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About Sharkham

  • Rank
    Star Raider
  • Birthday 06/09/1995

Profile Information

  • Custom Status
    Keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold!
  • Gender
  • Location
    Skeleton Hell
  • Interests
    Horror movies, retro games, and the everything Frankenstein. I also cook a lot.
  • Currently Playing
    Sweet Home (NES), aka the 8-Bit granddaddy of Resident Evil and puzzle/exploration based survival horror in general.
  • Playing Next
    If whatever I'm currently playing isn't Asteroids, then I'm probably playing Asteroids next.
  1. I haven't heard of Tunnel Runner before this, and now I'm super interested. Reminds me a lot of 3D Monster Maze.
  2. Just for clarification: Are all three games (Tron, Ghostbusters, RotJ) being used for the HSC this week? Are they three separate scoreboards? Is Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - Death Star Battle the only game being used for the prize contest?
  3. I figure that the problems with the Genesis I got may have been because it was aftermarket. I assume I wouldn't have any problems with a first-party, but I'm not able to get one right now. I went back to my shop today and traded it in for this, the Suncom Tac-3. It works - all the directions work and so do all the buttons - and it's not too stiff. I have to wrench it a little bit, but that's just for leverage, not just to illicit a response. Worked great with all my games and the buttons reliably quickly from just a tap; it looks like I finally have a controller I can count on. My only complaint is that its cube shape makes it a little uncomfortable to hold, and the flightstick-style grip really wears on my wielding wrist after a while, especially in a game with lots of directional movement. I think I'll use it in tandem with my palm-sized Powerstick, which has the advantage of comfort and even though it can't do diagonal movement, that's hardly an issue in games like Dark Cavern and Space Invaders.
  4. Oh dang, I've been usurped twice now! Maybe I can sit down before Sunday night and try to reclaim my place And I definitely feel that sentiment, when I first tried Mr. Do's Castle I approached it like an action game, trying to take out the unicorns as aggressively as possible while bashing every block I could. But it definitely is much more of a puzzle game; there's a lot of strategy involved in not only luring the unicorns into traps, but in deciding which bricks to bash and when. It's tempting to have a scorched earth policy and break all the blocks on your way up the castle, but then you'll quickly find yourself without an escape route as the unicorns close in! It reminds me of Amidar, in a way, where the AI seems unbeatable until you really get a grasp on how they work, and then how to systematically avoid and outwit the enemies.
  5. I was really frustrated with it at first, but now I feel like I've gotten a lot more comfortable with the game. The hardest part about defeating the Unicorns is how pixel perfect you have to be to knock down a brick. A hair too close and it won't do anything, and that can really mess you up in a close chase. Not the best I've played on Atari, but I'd be lying if I said its addictive nature hasn't trapped me in its snares.
  6. Ahh, gotcha. Thank you! Then I'll throw out my second guess: Home Run! And may I also update my score...talk about improvement! I only got done in by an accidentally flipped ladder. 16,420 46,460
  7. Wild guess: Haunted House? (Also, I'm not allowed to guess any more than once, right?)
  8. Yea, I don't know what they're thinking. Box collectors are an adamant bunch, though. I respect the devotion and completeness of it (and plus, a lot of old boxes are really cool) but I can't imagine myself making the expenditure. It's just that with my recent luck of malfunctioning controllers, I'm not sure if I want to risk buying one online. Call me anxious (because I am) but I'm always nervous about online returns. I'd rather be able to go back to a brick-and-mortar store with the receipt in hand than hope the internet gives me a refund.
  9. So I went to my local shop and turns out that their joysticks were a lot more expensive than last I checked; I think their cheaper, out-of-the-box models got copped because their in-the-box WICO Command Control (bat handle) was fifty dollars. Good for a collector, but I'm indifferent as to whether my controller comes with vintage cardboard or not, so I opted for a Sega Genesis controller instead. One ugly truth that I feel like I'm starting to realize about Atari games is that the whole concept of a "joystick" as a home console controller is very dated and just plain unintuitive. There are many attempts that make valiant efforts at an ergonomic, comfortable, and intuitive handheld joystick, but the successes are few and far between compared to the abundance of overly stiff, uncomfortable, or unresponsive joystick controllers. Without a big, sturdy surface to be mounted on - i.e. an arcade cabinet - joysticks are just too difficult to use than is practical. A gamepad is just the better and more comfortable choice. It's not that I think I'll stop searching for a quality joystick - if I ever see one while I have money to burn, I'll jump on it - but so far everything in my price range just can't hold up to the ubiquity of a gamepad, and I don't feel too bad about playing Atari the "inauthentic" way, although I feel like Asteroids and Missile Command in particular do feel better with a joystick. What's weird, though, is that this Genesis controller has two bizarre bugs, so my search for a controller that just works the way it should continues. Its first bug is that occasionally and unpredictably, is that my screen will be drenched with static whenever the fire button is pressed. The other glitch - also unpredictable - is that every input on the controller will cease to respond except for up and down, so I can move vertically but nothing else when that happens. The first glitch always precedes the second, but the second has happened on its own several times so far. The controller is a Hyperkin GN6 aftermarket, if anyone has any experience with that. I was hoping to get an authentic first party controller but I figured the cheaper third party one would work fine...figures.
