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BassGuitari

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BassGuitari last won the day on May 16 2016

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About BassGuitari

  • Rank
    Glorified Toaster
  • Birthday 01/31/1985

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  • Custom Status
    Remember how bright the future used to look?
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Fiorina 161
  • Interests
    Music, vintage instruments, history, World War I, vintage video games and computers, football, the Green Bay Packers.
  • Currently Playing
    DINA - Defender, Montezuma's Revenge, Frogger II, Meteoric Shower, Frenzy, Choplifter, River Raid, Time Pilot, Zaxxon, Strike It, Wing War

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  1. Never heard of it? I've had it running at MGC several times over the years! And Matt would comment on how bad it is. As far as Star Ship's relative scarcity goes, it was discontinued around the same time the VCS really blew up in 1980, when Space Invaders came out--most gamers jumping in at that point or later probably would have missed it unless they saw it in used game shops or knew somebody that had an Atari in the '70s. The game was reintroduced in '82 or '83 (in a label style completely unique to this cart), although it never appeared in any catalogs, and was likely just a case of Atari trying to liquidate old inventory. Why it was discontinued in the first place still seems to be unknown. Star Ship isn't particularly hard to find today, which indicates that it must have sold at least modestly well for its time. And while it's certainly primitive, there were arguably worse titles in Atari's lineup in '79-80 (personally I think Space War should have gotten the ax instead). Maybe Atari felt the lineup was too crowded, or that Space Invaders made it redundant or obsolete (but then why keep both Blackjack and Casino?...). Whatever the reason, Atari decided it didn't need Star Ship (or Miniature Golf) anymore. 🤷‍♂️
  2. If the second game in a series seems like the black sheep, blame the third game.

