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Found 10 results

  1. For those who don't know, Heavyweight Champ is a 1976 boxing game released by Sega and is considered to be the first fighting game ever made, but unfortunately it didn't do to well in the arcades and fell into obscurity when the 1987 remake came out. All that exists of the game now is a Japanese game flyer and a recent picture of a cabinet which sadly looks like this: Do any of you guy and gals on Atariage know about this or by some chance have any memories of this game? EDIT: I forgot to add the lost media wiki post [url="https://www.lostmediawiki.com/Heavyweight_Champ_(lost_SEGA_arcade_boxing_game;_1976)"
  2. When my camera is back from "vacation" I'll take some pics and post them. August 22 EDIT: My camera is back here are the promised pics. The Odyssey 400 is three, three, three games in one console! Smash, Tennis and Hockey. This unit feels like it's going backwards from the Odyssey 300. Once again, there are three knob controllers for each person (like the Odyssey 100). Once again, each player has to control the trajectory of the ball after it deflects from their paddle. Different from the 100, this console has AUTOMATIC SERVES (a statement which the manual proudly proclaims in all caps.) which could be considered a step up if one felt the urge to play the system long enough to actually enjoy the all-capped luxury. I wish I could tell you a thrilling story about this unit. Regretfully, after taking it out and seeing what was pretty much an Odyssey 300 with Odyssey 100 controls in an Odyssey 200 colored casing, we just couldn't generate too much excitement for it. I can imagine that for most home videogame players in 1976, you either had one system or you didn't have any. I can't fathom anybody owning and keeping hooked up more than one of these at any given time. Actually, it would be pretty funny if there had been message boards, blogs and forums from that period of the hobby. Everyone talking about how their Atari PONG pWnz Odyssey 300, or vice versa. Something . . . odd . . . about the 400 is the option for "4 player" games. They are really more appropriately called "4 paddle" games. For the hockey game and for the tennis game, a second paddle is added. The second paddle imitates the vertical movement of the primary paddle. It performs this mimicry at a slow, almost deliberated pace, as if it is from a universe with a different inertial setting. All in all. Big yawns. As is this entry. I'm so tired from traveling. I need a vacation after my vacation. Tomorrow, I'll take out my National Instruments Adversary. It's more fun. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  3. Guest

    1976 Dawn of the Cartridge Age!

    Actually, it wasn't until August 1976 that the Fairchild Video Entertainment System came into existence. So we've got some other ground to cover until then. First of all, let's list the dedicated PONG machines: In the PBS version of this blog, which is now airing in a few select viewing areas, this scene occurs in episode four. I start reciting the list of different PONG systems available during the great PONG Rush of 1976. Every time I say the name of another dedicated PONG machine, it pops into view among the others. (all done with the magic of TV Special FX!) It starts out nice and orderly, but by the time I'm up to the 12th unit or so, they've started piling up in front of me. They eventually block the camera completely. I try to recite the list faster and louder, to make myself heard over the clamorous ponging of the tide of consoles, but just I can't keep up. My voice gets high and fast like Alvin, Simon or Theodore as the appearance of each new system accelerates. Then, suddenly, the PONG Tower collapses, crushing me and wrinkling my polyester leisure suit. Stage hands come in and dig me out. The last shot of the episode is my broken unconscious body being med-evac'd off the roof of the studio, a PONG controller still in my limp, lifeless hand. See, the PONG controller in my hand represents my unwillingness to let go of the past. PBS viewers love that kind of crap. That Emmy is so going to be mine. They'd have to clone Carl Sagan to do a better documentary on videogames. So, here's how the list starts . . . Atari PONG - Somewhere in 1976 Coleco Telstar - June 1976 Magnavox Odyssey 300 - Somewhere in 1976 (played it!) Magnavox Odyssey 400 - Ditto (have it!) Magnavox Odyssey 500 - Ditto National Semiconductor Adversary - Sometime in 1976 (have it!) Sears Speedway IV Sears Super PongAtari Super Pong and a gaggle of others. All PONG playing variants. While I AM interested in each of the game variants, I'm not interested in seeing them duplicated time and time again across each machine. I'll talk about the three consoles with which I've had experience (noted above) and then I'm movin' on. The truly important thing to happen in 1976 was, of course, the birth of the programmable home videogame console.(Music Cue: Also Sprach Zarathustra) The Fairchild VES, a.k.a The Fairchild Channel F!!! Three cartridges came out for it in 1976, best known as Cart 1, Cart 2 and Cart 3. There was also two games built-in to the system, Tennis and Hockey, so even if you had nothing . . . you had something! I'll slog through the PONG machines which I do have, take a 10 day vacation in Sunny Southeastern Pennsylvania, and talk about the Channel F stuff when I get back. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  4. Guest

