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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/03/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Being that 'necessity is the mother of invention', this project was inevitable... NEED(s): 1) A way to toggle the interrupt line of my HDX. 2) An easy way to reset the memory in the HDX. 3) Wanting to know the P-Box's temperature since I cannot hear the whisper quiet fan. REQUIREMENT(s): 1) Look good. 2) Be functional. 3) Not permanently desecrate my classic computers case. 4) Not lose any storage capacity. My final solution was to obtain an 'Evercool" PC storage box. This box has a nice clean face plate and has holes in the 'right spots' for ease of installation into a 5.25" disk drive location. Of course I learned this lesson the hard way on an earlier attempt, so if you want to reproduce this project, I highly recommend the PROPER CUTTING BIT, the one pictured below works great and can be purchased for your Dremel tool at Home Depot for under $10.00. Once I had everything cut out, it was time to put the temperature display and switches in the box... THE FINISHED PROJECT... LINKS UPDATED The temperature gauge is really inexpensive << HERE >> which includes free shipping. The storage drawer is an affordable item too << HERE >> but does not include free shipping. The rocker switches are really insanely cheap << HERE >> and shipping is included. To get things perfect and in the right area, it's wise to use a cutting template. The attachment below is a .PNG graphic template I created and used for mine.
  2. 1 point
    I hate to say it but I’m feeling a bit lazy, so how about we pick some low hanging fruit for our review today. I’m feeling like a crappy movie tie-in game, how about that? There aren’t many to choose from, especially on the 2600, the only ones I can think of off-hand are Krull and Alien, ooh let’s review Alien! Yeah this is going to be different, I totally haven’t reviewed a Pac-Man type game before… hah hah haaah… Oh wait I reviewed Pac-Man. Screw it! I’m going to review Alien and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. Alien, a game that is so uninspired and tired that it inadvertently goes full circle and becomes original again, the objective is simple, first you must forget the entire plot of the movie, done? Good. This game is Alien in name alone since the premise is that Ripley (you) are running around the Nostromo crushing Alien eggs beneath those awesome moon boots, whilst being chased by three Aliens, wait hol’ up didn’t the movie only have one alien? Y’know what I’m questioning the story to an Atari 2600 game, I’m going to shut up about that now and move on to the graphics. I hate to say it but Alien looks more like Pac-Man than Pac-Man, there are a few major differences though, the background is a dark-ish blue while the walls are a lighter blue. Some of the walls aren’t filled in which gives this game a bit more visual flare, but it’s still pretty bland. The one thing I really have to hit on though is the awful Alien sprite, I don’t know what it’s supposed to be, I’m actually stumped, it resembles a giant cartoon mouth with a furry backside and piddly little tiny string bean legs, it’s actually awful. The sprite for Ripley is all right; at least it looks like a person. I also noticed, whist staring deeply and longingly at the cartridge, that they screwed up the ‘artist rendition’ of the in-game graphics, the top half of the maze is of normal scale while the bottom half is vertically stretched, they also forgot to draw one of the little islands, there is one on the left but there isn’t one on the right. Lazy or didn’t know any better? I don’t know, but I don’t really care because I rarely ever gaze deeply and longingly at the cartridges, and after the disappointment of this one I’m liable to never do it again. This game has some of the most feel-good sounds ever. We all know the iconic ‘Wakka Wakk’ sound effect from Pac-Man, Alien has its own version of that but it goes more like ‘Chukka Chukka’ (Also apparently a Chukka is a real thing, look it up. And I thought I was being original.) The sound is just so crunchy and chunky and it makes the action of running around crushing eggs even more rewarding. Screw acupuncture just play this sound on repeat and it will make anybody content and happy with their life choices. Also the sound that plays when you grab the Bonus Item sounds eerily similar to the sound in Mouse Trap (Coleco) when you grab the dog food, just a little observation. This game is basically Pac-Man (wait for it) with a twist (call Shyamalan). The first little change up is that the ‘Power Pellets’ show up once at a time, when you collect one another will appear in a different spot in the maze. Ripley has her trademark flamethrower, don’t get too excited it pretty much useless, as far as I can tell it will make chasing Aliens turn around, I don’t actually know I haven’t looked at the manual, you will never use it. There is also a bonus screen to this game, to get extra points you’ve gotta play ‘Avoid the Aliens™’ it’s basically Freeway but you have one chance and if you get touched it’s on to the next maze. One thing I do have to praise this game for is its very forgiving collision detection, I’ve managed to barely avoid some near death situations by the nonexistent skin of my teeth, it creates some real tension, and is deserving of praise. Now we come to the point where I either encourage you to buy this game, if you haven’t already, or condemn the game to the Collector’s Zone. There has been a weird trend with 20th century fox games and being remarkably expensive, and this game is no different, a loose cartridge will cost you over 10 dollars, and don’t even bother trying to get your hand on a complete copy, there’s a boxed copy for near as makes no difference 200$ BIN, and a loose cart with the manual for 80$. Looking at sold listings some poor fool paid 40$ for JUST the cartridge, that must have been one happy scalper. I must condemn this game, because scalpers had to go and ruin it for everybody.
