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About this blog

I review games... How original...

Entries in this blog

Just Ask

Just Ask

Just a little personal story I found rather perplexing.   As of late my family has been on an extreme cleaning binge, whether it be cleaning the house or digging through our abundant piles of junk looking for stuff to donate or throw away it has all happened in spades. Just yesterday I lost multiple decades of my life pulling the dustiest carpeting imaginable from beneath the basement stairs. Only in hindsight did I realize I had a dust/pollution mask that would have negated the dust e
I found a weird thing

I found a weird thing

Alright so it's a Tournament 2000 by Unisonic, on its own that's not very interesting but stay with me here. The box is unlike any other I've seen, it's most certainly not a standard Unisonic box. The thing is completely unbranded and it looks like the thing was printed with ink rollers.  The console itself is the only thing that says Unisonic on it and the serial number is pretty high so maybe it was a budget thing to cut costs? Frankly its weird and cool and I'm happy to ha

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

The RCA Studio II

The RCA Studio II

Man, I hate to do the cliché thing of calling the thing I’m reviewing ‘terrible’ right off the bat, but seriously, the RCA Studio II might just be the most woeful games console I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Just a warning, my Google-Fu is pretty weak for this console in particular, mainly because there isn’t a whole lot that exists on it, and because it was disco-ed so quickly.   I got lucky recently. At my local game store he gets all sorts of weird crap in, and by weird

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

Thank you AMD

Thank you AMD for automatically updating the registry of my video drivers to the version before. Completely screwing up my screen and forcing me to manually update the registry with the proper driver versions whilst my screen is strobing, which meant I had to first find the drivers, find the version of those drivers, find the registry for those drivers and manually updating them there. Even after fixing the drivers the screen is still screwed up which means I have to daisy chain adaptors so I ca

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

Where did I go?

Well this is embarrassing. Unfortunately both the reviews and the review book will have to be shelved for the time being.  Not because I don't want to do them anymore, though I'll admit that the idea of rereading that monstrosity isn't very tempting, and the well of Atari games to review has shrunk considerably. Actually a secondary project that I mentioned in my brief update from before has taken precedence over everything else. I'm trying my hand at writing a good old fashi

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

Book Update! And something else...

Good news! The rough draft is finished! Now for the hard and long part. I have to do final editing and proofreading which will take a very long time as I have to reread everything, likely multiple times.  The rough draft is a whopping 196,795 words coming in at a length of 686 pages including images, probably 400 without.    I'm also working on a side project, another book but this time science fiction. I don't even have a working title for it, but if anybody is interested in hearing m

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

The Earth Dies Screaming (20th Century Fox)

The Earth Dies Screaming (20th Century Fox)

Alright ladies and gentlemen, the word of the day is satisfaction. What is the most satisfying game you’ve ever played? I think that I may have just inadvertently stumbled upon one of the most satisfying games in the 2600 library, and it’s from our good friends at Fox. Not at all based on the 1964 movie of the same name, The Earth Dies Screaming is a fun little space shooter and is an excellent example of excellent sounds and graphics overpowering subpar/standard gameplay to make something truly

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Great Escape (Bomb)

Great Escape (Bomb)

Okay so I just played this and really feel the need to talk about it. Great Escape by Bomb Software is one of the worst things I’ve played in a long time. If you’ve never heard of Bomb I wouldn’t blame you since they’re one of the most obscure companies to release games, in the US. They had a slightly larger presence in Europe, but their American releases are almost nonexistent. They seem to have been just another ‘me too’ company, jumping on the 2600 bandwagon way too late. After looking at som

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Panda: The OG Bootleggers!

Panda: The OG Bootleggers!

