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What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2013 (Season 6)

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Here's the summary for Week 5, running from January 28 - February 3. We logged 2602 minutes of eligible play, playing 52 games on a total of 12 systems.

 

Top 10:

 

1. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 639

2. Test Drive II: The Duel (Amiga) - 360

3. Rampart (Genesis) - 225

4. Banshee (Amiga) - 210

5. Frogger (PlayStation) - 116

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis) - 85

7. Turtles (Arcade) - 82

8. Libble Rabble (Arcade) - 76

9. Andre Agassi Tennis (Genesis) - 45

9. Golden Axe 2 (Genesis) - 45

9. Super Battleship (Genesis) - 45

9. Super Hydlide (Genesis) - 45

 

Pre-NES top 10:

 

1. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 639

2. Turtles (Arcade) - 82

3. Libble Rabble (Arcade) - 76

4. Skate Boardin' (Atari 2600) - 24

5. Burgertime (Arcade) - 23

6. Donkey Kong 3 (Arcade) - 21

7. Donkey Kong Jr. (Arcade) - 20

7. Enduro (Atari 2600) - 20

9. Star Wars: The Arcade Game (Atari 5200) - 15

10. Basketball (Atari 2600) - 14

 

Top 10 systems:

 

1. Atari 2600 (718)

2. Amiga (650)

3. Genesis (607)

4. Arcade (222)

5. PlayStation (161)

6. NES/Famicom (110)

7. SNES (45)

8. Dreamcast (35)

9. Atari Lynx (20)

10. Atari 5200 (15)

 

Hail, the conquering hero: proudly does Kaboom return to its top spot, and the Atari 2600 with it. And though it no longer features in the pre-NES standings, the Amiga still nabs a plum spot at #2 on the other two charts.

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My (very small) contribution to this week's statistics. Stupid real life...

 

Atari 2600:

- Missile Command: 10 minutes

- Top Gun (german clone of Telegames's Air Raiders): 5 minutes

 

NES:

- Goonies II: 15 minutes

- Little Nemo the Dream Master: 15 minutes

 

I've heard that Goonies II kind of sucks. So far, I found it really okay, but I didn't dig very far into it yet. Music is really great. Love that tune.

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Atari 2600

Kaboom!-273 minutes

 

 

High score of the week: 117,830

 

I just couldn't get in the zone this week. My high score is the only time I made it to 100,000.

Sad but true.

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Here are my times for this past week (February 4th through 10th)...

 

Sorry, I didn't play any games this week. I tried to run a Casio PV-1000 emulator, but the only game I downloaded for it (Dig Dug) locked up on the title screen.

I "played" with something else instead... listener controlled radio. There are now several FM stations trying this... at certain time slots, you can "take over", and they display a list of upcoming songs you can add to if you want, and you can vote each song up and down the list. I found four stations broadcasting 24/7 in this manner:

97x (Alternative Rock) (http://www.97xonline.com/)

Clickhop (Hip-Hop) (http://www.clickhop.com/)

Jelli 101.1 FM (Current Hits) (http://www.541radio.com/)

96.7 Jelli Vegas (Dance music) (http://www.967jellivegas.com/)

Sadly, there currently doesn't seem to be any user-driven station on air broadcasting older pop songs from the 70s to 00s.

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My times for the week:

 

Atari Jaguar:

 

Rayman - 140min

Wolfienstien 3d - 40min

Bubsy - 40min

Brutal Football - 15min

Battlemorph - 400min

 

Atari 2600:

 

Army of darkness - 60min

Heart Break Beta - 180min

 

Atari 800xl:

 

Star raiders - 10min

Star raiders 2 - 30min

Missle command - 10min

Mini pacman - 90min

 

Sega Genesis:

 

Atomic Runner - 30min (offically hate this game)

 

Dreamcast:

 

Test Drive V Rally - 10min

 

Amiga:

 

Banshee - 60min

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My times for the week:

 

C64:

Elite Gold - 6 min.

Gauntlet - 28 min.

Omega Race - 6 min.

Save New York - 12 min.

 

NES:

Galaga - 7 min.

 

Genesis:

Andre Agassi Tennis - 33 min.

Super Hydlide - 381 min.

 

SNES:

Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 - 208 min.

 

PlayStation:

Frogger - 562 min.

