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Found 7 results

  1. Inspired by chronogaming projects about the NES, the Game Boy and other post-crash consoles, I kicked off a video series last month called Atari Archive over on youtube focused on the Atari 2600. It's the first video project I've actually done, but early gaming history is a topic I've been interested in since the 90s, and I'm excited to compile what info I can find (along with interviews from the creators when possible) about each game on the 2600 library (or at least until I get sick of the whole thing). I'm pulling video directly from an unmodded 2600, through an RF demodulator to a Framemeister for that 720p/60fps Youtube video goodness. I figure that's as close as you can get to it looking like it does on a classic CRT on the site. Take a look if you'd like! I'm attaching a link to the first to videos here, and will probably be updating as I produce new ones.
  2. Welcome back to what I'm now calling Chronogamer LE. The LE stands for Low Effort. If I have to really work up any enthusiasm to play something then that's too much effort, so I will learn what I can about it, read the manual, maybe do some research and play it for as long as I can stand it. If I try to get more involved in it, I'll end up going down a sort of procrastination rabbit-hole where I put it off for, like, half a decade or more and it blocks me from moving forward. I've recently learned I can blame ADHD for this, so, yay for me. Oh, by the way, I found Random Terrain's page that presents some optimal guessing regarding the release dates of games released to be played on the Atari VCS. Nice Job, RT! Your have made it a lot easier for me to get back into this. Bridge (Atari VCS, 1980, Activision) The manual for Activision's Bridge will not teach you to play Bridge. You have to have that knowledge ahead of time. You can get that knowledge from YouTube. You'll learn that it normally takes four people to play this game. You can learn everything you need to get started in about 10 minutes or even less. If you have three other people that you want to hang out with and try a new card game, then this could possibly be an interesting game. Maybe. I'd have to really like at least one of the other people involved to even think about playing any card game these days. Okay, I take that back. I did enjoy playing some Texas Hold-em prior to the Pandemic, but there was money involved and also an attractive woman, so, I guess we understand what motivates me. (It wasn't the money.) Activision's Bridge is for a single player. Like the manual, I don't want to teach you anything about playing Bridge. Sorry. Kinda. Don't look at me like that, just go to YouTube. Regarding this video game: I can see that there is planning and some tactical thinking involved. I can see the appeal of playing this as a social card game with other people. I can see the appeal of having a video game version of Bridge to help a player practice to improve how they play the game. I can even appreciate Activision's Bridge as a way of exploring how to think about playing the card game Bridge. These are worthy and noble pursuits and I admire the courage it must've took for Activision to produce this as one of the four games they debuted in 1980. (Edit: This game DID come out in 1980, but it was not one of the four debut games. They were: Boxing, Checkers, Dragster and Fishing Derby. I'll get better at playing these things in order now that I have a better order for them, but I've dreaded playing Bridge for so long that I needed to get it out of the way so that I could just get back to doing this.) That doesn't mean I have any interest in ever playing it again. Also, I'm a little resentful that I've learned to play a card game that I'll probably never ever play. This is where I'd give the game an emoji rating but it's been so long since I've posted I don't even remember how to do them. In this case it would be one of those "meh" emojis. Oh... okay, that was easier than I thought it would be. Thanks for reading! I might go on YouTube with these articles and show actual game play. I know that I've almost done this in the past and then deleted my YouTube. Sorry about that.
