Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Blog Comments posted by Mezrabad

  1. On 11/3/2012 at 9:07 PM, Nelio said:

    Although MESS still lists the APF 1000 as "not working", I've been able to play all games so far, except for the built-in one. If you're still into playing these games, just download the latest version of MESS, the APF 1000's BIOS, and the games here:




    Well, holy crap! That's good to know. Even more than a decade later it's good to know.



  2. On 10/25/2012 at 8:44 PM, Nelio said:

    Oh man, every time I see an Othello game it always reminds me of The 7th Guest. That was (and is) one of my favorite games EVER, and there's a puzzle where you play a match of Othello against the AI, and it's sooooo hard to beat! I still remember the feeling of beating it for the first time. What a ride that game was. Damn. *shivers*

    I'm embarrassed to admit that I never played 7th Guest. I guess I should!

  3. On 10/6/2012 at 10:46 PM, Nelio said:

    Handball, Hockey, and Tennis all ask the number of players when started. Again, they allow you to select 1 player and instead of having an AI playing against you, you find yourself playing alone, with the AI's character/team sitting idle on the screen. I really don't get it. Would it have been hard not to allow the player to select "1"? I'm sure the manual must state the minimum number of players for each of these games, but letting the user select an invalid number just seems lazy to me.


    That does seem lazy and strange. I feel they should have just insisted it be a two-player only game and not let the player choose a number.


  4. On 10/6/2012 at 10:27 PM, Nelio said:

    Both games seem to be working perfectly on MESS nowadays, with sound (which again is great!).


    I'm surprised you didn't mention, but Red Baron is basically a copy of Channel F's Spitfire. The only difference is that the ground is always visible, hence the vertical wrap-around being disabled.


    Panzer Attack is a simple Combat port with just a single mode, for 1 to 4 players. What I found weird as hell in this game, is that if you select 1 player... they are literal about it. It's really just you in the field. And nothing happens. I hope I'm doing something wrong, or this is really stupid.


    lol, I didn't remember that you could strafe your tank in Channel F's Desert Fox. That was surely excusable back in 1976, though. 🙂


    I'm glad to hear they were working perfectly in MESS in 2012. I'm so out of the emulation game these days I have no idea how I would play it. I think at some point I got Ward Shrake's Bally Multicart.. so.. maybe I'll go back and try it, if only to hear the sound... assuming my Bally is at all in working order!

  5. On 10/4/2012 at 10:49 PM, Nelio said:

    Oh, it doesn't really scroll. It just switches into a new screen. Even so, that's a first. All games so far had just one fixed screen.

    Oooh... hmm.. I wonder why I said scroll, I mean, I know how the difference should look but maybe I got it wrong. It's really good to see you on all these comments. Sorry that I took a decade to read them!

  6. On 10/3/2012 at 11:54 PM, Nelio said:

    HAHA!! That's some serious homebrew you got going on! Do you still have that controller? :D

    hahah omgosh, YES! Here in 2021, I actually still have it and I guess I'll try to use it soon. I'm not as intimidated by the crafty aspect as I used to be (mostly from not trying to do anything crafty for a long time) but maybe I'll just "fix" what I have now.

  7. On 10/3/2012 at 11:51 PM, Nelio said:

    With the latest version of MESS I was able to play Speed Math, Bingo Math, and Lettermatch without any problems. In Speed Math you have a math operation and must type in the missing number (an operator or the result) within a time limit. Bingo Math is for two players and each has a math operation also missing a number. The first one to guess it correctly wins the round. The tricky part is that you have to pick the number from a bingo card, containing lots of unordered numbers, and repetitions. Lettermatch is a memory/concentration game where you match pairs of letters.


    I couldn't play Spell'n Score and Crosswords. Both games just wait for my input, as if the keys I'm supposed to press haven't been assigned.


    Elementary Math wasn't on the math cart and I don't know where to find it.


    I don't think we're missing much here.


    Well said, brother! Well said, indeed.


