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I review games... How original...

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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

Food Fight

Food Fight

Hype, I don’t get it, all it usually does is raise expectations to a ludicrously high degree. Usually the expectations get so high that the final product could never fulfill those wild expectations. What if then, you have a game that flew under the radar for so long that nobody but a small few even noticed it, add onto that the fact that it was only released in any quantity on a console that almost nobody owned. Food Fight falls perfectly into that oddly specific category of game. Originally it

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Threshold (Tigervision)

Threshold (Tigervision)

Originality in games is not a dead concept though it is getting harder and harder to find as more and more games fill the same genres while attempting to stand out from the rest with a unique concept, visual style, gameplay element(s), or some mix of the three. Some games succeed at originality and other don’t, but the game I’m looking at today isn’t even trying to be original, in fact it almost seems to relish how generic it is, but it shouldn’t have been this way. Threshold is a game made by O

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DoctorSpuds

Diner (INTV)

Diner (INTV)

I’m gonna level with you right now, I don’t like Burgertime, I think it’s a slow monotonous game with very little payoff, every version I play whether it be the arcade, Intellivision, Colecovision, Atari (any of them), or even the NES I wind up feeling the same way. I like the overall concept of creating giant burgers while being pursued by evil foodstuffs but it just feels too constricted and slow. I don’t really expect anybody to agree with me but I feel that I should get my opinions out there

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

How to play 5200 games without the 5200

Yesterday I finally crossed a big name off of my ‘get’ list, a working Atari 5200, I have long had a busted one that I’ll just keep around for parts now. I don’t intend on buying any games for it or even hooking up to my TV because I still can’t really play it. I suppose that’s the unique thing about the 5200, some consoles are unattainable because of the price of the games, or of the unit itself. The 5200 is unique for a totally different reason, the controllers. Oftentimes a working 5200 contr

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DoctorSpuds

Tower of Doom (INTV)

Tower of Doom (INTV)

Some Atari fans may know of the unreleased AD&D prototypes for the 2600, Treasure of Tarmin and Tower of Mystery. These prototypes exist but have not been released to the public because of copyright issues with T$R and Wizards of the Coast. Thankfully both of these games exist on a contemporary console so we at least know what the games might be like on the 2600.  Of all the consoles from the early 80’s, the Intellivision is the only console that has the classic D&D trilogy with Cloudy M

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DoctorSpuds

Sewer Sam (Interphase)

Sewer Sam (Interphase)

Some games are unfortunate enough to gain a reputation for being absolutely terrible, perhaps deservedly or undeservedly. It seems my game today has garnered quite the reputation and I feel that it is undeserved. Sewer Sam is a game from Interphase Technologies Inc. a small company that had a library of four games published across multiple consoles and computers. They only published two games on the Intellivision, Sewer Sam and Blockade Runner, but are most known for their smash hit B.C.’s Quest

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DoctorSpuds

Thunder Castle (INTV Corporation)

Thunder Castle (INTV Corporation)

Many recall, and perhaps lament, the transition from Atari Inc. to Atari Corp. The transition was a period when Atari and most all of its assets were sold by Time Warner to the Tramiels, who owned it until the very end. The Intellivision also had a similar transition from being owned by Mattel to being owned by INTV Corporation. INTV owned the Intellivision copyright and all of its games and licenses from 1984 through to 1990 when the Intellivision was officially discontinued because of Nintendo

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DoctorSpuds

Choplifter Extravaganza!

Choplifter Extravaganza!

It truly amazes me how many games have been forgotten by the course of time. Actually it seems that almost all games get forgotten eventually, but not this one. Somehow this game managed to soldier on through the 90’s and finally landed a remake on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, I’m talking about Choplifter! (I will omit the ‘!’ from now on because Word doesn’t like it.) Choplifter made a huge splash in 1982, and you could definitely see why, it’s a sidescrolling shooter with a decidedly patrio

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DoctorSpuds

 

Desert Falcon (Atari)

I feel the urge to revisit an old friend. Back when I had nothing but an Atari flashback one of the few games I would regularly play was Desert Falcon, a Zaxxon-like isometric shooter set in ancient Egypt, what’s not to like? What I didn’t know at the time was that there was also a version for the Atari 7800, mainly because I didn’t know that the Atari 7800 was even a thing that existed. If I’d known I probably would have moved to the 7800 sooner than I did, because right now, at this very momen

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DoctorSpuds

 

Mappy (Champ Games)

It’s Homebrew time! And what game to pick? There are so many of them… How about Mappy! By all rights a game like Mappy should not work on the 2600, there is just no way somebody could fit such a large and complicated arcade game into a tiny 2600 cartridge, anybody who’d try that would be a bona fide madman. Well, there seems to be a madman in our midst because Mappy was ported to the 2600 and wouldn’t you believe it, they somehow made it better. A small team of programmers, designers and artists

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DoctorSpuds

Tomarc the Barbarian (Xonox)

Tomarc the Barbarian (Xonox)

Between the time of the Maganavox Odyssey and the rise of the plumbers of Nintendo, there was an age undreamed of. And unto this, Cona—I Mean Tomarc, destined to wear the jeweled crown of mediocrity upon a pixilated brow. It is I, his reviewer, who alone can tell thee of his game. Let me tell you of the days of not-so-high adventure. Call me crazy but if they could have I think Xonox would have preferred Conan the Barbarian over Tomarc the Barbarian, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. I don’t r

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

 

Finally Got A 7800 & Bootleg Enduro!

