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Everything posted by Mezrabad

  1. I like it and wish I had known about it back when it had first come out. It bears a lot of resemblance to a grided ship hunting game that I seem to remember playing on the TRS-80 (the computer, not the CoCo) at a friends house once. Have fun with it!
  2. I'm not really interested in blogs that are essentially "I'm at Starbucks writing this on my cool gadget. Here's a picture of the sugar dispenser on my table." but I do like blogs from people who are somewhere that I am not, doing things I might never do. http://smt.blogs.com/mari_diary/ <-Tokyo native just talking about random Japanese stuff. http://antarcticmike.blogspot.com/ <- I'd like this one whether I knew the guy or not. I have a blog here on Atari Age and a duplicate on Digital Press. It's called Chronogamer and I'm playing through every videogame made for a home console that I can get my hands on, chronologically. Since I don't seem to remember what I write, I find it just the sort of thing I like to enjoy reading a couple of months after I've written it. So, it's interesting, to me, and it is fun, for me, to chronicle this sort of game exploration. Some have said that it's fun to read, for them, and that's a big bonus, cause I DO have an ego and enjoy praise. Since I'm playing through most of these games with my son and, inevitably, my daughter, I think it will be something they'll enjoy reading someday, too. It is this rationalization that makes me think of it as something other than a pointless exercise in solipsism. The problem with blogs is reading them backwards seems easier than starting from the beginning and reading them forwards (at least on blogspot, which is why I have no blog on there). I know that this allows for people to just catch the latest "news" easily, but I think some blogs are much more appropriately read from the beginning, maybe that's just me. www.chronogamer.com is supposed to make it easier for me to do that (start at the beginning and read forwards), but I'm not sure how much time I want to spend on it, yet.
  3. These Haikus are great. I really like your concept. Nice work. Please don't stop.
  4. Mezrabad

    Blackjacque, APF, 1978

    Definitely black and red. Just a coincidence that this screenshot is all red.
  5. Mezrabad

    Baseball, APF, 1978

    They don't move smoothly, but I couldn't tell you how jumpy they are. It was hard to get the picture of them moving out to their positions because it happens so quickly (and my digital camera doesn't take pictures so quickly.) I'll try to plug it in this week and check it out for you, 'cause I'm curious now, too.
  6. Mezrabad

    Blackjacque, APF, 1978

    The graphics look pretty good to me. Nicer than any other blackjack games you've shown to date. One 'problem' with the ATF is that since the video chip was designed for use in a more of a computer application, the text-mode text is rather small. On the other hand, the playing cards look quite nice. *sigh* I can't disagree with you. This is the first Blackjack that even bothers to set up distinct suit symbols, as well as that player/dealer border design. Guess I was just in a bad mood today. I've gone back and added comparison shots from the Fairchild and the Atari Blackjacks and I'll add to the post.
  7. Yeah, at the time they were probably trying to sell it to education-minded parents who would then upgrade to the Imagination Machine. It seems they weren't spending too much time making the games very fun. It's a shame I can't get a hold of the games that have titles that sound more interesting than what I've got. There might have been something worth playing, if only briefly.
  8. This is great! I love these blogs, it's like having a subscription to a programming journal for the VCS.
  9. My Astrocade did work fine, until it suddenly stopped outputting video. ?? I took the cover off and found that the RF cable from the inside was worn silly. I also found signs of someone else having been in there before (masking tape on the electric cord connections?) I was able to put in a different video patch cord that does the job. I opened a "brand new, sealed" copy of Red Baron / Panzer Attack to find the cart as dead as a door nail. None of my controllers works completely, so I had to make a crappy Atari Joystick/Paddle hybrid. Even with it in half-working condition, I can see that this system had the potential for greatness. The controllers (when they work for a game that doesn't need all of the functions) are easy to hold (yes, perfect for Gunfight) and fun to use. I'm looking forward to playing more of the systems games as I move forward in the chronology. If anyone can sell me one or two working Astrocade controllers, I'd be a quite a bit happier with my machine.
  10. And it should be almost a decade later that another video game named Wizball totally revolutionized gaming on the C64... Greetings, Manuel How'd I miss this comment!? Wizball on the C64? I'll have to check it out, I wonder if it is like this one?
  11. Mezrabad

    Ugly Homebrew

    Thanks! Now I have to drag my son in to play Football on the Astrocade.
  12. Mezrabad

    Inquirer article

    Good article, thanks for the link. I can't disagree with it, but I'm a fairly agreeable person so, I'll leave it to my more critical brethren to play devil's advocate. I seem to remember Atari 2600 games (Asteroids in particular) costing $60 about the time of the crash. That's just too much. Ditto for the controllers. Here's a scenario: After the PS3 comes out, the industry crashes like a beached whale. Nintendo holds back the Revolution, and revitalizes the industry again by releasing it in 2009. We need a crash. I want a crash? *sigh* Yeah. I think I really do.
  13. Mezrabad

    Hangman aka Spelling

    Thanks! Your comment made my day!
  14. Mezrabad

    Memory Matches, Channel F

    a $40 scientific calculator would've kicked butt back then, except for not being able to bring it to class.
  15. Mezrabad

    1973 End of an Odyssey

    Hey! Thanks! What a nice thing to say, I can't believe I missed this comment! Sorry it took so long to respond! Thanks! I'll try to keep it up, but, jeez, it's getting hard with my chief playing partner (my son) not home for summer vacation everyday anymore! Maybe I should take him out of school, say he's sick or something . . . (hehe, I'm kidding, of course.) I'm glad you enjoyed it and I agree, it is amazing what they did with what they had.
  16. Mezrabad