  3. 1 point
    The ship may well come back into harbor. When the scalpers move on from TCF games, which they likely will since nobody's biting, my best guess is that they'll either try to mark up Parker Bros. games or CBS games next. Keep an eye on Amazon for boxed games, they will often have better prices for some reason. I'm torn between Alien and Jawbreaker as the 'best' Pac style game on 2600, Alien better executes the original formula but Jawbreaker has a wonderful originality that many Pac games lack and they're both stupidly expensive in-box.
  4. 1 point
    I frickin' love this game. Admittedly, I probably wouldn't be as high on the game if I wasn't already a huge fan of the Alien movies, but it's nevertheless one of the best Pac games on the Atari. And on a personal note, finding out there was an Alien game for the Atari was one of the main things that made me decide I needed to track down an Atari 2600 and a copy of the game. I had a blog years ago that was unfortunately a bit of a false start, as I quickly learned I didn't realistically have the time to write as much as I wanted, the way I wanted, but before I gave it up, I dug pretty deep into this game. Just about everything I have to say about this game, I said there--the link to the blog is still in my sig if you're interested. It's funny you bring up the thing about trying to get a CIB copy. I traditionally haven't been a CIB collector...but Alien is one title I would make an exception for, 'cause again...huge fan of the movie/crossover appeal/film memorabilia/etc. Guess that ship has sailed on me, eh? lol (As a side note...I do know what chukkas are, and IMO every man should have a pair. They're some of the most flexible footwear there is, fashionwise. They look great with just about anything. )
  5. 1 point
    Since I mentioned it earlier in my Skiing review, I feel rather obligated to review it now. The Intellivision also has a skiing game called ‘Skiing’ and in my opinion, despite being on a far superior console is nowhere near as good as the 2600 version. Despite most of the game being identical to the 2600 version, the Intellivision’s Skiing has some flaws that completely kill the experience for me. Just a note before I dive into the review, actually this is something that kinda confuses some new collectors; there are two versions of the Mattel Intellivision games, colored labels and white labels. Games with colored labels came from the original Intellivision run when it was owned by Mattel, they came in gatefold boxes. White label games come from INTV, which was a company comprised of Intellivision programmers who bought the rights for the console after Mattel pulled out, the boxes INTV games came in were not gatefold and the manuals were in black and white on regular non-glossy paper, a bit budgeted. The game actually goes for 2600 games; there are the M-Network and INTV games, they shared the same style boxes (as far as I’m aware), but had the white labels on the INTV versions. There’s a little collecting information for you, usually the white labels are a smidge rarer so it’s worth picking them up just for the cool factor, but let’s get on to the review already. This game looks better than Activision’s Skiing, the trees are far more hi-res, as is, well… Everything! When you start up the game you’ll see a very chunky mountain range where you can select your game in a menu, I’ll get to that later. The skier looks marginally better, though he looks a bit like one of the robots from Berzerk, and he’s skiing on two giant pretzel sticks. My main gripe comes into play when you actually start to move, the movement isn’t smooth like in Activision’s Skiing, everything moves rather choppily even at the max speed. At the very end of the course you are greeted by a small crowd of people huddled around a finish line, well they might be people, I’m not sure, they may all be grey frozen corpses for all I know. Game’s choppy let’s move along. This is actually kind of hilarious; the manual actually details every sound in the game bar the menu sounds, which are stock Intellivision menu sounds as far as I can tell. There is a *BOING* noise whenever you hit a flag, there is a constant *WHOOSH* sound as you ski downhill (to me it sounds more like angry TV static, but whatever), there is a satisfying *THUMP* as you fall in the snow or trip over a mogul. There is also a *CRASH* when you hit a tree (also very satisfying), and once you get to the bottom of the hill the field of frozen corpses cheers and whistles for you, but that may just be the wind . The controls are similar to those of the Activision version, but not quite as good, we can attribute this inferiority to the controller. The control disc as an absolute pain, mainly because of its sixteen way controls versus the Atari’s eight. With the Atari versions you only need to tap the joystick to control the skier with large movements reserved for the sharper turns. With the Intellivision version it feels like you have to seesaw you finger back and forth on the disc just to get the right angle, it feels like I just keep turning a bit too much or just not enough, it’s very strange to describe but when the