 

I spent most of the week working exclusively on Frogger for PlayStation, and have now completed around 25 of the game's 35 levels (it gives you some freedom with the order you play them in). It's a frustrating game, hampered by cryptic level layouts, control issue, and camera problems that lead to cheap shots. But there's still something addictive about it.

 

Soon, though, I needed a break from its aggravation. I normally work on weekends but thanks to the snow, I ended up with a long weekend and -- since the road was unplowed! -- nowhere to go. So after a false start with Andre Agassi (in which my skills seem to have backslid), I got back to work on Super Hydlide. It's going pretty fast, thanks to my unfinished playthrough last year, but there's still a lot of grinding. Now that I have the Invincibility spell, I can hack through enemies routinely.

 

I also played some C64 with my other half on Saturday, including a couple CIB disk games I bought last year and hadn't tried out yet. The Gauntlet port is a lot less colorful than I was expecting, but it plays respectably. Elite was too complex for our mood, but we might revisit it.

 

Finally, we put a few hours into a SNES RPG I've wanted to start in earnest for ages, Lord of the Rings Vol. 1. A false clue led us to waste time systematically double-checking for an item we thought we'd missed, which was a downer. But otherwise we enjoyed roaming the game's bleak landscapes and soaking up its atmospheric, haunting soundtrack -- perfect for snowy weather.

 

(The multiplayer functionality could be better -- Player 2 can't pick up items or control any of the secondary characters -- but it's still more fun with two. Remarkably, it supports up to five simultaneous players, which I'd love to try someday!)

 

I don't remember much about my experience renting LOTR Vol. 1 in the early 1990s, but when I tried to play it in emulation about 10-12 years ago, I kept getting lost and ultimately gave up. As it turns out, though, the manual is full of maps, and that makes all the difference. We just added Merry to our party, and soon we'll be approaching the Barrow Downs, which is where I packed it in last time.

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Atari 5200:

Donkey Kong Jr - 10 min.

Pac-Man Arcade - 10 min.

 

Nintendo 64:

Ridge Racer 64 - 10 min.

 

NES:

Balloon Fight - 10 min.

 

Sega Saturn

Virtual On - 120 min.

 

SNK Neo Geo CD:

Double Dragon - 60 min.

 

Vectrex:

Pole Position - 10 min.

Spike - 10 min.

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Here's the summary for Week 6, running from February 4 - 10. We logged 2941 minutes of eligible play, playing 37 games on a total of 16 systems.

 

Top 10:

 

1. Frogger (PlayStation) - 562

2. Battlemorph (Atari Jaguar CD) - 400

3. Super Hydlide (Genesis) - 381

4. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 273

5. Lord of the Rings: Vol. 1 (SNES) - 208

6. Heart Break [beta] (Atari 2600) - 180

7. Rayman (Atari Jaguar) - 140

8. Virtual On (Sega Saturn) - 120

9. Mini Pac-Man (Atari 8-bit) - 90

10. Banshee (Amiga) - 60

10. Army of Darkness (Atari 2600) - 60

10. Double Dragon (Neo Geo CD) - 60

 

Pre-NES top 10:

 

1. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 273

2. Heart Break [beta] (Atari 2600) - 180

3. Mini Pac-Man (Atari 8-bit) - 90

4. Army of Darkness (Atari 2600) - 60

5. Star Raiders 2 (Atari 8-bit) - 30

6. Gauntlet (C64) - 28

7. Star Wars: The Arcade Game (Atari 5200) - 25

8. Save New York (C64) - 12

9. Missile Command (Atari 2600) - 10

9. Donkey Kong Jr. (Atari 5200) - 10

9. Pac-Man Arcade (Atari 5200) - 10

9. Missile Command (Atari 8-bit) - 10

9. Star Raiders (Atari 8-bit) - 10

9. Pole Position (Vectrex) - 10

9. Spike (Vectrex) - 10

 

Top 10 systems:

 

1. PlayStation (562)

2. Atari 2600 (528)

3. Genesis (444)

4. Atari Jaguar CD (400)

5. Atari Jaguar (235)

6. SNES (208)

7. Atari 8-bit (140)

8. Sega Saturn (120)

9. Amiga (60)

9. Neo Geo CD (60)

 

Frogs are supposed to hibernate in winter, not go on frustration-filled adventures in poorly-conceived 3D! But that's how Frogger makes it to the top this week -- though its parent system, the PlayStation, edges out the VCS by only a small margin.