    Memory Matches, Channel F

    I'm sure I should say "undersupported", but I'm a little bitter over the keyboard controllers. As a controller they're not bad at all, in fact, with Brain Games I'd say they're pretty responsive and worthwhile. I need to find out more information, but as I understand it, they were only developed because Atari was afraid of getting sued for calling the 2600 a "Video Computer System" when there was no keyboard for it. Let's just say, I was an original recipient of Basic Programming. My parents got me the cart with the keyboard controllers back in the day. I think they paid about $60 for it, which made it a very expensive birthday gift for me at the time. Especially since my birthday (being in December) could always kind of "cut into" my Xmas "take" if it was a little pricey. I was devastated by the level of functionality available in Basic Programming. I could have gotten three other games for the amount they spent on BP and I don't remember ever seeing another game for those keyboard controllers (at least never something I was interested in getting, which is a shame because I would've liked Brain Games a lot.) Anyway, my "Persona", up in the blog, hasn't had that heart-breaking experience, yet, and says he's looking forward to Basic Programming. I'm setting him up to also be devastated, as I was. His only solace will be that he enjoyed Brain Games. Yes, I'm recreating my childhood videogame dramas here with happy endings. It's therapeutic, or something.
  17. Mezrabad

    Brain Games

    !!! Hmm, I didn't notice that. You're right, of course. Low-res for the scores and high-res for the sequence numbers. From what I've read Atari was scrambling to come up with keyboard games because of the Odyssey^2. Maybe they used the low res for the scores because they could copy the code from a previous game? In this case, "time" might have been harder to come by than code space. Interesting though.
  18. Mezrabad

    Outlaw aka Gunslinger

    Do we have to !?
  19. You may want to consider getting a VecFlash. Here. It's a Flash-able Vectrex Multicart.
  20. Accuracy isn't something I have the ability to achieve with too fine a granularity, at least, not for this era. I'm pretty sure my so-called "1978" games came out during that year according to what I've read and the copyrights I've pulled off the manuals and carts. However, I've no earthly clue in what order they came out. You do bring up an interesting point. We haven't come across a lot of flicker so far. I guess Baseball is good evidence that the programmers' toolboxes were getting more varied since the launch titles. Software generations were quicker back then, weren't they? Programmers learnt new tricks for a console and put them in the next project, just like they do now, but the period was shorter. Games took less time so they and the programmers improved more quickly. I'm just speculating. I would enjoy seeing these games with your programmer's eyes. I don't have the knowledge to look at something and say "heeey! look they're using a <insert algorthymic term here> there! Wow!", but I'm glad you point it out as it allows for more appreciation of the cart in the hardware/software context of the time. So, thanks.
  21. Mezrabad

    Celestial Ceasars

    That sounds like a cool game! Almost like a prototypical Master of Orion. (well, without the tech tree, or the different races, or the economic model. Okay, maybe it isn't like Master of Orion, but it's in space!) Nice description and making the movie is a really cool idea which I'll try to imitate someday.
  22. My son is going to be 8 in two weeks. He's had access to a Gamecube since he was 5 and has enjoyed all of the games below. Some would be considered inappropriate by some parents, so do your homework, you may want to stick to the ESRB ratings. Kirby's Air Ride (no brainer, kids love this one.) Super Smash Bros Melee (ditto) Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Pikmin (Challenging for him, but he enjoys it.) Animal Crossing (not so much lately) Super Monkey Ball 1 + 2 (the minigames in SMB 1 are awesome.) Super Mario Sunshine Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (very fun with multiple players) Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (This was a big-time "learn to read" motivator.) Phantasy Star Online (I don't let him play online but we have fun playing multi) Metroid Prime (He has always enjoyed this, but it is considered inappropriate to most.) Spider-Man (possibly inappropriate) Crazy Taxi 2 (possibly inappropriate) Pokemon Channel (he's not so into this) As good, stimulating learning games go, I would push Pikmin and the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. As good "play with Mom and Dad" games go: I would suggest Super Monkey Ball (My preference is the first one), Phantasy Star Online and Animal Crossing. Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles is fun but can be tough for the less experienced. If I could only get three for my son right now, I'd get him Kirby's Air Ride, Super Smash Bros Melee and Super Monkey Ball. All which are great to play when he has friends over to play the 'Cube and they're pretty cheap at the moment.
  23. 959829[/snapback] Okay, thanks for the information. I hope that AtariAge can handle the influx of DP refugees, um, I mean, evacuees. I wonder if we started giving names to the DDOS attacks (DDOS Wilma, or DDOS Katrina) if we'd qualify for federal aid.
  24. Mezrabad

    Slot Racers, Atari VCS 1978

    Yeah, my son is quite a tolerant soul and a good sport, too. Winning or losing doesn't necessarily affect how he feels about playing a game again. Atari VCS Basketball, for instance. I win most of the time, now, but he still likes it enough to ask to play it. I agree, a lot of us old timers are very lucky to have been born right around the birth of this hobby. My only fear is that when we're really old, something amazing may happen in the industry of interactive entertainment (I dunno, holodecks? or direct visual cortex input stuff) that we're going to be too old to enjoy.
  25. Mezrabad

    Slot Racers, Atari VCS 1978

    I had found out that Robinette wrote Slot Racers via Atari Age a couple of years ago, before I had actually tried it again and enjoyed it. I was shocked! I had such good memories of Adventure and such lousy memories of Slot Racers. I'm very glad that playing it again has allowed me to append my memories of it with some positive notes. I've yet to play Rocky's Boots but I'm a big fan of Robot Odyssey. What else has Warrne Robinette done that has a similar flavor to Adventure and Robot Odyssey? (I assume Rocky's Boots is kinda in between those two.) I'm hesitant to mention who's written each of these games when I write the main entry since most consumers (in 1978) didn't know what individuals wrote which games until the Adventure easter egg and the advent of Activision. I'm just being anal, I know.
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