    Der Wustenfuchs

    Videocart-2 for the VES is perplexing. It contains two games: Desert Fox and Shooting Gallery. But wait, didn't Videocart-1 also contain Shooting Gallery? Is this a sequel? No, it's the same damn Shooting Gallery. Yesterday, I rated it a "Good". Today I'm going to rate it a "Good, WTF?" The other game is Desert Fox. I consider Desert Fox a lame attempt at imitating the Tank arcade games which had opened up new possibilities in the arcade market by stepping away from the sea of Pong clones and offering something original. Each player controls a Tank with which s/he must shoot at the other player's Tank. The person who scores the most hits during the alloted time period wins the game. Oh, and since the name is Desert Fox, let's assume it take place in the Desert, a desert with green plus-shaped mines. Each Tank has a "bunker" behind which you can be killed, or just hide, if your opponent isn't smart enough to realize that they can simply move to the other side of the screen and kill you. Pictured above: The blue tank loses a point to the green tank by walking stupidly into a mine for purposes of an action-filled screenshot. Actually, for you historians, "Desert Fox" is an obvious reference to Erwin Rommel, who would probably have a good laugh over such a simple tank game being named in tribute to him. If you're at all curious, check out this essay about Erwin Rommel. This game uses the tri-functionality of the VES's control stick. You move the tank around the field of play using the joystick function. You rotate the tank using the twist function. You fire by pushing down on the plunger. Again, let me state, I do like these controllers, they're the best thing about this system! Despite the controllers, there are deficiencies within the design. There is no feeling of the Tanks having any sort of inertia, any sort of "there"-ness. They move in whatever direction you want to move them, regardless of their orientation. This was an early example of "strafing", I guess. The tanks produce a "clicking" noise as they move. This isn't the least bit unannoying nor is it not uneffective at giving one the sense that they are moving about a huge machine of metal and death. That last sentence was deliberately written so that you'd have to think hard to make it through the knot of double negatives. I found a way to cheat. If your enemy is hiding behind their bunker, fire at the horizontal line (of their bunker) just next to the point at which it intersects the vertical line (of their bunker). The shot goes right through and hits them. Yowza! Try that on your really groovy friends to take them down a notch! ("I got you!", "You couldn't have, I was behind my shield!", "Doesn't matter, I have 'shield piercing' bullets!", "You're a cheater!", "I CAN'T cheat! It's computer controlled!" . . . ) Well, now I'm all worn out. Must've been the desert setting. I'll rate "Desert Fox" a Minus Neutral. The only reason it doesn't get a Double Minus, or an Ungood is because it actually IS a tank game! It is arguably the first game of its kind for the home. The whole beauty of playing a game in which you use your imagination to kill your friends is a long standing tradition. Here, YOU are trying to iconically DESTROY the close friend or relative that you have convinced to play this game with you. They, in turn, are trying to do the same to you, probably because you persuaded them to play this game. Desert Fox finally lets you pretend to kill your friend without needing wasteful descriptive dialogue or all that fitness-inducing running-around-outside. Next entry: the last of the 1976 batch. Videocart-3! <- PREV | NEXT ->
  5. Guest

