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About this blog

Mostly Atari-related projects, and other ramblings. Home of the Artie the Atari comic strip.

Entries in this blog

 

Monte-Carlo's Flying Circus

The 2019 WRC (World Rally Championship) kicked off in Monte-Carlo this weekend, and the new season pretty-much picked up where last year left off: Sebastien Ogier just barely beat Thierry Neuville for the win, even though Ott Tänak was the fastest car on the road all weekend. Tänak was effectively out of the running due to a tire puncture early on. Still, he clawed his way back to third place, which was a pretty impressive feat to watch. Neuville himself only lost by about 2 seconds, and if not

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Aquaman - Spoiler-free review

Okay, everybody sing the ! Aquaman, Aquaman, Does whatever a tuna can. Swims around, talks to fish When he walks, his feet squish Look out! Here's comes the Aquaman! Is he strong? Probably But he has to swim through fish pee Can he ride a seahorse? No he can't, they're too small. Hey there – There goes the Aquaman In the ocean deep If a boat is around When they fall overboard He'll make sure they don't drown Aquaman, Aquaman It's green-tights-wearing Aquaman Not first choice in a jam

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - Spoiler-free review

When I first heard Sony was making an animated Spider-Man film, my first thought was, "Ugh. Really? Have they learned nothing from their past failures with Spider-Man? Why can't they just leave creative control of the character to Marvel, and take whatever money Marvel gives them?" Then, when I heard it would feature the Miles Morales version of the character (from the Ultimate Universe), I was even less interested. Even though I knew people really liked that character, I had stopped reading c

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Ralph Breaks the Internet - Spoiler-free review

I'm not even sure Ralph Breaks the Internet is still in theaters. I saw this back in November, but only now have had the time to write up a short review for it. Actually, I've got three movies to write reviews for, hence the need to keep them all short. What do you mean, you'll "believe it when you see it"? I don't always write needlessly long-winded, rambling, circumlocutory reviews. And yes, I did look that last one up - I felt there would be additional humor if I made a counterpoint to my

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

New old music - parts 13, 14 & 15

About two-and-a-half years ago, I had to gang up three Herb Alpert reviews in one, because he'd been putting out music faster than I could review it. Since then, he's actually released four more albums. Not bad for a guy who's 83! I'm only reviewing three of the four at this point, but I'll catch up on the other one (a Christmas album) later in the month. 2016: Human Nature In late 2016 Herb released Human Nature. It was originally presented as more of an EP than an album, but even wi

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Vs. Vs. Golf

About a year-and-a-half ago, I posted about getting my best-ever score in Vs. Golf in MAME: 16 under par. Since then, I've kept playing and have gotten back to that score and near it quite a few times. But 18 under eluded me. I'd always have one or two bad shots that kept me from reaching it. I also started playing the Women's Vs. Golf ROM as well. If anything, I think the course is trickier. Part of that might be due to unfamiliarity with it. But it did help me practice and get better overa

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

And yet another small diversion

A couple of things I didn't mention about the mini-arcade games from Super Impulse that I've been collecting: First, they're sold with keyrings attached. They're a bit too large and impractical to be a keyring though: Second, they don't have a coin door on the front sticker. It would've been that much cooler had they added a little coin door and had the coin slots backlit. But that probably would've been cost-prohibitive. The irony is, you couldn't actually fit a quarter into the cabine

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Another small diversion

More fun with really tiny arcade games... Super Impulse just released Galaga, Dig Dug and Frogger, as part of their Tiny Arcade series. I have the first four and really liked them, so as soon as these showed up on Amazon, I grabbed them. I suppose if I would've waited, the price would've dropped. But I've been bitten by the collector bug with these. Can you blame me? Check this out: Seven classic arcade cabinets, all in a space only 11 1/2" wide. And no refrigerator dolly needed. A