  8. On 10/3/2012 at 10:43 PM, Nelio said:

    I was impressed by Datsun. Wasn't expecting that kind of perspective in this system. Actually, I'm impressed with all games that attempted some sort of tridimensionality in this era. In this particular case I think it worked well, but I'm also not sure if I played the game right. In the emulator I couldn't drive at the top speed. I had to keep releasing the accelerator or I'd immediately bump into the sides if I attempted to keep the car at maximum speed for a more than a couple of seconds.


    Is the game really called Datsun 280 Zzzap? I'm asking because I found no references with that full name. Everyone seems to refer to it as simply 280 Zzzap, and even the cartridge's game selection screen omits the brand name.


    Dodgem, for some reason, won't run on MESS. I go straight back to the game selection screen if I attempt to run it. But I don't seem to be missing much.


    I... don't know if it's really called Datsun 280 Zzzap or not now, though, I wouldn't have made that name up. It's not a very interesting name and I'm not really a car guy. Interesting though. Weird that it would disappear like that.


  9. On 10/3/2012 at 10:12 PM, Nelio said:

    I agree - Gunfight is better than Outlaw's main variant. But Outlaw's additional game modes increase its replayability.


    With Checkmate it could have been the same thing, but the audio design is just terrible. Less is more in the audio department, particularly in this era. Some developers had the urge to implement sound effects for every event in these games, even if it meant making them almost unplayable. I never got that.

    This is an insightful comment, Nelio, as always, but because this was so long ago, I can barely remember its context. xD

  10. On 10/2/2012 at 10:06 PM, Nelio said:

    Judging for the lack of comments to this post, I'm guessing you had a difficult time finding those games - if you found them at all. I'll find out, eventually.


    If you didn't get the games from anyone and didn't write about them, I'll have to see what I can find online. I wonder if 7 years later there's more information - and hopefully the ROMs - for those games you listed.

    I'm doing something similar to you. I'm going through each of these entries and after fixing the formatting, looking at the comments. I do remember having an APF and a nice person on the board loaned me the cart that was so difficult to find.

  11. On 10/1/2012 at 9:55 PM, Nelio said:

    Whoa! This IS a good game! I was getting whipped by the AI, but finally got the hang of it and turned the score around!


    The numbers on the red squares are the points they are worth when shot through a gate. The higher the number, the more you should focus on that square. The numbers will slowly increase while the squares are in the playing field.


    On the easter egg, how do you make it show? :?

    Oh crap... I didn't describe how to do it, did I and I have NO clue anymore how I did. Damn. Now I have to look and try to find out.


    I did learn that Spitfire has an Easter Egg in it, but that it's not something can trigger while playing it on the original hardware. I seem to remember triggering the Easter Egg for Whizball while playing on an actual TV and not while using an Emulator. Lots of information out about this stuff now and I remember reading the steps to make the Whizball egg appear, but now I guess I'll have to watch a YouTube video. xD


    • Like 1

  12. On 10/1/2012 at 9:01 PM, Nelio said:

    lol, nice entry!


    What are the odds that I also got the word BIRTHDAY in a very short game? o.O I didn't get WATER, though.


    I'm gonna check that #19 cart now, if you don't mind. :P

    I don't know if I address it, but I do have a #19 cart, but it's not Checkers. It's the German #19 cart. Oddysey in Weltrum, I think.

  13. On 9/28/2012 at 8:57 PM, Nelio said:

    I wasn't able to try all the modes. Something is wrong with either the ROM or the emulator. But I played the "normal" mode, which was enough to get the feeling of it. I liked it, and in some ways prefer it to Breakout. Maybe I'm a terrible Breakout player, but I never managed to clear the board. Mind you that I'm using emulators, and the controls may not be appropriate. Using the keyboard with Pinball Challenge* was no problem at all, and I managed to clear the board.