  10. 16,420 I've been playing on the Stella emulator, but now I'm adamant about getting myself a physical copy. This is also my first time participating in the HSC...I'm pretty stoked! This is without a doubt the single most frustrating Atari game I have ever played...and yet, no matter how many times I let leak an expletive while reaching for that Reset switch after a death so stupid it'd taint the rest of my run, I keep playing it over and over and over. At first, I was confused, but thank goodness for AtariAge's manual scans. The game also got a lot easier once I began to understand the AI a bit better - if they're rebuilding bricks, they'll keep building until the whole platform is rebuilt, and they'll never U-turn in the middle of a platform. I feel like patience is the ultimate virtue in this game, and yet I keep getting greedy and falling into the same traps, doing myself in way too early by destroying my escape options...and I keep forgetting that you can't climb a ladder if you destroy the brick beneath it! I'm also getting very frustrated at the controls, which apparently require pixel-perfect precision. So many times I've lost a life because I'd try and bash a brick at a very crucial moment to buy myself some time while being chased - a quick "break and bolt," if you will - and that kind of maneuver requires hammering and turning around and peeling out of there as fast as possible. But alas! I'd try to break the brick, but because Mr. Do's foot was a half-pixel too close to the brick, the hammer doesn't swing, the unicorn catches up, and I'm toast. I also feel like I'm having an extraordinary amount of trouble getting off of the ladders sometimes... I mean, it's a great, fun, and addicting game, and I'm hoping I'll get better the more I play it. Fortunately, my expletives are the kind of "happy angry" where I'm mostly amused at the AI's ability to screw me when I've dug my own grave. It's the kind of indignation that keeps bringing you back, rather than the kind that makes you throw it away.
  11. I know that the 2600 homebrew scene is very much alive and productive, and a few various ones have caught my eye in particular (like Skeleton+, and Medieval Mayhem, which it appears you've also made!) but haven't had the chance to dive into the scene in full yet...but Space Rocks looks absolutely fantastic. The more chaotic asteroid patterns seem like a fantastic change by itself, but then boom, there's a thousand other bells and whistles, too. Once I actually get enough cash on me to really be able to support the scene, I really do plan on getting some cool homebrew cartridges. Thanks for the clue-in on Space Rocks! I hardly thought that Asteroids could get even better.
  12. Asteroids is by far my favorite game to play on my Atari 2600, in that I can easily let it eat huge chunks of my time without getting bored. There's something so simplistically exciting about all those narrow escapes, those across-the-screen snipes, and evading those crafty UFOs. There's three different power-ups to use in Asteroids, and I was wondering which power-up you guys may prefer the most. When going for the ultimate challenge, it's implied a little bit that you'll go in with nothing but your wits, but let's say you're playing for funsies or just for more variety - what's your pick? The Flip, the Hyperspace Warp, or the Shield? My personal go-to is the Flip - being able to pull a quick u-turn is invaluable in situations when asteroids or UFOs have sneaked onto your six. Hyperspace has a habit of dropping me off in the worst possible place, and the Shield almost feels too easy, even with the two second self-destruct switch. The thing about these features, though, is that I often forget that I have them, so even with the Flip equipped I find myself manually turning around.
  13. I've always thought that the low-poly look of PS1, N64, etc. was extra creepy...it hits this sweet spot of "detailed enough" and "vague enough" to strike fear into your heart while also forcing you to use your imagination for the grisly nitty-gritty. It also makes every environment look artificial and unnatural, which is always enough to get you creeped out.
  14. I remember that my favorite cheat code that a lot of games would have was "Big Head Mode," which despite being such a simple little thing, was always hilarious. It's a shame that with cheat codes kind of falling out of vogue, cool stuff like that - and other codes like low gravity modes - disappeared, too. Although I do remember Batman: Arkham City having a very deeply hidden big head mode. Thank goodness someone in the studio remembered how much fun it is.
  15. I'll admit to being a bit of a cheater for some games I play on an emulator, occasionally stooping to Save State scumming to get through tricky parts. But in games where I'm not trying to prove anything about my skill, I'd much rather just skip the frustration and get on with the game than get held back forever by a really hard part. In the words of a wise man, video games that send you all the way back to the beginning with a game over are only doing you a disservice, because if you keep dying on a hard part later in the game, it's that part you need the most practice with to get through. Shouldn't a game's fair challenge come from its level design, not from having to play those levels over and over? The player's ability and frequency to save their progress is a conscious design decision in how difficult a game is...but it can often be a very stupid decision that confuses pointlessly frustrating the player with actually challenging them. However, playing games with Save States on an emulator always does make me yearn to play the real thing authentically on cartridge, where I won't have that kind of crutch to lean on. There's a lot more intensity there, definitely, if I want to really "conquer" a game (if that makes sense). But if I'm just trying to experience a game, then yeah, emulators and their tools are very helpful.
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