  3. As it says in the subject, this is a thread compiling all the projects I know of that attempt some kind of chronogaming [aka chrongaming] or library completion via reviews or playthroughs. That is, they either: review every game within the library of a particular genre, platform, console, etc. in chronological order; and/or try to beat every game (in chronological order or otherwise) within the library of a particular genre, platform, console, etc. Categories included can basically be boiled down to: blogs YouTube channels Twitch streamers message board projects to "beat 'em all" With that done, here we go! ---- Blog format: Chronogamer The grandaddy of all chronogaming projects, this aims to review every (!) game released on consoles in the United States, in order. Years 1972-1979 completed, 1980 in progress. Long hiatus after September 2014, but has returned as of March 2021 -- hooray! The CRPG Addict Playing through and reviewing every computer RPG released in a Latin alphabet (e.g. English, French, German, Italian), in chronological order (with some backtracking to cover non-DOS games, as this was originally a DOS/Windows-only project). Over 300 games completed to date. CRPG Adventures Playing through and reviewing every RPG and adventure game released in English, in chronological order. The Adventure Gamer Playing through and reviewing every graphical adventure game released in English, in order (?), though with some criteria for notability. Used to be a one-man project, but I believe it's a group/community effort now. Take on the NES Library by arnpoly Playing through and reviewing every licensed NES game released in the US, with 120+ games done as of this writing. Hoz's 8-bit NES Quest Playing through and reviewing every licensed NES game released in the US. Underway since 2014, with 160+ games done as of this writing. NESTALGIA Reviewing every NES release in podcast format. Retro Gaming Archive by Dylan Cornelius This site consolidates the projects Sega Does and Questicle (renamed to Nintendo is Great) as well as other, less systematic surveys. The original Questicle reviewed every North American NES release and was completed in 2014. SNES Rankings Reviewing all 714 North American SNES releases, from worst to best. More than half the library done as of this writing. SNES A Day Reviewing entire SNES library in chronological order. 200 reviews/games completed. Super Famicom RPGs Playing through and reviewing every Super Famicom RPG not released in English, except remakes and ports, in order. Now doing PC Engine CD games as well. UPDATE: kern (aka kurisu) has now started a second project, This Map is Completed!, in which he's chronogaming all strategy RPGs released on consoles. Let's Win the Game of SFC (in Japanese) Japanese-language blog documenting one person's effort to beat the entire Super Famicom library, with around 150 games beaten as of this writing, not in order. Not always easy to understand the Google Translate prose, but has unique coverage of games whose ending screenshots are nowhere else to be found. The 16 Bit Chronicles Reviewing entire SNES/Super Famicom library in order. Slow but steady, with 70+ reviews completed as of this writing. The CD-i Completionist Reviewing every CD-i game. The same person is behind Dante Plays Old Games, which may or may not include a "library completion project" aspect (it's not altogether clear). 100 Days of Megashock Reviewing every Neo Geo game in chronological order. Recently (May 2020) returned after a long hiatus. GameCube Chronology Challenge by ikk (Dutch version; English-language version of first 19 entries here) Dutch-language reviews and play sessions (not necessarily complete playthroughs) of every PAL GameCube game in chronological order. Main thread is at a Dutch-language site, button-bashers.nl. Ikk originally posted English versions of his entries at the RetroCollect forum, but stopped due to lack of interest (see post here). 1CC Log for Shmups Reviewing and 1CCing every shmup on every system, not in order. Wouldn't normally include this project since it's non-chronological, etc., but it's being done by Kollision, who's a cool guy. Inconsolable Nung Playing through and reviewing every turn-based console RPG, in chronological order. Japanese exclusives are covered when translation patches are available. Returned from hiatus in March 2020. The Video Game Critic Not a library-completion project per se, but the Critic has completed a full review set for the US Virtual Boy library, and is close to doing the same for several other systems (Bally Astrocade, Atari 5200 & 7800, Sega 32X, etc.). The RPG Consoler Playing through and reviewing every console RPG released in English, in chronological order. No updates since July 2018. I Play All the Games The layout is confusing, so I'm not 100% clear on this site's mission, but the author appears to be playing and reviewing every single game ever released...?! No updates since September 2018. Inactive blogs: Woodgrain Wonderland (inactive) Reviewing every Atari 2600 game ever made, in alphabetical order. Includes homebrews. Site owner ended project on September 27, 2019, with reviews of most of the Atari 2600 library