    Adversary - National Semiconductor

    Yesterday I did write "National Instruments" but what I should have written was "National Semiconductor". I could go back and correct it in each of the entries in which I make this error, but I've decided not to because it would represent a larger waste of time than this paragraph apologizing for it. So, sorry about that. Okay, this is a dedicated Pong clone. The Adversary, by National Semiconductor, is a lovely little console, resplendent in the faux woodgrain decor previously reserved for family station wagons. This pong-y console, like others before it, features Handball, Hockey and Tennis. It also features COLOR!!! I actually think the manual describes it as "Living Color", but I'll have to check to make sure. (checks) Oh, no, I stand corrected. They state on the box "3 ACTION FIELDS IN TRUE LIVING COLOR." There are a few innovations in this system which may or may not have been present in the other systems that came out before or after in in 1976. They may only be innovations relative to the Odyssey systems I was playing earlier. Innovation One: Separate, individual controllers. To control this game, one doesn't need to hover over the console itself, one may luxuriate in one's easy chair, sofa or hammock while one plays using a hand held controller that stretches a full 10-freakin'-feat from the console! It even has a reset button on it! Innovation Two: Adjustable Sound (to your desired level). The sound for this game comes through the TV speaker, and doesn't beep from deep within the heart of the console. Innovation Three: One Player Mode. I don't know if other units have this feature, but there is supposedly a console controlled AI in this thing. I don't remember trying it out when I played it the first time, so I guess I'll have to, soon. Innovation Four: Multiple Paddle Sizes. For the player who is just plain better than the person he or she is playing against, you can make the better player's paddle itty-bitty. Innovation Five: The ball speeds up after a successful volley of four. There's your typical score display mode during Tennis. While this isn't so new and exciting now, remember how we used to have to keep score ourselves back in 1972? The score only appears in between volleys. My wife actually sat down to play this game against me. (she won, 15-14, so, whoop-de-frackin'-doo for her. ) My son was all "ho-hums" but played me for a little while anyway because I wouldn't let him on the Xbox until he did. As an example of early "both-gender" marketing attempts. The cover of the box and the manual show a man and a women supposedly enjoying this system together. The man looks to have more of a sneer than a smile, though, and the woman won't show her face for some reason. I'm wondering how long it took for marketing departments to realize that most couples don't play videogames together. (I'm not saying, all, I'm saying most.) The first Odyssey in 1972 was all about the Family. Now in 1976 we've got videogames being marketed to couples. How long before they're marketed solely to pale, overweight males in their thirties playing by themselves? I think that because we're not very photogenic, it may never happen. Well, that wraps up all the Pong Games from 1976 that I can find and stand to put myself through. If I find any others in the future I'll insert them into that 11 day period of silence which occurred while I was on vacation. Tomorrow begins the new era. August 1976. The month the Fairchild Channel F comes out. Feel the world's anticipation!!! Programmable Videogame Systems have arrived! Pretending that tomorrow is August 1976 means I've finally reached the "less than 30 years behind" mark. See, I've had an Odyssey since the Fall of 2002 and ever since I started doing this Chronogaming thing I've been more than 30 years behind the modern year. Now I'm only 29 years behind! I'm closing in on the present! Whoo-wee! <- PREV | NEXT ->
  6. Guest

    Odyssey 300, the Yellow one

    The Odyssey 300 is near and dear to my heart. My maternal grandmother gave one to my family for Xmas of 1976. I remember that any occasion any family members visited for a few days (we lived a four hour's drive away from everyone) there was an Odyssey Tournament in there somewhere. On the outside, at first glance, the Odyssey looks like its previous brethren, the 100 and 200. A careful observer will notice only one knob per player. This Odyssey actually handled the deflection and "english" of the ball on its own, lending a lot more excitement to the playability. Tennis, Hockey and Jai-lai (pronounced "HI-LIE") were its three games and I remember a fast speed and a slow speed. There was probably a medium speed, too. I just can't swear on it. Jai-lai was pretty much Handball, by the way. I remember staying up long after everyone else was in bed, playing Hockey by myself. I was fascinated by the puck ricocheting back and forth between paddles at amazing speeds. I was 9 years old and I would be hooked forever more on the whole videogame concept. Here is a picture of me (on the left, in 1976) staring glassy-eyed at the TV while my father's cavernous nostrils flare. I think I was winning. Dig our shirts. They were groovy. When I get an Odyssey 300 again. I'll most likely keep it. I just haven't gotten around to getting it. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  7. Guest

    Bicentennial Rehash

    Well, 1976 has come and gone and what have we learned? *We've learned that Hockey, Tennis and Handball are the first things game designers thought of when putting together a dedicated console. *We learned that if I were to try to play every single dedicated pong console that ever came out, even just from 1976-78, I'd be buried in them and I'd be bored stiff after the second one. *"Videocarts", as the Fairchild VES calls them, made their debut in August 1976. This is the start of a Good Thing, even if their megre offerings were ho-hum to start. So. Here's what I managed to get to from 1976: Magnavox Odyssey 300 Magnavox Odyssey 400 + National Semiconductor Adversary (I liked the controllers) Fairchild Tennis / Hockey + Fairchild Tic-Tac-Toe / Shooting Gallery / Doodle / + Quadradoodle Fairchild Desert Fox / Shooting Gallery ! Fairchild Video Blackjack I'm still looking forward to playing an original Atari PONG unit, but I'm almost certain it will feel like I've played it before. Next entry is the start of 1977. I need to come up with a TV show or experience worthy of competing against the RCA Studio II. Maybe I could compare each game to a dental procedure through which I'd rather suffer. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  8. Guest

    Blackjack!