Okay so I know I usually do write-ups on games, not companies, but Panda was just so batshit insane that I feel they are deserving. The guys at Panda were the OG bootleggers, for a short time in 1983 they slithered onto the scene and vomited their wares, but before they could finish they vanished quite suddenly. Now, Panda was the supreme budget brand, they made their games out of the cheapest materials they could get, and cut as many corners as possible, i'm not sure what they sold for original

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Space Attack (M Network)

Space Attack (M Network)

So I’m gone for over a week and what do I come back with? Space Attack, a very bad idea from Mattel. Mattel’s MO was to make, slightly inferior perhaps, ports of their Intellivision games and release them on the 2600 to entice people over to the Intellivision, whether it worked or not is anyone’s guess. Most of the games Mattel ported were simple shooters that didn’t require much use of the Intellivision’s keypad controller, Space Attack, or Space Battle as the INTV port was called, is the major

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

Rare doesn't mean valuable

I have a rant for you, I’m very tired and it’s very rambly but I think I may have made a few good points.   Here’s something odd that many people have a hard time coming to terms with, rarity does not equal value. When the topic of old games comes up in conversation I usually have to reiterate this multiple times, and almost every time I do this the person I’m talking to gets that greedy little gleam in their eye. “Oh, I have a Nintendo/Atari/Sega in the basement, and I have a bunch of

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Wizard of Wor 5200 (CBS Electronics)

Wizard of Wor 5200 (CBS Electronics)

Those of you who’ve been around for a bit, or have gone back to my earlier reviews will know that Wizard of Wor was the first review I ever wrote. In all the time since I wrote that review my opinions of the game have not changed, it’s still a fantastic game. But that was with the 2600 version, I’ve recently acquired the 5200 version and I wonder how it holds up to its predecessor. I also wonder how the controller will affect the gameplay, but we’ll get to that when it comes.    

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

Something odd...

So today I did something that I've never done before. I took a broken, non-working system, specifically an Atari 2600, and fixed it. I bought the system and box together (matching serial numbers), with no inserts, paperwork, or controllers, at a highly reduced price. The last time I snagged a matching SN console and box it was a Vader with the box only and working for 90$, this time I got lucky and got this non working four switch Woody for 50$, and considering this guy sells working 2600's at 4

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

QIX 5200 (Atari)

QIX 5200 (Atari)

Qix is a fun little arcade game than seems to defy any standard one would care to throw at it. Qix was an arcade release from Taito back in 1981 and by all accounts it was a modest success and it was all about drawing rectangles, hmmm. Qix was very slow to reach a home audience with the first home releases being for the Atari 5200 and 8-Bit computer line in 1983 with it finally reaching other consoles and computers in 1989 and into the early 1990’s, the Apple ][ version didn’t come out until 198

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

How to get out of work early (Never Again!)

How to get out of work early (Never Again!)

Yesterday I had the privilege of adding something to my “Never Again” list, a list I just created of things that I never want to do/experience again, and at work no less. It seemed like it was going to be a slow night, I had finished all of my set tasks and had just finished my break, I had noticed that about halfway through one of my coworkers had come in and raided the first aid cabinet, I figured he’d cut his finger or something and thought nothing of it. When my break ended I decided to use

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Star Wars: The Arcade Game 5200 (Parker Brothers)

Star Wars: The Arcade Game 5200 (Parker Brothers)

Long has this game eluded me, but now I have it in my possession, sort of. I’ve really wanted to get my hands on Star Wars: The Arcade Game for a long while but the price has always been a prohibitive factor, mainly due to it being a late release Parker Brothers game coupled with a big IP driving the prices up dramatically. It seems though that I’ve been after the wrong version the whole time, because as I was focusing on the 2600 version, as I tend to do, I has completely neglected the other ve

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Robot Tank (Activision)

Robot Tank (Activision)

When I was just getting into the 2600 I was still ignorant to the complexity that some games managed to achieve. So imagine my surprise when I plopped Robot Tank into my 2600 for the first time. It is quite clear that Robot Tank was made to be Activision’s answer to Atari’s Battlezone, and it really feels like it. Also reading the back of the box, this game apparently takes place in October 2019, so it is the perfect time for me to review it. Funnily enough, the prediction of a robotized militar