two are played back to back it makes a bit more sense (or I just have bad controllers, that’s also a possibility). Also there’s no random hill selection, you can choose between ten different slopes at fifteen different speeds, that’s what the menu at the beginning was for, problem is you need the manual to make any sense of it, for the longest time I just pressed whatever number I wanted and the game either gave it to me or farted at me. My biggest problem though is how you only have skiing modes with gates, there is no pure downhill mode where you have to go a certain distance, you have to go through the stupid gates which usually just leads to me roughing it on the side of the screen that is away from the gates and getting an awful time for it. This is not an expensive game; I got my copy at my local game shop for fifty cents boxed. On Ebay the shipping cost for the game is usually higher than the cost of the game itself; I’ll let that speak for itself. I can’t give this game to the Collector’s Zone though, it’s just too cheap and we all likely have it already. Skiing is not a terrible game, it’s just very flawed in a lot of areas but I think you can get some enjoyment out of it, as long as you didn’t pay too much for it.
  6. 1 point
    And the award for the worst name for a game ever goes to… Tape Worm by Spectravision. Did they actually know what a tapeworm was? Awful name aside the concept for this game also doesn’t really make sense, especially when you compare it with the title. In this game you play as Slinky, a ‘Spectraworm’, who loves fruit but is unable to acquire it so he eats a bunch beans and then acquires the fruit with excessive flatulence, wha-? We all know this is a ‘snake game’ but this whole package so far is somewhat off-putting even the box is somewhat disturbing; the box-art is drawn in a very juvenile fashion, depicting a creepy worm with glasses eating an apple while a weird bird and a creepy six legged spider wearing a plaid hat watch on in immeasurable pleasure. I also just noticed while examining the box-art that in the bottom right hand corner of the box there is a tiny worm emerging from one of the apples, could it be that Slinky is actually exterminating a species of peaceful fruit dwelling worms? How many has he killed? How many more will be destroyed before we can finally stop this monster!?! Alright, enough with the hypothetical’s and let’s review this slimy worm of a game. This game barely has any graphics; in fact it almost looks like a carbon clone of ‘Surround’, one of the 2600 launch titles. Most of the interesting stuff shows up on the intro screen, where a roster of the characters is shown choppily jumping towards the screen, and each have their own name, the worm is Slinky as we’ve already seen, the bird’s name is Beeky (a bit cliché but okay), the spider’s name is Spanky (okay what the hell), and the beetle’s name is Beetle (the king of originality). The interactive portion of the game is sparse to say the least, the only really interesting thing is the beetle making its merry way over to some fruit at the far right of the screen otherwise it’s just a line of squares with a different color square as the head moving towards a flickering square, and occasionally Beeky or Spanky will show up. The sprites for Beeky and Spanky are actually quite good, they are small but multicolored and still resemble what they are trying to represent. Unfortunately the game is still dominated by squares, which by 1982 was just about unacceptable; Surround came out five years before this game and still looks, on the surface level, the same. Pitfall! Came out the same year as Tape Worm, and I know which game I’d rather look at (hint it’s actually Amidar, no wait that’s a lie). This game has some of the worst sound effect I’ve ever heard in a video game, they are seriously earbleeding. Every time you move you hear a sound similar to the sound a cat makes in Mouse Trap when you catch them as the dog, except on repeat forever and MORE annoying. The sounds that are made when either Spanky or Beeky arrive on-screen or the worst by far, all you can hear are rapidly repeating high pitched beeps that just destroy your ears, I would very much recommend you press the mute button for this one. Tape Worm is your basic game of snake with a few twists; first off you have a time limit to reach the next bean in the form of the beetle at the bottom of the screen, if it reaches the fruit before you reach the bean you have to collect two more beans that appear on the playfield. The second twist is the introduction of avoidable enemies in the form of Beeky and Spanky, Beeky will only appear from the right side of the screen while Spanky will only emerge from the top, unfortunately they are very hard to avoid if they get close to you, and their erratic movement leads to them covering a large amount of space leading to many deaths. And finally there is actual variation between the different levels, the first level is just an open playfield but the second level has a wall running horizontally through the center, and the third level takes place during night and you will be blinded, only being able to see your head