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Mezrabad

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Everything posted by Mezrabad

  1. Wow, I coined an historical term! Dr. Sparkle, thank you for giving me credit in this ^_^ http://www.retronauts.com/?p=1119 I like how they refer to it as burning out. Really, I still want to do this, RL just sort of burned its way in. Nelio! Yeah, a thing happened and I deleted my YouTube thing. I'll have to bring it back eventually. I still have all my stuff and going through the pain of moving it to a new place. Oh, and I do flinch every time they say "chrongaming". Anyway, hope everything is going well here. See y'all again soon, but you've heard that before.
  2. LOL Great line! I'm surprised, though, I dophinitely thought there'd be more people making fish puns! I mean, I porpoisely avoided making any puns, but now I think everyone is just being koi. If anyone wants to float some more, please let minnow.
  3. Mezrabad

    August Savings

    Hey, so I'm a little behind on your blog, but from this entry and from some previous entries I'm gleaning that you're doing a bit of an experiment after having given up DirectTV and its monthly cost of $151 and you're using a DVR setup (with an outlay cose) and content purchases to supply you with media, if I'm not mistaken. Now you're tracking how much you've saved and how much you spend. That's a cool idea! We only have Hulu and Netflix which takes care of most of our needs. Now and then we do Redbox. I guess doing this in my house wouldn't result in a lot of savings. However, I really the idea of keeping track of it. I should do that with my "work from home" situation". When I was commuting, I'm positive I used to spend $3 - $7 on lunch each day I went to work and I had to fill my gas tank with about $35 in gasoline once a week. xD I wish I'd kept track like you've been doing since I started working from home. Anyway, thanks for the cool idea. : D
  4. Pele's Soccer (Atari VCS, 1980) As I've said before: "I'm not a sports fan" so how I felt about this game surprised me. Contrasting from our recent excursion into third-party software that had only two games to a cart, Atari's (the party of the first part) Pele's Soccer has 54 games promised for it on the front of the box and it delivers with 28 versions of two player and 28 versions of single player. The "versioning" is three variations each on modes of speed, modes of challenge and goal size. The playfield is interesting in that it's a scrolling vertical field. As you move the ball up or down it, the field scrolls up and down with it. It's another good example of "there's more to this playing area than meets your eye" that was emerging from videogames more and more. Yes, some videogames don't need that, Fishing Derby and Boxing, for example, do just fine without it but I really like the idea of using it to allow the player to focus on "what's happening right now" while being aware of a bigger picture. That's not a very good way to articulate it, but I do like this style of game. I can see how it might not work as well for sport-ports like hockey (where seeing where your team-members are helps) or basketball (important to see the big picture) but for this simplified version of soccer it works. You only have three players for each team and they're locked into a triangle formation, the "forward" at the apex of the triangle and two "backs". You can pass the ball among the members of your little triangle but it takes some practice. I started playing the easier two-player game (game 28) and unexpectedly found that I enjoyed it. I advanced through a number of the variations, trying them out as I went, finding that the harder it got the more work it felt like and the more my button-thumb began to protest. Regardless, it kept my attention for far longer than I thought it would. I've yet to play it with either of my kids, but I look forward to trying it out with my son, who used to play soccer (ages 5 to 8ish) I think the real plus of this game is how, even on the easiest level, if you're doing pretty well (say, you've scored twice and your console opponent hasn't scored at all yet) the computer player improves its game. The goalie becomes more reactive and I'd swear the blue triangle of the enemy move faster, but again, I tend to imagine these things. Your mileage may vary. For me, personally, it was a lot more fun than watching professional soccer, which, to me, consists of a lot of this: There are penalties in the two-player games that do not exist in the single-player variations that I'm looking forward to experiencing with my son. It would be nice if they could simulate penalties for excessive ear-flicking. While I don't like watching real world Soccer, I must admit there are sometimes amazing moments like this one: which even makes an "professional sports neutral" person like myself feel begrudging admiration even to the point of tingles. Anyway, sorry for the "half-entry", I really can't count this game as "completed" until I've enjoyed it a bit in the two-player mode. Since I'm a bit retentive about splitting entries into two parts, I'll just edit this one with the two-player information after I've played. Golf is the next game in the pile.
  5. Aaaaah, okay, the veil is lifted. Thank you. I never knew that. I think I was thinking it was sort of a 1st person (We made this) 2nd person (you bought it) and 3rd person (someone else sold something else to you that works with it) but I get it now. Thank you for the explanation. : )
  6. LOL - wow, that actually looks like a possibly fun, sort of Lord of the Flies / Hunger Games / House of Stairs - esque movie. There was a time in life that i used to be aware of the movies that were "coming soon" and now everything that hits the screen seems to be a surprise to me. Yay for surprise! (Or boo for extremely bad short-term memory)
  7. LOL... oh no, now I can't unsee it. "Let's pummel each other's uterus with our ovaries! It'll be fun!"