completed. Xaqar's Game Reviews (inactive) Reviewing entire Famicom library in chronological order. Completed 10 reviews on main site, but allegedly had another site (now defunct, with no Archive.org cache) that completed another 16-18 reviews, through Ninja Kun. No new reviews on main site since 2006. Quest to Beat Every NES Game (inactive) Beating and reviewing every game in the NES library in alphabetical order. Completed 9 games. No updates since August 31, 2013. NES-a-day Challenge by fusoya (inactive) Message board thread at Straightdope.com. Beating every game in the North American NES library, with a short writeup. Completed 137 games. No updates since May 30, 2014. NESQuester (inactive) Started out reviewing NES games in chronological order, completing 36 reviews, then started throwing in various NES and SNES games before going dormant. No posts since November 2014. Copernicus Nerdicus/Life of a Gamer Nerd (inactive) Reviewing NES, Genesis, and SNES games in alphabetical order. Roughly 300 reviews completed. No updates since July 2015. I ♥ The PC Engine (inactive) Reviewing entire PC Engine library and hardware in order. Made it to August 1989, but no updates since 2011-05-16. Pre-Sonic Genesis (inactive) Reviewing Genesis games prior to the release of Sonic the Hedgehog. Last completed review was Revenge of Shinobi. No updates since December 2011. Sega Endings (inactive) Beating every Genesis game and taking screenshots of the ending. Completed 51 games, then inactive since 2015 (?). Potion Shop 1e (inactive) Reviewing entire SNES/Super Famicom library in order. 17 reviews/games completed. No updates since 2015-03-05. SNES Reverse Chronogaming (inactive?) Playing through the SNES library in reverse chronological order. Five entries completed in 2009, followed by a few sporadic posts in subsequent years, including one in 2016. GBA Weekly/History of Game Boy Advance (inactive) Reviewing entire GBA library in chronological order. No updates since September 2010. Juggle Chainsaws (defunct) Reviewing entire NES library. Last completed review was Raid on Bungeling Bay. Website is defunct, link above goes to Archive.org. Super Famicom Games (defunct) Reviewing entire SNES/Super Famicom library in order. 20-30 reviews/games completed before going dormant, then private, a couple of years ago. No Archive.org cache is available. Owner has since continued with Super Famicom RPGs project, listed above. Starting a quest to beat every PS1 game ever made (never even started?) Claimed to be taking on the PS1 library, but I'm not sure this person even began the project. ---- Video format: Most of these projects have an associated blog, but the main action is on their YouTube channel. Atari Archive Video reviews of the entire North American library for the Atari 2600, in chronological order. The No Swear Gamer This YouTube reviewer has now completed reviews for the entire officially-released Atari 7800 game library, all captured from real hardware. (He reviews games on other systems too, though none of those are approaching 100% as of this writing.) Chrontendo, and the related projects Chronsega and Chronturbo. Short video reviews by Dr. Sparkle of every single release for (respectively) Nintendo, Sega, and PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 console hardware (no portables), all in chronological order. Videos available on YouTube or Archive.org. Updates much slower than in the past, but project is still active via YouTube and Archive.org, though blog itself is seldom updated. FamiThon Video reviews of "mostly" every Famicom and NES game, with 122 completed as of this writing. The person behind this project doesn't speak Japanese, so untranslated Japanese exclusives are covered lightly if at all. Was canceled after 121 videos, but unexpectedly came back in October 2020 with a video on Volleyball and has remained active since. 2000Crabmaster aka Kelsy Polnik Uploading NES game completions to YouTube, with over 600 games done (out of 669). Not a Twitch streamer as far as I know (?). Sega Masters Reviewing the entire North American Master System library in order. Completed 71 text reviews in blog (now inactive), then converted to YouTube videos, with 76 complete so far. Turbo Views Video reviews of every North American release for the TurboGrafx-16, plus some imports. Generation 16 Video reviews of every release for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, by Greg Sewart, in chronological order. Originally used longer-format videos with multiple games, then converted to a one-game-per-video format with two "seasons" to date (Season 1 here, and Season 2 here). Jeremy Parish's projects: Game Boy Works [formerly known as Game Boy World] - 1989, 1990, and Gaiden NES Works [aka Good Nintentions] - 1985, 1986, 1987, and Gaiden SNES Works [aka Mode Seven] - 1991, Gaiden, and Extra Virtual Boy Works, which has completed reviews for the officially released libraries for US and Japan N64 Works Game Boy Works Color Game Boy Works Advance additional projects for Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear, Sega SG-1000... All of these projects are reviewing every game for their systems in chronological