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About Bobbety_F

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    Space Invader
  1. I managed to get my fourteenth Patch this weekend...on Dolphin, a game I've only discovered because of my Patch Quest, and which I love. I just wish I was better at it! I'll detail the full saga of the attempt on my blog soon. Delighted to have got the 80,000 (eventually!), though:-) https://youtu.be/VlD4AR7EFes
  2. I was back on the patch quest this weekend and managed to get the score for Pitfall II. I've uploaded the video to my YouTube channel. If there's a less efficient, more inelegant example of Pitfall II play, I'd like to see it;-) I'll be blogging about my pitiful Pitfall II playthough in greater detail in due course:-) https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=QPLZ4M_ysYY
  3. I've been trying to get the patches since last May, and so far I'm twelve in, with the lastest being Freeway and Sky Jinks. Some attempts I'm having to put 'on-ice' for a while, as I'm finding them so hard! These include Enduro, Barnstorming (absolutely brutal! I'm okay for the first five barns...and then it all goes a little wibbly-wobbly!), and Beamrider. I'm thoroughly enjoying my attempts (or what I call my Patch Quest), but it may take years for me to get them all...or, indeed, any more at all! I write about my quest for the patches on my blog here, on Atariage, (here's a link to one of the patch-themed entries http://atariage.com/forums/blog/686/entry-14202-zen-and-the-art-of-playing-laser-blastand-other-philosophical-musings/ :-)), and I also gave my thoughts on my first ten conquests on YouTube channel , albeit in the guise of my youtube character Lord Fortescue! https://youtu.be/8AFbkdGtK84 The patch I'm currently focusing on is Pitfall II. By the end of the year, I might make it to the 99,000;-)
  4. Going somewhat off piste here, but as it's nearly Christmas, I thought - just this once - I'd post something non-Atari related - Lord Fortescue's Christmas Episode. Bobbety's lost Arabella's present, so he calls on his old chum, Bunty Norris, for help! I hope you like it. Normal Atari-related service will resume after the twelfth night:-)
  5. What did I say about my Blog on Seaquest quickly following my last post!? I offer instead this link to my most recent video in which I - in the guise of my YouTube character, Lord Fortescue - rank my Patch conquests so far. ‘Top ten’ videos aren’t usually my thing, but this ranking was an itch that needed scratching! And some of my placements surprised even me. Oink!, I’m looking at you;-)
  6. Well, so much for keeping up to date with my blog. Ah well, better late than never...although some may disagree;-) Pitfall! is the first of my two latest Patch conquests (worry not, my blog entry on the latter -Seaquest - will swiftly follow!) Would it be fair to say that Pitfall! is the Activision Atari game of which general videogame fans are most aware? It was certainly the only one I was certain of before finding myself on my Quest for the Activision Patches. With this in mind, I was going to save the playing of Pitfall! for my final conquest, as a kind of season finale, so to speak, but, well, I recently got a good deal on the boxed cartridge, and it just seemed to be calling out to me like a…Screaming Piha. This is a very loud jungle bird. I looked it up. I have dabbled in Pitfall! over the years. It’s a game I’ve always wanted to ‘beat’, as it were, as I knew Pitfall! has that that complete…able thing inherent to adventure games which followed in its illustrious wake. You know, Zelda…and stuff. Until the boxed cart deal, I’ve always played Pitfall! via emulator, and often on my phone, while waiting outside of shops for Mrs F, only breaking off to occasionally nod at other husbands who had also found themselves out in the cold. Sometimes not just literally. But - and I’m embarrassed to even type this - I could never really feel the pleasures of Pitfall! However, as with all games which are highly regarded but which I don’t initially like, I assumed it was just me, and so kept dabbling – outside of a haberdasher in the rain here, in the doorway of a shoe shop in the snow there, and so on. It took playing on the real hardware – again (see earlier blog) - to show me how stupid I’d been! I know, I really should know by now. With a real controller in my hands, I could sink into Pitfall!, I could feel myself fully enveloped in the adventure. I became Pitfall Harry! As you can see, though, I’m a cautious adventurer. I don’t jump until I’m as certain as I can be that I’m going to reach the rope, and I can never bring myself to jump over three crocodiles in swift, fluid movements. I instead stand on their heads and wait. And wait. And wait. And…when the crocs close their ever-so-formidable looking mouths, I finally make my move! I know that this is an approach that will cost me dearly if I ever try to get all 32 treasures, but for now, I’m just happy that it helped me get the Patch. The lesson here? If you want to feel that wonderful buzz of success, always keep your aspirations low! You can watch my Pitfall! adventure here:)