  8. Fishing Derby (Activision, Atari VCS, 1980) There are actually Fish Derbies in the real world, which I don't expect to be shocking news to any of you. However I thought reading the rules to one would be interesting. http://www.valdezfishderbies.com/pages/contest_rules.php It's possible that I wasn't entirely correct about it being interesting. Sorry if you just spent 30 minutes of your life there that you will never get back. Fishing Derby is by David Crane. David Crane apparently also programmed Outlaw (1978), Canyon Bomber (1979) and Slot Machine (1979) all for the Atari Video Computer System. Atari doesn't let anyone know who designs their games. Game designers are kept frozen in a vault under Atari Headquarters and only brought out of the vault when a new game is needed. One night, someone left the door to the vault open. Four designers escaped. Not being able to feed themselves due to not having any marketable skills, or even human language, they had to do the only thing they knew - game programming. All of this has been carefully documented elsewhere in case you think I'm making this up. Fishing Derby consists of two fishermen sitting across from each other on docks. The goal of the game is to collect 99 pounds of fish before the other. On the playfield there are six rows of fish. Rows 1 and 2 weigh 2 pounds each, rows 3 and 4 weigh 4 pounds each, rows 5 and 6 weigh six pounds each. Each fisherman lowers their lines and tries to hook a fish by moving the hook in front of the fish. When the fish is hooked it will slowly swim to the surface. When a player presses the red button, they're able to reel the fish in faster. There is a hazard of a shark swimming above the topmost row that will eat your fish off your hook so one must always be wary of the shark. Also, there's an interesting mechanic that only one fish may be reeled in at a time by either player. So, if you've both got a fish on the hook, the person who hooked theirs first may reel it in while the other waits. I guess there are ways of using this to your advantage, to not just delay the other person's poundage accumulation, but also to wait for the shark to be more on their side. I did not explore this tactic, but it's a thought. This game is fun. It has moments where you think you're going to get a fish up and, suddenly, you hit the shark losing your fish. There are many "so close!" moments. This is a game that is much more fun to play with a friend, but playing with the computer is good practice. I have yet to beat the computer playing with the computer on Beginner and myself on Advanced. The difference between the two settings is that to catch a fish on Beginner, you just need to get the end of your line near the fish's mouth. To catch a fish on Advanced, your line has to practically be right under the fish's nose. (( Thankfully, a post on Atari Age forums has finally helped me to figure out which way the difficulty switches on the 7800 need to go to be (A)dvanced (to the right) or (B)egginner (to the left) I'm trying to remember to put the Spacetime Protective Barriers up (aka parenthesis) when talking about things "not yet of this time" )) Oh, something different about this game from games that have gone before it: the surface of the water, in addition to providing a sort of "depth perception" to the body of water, actually "shimmers" like the surface of a pond or lake. Well, "like the surface of a pond or lake" in the sense that it is always changing - horizontal lines of blue and light-blue seemed to randomly wax and wane on the surface. It's a nice effect and I'm at a loss to think of another game on the Atari where something was animated in this way simply to provide eye-candy. The surface design has nothing to do with the game play and merely provides an animated aesthetic. Come to think of it, the fishermen also seem to provide a flavor that also doesn't contribute directly to the game play. I wonder if this is the first home videogame to do that? I just can't think of others at the moment. Thank you for reading my ramblings! I might make a game play video of the one-player game to see if my paranoia about the shark is true or not... I swear that sucker gravitates to the left during the single player games. I immediately just played two or three more one-player games, me=hard vs. computer=easy. I lost every time. I don't think my losses are entirely shark-related but if I can blame a shark. I will. Yes, I believe in having irrational prejudice towards sharks. Oh, I got through the entire article without including any fishing-related puns. My cognitive therapy exercises must be working or maybe I just wasn't feeling all that abusive today. Please feel free to put any fish-puns you care to make in the comments. Yes, I'm giving you license to make really awful fish-puns. Oh, the horror! The horror! Next time... back to Atari with Pele's Soccer!
  9. So glad to find this information. Left is (B)eginner and Right is (A)dvanced. There's got to be a good memory trick to remember that... OR I could just print out a label and stick it on my 7800. Maybe "When you get it right, you're (A)dvanced." would work as a memory thing. Why didn't they label them on the 7800?
  10. Oh, those files would be great! I have something similar to what you describe. I don't recall where I got it or what it's called, sadly, but I know that it effectively does the job of the peripheral expansion box. I hope to jump back on the TI wagon when I get to 1981 in my chronogaming blog. I don't know if this thing will allow me to treat cart images like the original carts or not (I may have to turn to emulation for this) but it would be cool to play some of the old games. Anyway, any tips you could give would be appreciated! Hmm, okay, it let me drag the image into this box, but didn't let me save it... just a second.. I'll upload it to a folder or something... There it is. Does that look familiar?
  11. lol, I forgot about that mention. I was too busy trying to work the pokemon comment in. xD
  12. I'm so sorry for your loss. The feeling of saying good-bye to someone and know that it will probably be the last time you say good-bye is gut-wrenching. He's lucky to have had you as a friend.
  13. Hey, that's a cool idea! Ooo, I have one... I've never searched for this so I don't know if it's actually out there, but how about Dragonstomper? The overland map from the first load and the cavemap (with traps) from the third load?
  14. Hi! Oh, no, it was the blog software itself telling me that it couldn't post, my post was too long. I guess I'll try again. Maybe the photo was too big or something.
  15. Mezrabad