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Here are my times for this past week (February 11th through 17th)...

 

Odyssey^2:

Walls - 2 min.

 

Online (non-eligible):

Pac-Man (Google) - 5 min.

 

PC (non-eligible):

Burgertimes - 64 min.

Crash Time Plumber - 10 min.

 

TI-99:

Ms. Pac-Man - 55 min.

 

I've played some PC games this week. Burgertimes is a remake of Burger Time staying close to the Intellivision version, but it has more levels. The first 6 levels are identical to the Intellivision ones, the levels 7-13 are different (though I might have seen them before in the PC version by Mattel), and Level 14 is the Intellivision's Level 7. From Level 15 on, the background graphics change a bit, and there come the arcade levels, which goes to show that it would have been possible to cram the original arcade levels into the Intellivision version. But since we're already at Level 15 by that time, they are harder to play because the enemies are faster, and an enemy on a falling bun causes it to fall only 2 levels, not 3 like in the arcade. Multiple enemies on a bun still cause it to fall only 2 levels, which somewhat kills the strategy for arcade level 3.

 

Crash Time Plumber is a mixture of different games, mainly Donkey Kong's first level, but you have Donkey Kong Jr. climbing on a rope to the left throwing bananas, and in each level you have to save a character from another videogame which gives you specific bonus elements... Pitfall Harry gives you gold, Pengo gives you ice blocks and Frogger gives flies. Along the way you have to collect flying hearts (like in Popeye). You need five of them for improved jumping capabilities, which you need to make the super-high jump at the end of each level.

 

Then, the Google version of Pac-Man. Sounds and plays pretty well, but the maze is different, containing (of course) the Google characters.

 

Ms. Pac-Man for the TI-99 is definitely harder than the Atari 2600 version, although it's a bit on the slow side. Here Atarisoft traded the smoothness of animation for the monsters having eyes (which are soft sprites, taking much processing time on the already slow TI-99).

 

Finally, Walls is a Odyssey^2 homebrew by Atari2600land. In it, you have to prevent a smilie from hitting the score display by putting up a wall to catch the smilie.

Edited by Kurt_Woloch
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My times for the week:

 

2600 -

 

Heartbreak Beta - 480min

Oscars Trash Race - 5min

Alpha Beam Wuth Ernie - 5min

Cookie Monster Munch - 5min

 

Jaguar -

 

Battlemorph - 104min

Wolfenstien 3D - 210min

Super Burnout - 20min

 

Genesis -

 

Sonic 2 - 30min

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My times for the week:

 

ColecoVision:

Space Fury - 6 min.

Tournament Tennis - 9 min.

 

Genesis:

Andre Agassi Tennis - 85 min.

Super Hydlide - 388 min.

 

SNES:

Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 - 695 min.

 

Beat Super Hydlide on Saturday night, and Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 today with my fiancée, and those two games dominated my play this week. I posted some thoughts on them in consecutive posts starting here.

 

Meanwhile I'm suddenly unable to win a single match in Andre Agassi Tennis, mainly because I've lost my rhythm on my groundstrokes and (to some extent) my serve -- not that a game this laggy and "off" gives you much rhythm to begin with. At least I can still ace the computer by serving right into their body, but it can do the same to me, and sometimes standing way off court seems to give you a better chance of returning the ball, simply because you're not in your own way.

 

Finally I played a couple ColecoVision games I hadn't yet fired up. They seem decent, but I really can't deal with the CV controllers, and both games require two buttons so swapping in a VCS controller isn't an option. The stick is bad enough, but the side-mounted fire buttons are the real ergonomic disaster, and make my hands cramp up within minutes. It makes the Intellivision controller seem like a dream by comparison!

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Hope I'm not late for the party this week. Was basically offline the whole weekend...

 

Just NES this week:

 

- Caveman Ninja: 12 minutes

- Faxanadu: 35 minutes

- Kabuki Quantum Fighter: 25 minutes

- Pinball: 10 minutes

- Tiger Heli: 10 minutes

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Here's the summary for Week 7, running from February 11 - 17. We logged 2798 minutes of eligible play, playing 28 games on a total of 13 systems.