    Videocart-3 NOTE: I hope I'm not risking the ruining of an illusion for some of you, but I'm not, actually, playing each of these games on the day that I write about them. In some cases, like for most of the Fairchild and RCA Studio II games coming up, I played them at the very beginning of the summer. So long ago, in fact, that I had even forgotten that I had taken notes after we had played them. I found the notes today and realized that in some instances they won't offer me much help. Here's my notes for Fairchild VES Videocart-3 Blackjack. Game: Video Blackjack Doesn't suck. It's just blackjack. Yawn. I thought it funny because my notes for Tic-Tac-Toe and Desert Fox are pretty much spot on what I pulled out of my memory for their entries. The above notes for Blackjack just didn't leave much on which to elaborate. To rectify this, I pulled it out, set up the VES and played it again. I'm wrong, my brief notes regarding this game were accurate in every respect. END NOTE Well, now we have a Video Blackjack. A one or two player game in which one tries to out luck the dealer, played by the console. According to the manual, the game uses a "truly random" 52 card deck consisting of 13 sets of 4 cards each from Ace to King. If the dealer detects 16 or less cards left in the deck between hands, it shuffles and you are asked to cut again. This version of Blackjack lets you hit, stay or double your bet. You can only double your bet before you've taken a hit and you only get one hit after you do. I'm no card counter and I've never been very lucky at Blackjack. On a home system I find the game to be a bit pointless. Let's just say I find it difficult to enjoy gambling with pretend money. You start with 500 units of currency. After 10 minutes of playing this (my high point was 775 units of pretend money) I just started doubling my bet every hand to lose as much money as I could as quickly as possible. I suppose it could be interesting to try to "break the bank" which would involve "earning" more than 9,999 dollars, but my heart just wasn't in it and I would have had to learn how to count cards. Graphically, there was nothing to complain about, there's not much to numbers in rectangles, and that's all Blackjack is. They managed to make it look like you're sitting at a green dealers table, somewhat. So, points for that. Here's a screenshot: I seem to remember in Blackjack, at least the version in real life with cards and other people, I used to be able to win automatically if I stayed under 21 with five cards. I also seem to remember being able to split cards if they were doubles. For instance if I got two Aces I could double my bet and each Ace would get another card for it. Neither variation occurs in this version of Blackjack. Overall, I give it a great big Neutral. I suppose it doesn't suck for a Blackjack sim, but it is still only Blackjack and it lacks real money. Something interesting happens when you lose playing the one-player variation: After you run out of money, the dealer keeps dealing . . . but only to itself. With no one to bet, it pauses briefly after each hand and then continues dealing its little game of solitare Blackjack. Only when it notices that it is time to shuffle does it halt and wait for your input again to cut the cards. It is as if it suddenly noticed you weren't playing anymore and tries to invite you back. It was a kind of "creepy", like a plane continuing to fly on autopilot after everyone on board has frozen to death from sudden depressurization. Maybe that's just me. Next entry, I'll rerunover 1976 and take us into 1977. We're starting to get into the good years, but there is one nasty little console to get past before the good times roll. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  9. Guest

    Videocart-1 Tic-Tac-DOH!