order. Most projects include all regions, while NES Works and SNES Works are North American releases only. YouTube channel for all his projects is here. He periodically publishes books that sum up his research. Virtual Boy Works has been completed, though additional coverage of unreleased and homebrew games is planned. Neo-Alec's Neo Geo Reviews Video reviews of every release for the Neo Geo in chronological order/by catalog number. Biff's Gaming Videos Video reviews of Jaguar games, appears to be approaching the complete set. Virtual Boy Reviews by Johan Öberg (completed) Video reviews of the complete Virtual Boy library, including Japanese games, homebrews, and prototypes. Öberg has since moved on to reviews of selected Famicom and Super Famicom games, which can be seen in his channel. PlayStation Year One (direct link to YouTube channel). Detailed video reviews of PlayStation releases, in chronological order. PandaMonium Reviews Every U.S. Saturn Game Video reviews of every Saturn game released in the United States in order of release date. Neo Geo Pocket Archives Video reviews of every release for the Neo Geo Pocket in chronological order. GameCube Index aka GCNDex Reviews of every GameCube game in all regions, in chronological order. Placed on indefinite hiatus in April 2017, after 81 completed reviews, but returned in September 2020 with a new review. Inactive projects: Ages of Sega (inactive) Abandoned after 15 SG-1000 reviews. The SMS Quest by ninjabearhug (canceled) Planned to beat every PAL release for the Sega Master System (Kotaku article here). Abandoned after 15 games. Super Nintendo Chronicles (inactive) Abandoned after five games. SNES Chronicles (inactive) Weekly video reviews of every North American SNES release, in chronological order. No updates since June 2018. Swan Song (inactive) Video reviews of WonderSwan games, in chronological order. No updates since November 2018. ---- Twitch streamers: Game order in these projects is typically not chronological, but is instead determined by a raffle among channel viewers. NESMania from TheMexicanRunner aka TMR. Completed. Successfully defeated all 714 licensed North American & PAL-region NES releases, completing the library. Channel continues with other projects. Dugongue's NES Completion Challenge. Completed. Successfully defeated all licensed North American releases as of May 2020. YouTube archive here, and Google Docs spreadsheet here. My NES Adventure by DoubleUnicorn. Beating every licensed North America & PAL release for the NES, with 50+ done so far. Beating Every NES Game Released in NA! by TheLostEyeball. As above. 95 games done as of this writing. Ultimate NES Challenge by gnarblast. As above. 65 games done as of this writing. Master System Mania by Revenged2. Beating every Master System game in all regions, with 70% done as of 2020. Appears to be on hiatus at the moment. MegaMarathon by Goati. Beating every Genesis/Mega Drive game, all regions, licensed or unlicensed (but no Sega CD or 32X). Google Docs spreadsheet tracking progress here. SGENocide Crusade by sharpieplays. Beating all North American releases for the Genesis, Sega CD, and 32X. Portable Pleasure by moelleuh. Beating all releases for the Game Boy. YouTube archive here. 470+ games done so far. Beat Every Original Game Boy Game by Floating Platforms. Beating all North American releases for the Game Boy. 31 games done as of this writing. Project Game Boy by grannen_hiro. Completed. Successfully completed all 136 Scandinavian releases for the Game Boy, finishing on June 25, 2018. Channel (which is in Swedish) is continuing with the 21 games on the SNES Classic Mini, after which more Game Boy games will be played, along with NES. SNES Challenge by PBRGamer/Peebs. Beating all North American, European, and fan-translated games for the SNES. 640 games done as of this writing. Also has a separate project website. N64Forever by MeridianPrime. Completed. Successfully completed all North American and European games for the Nintendo 64. Project continues with N64 speedrunning. N64AThon by Edgewoodblake83. Beating all (North American?) games for the Nintendo 64, with 3-4 games done as of this writing. ExiledPrince's Nintendo 64 Challenge Beating all US-released games for the Nintendo 64. Twitch archives are very scant, but project spreadsheet indicates 51 games beaten through August 2019. RPG Quest Beating every console RPG released in English in chronological release order, with 170+ games done as of this writing. (No fan translations.) Zophar321 From what I can tell, Zophar321's original project was to beat every Genesis game in alphabetical order, with 42 games done as of this writing. He appears to have expanded the project to other consoles, but the Genesis project is the furthest along. There's also a YouTube archive of his playthroughs. Inactive projects: Beef_Erikson (inactive) Attempted to beat all Sega Genesis games but gave up somewhere under 20 victories. Inactive since 2016. Beat the Game Boy by Zenic Reverie. (inactive) Beating all North American releases for the Game Boy. YouTube archive here. 117 games done so far. Project currently on hiatus. Game Gear Challenge by ExtraGuy. (inactive) Beating