 

Top 10:

 

1. Lord of the Rings: Vol. 1 (SNES) - 695

2. Heart Break [beta] (Atari 2600) - 480

3. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 422

4. Super Hydlide (Genesis) - 388

5. Wolfenstein 3D (Atari Jaguar) - 210

6. Battlemorph (Atari Jaguar CD) - 104

7. Andre Agassi Tennis (Genesis) - 85

8. Need For Speed: V-Rally (PlayStation) - 60

9. Ms. Pac-man (TI-99) - 55

10. Magical Drop 2 (Sega Saturn) - 40

 

Pre-NES top 10:

 

1. Heart Break [beta] (Atari 2600) - 480

2. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 422

3. Ms. Pac-man (TI-99) - 55

4. Pac-Man (Atari 8-bit) - 20

5. Tournament Tennis (ColecoVision) - 9

6. Space Fury (ColecoVision) - 6

7. Alpha Beam With Ernie (Atari 2600) - 5

7. Cookie Monster Munch (Atari 2600) - 5

7. Oscar's Trash Race (Atari 2600) - 5

7. Astro Chase (Atari 5200) - 5

 

Top 10 systems:

 

1. Atari 2600 (917)

2. SNES (705)

3. Genesis (503)

4. Atari Jaguar (230)

5. NES/Famicom (117)

6. Atari Jaguar CD (104)

7. PlayStation (85)

8. TI-99 (55)

9. Sega Saturn (40)

10. Atari 8-bit (20)

 

Once again the Atari 2600 takes two of the charts, but a title from a different system tops the main Top 10. This time it's the SNES action RPG Lord of the Rings: Vol. 1, which now has exactly 1000 minutes logged, making it the newest entry into the 1000-minute club!

 

Hope I'm not late for the party this week.

 

Nope! As long as your times are in by 3:00 PM EST (8:00 PM GMT), you're on time. And sometimes I keep things open for a few extra hours if a regular poster hasn't posted yet, or if I'm simply busy with other things.

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Introducing this week's flea market find: my new Game Boy Advance SP...

 

Game Boy Classic:

- Wario Land: 28 minutes.

 

I got this game as a little extra gift from a really nice eBay seller. And now that I have an GBA SP, I can even play it. It's a nice little game. I like Wario's cartoon bully acting. In fact, I think I like Wario much more than Mario. See below.

 

Atari 2600:

- Alpha Beam with Ernie: 7 minutes

- Cookie Monster Munch: 12 minutes

- Crystal Castles: 10 minutes

- Missile Command: 10 minutes

- Ms. Pac Man: 12 minutes

- Sorcerer's Apprentice: 9 minutes

- Time Race (Goliath): 8 minutes

 

For the record: the standard keypad controllers work well with the Ernie and Cookie Monster games So, if you are more the "player", there is no need to annoy serious collectors on eBay with your bids on kids controllers :D . That doesn't make the games good, though...

 

My short visit to Crystal Castles was a result of the current High Score Club. I still couldn't stand the game, though - so I didn't try to compete seriously.

 

One more thing about Time Race. It's a clone of Space Jockey. There are different Time Race carts (I have three), which have some small differences (sprites, background colour, etc). The Goliath version is by far the most awful.

 

NES:

- Faxanadu: 125 minutes

- Super Mario 3: 12 minutes

 

Finally I am getting some decent playtime into my NES adventure games. Faxanadu is really a nice little-known classic. It usually goes cheap on eBay, and it's worth it. Super Mario...? Meh, I finally got it because everyone seems to regard it as a mega-classic. I don't get it. Never found any Mario game appealing so far. See above under "Wario" :)

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Here are my times for this past week (February 18th through 24th)...

 

Commodore 64:

Asteroids (Emulator) - 13 min.

Side Pacman - 20 min.

 

TI-99:

Ms. Pac-Man - 83 min.

 

I played some more Ms. Pac-Man on the TI-99. This time, I made my goal of getting to the 4th maze starting at the beginning. The game is about 40% slower than the arcade original, which makes it a bit easier to play.

 

Then I played another Pac-Man clone, "Side Pacman" on the C-64. In this version, the screen is rotated by 90 degrees, including the score display, which makes for a pretty faithful representation of the arcade game. Sure, Pac-Man and the ghosts look a bit differently because of the lower sprite resolution, but they move roughly as they should, only - this time - about 60% faster than in the arcade, which makes the game more difficult to play. The sound is very different to the arcade... it's only loosely translated.

