Okay, I'm really behind in podcasts and catching up, so.....
1942 -- I agree with most of what you guys said about this game. I loved this game as a kid, but it's not as fun to play today as better shooters have come out. The music is a noble effort to program the limited hardware of the time to do something, but it gets grating real fast. I had both 1942 and 1943 for my NES as a kid and 1943 is far and away the better game. Also, I've never read anything to confirm this, but I think the strangeness about the theme of the game -- a Japanese designed and made game where you play a American fighter pilot destroying the Japanese military -- can be explained by a few reasons: The Japanese don't seem to have a issue with this (there are other games where players do similar things), there's a strong anti-military feeling in Japan's young people today which I think may have influenced the creator as well, and they knew the game would do better in the overseas market compared to the domestic one so they decided to cater to them. Finally, it was Romstar which published the arcade game under license from Capcom in the States.
Empire Strikes Back -- I like this game, although not as much as Star Wars: The Arcade Game, which is one of my all time favorite arcade games, and it's not JUST cause I'm a big Star Wars fan. I'd only seen ESB in the arcades once, and never knew it was just a conversion kit only until years later. If the numbers you guys reported in the podcast of kits are correct, that explains why it's so rare. Also, I agree with the thought that with Star Wars still earning money a lot of operators didn't want to convert it and take a risk on it. You guys misspoke slightly in the podcast -- Empire Strikes Back as the SECOND Star Wars movie made but the THIRD Star Wars game, as they were done out of order. Also, I believe this was one of the last vector arcade games, cause by 1985 they had fallen out of favor due to reliability problems. I really like the increased use of voices in the game and the battle of Hoth was very cool with the ability to shoot down the AT-AT's as well as use the tow cables on them, but I agree the game is just 'missing' something.
Regarding something else said in the podcast about being able to score hits on a 'weak point' on the AT-AT to bring it down as opposed to using the tow cable on it to trip it up -- that has some basis in fact, as that 'weak point' is in the movie as well. Snowspeaders were designed to just 'hover' above the ground....I'm not sure how high they can go, but it's not that high, and certinaly not enough to go up above a AT-AT. So they can't reach the weak point on the AT-AT, which is a spot just behind their head where the command center is (as shown in both the game and the movie). In the movie it's only after a AT-AT is tripped up with the tow cables and brought down, and is in the.....well, I don't know what to call it, so I'll just say the 'ass up, face down' position....that the weak point is both low enough and exposed enough for a snowspeader to hit it, causing the whole thing to go boom. I figure the game designers changed things around some so you could defeat a AT-AT by either using the tow cable OR shooting the weak point, which I don't mind for the sake of gameplay. And yes, tripping up a AT-AT with the tow cables never gets old for me. You get it to do it several later generation Star Wars game and it's a blast flying around the legs in 3D and pulling it off!
Paperboy -- really fun game in the arcade, with that unique control scheme and all of that voice! Very difficult game also to do well in. Starting off, the best advice that I can give is to just focus on trying to keep one or two houses as subscribers and try to master how to handle your bike, dodge enemies, and throw your papers to hit your targets with precise moves. Once you get those down you can do well in the game. Also, you didn't mention the grim reaper, who comes out starting in later stages and will kill you REAL fast unless your a good player and can quickly get around and beyond him! I had the NES version of this as a kid also and disagree, I found this to be a really fun and good port of the arcade game, just missing the voices. The Master System looks better but I think it handles worse.
FInally, in regards to the lawsuit -- I really don't think the kids idea was ripped off. I suspect Atari had in place at the time the same policy that Mattel Electronics did when game ideas came to them in the mail. From the Blue Sky Rangers website:
Did you guys see the game idea I sent to Mattel?
Sorry, no. The legal department intercepted all unsolicited game ideas and filed them unread. No one in Applications Software or Marketing was allowed to see them. That way, if someone sued because a released game resembled his submission, Mattel would be able to demonstrate in court that no one associated with game design could have seen it. While to our knowledge no one ever did sue, even today we get e-mail from people claiming we stole their ideas. We didn't. It was a coincidence. Honest.
(taken from: http://www.intellivi...l/askhal.html#8 )
It just seems like a solid idea that every game company then -- and NOW -- should have.
Finally, thanks for the coverage of Black Widow. I never saw this game in the arcades, tried it on the Atari Vault when I first got it and wasn't impressed by it, but after hearing your podcast and learning what was going on I tried again with my Xbox 360 controller (with the twin thumbsticks) and found I really enjoyed it now that I knew how to play! Need to spend more time with this one.
Edited by SoulBlazer, Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:36 PM.