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I finally played the Blaster repro I bought from AA earlier in the year. Wow this is a good game, I've never played it in the arcade or any other version, but this game stands on its own as a great little game.

 

The first stage of each world reminds me of Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom. The second stage it appears I'm rescuing astronauts lost in a space warp. The 3rd stage is like Star Wars arcade. The 4th and final stage is a bit of an amalgam where you shoot asteroids and flying saucers, also picking up more astronauts and then you apparently have to hit the E (energy?) to escape.

 

I like the game quite a bit after today's session. It is certainly interesting, and is structured similarly to GORF. I only make this comparison because it's kind of 4 games in 1. 

 

One more thing, the rapid fire feature is nice.

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Couldn’t agree more. Blaster is a hidden gem. Picked up my copy at the AA both (2017 PRGE).

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I also, will give it a run, maybe I'll review it on The Atari Report - 5200 Edition, in a future episode. I just finished compiling and editing footage of some backlogs of episodes to come, they will be uploaded tomorrow afternoon after I add the in-game voiceovers on them, 4 different games, and then I start "Asteroids Week" next week on TAR the following week, with 4 different versions (one for each system) of that 1979 "rock blastin' sci-fi shoot-'em-up of an arcade classic".

 

Maybe Blaster will be on a future episode of TAR as well, as we're rampin' up the content.

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It makes me sad when people talk about the games in the store and never seem to mention Blaster.  Maybe it's because I'm not a Tempest fan, but I'd take this over Tempest any day.

 

It's easily one of the best purchases I've made from the store and it not only plays great, but it's also just really fun to look at.

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13 minutes ago, Ryan Witmer said:

It makes me sad when people talk about the games in the store and never seem to mention Blaster. 

Leaving reviews in the store certainly helps.  :)

13 minutes ago, Ryan Witmer said:

Maybe it's because I'm not a Tempest fan, but I'd take this over Tempest any day.

Blashphemy!  Although Blaster is a pretty cool game and definitely seemed ahead of its time when it hit arcades.  Although I never, ever, saw one in arcades when I was younger.  Did see tons of Tempest machines, though.  :)

 

 ..Al

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17 minutes ago, Ryan Witmer said:

it not only plays great, but it's also just really fun to look at.

I feel the exact same way about Xari Arena. My son and I love playing this with trak-ball controllers and we both love the game’s visuals. We play it in the dark, just to watch the glow of our crt.

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3 minutes ago, Albert said:

Leaving reviews in the store certainly helps.  :)

Blashphemy!  Although Blaster is a pretty cool game and definitely seemed ahead of its time when it hit arcades.  Although I never, ever, saw one in arcades when I was younger.  Did see tons of Tempest machines, though.  :)

 

 ..Al

Have to agree with Al. I really like Blaster, but Tempest, with a trak-ball is even better.  Oddly enough, our local arcade now has a Blaster cabinet.  I never saw one BITD.

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2 minutes ago, sramirez2008 said:

I feel the exact same way about Xari Arena. My son and I love playing this with trak-ball controllers and we both love the game’s visuals. We play it in the dark, just to watch the glow of our crt.

Yes, Xari Arena is a damn cool game and deserves more attention.  It plays great with both the Trak-Ball and joystick controllers.  It sadly only has a SINGLE REVIEW that's over three years old.  :(

 

 ..Al

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Just now, sramirez2008 said:

Have to agree with Al. I really like Blaster, but Tempest, with a trak-ball is even better.  Oddly enough, our local arcade now has a Blaster cabinet.  I never saw one BITD.

I'm on my third Tempest cabinet over the years.  But plan on selling it, along with my other arcade cabinets as I simply don't play them.  And they are a bitch to move.

 

 ..Al

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Seeing this clip of Blaster makes me damn proud that I am a longtime owner (since 1983, I got mine for my 17th Birthday) of Big Sexy, I have this game and will try it out later on this week and may also include it in my next filming session for a backlog of episodes of The Atari Report

 

 

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This is one of my favorite games to play on the 5200 and it is too bad it was never officially released as it would have been another system exclusive release. It had to cut back quite a bit from the arcade original, but the core of the game play is there and the sounds are amazing! 

