak-Balls for Team Play on Centipede? Hmm.. I can’t think of much.
I’ve eagerly awaited the publication of Art of Atari since I first read about author Tim Lapetino’s in-progress book project many years ago. Art of Atari is aesthetically striking in a number of ways. It’s big, heavy, colorful, and exudes the feeling of a quality, professional product. The Deluxe Edition with its cartridge-emulating leather-bound cover and heavy-duty cardboard slipcase is artwork in itself, if you ask me. These were clearly not produced by some fly-by-night publishing house — it’s professional quality through and through. The subject matter necessitated high-quality printing in order to show off color, texture, and other subtleties in the artwork, and the book certainly delivers on that front, using extra-white paper to really make the imagery “pop” off the page. As someone who grew up with Atari (but somehow never owned another console until a PS3), and as someone with an admittedly lacking fantastical imagination, the artwork that accompanied Atari products made an enormous impression on me as a kid. It’s the talented artists and designers under Atari’s employ who deserve the credit for allowing me to dream of ideas and worlds bigger than those generated by glowing phosphor lines on a CRT screen, and Art of Atari does a spectacular job in affording them the recognition and credit they well deserve.
Personally I think that this version of Xenophobe is one of the best, if not the best. You know what? I’m going to say it. It’s the best. You want to know why? It’s got multiplayer. Not only does it have multiplayer, but you can also play as one of the aliens, and you can hunt your friends. Hello? Up to four players. Give me a break. So what do I think of this version of Xenophobe? It’s perfect. It is a perfect arcade game. Not only that, it adds the multiplayer element to it which is unique only for the Atari Lynx. Think about that. Not only is it delivering a perfect arcade translation, it’s also giving you something extra… A little Atari twist. I mean who doesn’t like an Atari twist, right? They’re great! So if you are looking to collect, or if you’re looking to play a great game, this game is a must-have.