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About DoctorSpuds

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  • Birthday 07/24/1998

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  • Custom Status
    I like potatoes
  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    The Funny Farm, Wisconsin
  • Interests
    I write reviews for the good people of the forum, I also make music once in a blue moon.
  • Currently Playing
    All sorts of things
  • Playing Next
    I don't know. I'm not a psychic, you tell me...

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  1. Yeah. I can Google my username and pictures from my blog and my galleries will show up in the image results. Everything right down to my profile picture/icon are seen by Google, even retweeted images are shown. Hell even images that are related to thinks I've liked on Twitter are shown, you can't hide from Google.
  2. Okay so… When it comes to video games, or ideas in general, Original doesn’t always mean good. Sometimes it’s down to the execution of said idea, or the idea was just stupid in the first place. The realm, pertaining to gaming, where you see this most often in with game controllers, we’ve all seen some strange homunculus creature in the hands of some poor child who thinks they’re just bad at the game, but it also happens with games as well. Back when video games were a new media anything was possible and almost every genre was explored to some extent, even if the hardware simply couldn’t accommodate the game it was forced to run. This lead to some amazing problem solving, especially with the usage of fractals to run smooth playing 3D games almost a decade before true 3D rendered games were even a thing. But we’re not looking at the good today, which would be too predictable, so instead we’re looking at the bad. Oddly enough the ‘bad’ for today also pertains to 3D and how it was shoehorned into game genres where it simply wouldn’t work and that brings me to the original and yet terrible Wall Ball by Avalon Hill. From a graphical standpoint the game is quite nice. You are presented with a fairly minimalistic but stylish game screen. At the top and bottom of the screen are a series of brown and cyan rectangles that gradually get smaller and thinner and lighter as they approach the rear wall. The side walls are just left black which is alright as it gives a good amount of contrast with the paddle and ball for ease of play. The rear wall is a deep blue which also contrasts well with the ball and paddle and actually makes the whole scene look really nice. If nothing else I will concede that Wall Ball is a very pretty game albeit not a particularly detailed one. At the very top of the screen you’ll see your standard scoring information, levels, and balls left, it’s very understated and doesn’t interfere with the game in any way, which should be a given for any score. Will the sounds be as stylish as the graphics? I somehow doubt it but let’s check anyway. The sounds are awful in Wall Ball, mainly because it has very few of them and the few that it does have are fairly terrible. All you’ll be hearing is a series of small chirps when the ball hits the walls and paddle as well as a terrible buzz when you miss a ball, which happens quite frequently as we’ll see an a little bit. Seriously, all you get are chirps, buzzes, and clangs, the stereotypical 2600 soundtrack. Alright let’s just get on with the travesty that is the gameplay. Have you ever played Super Glove Ball? The Pack-in game for the miserable Power Glove is basically a rip-off of Wall Ball. 3D Breakout is all that this game is; you move a rectangle around the screen and hit a ball back and forth between yourself and the back wall and that’s pretty much it, no power-ups not bonuses, just this forever. A game like this does have potential as long as it’s executed properly, and if you read the intro paragraph for this review then you’ll know that Wall Ball was not. The scaling for the ball is horrendously choppy, and if you thought that Apollo’s Racquetball had too many indicators for the balls position then you’ll love Wall Ball because it has no indicators whatsoever. You just have to eyeball it and hope that you hit it, and that’s really hard to do when the ball moves and scales so incredibly choppily. To put into perspective just how hard it is to play this game you get 99 extra balls, on top of the one you start with that’s 100 attempts, has there ever been a game where the player is given 99 lives as standard? Because I think this might be the only one. I could go into the different difficulties, but I won’t because the starting difficulty is nearly unplayable, all you get are smaller paddles, faster balls, and fewer balls, and you can’t select your difficulty you have to wait for the game to automatically select it for you so if you miss it hit reset. Wall Ball sucks, there’s no other easier way of putting it it’s just horrible, and coupled with the fact that you have to play it with a joystick makes it even worse. Unfortunately this is par for the course with Avalon Hill games, they were original and flashy but an absolute chore/bore to play, they just aren’t fun. If you’re determined to get a copy of this game for yourself then expect to pay quite a bit for even a loose copy. Loose copies hover around 30 dollars while boxed copies vary depending on condition but most are set at 100 dollars, there’s actually a NIB copy for 500 dollars if you want yours minty fresh but I get the feeling you aren’t insane. Yep, if the review didn’t already scream it, Wall Ball gets sent to the Collector’s Zone, it just sucks.
  3. Okay USPS ya bastards. The package shipped From Madison, I live IN Madison, why is it in Oshkosh 92 miles away when you could have left it in the post office overnight instead of sending it to Milwaukee and then sending it to Oshkosh and then sending it to me in Madison where myself and the guy who shipped it live!?! Riddle me that!! 