every game for the Game Gear, with 176 games done so far (spreadsheet here). Channel was active until September 2017, then resumed streaming in June 2018 but with non-Game Gear material. Update: streamer's PC is broken, so Game Gear project is on hiatus for now. Game Boy Quest by John Carlson (johncarls) (inactive) Beating all North American releases for the Game Boy. 187 games done so far, but no new Game Boy victories since the end of 2018, and other projects are on indefinite hiatus. SNEStravaganza by Absnerdity (canceled/abandoned) Attempted to beat all North American, European, and fan-translated games for the SNES. Abandoned after 540 (!) games, as confirmed by Twitter post here; last completed game in 2017. SNES Challenge by Soapfish (abandoned) Planned to beat all US-released SNES games but gave up after 21 games. Twitter here; also had a Tumblr site. Inactive since July 2015. SNES Challenge by Jerrimu (inactive) Unrelated to the other two (!) SNES projects with the same name, this user planned to beat all US-released SNES games (discussion in Reddit thread, and also started a subreddit) but gave up after attempting first game. Inactive since 2017. PSXplosion (inactive?) "PSXplosion is playing through (most) of the US-released PS1 games, excluding sports and edutainment games." Unlike other streamers listed, puri_puri will use cheat codes and/or abandon games if they're too frustrating. YouTube channel here, and Google Docs completion list here, last updated February 2017. Appears to have recently been banned from Twitch, and not active on YouTube since December 2016, so is this project dead? N64Mania by Shaquille_Oatmeal (inactive) Attempted to beat all US-released N64 games but gave up after 13 victories. Inactive since 2014. SlashTangent (inactive) Beating all North American, European, and fan-translated games for the Nintendo 64, with over 100 games done as of this writing. Also started a GameCube completion project on June 19, 2017, with 17 games done. Twitch archives are incomplete but from the streamer's Twitter account it appears that the last activity was in January 2019. N64 Challenge by SegaNick (inactive) Beating all US-released games for the Nintendo 64, with 10 games done. No new activity since 2018. Linkon18 (inactive) Attempted to beat all US-released N64 games but gave up after just one victory (!). Inactive since 2015. ---- Message board "beat-'em-all" projects: Video Game Sage projects In late 2019, anticipating the demise of NintendoAge in its then-current form, a bunch of posters started VideoGameSage.com and resumed their library completion efforts in the Site-run Events & Contests section, as follows: Annual projects that restart each year: NES Completions thread 2020 Beat every Game Boy game - 2020 Beat every N64 Game - 2020 Long-term library completion projects that don't restart each year: Beat every Sega Genesis/Mega Drive game Beat the SNES Library Beat the Switch Library Can Sega-16 Finally Complete the Genesis, PAL MD, Sega CD, and 32X Libraries in 2020? Ongoing since 2013. Genesis library is 95+% complete, others are farther from completion. Can CiBo Beat Every [Master System] Game in a Year? - 2020 German-language message board attempting to beat all Master System games in all regions in 2020. Past projects, none of them successful: SNES (2014), PlayStation (2015), NES (2016), N64 (2017), Mega Drive (2018), Game Boy and Game Boy Color (2019). N64Forever Beats 'em All! Multiyear project, started in 2012 and originating in the "2012-13 N64 Game-off", to beat every N64 game released in North America & Europe. Still active, and with only 10 games left as of this writing. Inactive projects: "Can NintendoAge beat X in a Year?" projects - With the demise of NintendoAge as a viable site, these projects moved to VideoGameSage. Here's a rough history, with projects that succeeded listed first. Most links are dead but may be archived elsewhere. NES - ran annually from 2010-2019 with different criteria, with success in 2012 (all licensed North American releases), 2015 (all licensed NA & PAL releases), and 2016 (all licensed NA & PAL releases, all unlicensed NA releases). N64 - ran annually from 2012-2019, with success in 2018 and 100% completion of the NA/PAL library. SNES - ran annually from 2010-2019 with different criteria; best result was 77.5% completion in 2017, with overall library completion at 98.2% before the demise of NintendoAge GameCube - attempted at some point Switch - attempted in 2017-2018 Game Boy - attempted annually from ca. 2013 (?), best result was 43.4% completion (218/502) in 2016. Game Boy Color - attempted in 2016-2018 Game Boy Advance - attempted in 2017 Virtual Boy - attempted a few times, best result was 71.4% completion in 2017 Did Pcenginefx beat all licensed TurboGrafx-16 games in 2016...? NO (113/135) (project concluded, failed) Attempted to beat all HuCard and CD-ROM games for the TG-16. Failed, ending up at 83.7% completion (oddly enough, almost the exact same percentage as the NintendoAge N64 effort in 2016). No new effort for 2017 was started. Site is now defunct. ---- If you know of any qualifying project that I've omitted, please post it in the thread!