  7. This is something of a beast of a blog post. I meant to write as I went along, documenting each Activision Patch conquest shortly after it happened, but real-life kept getting in the way. This is the main reason I haven’t played along with the rest of AtariAge members on the Summer Patch Quest. While that would have been my preferred way of earning my Patches, buoyed along by the enthusiasm and camaraderie of other Patch Questers, I never know when I’m going to get any time. I’m also very slow at mastering games, and I just wouldn’t be able to keep up. I will endeavour though, to make my blog posts more bite-sized in future. Just this once, though, in order to catch up with my most recent Atari activities, I’m presenting this epic entry. Laser Blast Some time ago - the last time I blogged, in fact - AtariAger, Nathan Strum, pointed out to me that Laser Blast was an easy Patch to attain, but a boring play…and dear me, was he right. Or so I felt during my first few times trying to reach the magic 100 000 (so, I guess I didn’t find it that easy;-)), but around the 20, 0000 point of probably my fourth play through, something strange happened: the game ceased to be boring and became meditative. That’s right - I entered…The Zone! I developed a simple pattern of play. Stay at the top of the screen (as it’s by choice, it makes the later forced placement of my craft there to increase difficulty, somewhat redundant), and then, when the bases appear, move the joystick one push to the right and fire, and again…and again. Screen cleared. And that’s it. Rinse and repeat until the 100,000 (or 1000,000 if you have the time and inclination) is reached. This pattern of play, rather than dull, became soothing and enjoyable. It was, without wanting to sound pretentious, a Zen experience! I may even return for that one million score at some point. When I want to meditate for five hours. Megamania Before turning to Megamania for my seventh Patch attempt, I was aware of its accolade as 1982’s most humorous game. I can sort-of see why this was awarded, but I have to say I didn’t laugh once. This is not a bad thing – I’m not sure if games should ever make us laugh. Wouldn’t chuckling break our concentration a little? I guess the ‘most humorous game’ honour was bestowed as a result of Megamania’s somewhat eccentric enemy design, but we gamers know that we should never look upon Atari enemies lightly. What seem like quite innocent items sometimes turn out to be quite the opposite. Ignore the peril of Plaque Attack’s strawberries, for example, at your peril. So, without any further ado, here are my thoughts on the Megamania’s ‘enemy objects’. The hamburgers – these were the most satisfying to clear, which probably shouldn’t be the case, as they’re the easiest, certainly in regards to their first couple of appearances. I can’t comment on later waves of any of the enemies, as my skills never took me that far. The reason that I found the hamburgers the most satisfying, is down to the how you can take the whole lot out as they make their first trip across the screen. I mean, I didn’t actually manage to, but I felt that it wasn’t totally beyond my ability! Cookies . Taking these out on their first pass from top to bottom will, I imagine, always be beyond my ability! And the slight left to right movement is plain frustrating. Make your doughy minds up! Even thinking about the cookies now is making me sweat! Bugs . The bugs’ movements are similar enough to the hamburgers to make me love them too. Just keep all waves like this, I say - left to right. I like the bugs. Bugs are good. Radial Tyres: It’s odd how the tyres are of a very specific type, while everything else remains generic. Maybe it’s because radials supposedly have the best grip of all the tyres, and Steve Cartright may have wanted to add a dash of realism to proceedings - only a bullet will take these fellas off the road (well, you know, screen). Whatever the reason, they’re certainly speedy and I could have very well done without them, frankly. Diamonds: These are hard. I should have known this. They’re diamonds. Another inspired bit of realism! Steam Irons: I did initially think these were cats. Thinking this did not make them easier to defeat. The irons are another enemy with an unnerving attack pattern. Once I knew they were irons, I felt that they wanted to iron me. They wanted to gang-iron me! Bow ties: I’m always a little thrown by anyone wearing a bow-tie for anything other than a formal event. This makes me wary of bow-ties in general. And I was right to be here. They’re cocky, bomb-happy little twists of silk! Space dice: These are not space dice, they’re asteroids, and they’re falling on me. And I don’t have a hyperspace button. I want a hyperspace button. And that’s Megamania for you. Oink! And so we come to Oink!, a game which seems to very lowly regarded indeed. I actually really like Oink!, but I don’t know how anybody achieves anything when playing on the higher difficulty. For this, you need to move the pig close to the bottom of the screen in order to lay bricks. To me, doing so, feels like you’re deliberately tormenting the wolf, and so deserve everything you get. And it makes the game really really hard. The first time I scored the 25,000 score needed for the Patch, I was on a plane. It was the start of my summer holiday and I was playing Atari, and that’s how it should be. Obviously. “I’m in the mile-high club!” I announced to my traveling companion. “That’s not what the mile–high club is.,” she announced back, before explaining things to me. I raised a hopeful eyebrow at her. She gave a no-nonsense scowl back. I returned to Oink! I did feel that playing Oink! in the sky was a great use of my time, a belief which I imagine would only be held by a gamer well and truly lost to the cause. To everyone else, it is no doubt seen as anything but. I also recorded the run, something about which I felt very smug, until discovering later that Android doesn’t