    Whoisthatpokemon

    From the album: Chronogamer, 1980

    Uploaded for the blog.
  16. Mezrabad

    Chronogamer, 1980

    Storing stuff I post during 1980 here.
  17. Boxing (Activision, Atari VCS, 1980) We've seen a Boxing game once before! 1978 on the APF-1000MP. I'd actually recorded that play session on a VHS tape which now will not load anything because my VCR won't work. Well, the mechanical bits won't work. The electronic bits still work as a conduit to serve my old consoles. All hail the conduit! Oooh, boy... boxing... I don't get boxing as a sport. I get that it takes skill, that it's a discipline similar to any skill that involves using the brain and body. I just don't like that competitive boxing's goal seems to be to punch someone until they're unconscious. Other sports might have greater risk for more serious injuries, it just seems odd to me that boxing still happens as a spectator sport. Enough about my bleh-ness on the subject. Boxing is one of six titles (Six? I don't know why I've always thought there were just four.) in 1980 to be released by a third-party. I'm never totally sure about who the first two parties are. I assume that one would be you, the consumer. The other party would be... the company that manufactures the console itself, in this case, Atari. But which one of those counts as the "first-party" and which is the "second-party". I'm going to guess that Atari would be the first and the consumer would be the second and then out of NOWHERE, comes the third-party, only doing stuff because the first and second parties have done something first. So, Activision. You know that something named Activision has something to do with the game because they spend precious screen-space to emblazon a logo on the screen to read "Activision". Without squinting, I could tell what the screen was supposed to be: two boxers facing each other in a boxing ring. I always thought it was a pretty fair representation of the sport. No need to complicate things by adding the rest of the body. The point is to knock each other out and the head is the best way to do that. Bob Whitehead, the designer and programmer had said that he decided to make the rounds two minutes, instead of however long they are in boxing, because... and all he says is "You'll see." I think what he was saying was "Because your button-thumb can't take much more than two minutes if it can even survive that." This is a tough game for your button-thumb. This is an Atari VCS game I recommend playing with an anachronistic (( Genesis )) controller if at all possible. I thought it was just my old hands complaining, but my son said that he definitely started to feel it after just two games, too. My son thought it was fun in a very simple way - like most games from this era. Not quite the strategy of the games he's into now (DOTA2), but it was short so no biggie. We both particularly liked the animation of the punch landing on the face of the other player and how it collapsed into the rest of his head. We were slightly disappointed that there was nothing to celebrate a KO other than the score changing to show "KO" but we weren't really surprised either. The game has difficulty options which control the speed you move. A difficulty and you're moving slower, B difficulty and you're moving faster. If you want to give your boxing opponent an advantage, set your difficulty to A and theirs to B. If you want a fairly tough game, put yours at A and play the computer on B. You'll likely manage to win, but your thumb will be sore so who's really the winner? I decided to see what the computer would do if you just let your player sit there and do nothing. The reactions varied. Sometimes the computer would come over and immediately start beating on the uncontrolled player-boxer and other times it would pause a few moments before starting the beating. Regardless, about "halfway to KO" the computer would step back a bit, as if to give the player a break, but still dancing around as if to say "So... you gonna fight or what?" and then continue beating the snot out of the uncontrolled boxer-player. Quick video here of the computer (console player?) player beating the uncontrolled boxer-player. No, it's totally not exciting but I posted it anyway. http://youtu.be/WSyW3lKDsSE Anyway, it was fun to see Boxing again. If I had to pick a way to compare it to the Atari games that had come out before it, and I'd say it seemed more "solid" and the graphics seem better defined with no blinking. (( Warning: Anachronistic Reference I asked my son "Who's that Pokemon?" and he immediately said "oh, ha. Geodude." )) Annnnd, next time... let's try Fishing Derby, a game I don't think I've ever played!
  18. (( Out of Character: Hahah! I didn't get an Atari until Christmas of 1980 and our starter carts were Combat (of course), BlackJack, (also, of course) and Space Invaders (which was, of course, the whole point) but I remember at some point during 1980 seeing commercials for "Skiing" by Activision and had no understanding that this was a "third party" making games for the Atari. I don't think it was until around the time I started seeing "M Network" games from Matel (and I knew Intellivision as, pretty much, "the enemy") that I realized that it was awfully odd. /ooc )) Yeah, you're right, I thought the box looked different on the next title, Boxing. I guess that's really weird isn't it? I guess they'd have permission from Atari to do that, wouldn't they? Wouldn't they have to? (( which is what my attitude would be if I were a little older when it was happening. )) (( Oooh, I guess I should be linking to old commercials on YouTube shouldn't I? That would be a nice addition to each article. )) Oh, and thanks, Nathan! It's great to see you, btw! ^ ^
  19. Hmm... if I had to guess I'd say late summer, 2014...
  20. Hey, Thanks, Cybergoth! Happy to be back, too.
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