  4. Golf (Atari VCS, Jun 1980, Atari) (Credit to Random Terrain for his awesome and well-researched list which helps me play Atari VCS games in chronological order with much more confidence. https://www.randomterrain.com/atari-2600-memories-history-1980.html) So, earlier "this year", I played PGA Golf on the Intellivision and there was some discussion of the phrase "below par". I dislike what I considered its misuse in language to suggest poor performance while at the same time in Golf parlance it means a good performance. An astute and always wonderful reader, Nelio, pointed out that the phrase "below par" had usage outside of golf. Of course, he was correct and 13 years later, I decided to look into it. The phrase originated in a financial context and appeared in a financial journal in the early 1700s. I don't know why it became opposite in the game of Golf. A poem was written about it which I publish here without permission from anyone: Above And Below Par by Leon S. White When you say about a chap, that he’s above par Exactly what it is you mean, depends on where you are. If you’re on a golf course, you’re referring to his score Which, relative to even par, is at least one stroke more; But in a different setting, above par means Excellent, outstanding, even sterling genes. So above par’s opposite is that which golfers seek Otherwise below par is really rather weak. However when below par play leads to an above par score Then the seeming opposites are opposite no more. (By the way, that PGA Golf entry "earlier in this year" was entered in August, 2008, almost 13 years ago, and holy crap how time flies.) Intellivison's PGA Golf had a great deal of detail to it. You could slice the ball, hook the ball, worry about the wind, worry about the material of your golf club... it really did a great job, in my opinion. Have I played it since? Well, no. I don't really love golf. However, it did make an impression on me. Golf for the Atari VCS is more like the beer and pretzels version of a golf video game, which isn't to say it lacks in charm. The Atari came out two-ish years before the Intellivision, so it's reasonable that any game on it will be less complex. This game of Golf kept me interested longer than I expected and I managed to play it for about an hour. With other people and beer and pretzels, I might play it longer. (Though, I'm trying to cut back on carbs so perhaps some healthier snacks.) There's a single-player and a two-player game each with easy and hard modes. The player is shown on an overhead view of the whole field. There's a "green" with a hole on it and that's the ball's destination. I have no idea whether it would be possible to get a "hole-in-one" on any of these holes. It felt inconceivable. Your mileage may vary. There is no variation in the club material or weight that you use, just the amount of power you put into swinging your little stick of jagged pixels. The learning curve is mostly spent getting used to the angle the ball will travel depending on the angle the golfer is facing when starting its swing. At first, it can feel counter-intuitive but one can develop the knack. After a swing or two (or five or eleven, don't judge me) the ball will make it to the green. The playing view switches to a closer view of the hole and its surrounding putting green. The mechanics of aiming the ball really isn't any different from the long-distance swinging, but the power of the swing feels a tiny bit more nuanced. I'm probably imagining that. In hard mode the hole looks tiny, and is about a quarter of the size of the hole in easy mode. There are nine different holes. There are hazards on the field that can be gotten over if you've hit the ball hard enough. The ball will will soar over lakes, sand traps or trees if given the momentum. These hazards will stop, trap or deflect a ball, respectively. If playing in hard mode, it's possible to lose the ball in "the rough". When the ball flies off the course it will disappear in the blue area, representing the untamed wilderness beyond the boundary of the course. The ball can still be hit (your club will angle towards it), but it cannot be seen and it will take several strokes to get it out of the rough and back into visibility. Even after the angle of the swinging is understood, the game is still challenging and I did find myself resetting it to play it one more time, twice. I actually wanted to play it a fourth time, but I knew I still wanted to write this entry and I didn't have all night. (If you must know, the par of the course is 30. I was waaaay over par, getting 97 on my first game (easy mode), 68 on my second game (hard mode), and 60 on my third game (also hard mode).) Not gonna lie. I enjoyed myself playing this. Overall, I found myself smiling. There were two choices the developer made that stood out to me. 1. When setting up the swing the player may choose to back away from the ball before they release the button to commit to the swing. This doesn't count as a stroke if it doesn't hit the ball. I thought that was a really nice touch. It's a little difficult at first to get a feel for where the ball is going to go as one maneuvers the golfer and its stick around the ball. Having this option of a few "practice strokes" to better understand my aim did save a lot of frustration. 2. Something I wasn't crazy about was when one gets the ball into the hole, one is instantly transported to the next hole. No fanfare. Nothing. I would have preferred to be given a moment or two. Just to breathe and check my score while I was still in the context of that hole. That's it. Tune in next time. yada yada yada. PS: (While playing Golf, I did find myself thinking "If only I could shave two strokes off my golf game!" and "Existence is pain!". I don't know where that could have come from...)