  3. Because they're not really the same kinds of games. Star Ship (okay, and Star Voyager) are arcade games; Star Ship in particular is essentially a stylized electronic carnival shooting game (with a few spin-off variations). Starmaster and Star Raiders are action-oriented strategy games--essentially evolved forms of the old Trek games from the '70s. While they share superficial similarities, IMO they don't scratch the same itch.
  4. I could probably just pick five titles out of a hat and each of them would qualify. But immediately off the top of my head, these come to mind: Defender - I'm a big fan of the early Defender home ports, and I think that, all things considered, the Atari 5200 version is the best of them. All the controls are immediately accessible on the controller, and the difficulty is nicely balanced. It's not quite the prettiest--that would probably have to be the Coleco version, although the 5200 game still looks pretty good--but on the whole I think it's the most complete of the '80s Defender ports. Space Dungeon - A twin-stick shooter, and an 5200 exclusive at. Neither of which would amount to much if the game wasn't excellent, which it certainly is. It's a great, unique gameplay experience, and my first line of defense against "Atari 5200 controllers suck" babbling. This game can be cheesed a bit by patient players in earlier, easier levels, though, by finding relatively secure, defensible rooms and picking off the enemies that peter in, ad infinitum, and rack up points and extra ships the cheap way. Berzerk - So, this game is hard as balls. At least it was for me when I got it with my first 5200 system in the early 2000s. But it's also so good that you can't help coming back again and again; I'm way less terrible at this game now than I used to be. I'm not particularly familiar with the original arcade version, but the 5200 game seems like a very faithful adaptation. And perhaps the best part--that speech synthesis! Galaxian - This one hooks me every time. I love the look of it (even if the sprites are on the small side), and the variable player speed, thanks to analog support with either the 5200 joystick or the Trak Ball controller, is a subtle but great touch that I find myself missing when I play other versions of Galaxian. The gameplay is like if the original Galaxian arcade game played a little more like Galaga, which I find to be uniquely satisfying. Centipede - Of course this game, paired with the Trak Ball controller, is widely considered the definitive version of Centipede. And rightly so. It's certainly one of the definitive Atari 5200 titles, at any rate. Even without a Trak Ball, the regular joystick controller works very well with this game. Honorable mention has to go to Adventure II. I remember seeing it for first time at Midwest Gaming Classic '04 (!) and being just blown away by it. It was like an NES game, and to me really gave a glimpse into what the Atari 5200 system could have been had it not been abandoned so early. Adventure II has great graphics, variable and layered gameplay, different worlds to explore, and even easter eggs! The fact that it's still possibly the best and most popular post-mortem unofficial release is an incredible testament to this game (although maybe also an indictment of the 5200 development scene...). (I got a copy of Blaster several months ago that I haven't gotten around to playing yet since I haven't had time to hook up my 5200, but I'm really looking forward to it!)
  5. The problem with the single-player "practice" games that a lot of consoles had, at least from a modern perspective, is that there's no game objective. I guess they succeed in the literal sense of letting players practice their ball-and-paddle handling, but I haven't run across one that keeps a score. They only count misses. The closest I've found is the Radio Shack Color TV Scoreboard* (the one that I think is a rebranded Hanimex system; the one with the pistol/rifle), which will count the number of volleys per ball, but doesn't total them. This is where the RCA Studio II is actually really nice. Its Squash game (on the TV Arcade III cartridge) counts your hits as well as misses--up to 200, at which point the game crashes! (The manual plays it off as a feature! 😄) Regardless, these things are definitely best enjoyed with other players. (*There is another Color TV Scoreboard system from Radio Shack that is completely different, and actually quite interesting among dedicated consoles for a number of reasons...not the least of which being that a legitimate 1-player game can be eked out of its Hockey game in two-player mode! 😂)
  6. If it's like other lightgun games I've seen on dedicated games of the era, I don't know how much better it would be, unfortunately. On my Color TV Scoreboard (with the awesome modular pistol/carbine!), the targets always appear in the same place, so you can just fix your aim on the one spot on the screen and instantly pick every target off as it appears. 😕 I seem to recall that the gun games on the "regular" TV Scoreboard (an AY-3-8500 system, so dozens of others will be exactly the same) were slightly more interesting, though.
  7. Nobody said you had to play by yourself.
  8. Imagine your only source of video game entertainment was...a pong system? No programmable consoles*. No handhelds or plug-and-plays. No mobile/phone games. No PCs or computers or emulators. No flash games (do people even actually play those anymore?). Not even Video Pinball or Stunt Cycle or gray area systems like the Telstar Arcade. Just good old-fashioned ball-and-paddle sports simulations and the gun/target games that sometimes accompanied them. How long would you last before you threw in the towel and *had* to play something else? And which console would you choose? (*I'd allow the following on these conditions: Channel F--built-in Hockey/Tennis only; Studio II--TV Arcade III Tennis/Squash cartridge only.) I'd probably roll with my Super Pong Pro-Am Ten or TV Scoreboard and I could probably last three or four days. 😅
  9. I dunno...I first discovered the game in a little game shop in the early 2000s, after I already had a few dozen other titles in my collection (mostly comprised of "greatest hits" since they were obviously the easiest to find), and I fell in love with it almost immediately--after I figured out it uses the second joystick, that is! 😄 I found it charming, I guess. Just about as retro as retro gets. And I liked the variety that the difficulty switches and the Warp Drive and Lunar Lander games offered, even if they amounted to throw-aways. And it really rounded out the genre selection of that first couple handfuls of titles that started coming out in the late '70s. And still fun for "just one more game...!" here and there.
  10. Mine does the same thing. I was thinking a recap would fix it, but judging from your experience it doesn't seem that it would. 😕
  11. I have one of these Atari Corp. systems with the box but the packing materials are also missing. It must have all fit in there somehow, though!
  12. What the...? The place looks different now! That's what I get for not dropping in for a month (or however long it's been)! :P

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. DuggerVideoGames

      DuggerVideoGames

      You were asleep a long time.  Justin Timberlake is now the President of the United States.  Atari is popular again.  Ownership of Virtual Boy is punishable by death.

    3. GoldLeader

      GoldLeader

      And you "Follow" members rather than having a friends list....Also more emoticons errr emojis to misuse  🌐🎴🏤🎰🦘      :D

    4. BassGuitari

      BassGuitari

      So the term "emoticon" has finally, officially gone the way of disco dinosaurs, eh? And me with it! Next thing I know, a voluptuous purple-haired cyclops is going to tell me I've been out there for 57 years, my 11-year kid died of old age, and my new career will be delivering pizzas to our simian overlords. IT'S A MADHOUSE!!!

       

      @DuggerVideoGames: there's a joke in there about nightmares and Donald Trump, but I'll leave it to somebody else to kick that hornet's nest. :P ;)

  13. BassGuitari

    BassGuitari

  14. If 26.03.87 is a date code, these Taiwan Cooper carts were on the scene later than I imagined!
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