    1. Show previous comments  7 more
    2. GoldLeader


      I don't think I'm supposed to tell this trade secret, but...OK...I'll tell ya,..Jus don't go blabbing it all over, OK?   Every Post Office in the country and 92% of music stores have big guy named Roy in the back...You want answers,  Ya gotta get'em from Roy.

    3. thanatos


      They need to get the money's worth out of the postage paid?

    4. DoctorSpuds


      I figured it out! 

      It says guaranteed delivery on Tuesday July 16

      They had to pad out the delivery time so they just sent it somewhere else for a day to meet, instead of beat, that deadline. I mean, there's no way that they could have delivered it early, that would be preposterous.

  4. Alright so I’ve decided that I’m going to start a new, very large project. After the success I had when putting up my Ebook here on the forum I have decided that I will compile ALL of my reviews into one massive Ebook. Unlike with my previous Ebook, which just had 2600 games, I will be including reviews for everything. I will also be including write ups for each console as well to act as an introduction for each section of the book which will hopefully propel me over the one million character mark. This will be a very long process as my ‘master document’, that holds every review I’ve done is currently sitting at 704 pages with 206,002 words, double spaced 12pt Calibri font. I will be gathering new Hi-res images for each game, and in some cases finishing/starting non-reviews like what I did with Dig Dug. Many Older reviews will be rewritten as well as they just aren’t quite up to snuff with my recent reviews. I have a question for you though. If I were to put this up on Amazon using their publishing service, would you guys buy it? I’m thinking about putting it up for $1.99 simply because it’s going to be so long and have so much work put into it. Because of this my output might nosedive for a long while as I’ll be spending most of my time editing, and rereading everything, as well as writing whole new reviews exclusive to the book. For the sake of convenience I will be using my 101 Reviews book as a template to start out with so there might be a few familiar sights in the new book. Wish me luck, this is gonna take a while!
  5. It is very rare, in fact I daresay it has only happened once, where a game comes out that entirely kills the previous generation of games/consoles. In fact it only could happen once, and only in a market dominated by a single game… Pong. 1972-1977 was the age of Pong and Atari and Magnavox were, of course, at the forefront of it with oodles of copycats trailing behind. As 1977 rolled around though the public’s interest in Pong had no doubt waned considerably and as console manufacturers dumped their stock the market simply filled with obsolete hardware that nobody wanted since they already had a Pong console. Enter Atari stage left with their revolutionary VCS with interchangeable cartridges and new super powerful hardware (citation needed) that revitalized the games market for another couple of years until the same thing happened again. But among the initial lineup of the VCS there was a game that paid homage to Atari’s roots whilst blowing everything Pong that came previously out of the water. Video Olympics is the quintessential Pong game and the only one that anybody will ever need since everything contained in the tiny 2K cartridge meets and surpasses the abilities of even the most advanced Pong consoles from the 70’s. Alright so I’m going to do what I usually do when I review the Launch titles: Review the graphics and sounds and then do a quick write-up of all the different game modes. Graphics are Pong and the sounds are Pong, let’s get the game modes. Games 1-8: Pong® This is your standard game of Pong® with a few additions, since the Paddle® controllers have an action button on them Atari decided to capitalize by implementing a speed-up and Whammy® (there are going to be a lot of ®’s) feature. The speed is self explanatory but Whammy® simply gives your return shot a sharper angle. Sadly the default mode of Pong® is the only version that has single player even though the other versions could have easily had it implemented as well. Four player versions are available with the additional players either playing in the center of the playfield or on the same line as players one and two. It’s Pong® you really can’t go wrong. Games 9-12: Super Pong® It’s basically just Pong® again but each player controls two paddles instead of one. It’s not very super and really just feels like filler to add more game variations to the cartridge. Games 13-18: Soccer This is a staple of many Pong® consoles from the 70’s. Basically they just added some walls to the edges of the screen and left a hole in the center to score through; it’s primitive but very effective as you now have to focus on aiming towards the goal rather than just getting the ball past your opponent. All the same variations are here, two and four player with speed and Whammy® variations available with the final variation, game 18, introducing the catch mechanic. The catch