  5. Video Checkers (Atari VCS, Dec 1980, Atari) In 1980, Checkers feels like the new Blackjack. Blackjack seems like it was a requirement to be on every system. Checkers... well, maybe not on every system. It was already on the Fairchild Channel F (which, I missed back when I played through 1978 like... more then a decade ago, but less than 40 years ago. I'll get to it soon.) and we've seen it on the Intellivision and Atari. Now we get to play it on the Atari again. This time, I did think about going to use the world-famous A.I. Checker Program, Chinook, but alas, I wasn't patient enough to sit through the Atari's "thinking" phases at its top level, so I'm just going to go over the features that this Checkers has. Nine levels of difficulty: Games 1-9 represent Checkers against the Computer in 9 levels of increasing difficulty. Game 10 is human vs. human in case all of the checker boards in your house had been stolen or something or you wanted the novel feeling of playing the game on the TV. I'm not judging you for this. The computer takes longer to decide its move the higher the skill level. Ranging from less than two seconds on Level 1, to 30 seconds on Level 6, to 15 minutes per turn on Level 9. "Giveaway" Checkers: Games 11-19 are called "losing" or "giveaway" Checkers. Giveaway Checkers is a variant of the game where you try to lose your pieces first by forcing your computer opponent to jump your pieces. I honestly had never of this version of Checkers before. Skill level of the computer increases as you move from game 11 to game 19, of course. Game Select (to change skill level) functional during a game: Something interesting about the Game Select switch. You can start playing a game on a skill level and decide, in the middle of the game, (but not while the computer is thinking) to increase the skill level. I thought that was kind of neat. Checker notation is used: Atari's Video Checkers uses checker notation and it's noted at the top of the screen. The manual specifically mentions playing other computer opponents and using the Checkers notation to convey the moves to avoid any confusion. (I tried playing two computers against each other when the board is inverted on one. It is hard (for me) to turn my brain around like that. The number system makes it easier to translate the moves to the other computer.) Checker Notation bonus: The B/W switch lets you change up the numbering system in case the computer playing against the Atari is less flexible. This was thoughtful to include and makes the Atari seem to be the more gracious opponent. ("Oh, of course, binary opponent. This unit is happy to adjust its numbering settings for you! It's no trouble at all!") Set up your own board: Moving the left difficulty switch to "a" allows you to set up the board however you like and then play it by putting the switch back to "b". Actual instructions on playing Checkers!: Yeah, I mention this because Activision's manuals are pretty light in general (which was mostly fine). Their manual for their Bridge game didn't fuss with giving the rules at all and their manual for Checkers was also quite brief. Atari's Video Checkers' manual seems absolutely luxurious in comparison. My impression is that the feature set of Video Checkers is pretty rich. I'm not knocking the others (and I'm not going back to actually compare them, lawds no.) but if I had to pick the one I've liked the most so far, I'd have to pick Atari's Video Checkers. I still need to look at Checkers on the Fairchild Channel F though. One game left for the Atari in 1980, Activision's Skiing.
  6. Pele's Soccer (Atari VCS, 1980) As I've said before: "I'm not a sports fan" so how I felt about this game surprised me. Contrasting from our recent excursion into third-party software that had only two games to a cart, Atari's (the party of the first part) Pele's Soccer has 54 games promised for it on the front of the box and it delivers with 28 versions of two player and 28 versions of single player. The "versioning" is three variations each on modes of speed, modes of challenge and goal size. The playfield is interesting in that it's a scrolling vertical field. As you move the ball up or down it, the field scrolls up and down with it. It's another good example of "there's more to this playing area than meets your eye" that was emerging from videogames more and more. Yes, some videogames don't need that, Fishing Derby and Boxing, for example, do just fine without it but I really like the idea of using it to allow the player to focus on "what's happening right now" while being aware of a bigger picture. That's not a very good way to articulate it, but I do like this style of game. I can see how it might not work as well for sport-ports like hockey (where seeing where your team-members are helps) or basketball (important to see the big picture) but for this simplified version of soccer it works. You only have three players for each team and they're locked into a triangle formation, the "forward" at the apex of the triangle and two "backs". You can pass the ball among the members of your little triangle but it takes some practice. I started playing the easier two-player game (game 28) (EDIT: Nelio correctly points out that this is a typo and I was playing the easier one-player game. It's entirely possible though, that I WAS playing the two-player game by myself, which would indeed make it pretty easy.) and unexpectedly found that I enjoyed it. I advanced through a number of the variations, trying them out as I went, finding that the harder it got the more work it felt like and the more my button-thumb began to protest. Regardless, it kept my attention for far longer than I thought it would. I've yet to play it with either of my kids, but I look forward to trying it out with my son, who used to play soccer (ages 5 to 8ish) I think the real plus of this game is how, even on the easiest level, if you're doing pretty well (say, you've scored twice and your console opponent hasn't scored at all yet) the computer player improves its game. The goalie becomes more reactive and I'd swear the blue triangle of the enemy move faster, but again, I tend to imagine these things. Your mileage may vary. For me, personally, it was a lot more fun than watching professional soccer, which, to me, consists of a lot of this: There are penalties in the two-player games that do not exist in the single-player variations that I'm looking forward to experiencing with my son. It would be nice if they could simulate penalties for excessive ear-flicking. While I don't like watching real world Soccer, I must admit there are sometimes amazing moments like this one: (EDIT: Awww, I can't even remember what this gif was, but the link has died. Oh well.) which even makes an "professional sports neutral" person like myself feel begrudging admiration even to the point of tingles. Anyway, sorry for the "half-entry", I really can't count this game as "completed" until I've enjoyed it a bit in the two-player mode. Since I'm a bit retentive about splitting entries into two parts, I'll just edit this one with the two-player information after I've played. (Edit: no, this never happened because OF COURSE it never happened.) Golf is the next game in the pile. (EDIT: When I pulled a bunch of games out of the closet I'd actually thought about doing Golf, but then I noticed Bridge. Bridge is one of those games that I was never able to get myself to play and now that I've finally done so, I'm SO glad it's over. I should do Golf soon. It's funny, because Golf and Bridge are both games that my parents both like to play fairly regularly in real life these days and I just cringe thinking about either.)