 

Finally, Norbert Kehrer released an Asteroids emulator for the C-64 yesterday which I tried. It runs the original arcade code, but suffers from slowdowns and a low framerate due to the fact that the C-64 has to draw the lines in software. It reminds me a bit of the Atarisoft version of Galaxian as it is.

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My times for the week:

 

Atari 2600:

Othello - 5 min.

Space Jockey - 2 min.

 

ColecoVision:

Tournament Tennis - 78 min.

 

Sega Master System:

Rambo III - 5 min.

Shanghai - 15 min.

 

Genesis:

Andre Agassi Tennis - 786 min.

Warrior of Rome II - 181 min.

 

SNES:

Mortal Kombat II - 6 min.

Top Gear 3000 - 5 min.

 

Sega CD:

Black Hole Assault - 40 min.

 

Sega Saturn:

Bug! - 4 min.

Clockwork Knight - 4 min.

Gungriffon - 3 min.

Virtua Fighter Kids - 4 min.

Virtual On: Cyber Troopers - 2 min.

Virtual Open Tennis - 7 min.

 

PlayStation:

Frogger - 47 min.

Robotron X - 3 min.

 

Beat Andre Agassi Tennis and Black Hole Assault this week; thoughts on both games here. I poured a lot of time into Andre Agassi Tennis, partly because I'm reviewing the game, but partly because I played through a second time in emulation to check to see if I'd missed anything by not winning every match and/or maxing out my stats. (As it turns out, you get a secret code if you max out your stats, but that's it -- the game has no real ending.)

 

I also played through the first two levels of Warrior of Rome II, a RTS for the Genesis that's probably a better game than the original, but -- despite the thick manual -- still seems to boil down to pretty simplistic strategies. If the next 13 levels are more of the same, it'll be a slow slog indeed.

 

Otherwise I tested out some more new acquisitions and a few games I'd never tried out, beat one more level in Frogger for PlayStation, and played a few sets of Tournament Tennis for ColecoVision, which is far more fun (and playable) with an Atari 2600 joystick. Unfortunately you need to have a regular CV controller plugged in to start the game -- you can't start it from the Player 2 controller -- and my understanding is that you can damage the console by hot-swapping joysticks, which is ridiculous.

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Here's the summary for Week 8, running from February 18 - 24. We logged 3142 minutes of eligible play, playing 35 games on a total of 12 systems.

 

Top 10:

 

1. Heart Break [beta] (Atari 2600) - 1080

2. Andre Agassi Tennis (Genesis) - 786

3. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 373

4. Warrior of Rome II (Genesis) - 181

5. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PlayStation) - 127

6. Faxanadu (NES/Famicom) - 125

7. Ms. Pac-man (TI-99) - 83

8. Tournament Tennis (ColecoVision) - 78

9. Frogger (PlayStation) - 47

10. Black Hole Assault (Sega CD) - 40

 

Pre-NES top 10:

 

1. Heart Break [beta] (Atari 2600) - 1080

2. Kaboom (Atari 2600) - 373

3. Ms. Pac-man (TI-99) - 83

4. Tournament Tennis (ColecoVision) - 78

5. Side Pac-Man (C64) - 20

6. Asteroids (Norbert Kehrer emulator) (C64) - 13

7. Cookie Monster Munch (Atari 2600) - 12

7. Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 2600) - 12

9. Crystal Castles (Atari 2600) - 10

9. Missile Command (Atari 2600) - 10

 

Top 10 systems:

 

1. Atari 2600 (1528)

2. Genesis (967)

3. PlayStation (177)

4. NES/Famicom (137)

5. TI-99 (83)

6. ColecoVision (78)

7. Sega CD (40)

8. C64 (33)

9. Game Boy (28)

10. SNES (27)

 

A new Atari 2600 game gives an upstart tennis player "heartbreak", and the Atari 2600 sweeps all three charts! And naturally, Heart Break is our newest member of the 1000-minute club.

 

Andre Agassi Tennis is also on the cusp of the 1000-minute club, with 982 minutes logged so far. That said, though Agassi may have passed Kaboom this week, a shout of encouragement for our #3 game came from the crowd: "You're an 88000-minute legend, he's a 1000-minute punk". Quite so!

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