and you can only see if you eat a bean or press the button to use one of your own. There are four game types, game one is one player slow speed, game two is two player slow speed, game three is one player fast speed (the only one worth playing), and game four is two players fast speed. Overall this is a rather fun game to play, as long as you mute the sound and temper your graphical expectations. Strangely enough this is one of those games that people on Ebay think are worth more than they actually are, I got my copy boxed from Amazon for less than 15 bucks, but the cheapest boxed copy I can find on Ebay is 48.60$ from the UK (I’m including shipping) but people are asking 50-100 dollars for this game boxed, and the loose carts aren’t too much better. I’d consider this to be one of those cheapo bargain bucket games that people usually hand out for a few bucks each but the cheapest loose cart I can find on Ebay is ten bucks plus three bucks shipping. I know I usually quote the Ebay prices but what about Amazon? Well it’s about the same, the cheapest one is ten bucks total. Until this game gets cheaper I’d recommend waiting, so for the moment this game goes to the Collector’s Zone for being too expensive for the overall experience.
  7. 1 point
    Okay, uh, so I have just realized that I haven’t written a single review about an Activision game, holy crap, how did I even manage that! Apart from Atari Activision has released the largest amount of games for the 2600, well let me rephrase that, Activision has the largest third-party game library on the 2600 with a whopping 46 released games (correct me if I’m wrong), more than any other third-party. I suppose Activision had a leg up in the competition being the first ever third-party game publisher in existence, if you don’t know the story there are plenty of people out there who can say it better than I can, or just Google it. But instead of looking at one of Activision’s rare games or one of their late release games, I’m going to take a look at their fifth game, and one of my favorites, the ever classic Skiing. Activision did something a bit strange with their cartridges, a tactic that Nintendo would copy years later with their Black Box games, they put an image that accurately depicts the in game graphics on the cartridge label so you knew what you were getting yourself into. And boy, what a simple game this is there are about seven graphical elements in this game, you have the skier, the blue flags, the red flags, the green tree, the light green tree, the grey mogul, and the light grey mogul. Here’s the thing though, I think this game has the perfect amount of simplicity, if it had any more or any more detailed graphics it just wouldn’t be the same, this game is truly iconic, and I love it. Other games tried to copy this game’s style; the first that comes to mind is Skiing on Intellivision, which has its own set of flaws that will be delved into later on the future. Skiing on Intellivision never looked as good because the graphics of Activision’s Skiing is burned into my head as the only way a skiing game in this style should look. This game’s soundtrack is very sparse, all you’ll be hearing is the whoosh of your skis as you turn left and right, but again I think that the sounds fit perfectly into the overall package of this game. It just feels so good to swerve around a tree whilst hopping over a mogul and hearing that little tinny *ping* noise followed up by that oh so satisfying whooshing noise. I hate to bring out this word again but these sounds are absolutely iconic, I can’t think about a skiing game without substituting the sounds, it’s a bit distracting actually playing Slalom on NES and concentrating more on the sounds than the game itself, because they just don’t fit. Iconic is all I have to say. This game is the king of simple yet addictive gameplay; there are ten different courses to select from. Games one through five are slalom runs, games one through four start with one being the easiest with the slowest speed and the least gates with four the fastest speed with the most amount of gates, but most people tend to select game five for slalom runs since it’s the fastest speed, has the most gates and is random each time. Games six through ten are the downhill runs, forget the gates you won’t need them here. Much like games one through five the downhill courses start with six being the shortest, slowest and easiest, and finish with nine being the longest and fastest, with ten being the longest and fastest but randomized. Most people will just play games five and ten because the randomization gives this game infinite replay value, I don’t know how many slope combinations there are but there are probably so many it’s unlikely you’ll get the same one twice, ever. This game is amazingly good fun, and cheap as dirt too, I got my copy boxed from my local game store for ten bucks, I’m seeing an abundance on Ebay for less than five dollars, but chances are you already have this game in your collection, if not then you’re doing something wrong and need to fix it. This game truly is one of the all time classics.
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