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Everything posted by Mezrabad

  1. Heheh. I enjoyed this review, not just for the information but for the lonely soul theme. Figuring out some of the old games is a real challenge sometimes and half the time one can end up feeling that it was a waste of effort as the game can turn out not to be worth it. Still, exploration isn't always about finding the cool places to which to invite others, it's also about finding the awful places about which to warn others. Thanks for the advance warning.
  2. I think owning a bolo tie is actually a requirement for residency as I understand it, ever since the "You Have to Own at Least Two Bolo Ties to Live Here Act of 1987" passed. Thanks for the picture references, I guess it's just "a dealer tie". Hmm, that's a shame, I really wanted to get some mileage out of the bolo tie schtick.
  3. !!! Y'know, I think you're right. At one point, when I was unsure about when the Zircon Channel F carts came out, I had thought their's was the first with card dealer AI beyond the standard blackjack "hit at 16, stick at 17" I've since decided that didn't come out until after this one sooo... YEAH! this would be the first where the Dealer actually has a betting routine. Dang, I should've noticed that. I guess this ain't like riding a bike. As for following the rules the dealer seems to do fine. It's possible to bluff in the stud poker games early in the hand and cause the dealer to fold. I wasn't able to bet over 99 in a betting round but if I tried to bet over my cash I got a "Get Lost!" from the dealer. That's interesting about the TI 99/4a cart. If I were more of a card player that would be something I could explore further. I've never given the card games as much attention as they deserve. In fact, my interest in this game was only piqued because of the "lifelike" dealer and the fact that when I won with a flush I could see the words "Pot" and "Flush" on the screen at the same time. Heh. Hmm, I forgot to mention that in my entry, too, jeez, I've really let myself go.
  4. Mezrabad

    Hello Again

    Welcome back! Did you get done what you needed to get done?
  5. Las Vegas Blackjack & Poker (Intellivision, 1980) Note Bene: There will be a YouTube video supplementing portions of this entry so check again later for the link or just check out my YouTube page at: Chronogamer's YouTube Page where it will eventually appear. Intellivision was test-marketed in California in 1979 and sold to the rest of the United States in 1980. Rather than going by the copyright date given on the title screen of Blackjack (1978) to determine the appropriate chronological order of this game, I decided to go with the earliest year I would have been able to play it, which would have been 1980, had I been fortunate enough to own an Intellivision at the time. See this isn't a nostalgic thing for me, it's a "do it now because I didn't then." Oh, just a quick economic factoid. Intellivision's initial retail price was $300 (okay, it was actually $299, but I try not to think in those types of prices). $300 in 1980 US dollars is $803.29 in 2006 dollars. This means that the same food, clothing and shelter you could buy in 1980 for $300 would cost $803.29 in 2006. In the past 28 years while the cost of a new home videogame console has gone up a bit, the cost of other things has gone up even more, making the opportunity cost of a new console actually less than it was in 1980. I think I need to bring that up to my wife the next time I get a hankering for an Xbox 360. So, another Blackjack? When Mattel said, "Hey, let's put Blackjack in the box with the system!" what were they thinking? There were already at least three other carts that played blackjack in circulation (two for the VCS and one for the Odyssey^2 not to mention a few others); what did Mattel think they could do better than what other systems had already done with a game involving little more than testing to see if a one sum is closer to 21 than another? Well, there's a major component to this game that sets it apart from all Blackjacks/Pokers before it: your computer controlled dealer has a human face! Never before have we stared at a home videogame and had a computer generated face staring back at us. Taking a census of facial features we can count two each of eyes, ears and eyebrows as well as one each of a nose and mouth - it's even got a moustache and goatee. If I had to pick someone, I'd say it looks a lot like Bruce Campbell, but maybe that's just me. Quick aside: can we talk about the tie for a second? Is that a bolo tie? How often does one see the official neckwear of Arizona (since 1971) and, later, New Mexico (since 1987), in a videogame? Feel free to actually answer that question if you know. If that isn't a bolo tie than what exactly should it be called? Thanks in advance. Okay, back to the entry. In addition to having a face (and the tie), the dealer actually deals the cards to each player, sending the cards spinning down the playfield to rest in the appropriate spots rather then them simply "popping" in when they are dealt. You can see this in action whenever I get my video up to YouTube. All that would be cool enough, but instead of being satisfied with providing a face and the animation of cards being dealt, this cart goes one step further by giving the dealer a simple approximation of human emotions. Most of the time, the dealer wears the "poker"-face one would expect from a professional card dealer. However, under certain circumstances, this dealer's composure will crack a bit, making him seem all the more human but not in that creepy Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within kind of way. His Blackjack behavior is quite simple. If you go bust he'll smile cheesily about it. If he goes bust, he'll give you the angry face. His poker behavior is more complex. For five card draw poker he'll only give the smile when he's confident in his hand and raising the stakes. For the five and seven card stud poker he'll still smile when raising the stakes, but when you've got a hand that looks good and are not betting, he'll get really frustrated because all he can do is call your non-bet. In addition to all the cool graphical touches and emoting by the dealer, there are four card games to play: Blackjack, 5-card stud, 7-card stud and 5-card draw. The mechanic for viewing the cards in the poker games is simple, just ask your co-player to look away and press the directional disc to reveal your cards. You may choose a new game at the end of a hand, play the same game or you can let the dealer choose what to play. You carry your wallet balance from hand to hand regardless of what you choose to play. If you go bankrupt, then your controller becomes inoperative and it's game over while your playing partner gets to continue until they go bankrupt. Overall if you want to play Blackjack and/or Poker on a TV this cart is a good way to do it. If you don't already own an Atari or an Odyssey^2, Las Vegas Blackjack & Poker this is (meaning: "was") a fair argument for getting an Intellivision (Moms & Dads in 1980 understood Blackjack and Poker, just like Moms & Dads understand Wii Bowling today). It's not as addictive as say, the Poker Solitaire game on the Casino cart for the VCS, but it can still be pretty addictive . . . and I don't normally like videogames based on card games. Next Entry will be Auto Racing for the Intellivision. 18461
  6. Okay, not a chronogaming entry per se, but the gallery contains the promised pictures of the machines we saw at the awesome HAAG Expo from 8 weeks ago so that should be good for a look-see. That's all for now. EDIT: Oh, I noticed that linking to a Gallery in an entry puts pictures in the entry. Here's the link to the Game Shows gallery. (Just click on the HAAG 2007 link) Gaming Expos HAAG 2007 Gallery And if you like pretty lights and getting motion-sickness... HAAG 2007 Fly-Through
  7. Mezrabad

    HAAG 2007

    Pictures of the machines at the Houston Area Arcade Group coin-op expo back at the beginning of December.
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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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    From the album: HAAG 2007

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