 

I believe I read that the arcade game was the sequel to Robotron? Though I'm not totally sure how it all lines up. I believe I had Al make up a Blaster cart for me way back in 2004 or 2005 before it was a standard option in the AA store. It definitely deserves a purchase!

 

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8 minutes ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

I believe I read that the arcade game was the sequel to Robotron? Though I'm not totally sure how it all lines up.

Well, it's certainly a "sequel" in that the story directly mentions Robotron:

 

Screen Shot 2021-08-30 at 9.37.41 AM.png

 

However, it obviously bears little resemblance to Robotron.  Smash TV is a more direct sequel (and later Total Carnage) than Blaster, at least in terms of gameplay and the use of dual joystick controllers.  Both of those were also done by Eugene Jarvis.

 

 ..Al

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I wonder if Blaster is easier (or at least easier to pair with a suitable controller) on the A8 than the 5200.

 

5200 HSC, April 2010: Top three scores 383300 pts, 232700 pts, 169300 pts

5200 HSC, June 2013: Top three scores 328300 pts, 194900 pts, 171000 pts

Atari 8-bit HSC, May 2018: Top three scores 692900 pts, 370100 pts, 319500 pts

 

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 Blaster has a very interesting story about the making of it! Read it years ago.

 

Can't find it now.

 

Can anyone here post that story?

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3 hours ago, -^CrossBow^- said:

It had to cut back quite a bit from the arcade original, but the core of the game play is there and the sounds are amazing! 

Technically the arcade game is an expanded version of the original Atari 8-bit/5200 game.  The home port came first and they were forced to do an arcade version so it could be 'ported' to the home systems because according to marketing, "the arcade game always comes first".   This lead to a delay in the home version getting out and then the crash happened (and the arcade version didn't do so hot) so the original home version never got released

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12 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Technically the arcade game is an expanded version of the original Atari 8-bit/5200 game.  The home port came first and they were forced to do an arcade version so it could be 'ported' to the home systems because according to marketing, "the arcade game always comes first".   This lead to a delay in the home version getting out and then the crash happened (and the arcade version didn't do so hot) so the original home version never got released

Now that is some interesting history right there, thank you!

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2 minutes ago, Tempest said:

Yeah it's pretty weird isn't it?   The only other time I can think of something like this happening was when Cosmic Chasm for the Vectrex was made into an arcade game, but in that case the home version was obviously released.

What about Choplifter by SEGA, which was based on the Apple II game..

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6 minutes ago, selgus said:

What about Choplifter by SEGA, which was based on the Apple II game..

VERY loosely based on.  I suppose it kind of counts, but it's pretty much a completely different game.

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6 hours ago, carlsson said:

I wonder if Blaster is easier (or at least easier to pair with a suitable controller) on the A8 than the 5200.

 

5200 HSC, April 2010: Top three scores 383300 pts, 232700 pts, 169300 pts

5200 HSC, June 2013: Top three scores 328300 pts, 194900 pts, 171000 pts

Atari 8-bit HSC, May 2018: Top three scores 692900 pts, 370100 pts, 319500 pts

 

I don't know, I only played a couple of games and I surpassed the 300,000 mark. I'm pretty confident (5200) given enough drive, I could smash the 5200 record at least. Does the 8-bit HSC see more participation than the 5200 group?

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Regarding HSC participation, I think it varies over the year.

 

I see that in the 5200 HSC for season 14, you've had a total of 14 participants, of which 8-9 are active in each round.

In the A8 HSC for season 18, we've had a total of 56 participants, of which 9-14 tend to still be around this late into the season.

 

So going by total participation including those who just venture in for a single round, the A8 has more participation than the 5200, but the core group that plays in every round is pretty much the same size, perhaps a few more people on the A8 side.

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Oh how fun! I definitely would have gotten this back in the day, had it been released. Only thing I'd like is a little more variety in sound effects. And maybe a different color palette. Off to play the 2nd version in MAME.

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