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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

 

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

 

Homebreviews - part 40: Mini-Game Madness

Because reviewing five games last time wasn't enough... I really like mini-game collections. Sure, not all of the games in a given collection will appeal to everyone, but usually you can find one or two real gems on a given multi-cart, and they're typically good value for money. Plus the idea of a quick, simple game is part of the 2600's DNA, stretching back to the original nine games the system was designed to play. There are plenty of unissued, fun mini-games still out there in the forums, j

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - part 39: Hack Attack

After nearly eight years, it's finally time for... RETURN OF THE HOMEBREVIEWS!! (Cue .) There are so many games I have to catch up on, I'm grouping them into thematic chunks. You'll see what I mean once I get rolling. Actually, I suppose I could just do these one game at a time. But grouping them together sort-of forces me to play some games I wouldn't otherwise be that interested in reviewing. Case in point... Haunted Adventure Trilogy (Atari 2600) Haunted Adventure Trilogy is a c

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Homebreviews - the (in)complete index

I'll be updating this Index as I add new reviews. There are currently 132 reviews, arranged alphabetically, by score. The most recent reviews are noted with the date added. Atari 2600 reviews are listed first, 7800 reviews are listed afterwards. All reviews are for homebrew games, unless otherwise noted (hacks, hardware, etc). This index reflects the original scores I gave the games. After my initial reviews, I went and re-scored everything based on 1/2 point increments which you can read ab

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

In case you were wondering...

In case you were wondering what was up with the two "Stupid Game Ideas" posts from earlier today, the actually-stupid blog software malfunctioned and made two Draft entries into Published ones. For some reason. Basically, those entries are placeholder lists of games I plan to mock-up for my Stupid Game Ideas series, one of which led (eventually) to Draconian. I have a lot of drafts sitting "on hold" at the moment while I work on them. Probably 20. Most are game reviews in various states of i

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Another Pleasant Valley To-do List

So... it's been another two years since the last list. Stuff has been happening, I just haven't posted updates in awhile. So I thought this would be a good time to reboot the list again. Clean out the old stuff. Donate unused items to Goodwill. That sort of thing. Latest updates are in red. Homebrews in development: Amoeba Jump Box, label and manual artwork: Finished. Development status: Active development. 3-23-19: New homebrew project. 6-12-19: Label, box and manual artwork are finis

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Incredibles 2 - Spoiler-free review

Hey look - another review! You'd almost think that a whole bunch of movies were being released at the same time of the year for some reason. Can't imagine why. The weather's beautiful outside today. Anyway... It's been fourteen years since The Incredibles was released. How long ago is that? Well, that's before this blog existed. That's a long time. Consequently, there's no review here for The Incredibles. But if I had to place it somewhere in Pixar's pantheon of animated features, I

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Solo: A Star Wars Story (that nobody asked for) - Spoiler-free review

When I first heard that they were making a Han Solo solo movie, my first thought was, "Why?" I already knew what I wanted to know about the character. I didn't care about unanswered questions from his past. Sometimes, a character is more interesting because you don't know everything about them. Take Darth Vader, for instance. He was a much more interesting character before the prequels revealed that he was an annoying, cherubic urchin, who grew up to be a spoiled, whining, obnoxious emo-brat.

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

421 minutes

It's that time of the year again! Or rather, it was. I'm now in recovery-mode, after living through our two student Character Animation shows at CalArts. This is last year's entry, in case you haven't been following along. The first one, on April 21st, was the Open Show. Every student can submit whatever film they want that they've created during the school year. Or films. Some students make more than one. During the fall semester, some students make a one-week film as part of their classes. I

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Avengers: Infinity War - Spoiler-free review

Dang. I mean seriously... dang! I just got back from seeing Avengers: Infinity War, and I'll get to the review in a moment. But first - a rant. I try to avoid spoilers. And I hate websites that spoil movies. I wasn't planning to see Infinity War until later in the week, but felt I had to see it tonight if I had any chance of avoiding spoilers. Why? Well, because of idiots at websites and YouTube channels like IGN, Nerdist and Because Science. Yeah, that's right - I'm calling the lot

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Black Panther - Spoiler-free review

I wasn't planning to go see Black Panther. During the time I actively collected comics ('84 - '91), I really don't recall seeing the Black Panther very much - and I bought a lot of comics back then. He may have appeared in some of the Avengers stories, but I don't really remember. All I do remember was thinking, "Sheesh... he looks a lot like Batman." At any rate, I had no real familiarity with the character. Not until the movie Captain America: Civil War anyway. Also, I was getting kind of

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Still not completely fixed, apparently

Previously, I mentioned at the very end of this post: That's not the only problem anymore. You see, I've been testing the Trak-Ball™ hacks on it. Why have I been testing them? Well I wouldn't have wanted to go to the trouble of designing labels for hacks that didn't work now, would I? The problem is... some of them just won't work on my six-switch 2600. What's weird is - some of them do work. On my four-switch, all of the hacks work fine. Both of my CX-22 Trak-Balls™ work wi

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

 

Somewhat less blingy

About a year-and-a-half ago, I posted about a couple of Lynx upgrades I bought - McWill's excellent replacement screen, and SainT's Micro SD multicart. When repairing my 2600 last year, I ordered a bunch of parts from Best Electronics - chips, joystick repair kits, and so on. Also, I added one of their Lynx replacement speakers. Now - my speaker actually worked, but for $12.50, I thought maybe the upgrade would be worth it. But it just sat in the box, waiting for me to get around to it. Sinc

Nathan Strum

Nathan Strum

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