record internal sound, not a without much fiddling about with…rooting and other things I don’t really understand. So I felt smug no more. Part of me was strangely relieved, though, as using emulation just felt plain wrong. So why is this? After all, I’m perfectly happy to emulate almost everything else. I think it’s partly to do with the very slight input lag I feel (or possibly imagine) when playing Atari via Android emulation, and perhaps partly that the image is just a little too crisp. The main reason, I think, though, is because the 2600 - of all consoles that have ever been - is so tangible, so present, so solid, that when you’re not playing the real thing, it feels like you’re not playing Atari at all. You need to feel the cartridge thunk into the slot, you need to see the somewhat marvellous mess of wires snaking from behind the woodgrain, you need to feel that cold metal of the switches and to grip that joystick in your hands until the suggestion of a blister forms (maybe I hold it all wrong!). Because then, and only then, do you feel that you’re properly involved in the game. In the case of Oink!, you feel that you’re really lifting those bricks and releasing them over the gaps. You can almost feel their weight and their coarseness. Only then do you feel like you’ve played Atari today. So on my return home, bleary eyed and sunburnt, I tried Oink! again. And this time, it felt right. I managed the requisite score first time and so recorded my next run - complete with sound! Another leg of my quest was complete. Take that, Android and the fake mile-high club! As I said at the start of this post, I intend keep up to date with my future blogs, to avoid any more giant ones such this. So, every time I gain a Patch, for instance, an entry on it will swiftly follow, while the memories are still fresh in my old-man mind. That’s the plan anyway. The question is, which Patch next?
  8. Thankyou, I'll try it! Easy is fine, as I'm currently really struggling with Grand Prix!
  9. In addition to videos of my Gaming Odyssey, I am also recording my quest for the Activision patches (in virtual form, although I may try to track some of them down on eBay at some point). I had never heard of these until I happened upon Spider Fighter - which I think might just be the best single screen shooter ever made! – and, through emulation, singularly failed to reach the required score! I couldn’t let it lie, however, and - as I noted in the forums – I tried again on genuine Atari hardware, and managed to hit the requisite 40, 000 points quite quickly. No higher, just 40, 000. One day, I’ll try and hit the 50, 000 (I know, lofty ambitions;-)) This got me thinking. Why not try to get all of the patches!? I ignored the voice at the back of my head saying, ‘Because they’re hard when you have old-man reactions, you fool!’ The next obvious choice (as it was the next 2600 game in my main series), was River Raid…and dear me, that’s hard, so it’s one I’ll come back to! Likewise Enduro. I salute anyone who can reach the end of Day Five. I’m finally able to start Day Three, but am currently…resting, in order to, er, come back refreshed:) Following these failures, I the did a little research right here on AtariAge to try and find the games for which the patches are most easily attained. Ice Hockey seems to be one of them, so off I went, initially via emulation, one hopeful Saturday afternoon. It started well enough, with one or two goals scored right off the bat (or stick!). So encouraged was I, that I hit the screen-record button and restarted the game – this was going to be a piece of cake! So I played and played…and played, and lost and lost…and lost. For more than two hours I lost. Eventually I decided a break was in order… …I returned to Ice Hockey two weeks later while on holiday - via emulation, as I could only take portable technology with me, and my VCS doesn’t really fit into that category…or my suitcase. It seemed the break had helped. I was still losing, but to not quite such a humiliating de!ree. Finally, feeling relatively confident, I pressed record, an action which had previously triggered crushing defeat! And I did it. I actually did it. It was close (9 to 8 ) but hey, a win’s a win! The recording failed. I took this as a sign that I should really wait and try again on the real hardware - hooked up to a DVD recorder - which I did this past weekend, two weeks after the recording-that-wasn’t. Within twenty minutes, I won 14 to 6, and it’s an achievement of which I am very proud…and still slightly shockedJ So now I need to think about which patch to try for next. Are any other patches are considered ‘easy’? Any suggestions from the AtariAge cognoscenti will be very gratefully received and I promise to regale (!) you all with the story of my path to...ahem…glory! Here’s the video – just imagine my breath being very firmy held during the final minute! Until next time… Bobbety
  10. Bobbety_F


    Aplologies for my delayed response - it's been a crazy-busy week! Thankyou so much for taking the time to comment. I'm really pleased that you like that I subtitle my videos, and that they help you. Knowing that they are appreciated really does make creating them worthwhile, and you are the first person to give me feedback about them! I would also like to thank you for setting out so clearly, the nuances of hearing-impairment, something - I'm embarrassed to admit - I knew little about before. All but two of my videos (Track and Field and Resident Evil 7) are now subtited and I hope to get to these very soon. Thanks again:) Bobbety.