mechanic injects even more strategy to the game as you can now hold on to the ball to aim your shot by hitting the action button when the ball hits the paddle, a very neat original idea to be sure. Games 19-22: Foozpong® Imagine the soccer mode but you have a crap ton of paddles on the screen and you have Foozpong®, if you though two player looked busy then wait till you see four player. If you want frantic then look no further, also if you want an unmitigated clusterfuck of not knowing what is going on and then eventually someone scores then this is the right mode for you. Atari decided to ditch the Whammy® variations for this on and vied to only include speed and catch, which is fair enough. Games 23-32: Hockey Oh yeah, this is some good stuff. Instead of guarding the edges of the screen like in every Pong® game ever, in hockey you protect a goal a small ways into the screen that is guarded on three sides. This is probably the first Pong® game where the ball can go behind the paddle and not score. With the added protection of horizontal bits to keep you from dunking the ball above or below your opponent you must now perfect your aim more than ever. This game has the most variations but they are mostly just more paddles in more places to make things even more hectic and when you throw four player in there things do tend to get a bit wild. Personally I’d stick with the standard two player, two paddle variation. Games 33-34: Quadrapong® It is as the name says; four players only and each of you are protecting your side of the screen, up, down, left, and right. It is simply madness and is probably the most creative version of Pong® to date. Games 35-38: Handball This is another staple from the old Pong® consoles. You and your opponent alternately bounce the ball off of a wall for eternity until someone misses, but unlike with the old Pong® consoles you can now do it with four players. I find this game mode to be boring no matter what I play it on, it lacks the fun of a normal game of Pong® and it lacks the strategy of the game modes that have come previously, I would recommend skipping this one. Games 39-42: Volleyball Behold… Physics. Instead of bouncing around in a straight line, in Volleyball the ball bounces in an arc, something never before seen in Pong®. Basically you and your opponent bounce the ball over a central wall/net and when you miss your opponent gets a point. The four player in this mode is rather lacking as the third and fourth player are just small paddles at the top of the net and don’t really add a whole lot to the overall game. Also with this introduction of physics a new mechanic has been added, jumping®. By pressing the action button your paddle will teleport to the top of the net to spike the ball, this is presumably meant to take your opponent off guard and increase your likelihood of scoring. Overall this is a very fun mode even if the ball physics, or lack thereof, take a little bit of time to get used to. Games 43-50: Basketball Imagine the same physics as Volleyball but instead of making the ball hit the ground you have to get it into a goal near the top of the screen. In this game you can allow the ball to bounce around freely and all you have to do is bounce it into the net, it will register as a point if you hit the top or sides, not the bottom. Honestly the game is just a big free-for-all as you just bounce the ball around hoping to score and things aren’t helped with each player’s paddle being relegated to one half of the screen. Overall this isn’t as fun as Volleyball as much of it is spent waiting for the ball to decide to bounce high enough to get into the net otherwise you have very little control over the situation. You do have access to the speed Whammy® and Jump functions though so things won’t get will stay fairly fresh even if you’re just watching a square bounce around the screen. Overall Video Olympics is a wildly varied Pong® based experience that is full of old classics and original ideas, and is most definitely worth picking up. Prices vary wildly depending on which version you’re trying to buy as there are several to choose from. If you want the 1977 gatefold release it will cost you around 8.50 for a loose cart and as much as 80 dollars (!!!) for a boxed copy, I got lucky and bought mine for a reasonable (?) 35, which considering the other prices isn’t all that bad. The standard release, both text and picture label, got for at least 5 dollars loose and between 8 and 80 dollars for boxed copies of varying quality. The Sears version Pong® Sports is slightly rarer than either of the Atari versions but the prices are astronomically higher, the cheapest loose copy is 13 dollars and the cheapest boxed copy is 28.50. There is also a picture label variant for Pong Sports but it is rather uncommon and there are none listed on Ebay with none sold either so I can’t give you a solid price. If you love Pong® then you owe it to yourself to buy and play this game, there is nothing quite like it.
  6. So I just watched 'Bride of the Monster' directed by Ed Wood and y'know what?.. It ain't half bad actually. I've definitely seen much, much worse.