    *The game's title seems to be Pinball Challenge and not Video Pinball, unless it was re-released under a different name at some point.



    http://www.superclassicvideogames.com/zen%20cart%20software/zen%20cart/images/scan1606.jpg :D At least they kept to the small font, and called them variations!



    Oh man, you kill me! :D :D :D


    LOL I appreciate you appreciating my gallows humor. xD


    And maybe they did rename it for the Zircon release. I never bothered checking afterwards.


    I can't believe I missed so many of your comments even after I came back a couple of times in 2014! I'm seeing all of the formatting issues that I think you were talking about and I'm adding paragraph breaks as I go through.


  14. On 9/28/2012 at 8:29 PM, Nelio said:

     I was so confused when it happened! I was like "Why is my square moving that way? I'm not pointing that way! I'M NOT POINTING ANYWHERE! AAAAAAH!!". And then I calmed myself and made sense of it.


    LOL xD


    I wish that worked for everything. Calming myself just makes me calm while things continue to confuse me.

  15. On 9/28/2012 at 10:53 AM, Nelio said:

    Ok, I just checked and you reviewed the above games in later entries. I guess the games were released in 1979, although their copyright states 1978. Maybe I'll fix that info in MobyGames. I've already played most of the games, and I'm just missing Superman (I ran it briefly, but turned it off with a WTF look on my face).


    I want to keep going through your blog chronologically so I'll comment on those games when I get to their entries.


    I think I got a lot of dates wrong. I'm positive that, at some point, I play Super Breakout years ahead of its release date, but I was acting on the information I was able to find at the time. RandomTerrain did a great project at some poine in the intervening 16 years and by using advertisements and catalogs was able to come up with a much more satisfying release date chart. I'm using that moving forward, at least for Atari games.

  16. On 9/26/2012 at 8:59 PM, Nelio said:

    Yeah, pretty basic game. Not immensely fun, but kind of refreshing to have a puzzle-solving game in the mix.

    Yeah, it's not terrible, it's just not something we felt the need to play again. I think that could be a function of having so many games. If we really were in 1978, our options would be more limited, even among 1978 games. (i.e. I wouldn't own all of them in 1978.)

  17. On 9/23/2012 at 9:07 PM, Nelio said:

    That was an awesome experience and I'm happy that you had such a great opportunity.


    The company I would have done anything to work for, a long, long time ago, would have been Westwood Studios. Lands of Lore is, to this day, my favorite game EVER. The Legend of Kyrandia games are some of the best I've ever played, with amazing graphics and storytelling. And, of course, Dune II was a game changer.


    When those games were around, companies like Bullfrog, Lucas Arts, and many others were also thriving with amazing titles. For me, as an avid PC gamer, those were the times. Yes, they were.

    It's still a really great memory. Obviously, I'm a big fan of my childhood console video games and they were fun because they were shared experiences with other people back in the day, and with my kids back when I was beginning Chronogamer. (Now my kids aren't around. Trying to play the two player games is difficult and makes me a little melancholy.) I didn't really get to play PC games until my early 20s but when I did, it was like living in them. I remember the feeling of hyperfocus while playing Ultimas 4 and 5. Mapping the dungeons. Keeping track of every clue and power word and rune sequence for the spell. I lived and breathed in those games like one could only do for weeks on end with PC games. (this was around 1992ish, I guess. I think other games had come out for consoles where one could get just as immersed, but I'd totally missed the boat on those, not having had access to a video game console since 1985.)


    It's funny, I just reinstalled Blade Runner from Westwood Studios. They really were a creative group. I never played the Kyrandia games, but if I ever make it out of the 80s, maybe I'll give them a shot.

  18. On 9/23/2012 at 7:42 PM, Nelio said:

    Let's get 1978 going! I'm already done with the arcades and the pongs! On to the consoles!


    Oh, what happened to Channel F's videocart #19 in your list above?