  11. A really interesting interview - thank you! And it would be fascinating to get Garry's story of the crash sometime:)
  12. Bobbety_F


    It wasn't long after creating my first video, that I decided to add subtitles. This was for three main reasons. Firstly, I think it clarifies the script anywhere my diction is unclear. Secondly, it should help those for whom English is not a first language to know what's going on! Thirdly, I just like to tidy everything up, and nicking and tucking my script to match what I actually end up saying, scratches that itch nicely! So, with all that said (and for anyone who's actually interested;-), here's my most recent subtitled-up video - River Raid:-)
  13. In December 2016, after being inspired by several YouTube channels, I decided to have a go at creating one myself. My initial idea - using the fictional character of Lord Fortescue - was to replay games from my youth. I grew up, and still live, in the UK, and so most games I played were on what we used to call 'micro-computers'! These included Sinclair's ZX Spectrum, Acorn's BBC, Dragon Data's Dragon range, etc. It wasn't long, however, before my attention started to wander to all of the other games I've played on so many other systems, and my initial focus seemed far too narrow. One system in particlar kept popping into my head....the Atari 2600! This was a console I never owned but always wanted. The problem was how expensive the games were compared to games for the micro computers - a Spectrum game was typically £5.00, compared to around £30 - 40 for an Atari cartridge! That said, one rich (!) friend of mine did have the system, with (in addition to Combat), Space Invaders and Pacman...and we played the heck out of them! With the creation of my channel, it seemed the perfect time to investigate the system...so I did, initially via emulation, but then by investing in the real thing, and I have been steadily growing my game collection. This has meant that my odyssey has seen a fair number of Atari games played so far, and I have had a wonderful time with all of them. I would like to use this blog to share thoughts on my latest games played, and link to the latest video too, should anyone want to have a look. I love - and am always very grateful for - feedback, and for Atari games there is nowhere better to get it than Atari Age! So, without any further ado, then, here's some of my thoughts so far. From reading around I discovered that the Activision games are - with the occasional exception - very well-regarded. Emulation allowed me to confirm that they are fantastic. It's almost impossible to believe that these games are playing on the same hardware as some of the games published by Atari themselves. The first game I played on my channel was Spider Fighter, and I consider this one of the best shooters I've ever played. I'm not so good at it, but that's beside the point;-) Then came Freeway, which in two-player mode is a real blast. River Raid is a game I could play forever. I probably wouldn't get any better at it, but I could still play it forever! My latest game is Enduro. LIke most of the Activision titles I've played, the gameplay for Enduro is simple enough - the simplicity of the objectives is a huge part of the appeal for me. Mastering the challange is a real, well...challenge! I've put a few hours into this now, and just cannot get beyond day three. At no point during play, have I ever wanted to throw my joystick down in frustration, though - I know It's always my fault, not the game's. I read that Todd Rogers has reached Day 300, and I can barely even imagine how difficult that must be, and how many hours he must have put into the game. Respect is due! I made the decision very early on that I wouldn't stick with the standard commentary for my videos - there are already plenty of wonderful YouTube videos like that. Instead, my videos feature my fictional creation, Lord Fortescue, his wife Arabella, best friend Bunty Norris and, occasionally, his cat, Winston. The videos are probaby best described as 'an alternative take on...' I hope you enjoy them, and please let me know what you think:)
  14. I've finally reached 40, 000 on Spider Fighter (unemulated), and recorded it for posterity:-) https://youtu.be/BiTRpyfJb0E
  15. Thanks for the suggestions, guys:-) I'll look into the analogue TV USB grabber first...while I save up the cash for a Framemeister. Those things are 'Crazy Money!' as they used to say in Crazy Taxi
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