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 47: Arcade Assault, Vol. 4

Well, this brings us to the halfway point of the current crop of Homebreviews! The frequency of these will be slowing down some, as I have other projects piling up that need my attention. But I'll still continue to piece away at the rest of these in the coming months. Meanwhile, here are two of the best arcade ports ever to grace the 2600. And no, I'm not biased at all. Draconian Full disclosure: I worked on this game, designing the in-game graphics, converting the arcade level layouts,

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 46: Arcade Assault, Vol. 3

Now it's the 2600's turn for some arcade action! But the ol' gal has some new tricks up her sleeve, even though two of these games have been on the 2600 in one form or other for over 35 years. And yes... I copy-pasted some of my Scramble review from the 7800 version. Nice to see you're paying attention. I probably need to make my reviews a little more succinct though. My review for Pac-Man 4K is actually larger than 4K. Pac-Man 4K I probably shouldn't have to describe Pac-Man any more

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 45: Arcade Assault, Vol. 2

Bob DeCrescenzo continues to bring your own personal arcade a few steps closer to reality with more classics for the 7800. This time: two games from Cinematronics and three from Stern. (Okay... Scramble was only licensed to Stern. But a link is a link. ) Armor Attack II Armor Attack is the classic vector arcade game by Cinematronics in which you control a Jeep with a gun mounted on it, and your mission is to take out as many enemy tanks as possible. It will take two shots to do it - your

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

A small diversion

I picked these up the other day: There are quite a few of these mini-arcade cabinets on the market. Different manufacturers make their own versions with various games being available. Some are available at Target and other stores, but I decided to pick up these particular ones from Amazon after seeing Ben Heck hack one of them into a multi-game keychain: There have been a number of reviews of them online, most of them being pretty favorable. To me they just looked... cool. I like

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 44: Arcade Assault, Vol. 1

Ever wanted your own arcade at home? Well, it's time to dust off the 7800 again and give it some much-needed lovin'. Here are three classic arcade shooters for your 7800, brought home by Bob DeCrescenzo. Astro Fighter Astro Fighter was an early vertical shoot 'em up developed by Data East. It was one of the earliest multi-stage shooters featuring different enemies and even a boss battle, pre-dating both Phoenix and Gorf. Your mission was to blast your way through four waves of enemies, the

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 43: Paddle Battle

It's time to get out the contact cleaner and get those paddles working! Or is it... ? Brik (Atari 2600) Brik by Repixel8 features two paddle-based games on one cartridge. Or rather... one paddle-based game, and one that should have been. The main game, Brik, is an attempt at an Arkanoid clone. You move a paddle (called a "bat" in the manual) back and forth across the bottom of the screen, bouncing a ball off it to knock out patterns of blocks above you. If you let the ball get past you

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 42: Puzzle Pandemonium

One is a puzzle game with colored blocks that you make disappear! And the other is a puzzle game with colored blocks that you make disappear! Chetiry (Chris Walton, Zach Matley, Fred Quimby) Full disclosure: I worked on this game, designing the title screen and cut-scene graphics, and creating the artwork for the label, manual and box. Chetiry is a 2600 version of the classic game Tetris. I probably don't need to explain it, but in Tetris there are falling shapes, each comprised of four

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 41: Star Castle Showdown

Well, after reviewing nine games in the previous entry, this time I'm just reviewing one... In the arcade version of Star Castle your goal is to destroy a rotating cannon in the center of the screen that's protected by a shield of rotating rings. You have to use your spaceship's guns to blast holes in the rings until you can punch through and destroy the cannon. But as soon as you have a clear shot - so does the cannon. The cannon also releases mines that aggressively chase your ship around th

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Ant-Man and The Wasp - Spoiler-free review

I really liked the first Ant-Man movie. I thought its light-humored approach and small scale (no pun intended) was a nice change from the overly-busy mess that was Avengers: Age of Ultron. And while I thought Avengers: Infinity War was excellent (in fact, it was the first movie in quite a few years I've seen more than once in the theater), it was kind of exhausting. I left the theater feeling like I'd just been out running. Admittedly, I could stand to exercise more... Ant-Man and The Wasp

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

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