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. GoldLeader


      In general, I also like M. Night.  (Ducks!)  Though yes there is a part of me that automatically finds the flaw(s) in his movies while I watch them...I guess I think he is at least trying something different and I also admire imagination, even when it goes awry haha...

    3. Swami


      I too loved the concepts he had for his movies. 

    4. AtariNerd


      I think part of it is, is that they are usually shown open-frame, which, for Plan 9 at least, wasn't his intent. He wanted that one shown in wide-screen, with fair cropping on the top and bottom, probably with his notes to the specifics, now lost. So, yes, some of the duff set-pieces and technical faults, often opined about, might have been cropped out, making it just a little more believable. The performances are often frighteningly competent, given how few takes were actually done. There must have been some rehearsal..  

  7. I'm offering free downloads for my Ebook 101 Reviews for the Atari 2600: the Good, the Bad, and the wierd. Come and get it!



  8. It doesn't have an ISBN so it technically isn't a salable Ebook. If I did get an ISBN then I could sell it on Google or Kindle, but the cost of getting a single ISBN almost isn't worth it.
  9. It is generally understood that many 2600 game simply don’t hold up, especially the earlier ones. Usually this was due to the fact that these were the first of their kind ever released on home console and the console itself was a very limiting factor. I initially wasn’t even going to review this game because I mainly try to steer clear of sports games on the 2600, usually because they’re nearly impossible to play and just aren’t that much fun, and I don’t like sports games in general. The only reason I’m looking at this particular game today is because a co-worker of mine told me they played it religiously on their hand-me-down Atari from their uncle. What game did this poor person play religiously as a misguided child? Well there can be no other… Home Run! Yeah when she told me that I cringed internally. There is so little to this game that I can’t bring myself to give it more than one paragraph so here goes. The field is made up of four squares that take up a total of a quarter of the screen the rest it taken up with empty green space and the scoring info at the top which details outs, runs, strikes, and balls, the usual stuff. You’ll immediately note that the field is incredibly empty with there being only the pitcher and the guy at bat, yes the field is so small and the players so large that having more than one would leave no room for movement. Frankly I wouldn’t even classify this as baseball since all you do is catch the ball when it is hit and go run over the guy and he’s out, they’re not out when you catch the ball because that would make the game unfair since you’re enormous, you have to go touch them for them to be out. The pitching is alright, you can steer the ball and it differentiates between balls and strikes fairly accurately, you can even hit the batter and he’ll automatically go to first. Hitting is a bit different than you’d expect, you don’t press the button to bat you waggle the joystick, which is far less responsive than just pressing the button. To get your runner to stop at a base so they don’t get tagged just press the action button before they reach the base. Baseball had to start somewhere, and here it is crammed into a tiny 2K cart. Even though it was beaten to the punch by both the Studio II and Channel F which had baseball games released in ‘77 and even the Odyssey2’s version which came out the same year, this was still the version that most people played. At the time this might have been acceptable but when Super Challenge and RealSports baseball hit the scene this game should have been left behind, and when Pete Rose Baseball finally rolled on the scene as the definitive baseball game on the 2600 Home Run should have been forgotten to the annals of history. If you really need a copy of Home Run, or Baseball as the Sears version calls it, it will cost you four dollars on the low end for a loose copy and nine for one CIB. If you want the Sears version it’ll cost you six dollars for a loose copy on the low end and eighteen for a CIB copy, which if you ask me is a bit too much. Only buy this if you need to complete your collection otherwise don’t bother, even though we already have several copies floating around anyway.
  10. DoctorSpuds

    My Collection

    Pics of games that are currently in my collection, I'm boring like that. If you see A game you like or played back in the 80's leave a comment. approximately 90% of these games were found in the wild. These are the results of a year or two searching. Most of the games are fairly common but there's a few rarities in there. Everybody should do this for insurance reasons.
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