In December 2016, after being inspired by several YouTube channels, I decided to have a go at creating one myself. My initial idea - using the fictional character of Lord Fortescue - was to replay games from my youth. I grew up, and still live, in the UK, and so most games I played were on what we used to call 'micro-computers'! These included Sinclair's ZX Spectrum, Acorn's BBC, Dragon Data's Dragon range, etc.
It wasn't long, however, before my attention started to wander to all of the other games I've played on so many other systems, and my initial focus seemed far too narrow. One system in particlar kept popping into my head....the Atari 2600! This was a console I never owned but always wanted. The problem was how expensive the games were compared to games for the micro computers - a Spectrum game was typically £5.00, compared to around £30 - 40 for an Atari cartridge! That said, one rich (!) friend of mine did have the system, with (in addition to Combat), Space Invaders and Pacman...and we played the heck out of them! With the creation of my channel, it seemed the perfect time to investigate the system...so I did, initially via emulation, but then by investing in the real thing, and I have been steadily growing my game collection. This has meant that my odyssey has seen a fair number of Atari games played so far, and I have had a wonderful time with all of them.
I would like to use this blog to share thoughts on my latest games played, and link to the latest video too, should anyone want to have a look. I love - and am always very grateful for - feedback, and for Atari games there is nowhere better to get it than Atari Age!
So, without any further ado, then, here's some of my thoughts so far. From reading around I discovered that the Activision games are - with the occasional exception - very well-regarded. Emulation allowed me to confirm that they are fantastic. It's almost impossible to believe that these games are playing on the same hardware as some of the games published by Atari themselves. The first game I played on my channel was Spider Fighter, and I consider this one of the best shooters I've ever played. I'm not so good at it, but that's beside the point;-) Then came Freeway, which in two-player mode is a real blast. River Raid is a game I could play forever. I probably wouldn't get any better at it, but I could still play it forever! My latest game is Enduro.
LIke most of the Activision titles I've played, the gameplay for Enduro is simple enough - the simplicity of the objectives is a huge part of the appeal for me. Mastering the challange is a real, well...challenge! I've put a few hours into this now, and just cannot get beyond day three. At no point during play, have I ever wanted to throw my joystick down in frustration, though - I know It's always my fault, not the game's. I read that Todd Rogers has reached Day 300, and I can barely even imagine how difficult that must be, and how many hours he must have put into the game. Respect is due!
I made the decision very early on that I wouldn't stick with the standard commentary for my videos - there are already plenty of wonderful YouTube videos like that. Instead, my videos feature my fictional creation, Lord Fortescue, his wife Arabella, best friend Bunty Norris and, occasionally, his cat, Winston. The videos are probaby best described as 'an alternative take on...' I hope you enjoy them, and please let me know what you think:)