    Moving on to the cartridges available for the Fairchild VES in 1976. Carts 1, 2 and 3. That's "it", I think. I am not certain as to when these carts became available. They have a 1976 copyright on them so I'm assuming they came out that year. Since the Fairchild VES came out in August (according to Phoenix: The Fall and Rise of Videogames.) I'm going to have to say the following blogs take place during and between August 1976 and December 1976. Videocart-1 I won't do this all of the time, but there are four games on this cart. I'm going to look at each one. I won't do this for a cart with 50 games on it. Game 1: Tic-Tac-Toe Okay, so it's Tic-Tac-Toe. Did you ever play tic-tac-toe against a chicken? I remember a game at the Ulster County, NY fair back in the 1970s where you played tic-tac-toe against a chicken. That has NOTHING to do with this game, but I was having a flashback, so I thought I'd spill it all over you as well. There's not a lot to like or hate about this game. There IS a wonderfully nice touch to it. If you lose, the game tells you with a rude "YOU LOSE, TURKEY". That's worth a chuckle right there. I'll rate this a Neutral Plus. The plus is for the Turkey comment and the fact that it can be played with one player. Game 2: Shooting Gallery An update to the Shootin Gallery games of yesteryear (note: Odyssey had four awesome Shooting Gallery games.). This doesn't use it's own light gun, but there is a nice twist to it. A target is constantly going down the right side of the screen. After it goes off the bottom it starts at the top again (that's called "wrapping around" by the way.). You are given a paddle from which to shoot. The paddle is locked in a certain deflection position. Your job is to time a shot from that paddle at the given angle so that it hits the moving target. This game doesn't suck, in fact it is interesting and just slightly challenging enough for me to keep playing it until I get through all the different angles and locations for the paddle-shooter. I'll give this a Good Plus. The plus is for the fact that it can be played with one player. Game 3: Doodle Not a game. You draw on the screen. Big Whoop. Move along, nothing to see here. I'll give this an UnGood. I'm not even going to show the picture of the ducky and the horsy I drew, because they weren't any fun to draw. The building with the monsters attacking it was also no fun to draw. Nor did I enjoy drawing a plane, a tank and Frankenstein. Not at all. Game 4: Quadra Doodle This is better than Doodle, though I wouldn't call it a game unless I was paid well. This draws a random design and reflects it across the horizontal and vertical center lines of the screen. It IS pretty. I can't deny it - I stared at this thing for about 15 minutes. The pattern starts to look like a design out of Taos, New Mexico, but with the wrong colors. Then the screen gets too busy and the pattern doesn't look so good anymore. I'll give this a Neutral Plus. I give it the Plus because it is pretty. Neutral because it ain't a game. So, overall for Videocart-1, going outside and playing tag with your friends is still a better option. <- PREV | NEXT ->
  10. Guest

    Fairchild VES

    Remember, we are pretending it's 1976. August, to be more precise. It's been roughly three years since you've played with your original Odyssey. It's been about a year since Sears Tele-games introduced PONG to the world. Since then there's been nothing out but an endless string of dedicated consoles all playing variation of PONG, mostly Hockey, Tennis and Handball (though Handball is usually under a different name, like Smash or Jai-lai.) Let's face it. If you're a gamer from the future, playing anything you can find that could be considered a home videogame, you are starting to get a little crazy and more than a little sick of playing Hockey and Tennis variants. So, now that it is August, you KNOW (having done your research before getting into the wayback machine) that the Fairchild Video Entertainment System comes out this month in 1976. You go out and find yourself a brand spankin' new Fairchild VES unit and bring it back to your Time Machine. You don't even bother getting cartridges for it, because this has BUILT-IN games which, whatever they are, will be a welcome relief from all the damn Hockey and Tennis variants you've been choking down for the past year. You hook it up, start perusing the built-in games and what do you find? Hockey and Tennis. Your screams echo through the corridors of time. Yes, Hockey and Tennis. Lets talk about Hockey. Hockey does something cool. Firstly, to appreciate VES Hockey you need to understand the VES Controller. You grip it in your least dominant hand vertically. On the top, is a triangular shapped knob which you control with your most dominant hand. The knob twists clockwise and counter-clockwise, like a paddle. It also can be moved in eight directions, like a joystick. And finally, it can be pushed or pulled up and down like a detonator plunger. It's a very cool design, functionally. In Hockey, you control two paddle-shaped men. A goalie and your, um, offensive hockey dude. (okay, I know nothing about real hockey terms). The goalie controls are simple. You move the plunger up and down and that moves the goalie up and down across the goal. The joystick controls the movement of your offensive guy. The paddle component controls the angle of deflection of the puck by rotating the actual paddle-shape. It's really pretty damn cool and takes some practice to get used to controlling both the offense and the goalie. Screenshots when I get my camera back. Unless I can figure out how to make animated gifs from emulator screenshots. Tennis is pretty much what you'd expect. Pure and simple, yet in color. Cartridge #1 next entry. EDIT: Okay, made some screenshots with MESS. God I love that program. I also love (in a spiritual way) the person that dumped all the carts for the Channel F. Above: The Hockey paddles in their start state. Above: The Hockey paddles in one of their deflecting states. <- PREV | NEXT ->
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