  7. Boxing (Activision, Atari VCS, 1980) We've seen a Boxing game once before! 1978 on the APF-1000MP. I'd actually recorded that play session on a VHS tape which now will not load anything because my VCR won't work. Well, the mechanical bits won't work. The electronic bits still work as a conduit to serve my old consoles. All hail the conduit! Oooh, boy... boxing... I don't get boxing as a sport. I get that it takes skill, that it's a discipline similar to any skill that involves using the brain and body. I just don't like that competitive boxing's goal seems to be to punch someone until they're unconscious. Other sports might have greater risk for more serious injuries, it just seems odd to me that boxing still happens as a spectator sport. Enough about my bleh-ness on the subject. Boxing is one of six titles (Six? I don't know why I've always thought there were just four.) in 1980 to be released by a third-party. I'm never totally sure about who the first two parties are. I assume that one would be you, the consumer. The other party would be... the company that manufactures the console itself, in this case, Atari. But which one of those counts as the "first-party" and which is the "second-party". I'm going to guess that Atari would be the first and the consumer would be the second and then out of NOWHERE, comes the third-party, only doing stuff because the first and second parties have done something first. So, Activision. You know that something named Activision has something to do with the game because they spend precious screen-space to emblazon a logo on the screen to read "Activision". Without squinting, I could tell what the screen was supposed to be: two boxers facing each other in a boxing ring. I always thought it was a pretty fair representation of the sport. No need to complicate things by adding the rest of the body. The point is to knock each other out and the head is the best way to do that. Bob Whitehead, the designer and programmer had said that he decided to make the rounds two minutes, instead of however long they are in boxing, because... and all he says is "You'll see." I think what he was saying was "Because your button-thumb can't take much more than two minutes if it can even survive that." This is a tough game for your button-thumb. This is an Atari VCS game I recommend playing with an anachronistic (( Genesis )) controller if at all possible. I thought it was just my old hands complaining, but my son said that he definitely started to feel it after just two games, too. My son thought it was fun in a very simple way - like most games from this era. Not quite the strategy of the games he's into now (DOTA2), but it was short so no biggie. We both particularly liked the animation of the punch landing on the face of the other player and how it collapsed into the rest of his head. We were slightly disappointed that there was nothing to celebrate a KO other than the score changing to show "KO" but we weren't really surprised either. The game has difficulty options which control the speed you move. A difficulty and you're moving slower, B difficulty and you're moving faster. If you want to give your boxing opponent an advantage, set your difficulty to A and theirs to B. If you want a fairly tough game, put yours at A and play the computer on B. You'll likely manage to win, but your thumb will be sore so who's really the winner? I decided to see what the computer would do if you just let your player sit there and do nothing. The reactions varied. Sometimes the computer would come over and immediately start beating on the uncontrolled player-boxer and other times it would pause a few moments before starting the beating. Regardless, about "halfway to KO" the computer would step back a bit, as if to give the player a break, but still dancing around as if to say "So... you gonna fight or what?" and then continue beating the snot out of the uncontrolled boxer-player. Quick video here of the computer (console player?) player beating the uncontrolled boxer-player. No, it's totally not exciting but I posted it anyway. http://youtu.be/WSyW3lKDsSE Anyway, it was fun to see Boxing again. If I had to pick a way to compare it to the Atari games that had come out before it, and I'd say it seemed more "solid" and the graphics seem better defined with no blinking. (( Warning: Anachronistic Reference I asked my son "Who's that Pokemon?" and he immediately said "oh, ha. Geodude." )) Annnnd, next time... let's try Fishing Derby, a game I don't think I've ever played!
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