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

James Bond: 007 5200 (Parker Brothers)

James Bond: 007 5200 (Parker Brothers)

Confusing licenses are the bread and butter of obscure games. Very few companies in the early days of gaming actually tried to tackle non-arcade licenses, with only 20th Century Fox, Atari, and Parker Brothers doing it in any quantity. The names these companies took just boggles the mind, box office bombs like Mega Force and Krull, movies that have been out of the public eye for years like Fantastic Voyage and Planet of the Apes, and comic book characters like Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk w

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Xenophobe 7800 (Atari)

Xenophobe 7800 (Atari)

Alright we’re back with the 7800 and with a game that I’ve already reviewed the 2600 version of. Xenophobe was an arcade success back in 1987, with a classic premise and a cool gimmick it was sure to guzzle quarters like nobody’s business. Because of its popularity Xenophobe found its way into being ported on many home consoles and computers of the time even if there was absolutely no way they could run it, hell, even the ZX Spectrum got a port of it. But I’m focusing on the 7800 port and one th

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Rescue on Fractalus! (Lucasfilm)

Rescue on Fractalus! (Lucasfilm)

Alright, so I think this’ll be a good game to start the 5200 with, Rescue on Fractalus! RoF was one of the first in a long line of games from Lucasarts, and as first games go this is amazing. I won’t bore you with a history of Lucasarts or of the 5200; I already did a whole write up on that, so let’s just jump into Rescue on Fractalus!     FRACTALS! I don’t know what they are, or how they are utilized in this game, all I know is that they were used to make a full fledged 3D

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

A tiny wafer thin update!

Ah, well this seems familiar. First off, no I’m not taking a break; I’m just writing this to give you a few updates on future reviews and a small update on the book. Also I’m using this as an excuse not to write a review for today. Sorry.   Recently I’ve had the monumental task of repairing several Atari 5200 controllers, and it seems I still have to open them up every so often to coax more functionality out of them. The local game store had four standard joysticks and a Trak-Ball cont

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

My thoughts on the 5200

My thoughts on the 5200

The other day I referred to Sub Scan from Sega as a bad idea… That got me thinking, or well, recalling something I had been thinking of previously. By 1983 the Atari 2600 was a pretty old console by console standards, and was being faced with fierce competition from Mattel with their superior in almost every way Intellivision, Magnavox need not apply themselves to this squabble. Atari needed a console that would trounce the Intellivision and the rumored super-console from Coleco, so Atari gather

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Sub Scan (Sega)

Sub Scan (Sega)

I have a bad idea for you all today, Sub Scan, this game is a bad idea. On a conceptual level this game just shouldn’t exist, it’s so barebones that very few people will spend enough time playing the game to actually experience it in any meaningful way. I could talk about the sounds and the graphics, but why should I when the game itself does not deserve them. Even if the sounds are completely terrible, and the graphics are unfortunately good, I refuse to talk about them because the game is so s

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

M.A.D. (U.S. Games)

M.A.D. (U.S. Games)

What is there to say about M.A.D., well first off it’s really obnoxious to type, and second of all it is a surprisingly unique take on the Missile Command/Atlantis genre. M.A.D. bears a resemblance to all games of its genre, Missile Command, Atlantis, Commando Raid, Sabotage, etc, but if you ask me it trumps them all from a visual standpoint. The graphics are stunningly colorful and imbue the game with a vibrancy rarely seen on the 2600. The gun emplacement is made up of the cooler end of the ra

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

The worst thing I ever bought.

The worst thing I ever bought… Well that’s a pretty easy answer for me.   Before I say what it is, I first want to justify myself, because this is a pretty stupid thing to buy in the first place. I had just gotten my tax return in and I was feeling expensive and impulsive, and I really wanted an item that I could show off and perhaps have to act as a conversation starter. I knew it was going to be a reproduction cart of some sort, but it had to be even better, a repro cart and box, now

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

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