    Hi, I'm writing from 2021 and playing in 1980 now. I've gotten through all of the Atari and Intellivision 1980 libraries and am looking at the Fairchild Channel F (rebranded from VES) games. Back in 2005, I'd read something about 1980/81 was when Fairchild had rebranded its VES to Channel F and released the last of its games. They had skipped releasing #19 Checkers in 1978 and it didn't come out until 1980. Fast forward (well, okay, slow forward) to 2021 and I got my latest list from wikipedia which goes back and lists #19 as coming out in 1978. So.. either I missed it in 1978, or wikipedia has it wrong. Either way, #19 Checkers is probably the next game I need to play here in 2021. (After already playing two Checkers games on the Atari VCS in the recent weeks.)


    Truth be told. I don't even have the US release of cart #19. I have the German release (that I got when I acquired the German #20 Schach (Chess)) I might just play the German #19 instead if I haven't already. It looks spacey.

  19. On 1/30/2014 at 8:08 PM, Nelio said:

    Hey there. 🙂


    Yes, 2014 has been gentle on me so far. Things at work are getting there aaaaaaand... the divorce was for the better. ;-)

    Mine happened in 2015 and it really was for the better, too.

  20. On 10/10/2005 at 12:18 AM, supercat said:


    There is no flicker in Street Racer. Flicker hadn't been invented yet (seriously--I don't think any 1977 titles used it; I think it first appeared in Home Run).

    !!! Wow, and boy did they use it in Home Run! It is amazing how they kept getting around supposed hardware limitations.

    On 8/29/2012 at 10:56 PM, Nelio said:

    On my first run on "Scoop Ball", before reading the instructions, I thought it was kind of a "Tetris" racer (quoted because Tetris hadn't been invented yet, of course). Wouldn't it be fun if you had to drive into cars compatible with the current shape of your own and avoid the others? That would be an interesting concept, I think.

    Wow, like Auto-Tetris! Yeah, that could work! Speaking of Tetris, I've seen the homebrew for the Fairchild VES, but I haven't checked out the Atari homebrews in a loooong time. I guess it's time to see if anyone did Tetris for it. If it was even possible.

  21. On 12/9/2018 at 1:29 PM, Odd said:

    One thing I don't think anyone brought up in all these blackjack reviews, but which I think is a fairly important one: Blackjack is a "sophisticated game for adults", and having a "sophisticated game for adults" in your game library is a pretty big plus if you're trying to market these rather expensive devices to families. The market for these systems were families that included kids in grade/middle school and adults in their 40s, and back in the 70s, tank games and spaceship games weren't really something that 40-somethings were going to be particularly drawn to. Blackjack, however, is right up their alley (another obvious subject is chess, but that's considerably more complex to program and has somewhat less broad appeal, which is probably why everyone went for blackjack first), and advertising that "not only can the kids play cowboy, spaceman and soldier on this new entertainment system, the adults can also use it to play blackjack against an electronic dealer" is the kind of pitch that can net you a good couple sales.

    You are absolutely correct! back in 1980 (I got my Atari that Christmas) My Grandmother had gotten us the system and two more carts, so we had Combat, Space Invaders and somehow she'd decided to get us Blackjack. I'm being quite honest right now when I admit that it never once occurred to me, until this minute, that she gave us the Blackjack cart so that my Mom and Dad might be interested in playing it. I'll still probably complain more about Blackjack (and later, Checkers) but I appreciate you reminding me that adults had to purchase these systems and they'd want to play Blackjack.


    On 12/10/2018 at 3:05 AM, Odd said:

    Same goes for Basic Math and the other generic math drill "games" that every system had, for that matter. "And it's not just fun and games, this system also has educational software in its library that can help the kids practice math and more" is absolutely going to get parents more interested in shelling out money for a system.

    Yes, absolutely. I had understood the "educational" angle. I was often frustrated watching the type of "education" games that came out, more often than not just trying to make a quick buck. (Until Robot Odyssey by Warren Robinette which was freaking amazing. Technically, I guess it was a puzzle game, but it felt educational.)


  • Create New...