It has finally happened! I have finally gotten my grubby hands on an Atari 7800! Thank you all for your advice with this beast of a machine, the warning about the fragility of the case especially. I got this thing cheap, cheaper than usual. I got the system, power supply, two Pain-Line’s, a set of Paddles, three games, and a small storage case for about 71 dollars, and whaddaya know it was packed pretty horribly.  The rear left corner of the system cracked into several large pieces and many tiny

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DoctorSpuds

Lost Luggage (Apollo)

Lost Luggage (Apollo)

Alright, this is it, the final game from Apollo that I have yet to review. I have stated multiple times that I have absolutely zero interest in reviewing Lost Luggage on several occasions, but it seems now I have no choice. Honestly the only thing that spurred this decision was something that I saw in the manual, so let’s not dawdle and let’s just review it; I’ve done 10 of these already I have nothing to fill the first paragraph with at this point.     There are elements of

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DoctorSpuds

 

Halloween (Wizard Video)

Look I know it’s not the season for scary games, but every season is a good season for Atari, so without further ado… Halloween. Halloween suffered the same fate as Mystique and Playaround’s offerings. Due to the adult nature of the games they were hidden behind the counter and only taken out if the customer requested a copy, and that’s if the store carried the game in the first place which many didn’t. Perhaps it was for the best that these games never really got out in significant quantities,

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DoctorSpuds

 

Espial (Tigervision)

We’re back again with Tigervision and what might just be the best box art on the 2600; yes there can be no other its Espial. An obscure console game published by an obscure company (at the time) based on an obscure arcade machine it is positively slated for success. I dunno, it seems Tigervision had a deal with both Orca Group and Sierra On-Line to publish their games for them on the 2600, it all seems rather strange and since we don’t know who actually programmed the game it is entirely possibl

DoctorSpuds

DoctorSpuds

Wall Ball (Avalon Hill)

Wall Ball (Avalon Hill)

Okay so… When it comes to video games, or ideas in general, Original doesn’t always mean good. Sometimes it’s down to the execution of said idea, or the idea was just stupid in the first place. The realm, pertaining to gaming, where you see this most often in with game controllers, we’ve all seen some strange homunculus creature in the hands of some poor child who thinks they’re just bad at the game, but it also happens with games as well. Back when video games were a new media anything was poss

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DoctorSpuds

Video Olympics (Atari)

Video Olympics (Atari)

It is very rare, in fact I daresay it has only happened once, where a game comes out that entirely kills the previous generation of games/consoles. In fact it only could happen once, and only in a market dominated by a single game… Pong. 1972-1977 was the age of Pong and Atari and Magnavox were, of course, at the forefront of it with oodles of copycats trailing behind. As 1977 rolled around though the public’s interest in Pong had no doubt waned considerably and as console manufacturers dumped t

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DoctorSpuds

Home Run (Atari)

Home Run (Atari)

It is generally understood that many 2600 game simply don’t hold up, especially the earlier ones.  Usually this was due to the fact that these were the first of their kind ever released on home console and the console itself was a very limiting factor. I initially wasn’t even going to review this game because I mainly try to steer clear of sports games on the 2600, usually because they’re nearly impossible to play and just aren’t that much fun, and I don’t like sports games in general. The only

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DoctorSpuds

Vampire: Master of Darkness (Sega)

Vampire: Master of Darkness (Sega)

There are few classic games series as well known as Castlevania. The original trilogy on the NES is infamous for its difficulty and is still beloved, and the SNES version is regarded as one of if not the best game in the series. Castlevania wasn’t just limited to Nintendo consoles early on; it had releases on both the Genesis and Turbografx-16 though they aren’t as well remembered. There were even releases for portable consoles, the Game Boy had several that are generally well regarded, but sadl

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DoctorSpuds

 

My Ebook for free!

Alright so I decided to just release my Ebook for free here on the forum so here ya go. It comes in EPUB and MOBI flavors for Kindle users. 101 Reviews for the Atari the Good, the Bad, and the Weird.mobi 101 Reviews for the Atari the Good, the Bad, and the Weird.epub

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DoctorSpuds

The Sega Game Gear

The Sega Game Gear

Sega had a really good thing going with the Genesis. Back in 1989 Sega was unrivaled with its 16-bit powerhouse console. But unfortunately Sega had glossed over a very important part of the gaming market, handhelds. While Sega was busy being king of the console roost with the Genesis, Nintendo sneakily released the Gameboy to fill the portable gaming void that had been plaguing gamers for almost a decade ever since the Milton Bradley Microvision left a rather disappointed taste in people’s mouth

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DoctorSpuds

 

Goofin' Around in Minecraft

I've been playing Minecraft for a long, long time, close to eight years now. But I've always been stuck with very crappy hardware to play it on so I was never really able to enjoy it to the fullest. But that all changed when I got my new computer after my laptop seized and died. It's quite a shift, going from 25 fps on a good day to 145 at the very least, and actually having a playable framerate with shaders on. I've lost my appetite for survival mode or even mods so I just build, its an excelle

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DoctorSpuds

 

The forgotten pool game Pocket Billiards! (Magnavox)

Well this is awkward. I purposefully wrote my previous review to get all of those pool games out of the way so I’d never have to think about them again but believe it or not I missed a game. I suppose I could be forgiven for forgetting this particular game since the idea of it is so strange I almost can’t believe it exists. Pocket Billiards on the Magnavox Odyssey2, released in 1980, might just be the first Pool/Billiards game ever released on home console, unless the Channel F had one I didn’t

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