Monthly Archives: August 2013
This week the fortune cookie picked out Q*bert for me. I have the Parker Brothers version.
The Story: Is another arcade game and doesn’t really have one. You’re just this ‘thing’ hoping around a pyramid hoping to avoid the monsters. At least as far as I can tell there is no story, feel free to let me know if there is and I’ll edit this.
From the Manual: “Object: To score as many points as possible by changing the color of the cubes on the pyramid from a starting color to a destination color. You’ll do this by hopping Q*bert from cube to cube while avoiding the “nasty” characters who will try to stop him. Each time you complete a pyramid, you’ll proceed to a new pyramid – or round. Try to complete as many rounds as you can. There are five games levels in all: four rounds per level.”
From the Box: “Q*bert springs to life with all the adventure of the popular arcade game. Colorful graphics and arcade-like sounds accompany the game’s lively action. Hop Q*bert up and down the steps of a “three-dimensional” pyramid, changing each step’s color as he lands. Complete the entire pyramid, and Q*bert moves to a more challenging pyramid. But look out! the crafty arcade creatures are here, too, and they’re after Q*bert. Hop out of danger fast – or soar to safety on a Flying Disc. But watch out where you move Q*bert. One hop off the pyramid, and he’ll be lost in space! Q*bert – the lovable arcade character in his lively action and adventure game.”
The Game play: You play as Q*bert, yes that * is part of his name, hoping around this pyramid trying to change the color of all the tiles to the target color to move onto the next level and do it all again. After a few levels, Tiles will change color every time you land on them, taking more steps to hit the target color. Watch out though Coily the purple snake, Ugg and Wrong-Way who I’m guessing are the slime blobs, and Slick and Sam two color reverting gremlins, are all trying to stop you. Touching any of them is fatal, but you do have the frisbee discs on the sides of the board to help you escape back to the top of the pyramid. Also apparently contact with a red ball is lethal to Q*bert, while contact with a green one will immobilize the on-screen enemies. Be careful though, it is also possible to jump off of the pyramid, naturally to one’s own death.
The Controls: Only the up, down, right, left direction buttons to move in angles. This info straight from the manual itself should help with how this works “Hold the Joystick in your hand so that the four corners make a diamond with the Fire Button at the top. The Joystick moves in the four diagonal directions shown. These are the directions in which Q*bert moves around the pyramid.” Similar to more modern srpg games with an isometric view/grid.
Post Review: Q*bert, another simple arcade game ported to the Atari 2600. Q*bert, another example of a port that isn’t quite the best but still works for what it is managing to capture the game in a way the system could handle, but still be what it’s supposed to be. This version of Q*bert is fairly simple and fairly easy for the first few levels. Q*Bert gets four lives on mode 1, which is still the only mode I can check on for the time being. It doesn’t stop the game from getting harder of being fun though. Q*bert really isn’t a complex or detailed game. I wish there was more I could go into to. Go look up the creator’s story on how the game was made, it’s an interesting read.
The High Score: 15,425
(Traded with girlfriend, who is on her own Nuzlocke on Leaf Green, to evolve Haunter and Graveler)
Alright, Time to head for Cinnabar Island. Route 19 first encounter is a Tentacool nicknamed ‘Yama’ and Benched.Somehow I totally missed Route 20, i fainted whatever that was without even noticing the route change. Seafoam Island first encounter is a Psyduck, nicknamed ‘Gargwa’ and benched. This place is pretty simple, just drop all boulders down any nearby holes and walk on through.
Finally at Cinnabar Island. There appears to be a Lab here, so lets go give them all these fossil’s I’ve been lugging around. Dome Fossil revived into a Kabuto, nicknamed ‘Ukanlos’ and benched. Old Amber revived into Aerodactyl, nicknamed ‘Fatalis’ and benched. Alright, Gym time……are you kidding me, you lost the gym key in the burned down mansion? why would you lose something so important, and why in there? Let me guess, I have to go get it as some kind of trial, don’t I? Fine, bu I’m kicking your butt when I get back. Pokemon mansion first encounter is a Grimer, nicknamed ‘Gigginox’ and benched. Man, why do all these doors still work, this is annoying. So I fell off a ledge and wound up in the basement, but at least I found the key, time to get out of this place, I’m sick of all the ash. I’m gonna go rest and shower, and tomorrow the seventh badge is mine.
Fire Gym Time, Blaine’s 4 Pokemon all one shot, each by Barioth’s Surf. Found Bill waiting outside, he took me to One Island and told me to take a meteorite to Two Island. These Islands have stupid names, how many are there……lets rename them. One Island is now Ichishima, Two Island is now Nishima. Well, it’s still One Island and Two Island, but at least this sounds less stupid….ha.ha. moving on let’s explore Ichishima. Kindle Road first encounter is a Persian, nicknamed ‘Lunastra’ and boxed. Awesome, I found a nice relaxing hot spring to take a break in and the maker gave me an HM for rock smash. Mt Ember first encounter is a Machop, fainted cause I was being dumb and acting like it was a battle. Took the boat to Nishima, Bill’s friend was nowhere to be found but a guy was looking for his daughter who ran away on Sanshima. Cape Brink first encounter is a Fearow, nicknamed ‘Gravios’ and benched. Sanshima is overrun with dumb bikers, I chased them away like the loser gang they are, not even Team Rocket level.
Apparently the girl is in a Berry Forest. Bond Bridge first encounter is a Pidgeotto, nicknamed ‘Espinas’ and benched. Berry Forest first encounter is a Hypno, nicknamed ‘King Shaka’ and benched. Well, the little girl was at the very end of Berry Forest, no surprise, being attacked by a Hypno. Hypno, who lures children away and eats their dreams. I saved this girl’s life. Then delivered her and the meteorite Boll asked me to deliver. Best Trainer ever right here folks. Now back to Bill. Back to Kanto, guess we can’t visit the rest of the islands until later. Well, still one gym left so lets head that direction. Route 21 first encounter is a Horsea, nicknamed ‘Cephadrome’ and benched. Hey, look at that, Vermilion’s Leader is finally here. . Well crap, I lost Basarios to a Machoke’s revenge. I’m going to have to switch him out, perhaps for Nidorino. Giovanni is the leader, I already kicked his butt twice, this will be no different.
First Week of using the random generator produces Reactor. What is this game all about and how do we play it? It’s time to find out.
The Story: Your ship is trapped in a nuclear reactor rapidly approaching meltdown. You must cool down the reactor while avoiding contact with nuclear particles. Apparently a port of an arcade game, we notice the simple story that gets us right into the game.
From the Manual: “Positrons. Neutrinos. Photons. These are just a few of the nuclear particles threatening to blow your ship apart. There’s nowhere to run! No way of escaping! To survive, you must fight them. But that’s only half the battle. While you try to destroy these dangerous particles, you must also try to stop the reactor’s expanding core before it reaches melt-down. So board your ship and prepare to enter the awesome depths of REACTOR!”
From the Box: “Your ship is trapped inside the heart of a nuclear reactor – a reactor whose core is rapidly approaching melt-down. Time is running short and you must act quickly. As nuclear particles bombard your craft, you fight to blast them and destroy the reactor’s control rods. If you succeed, the core will shrink. But if you don’t…”
The Gameplay: The space in the middle of the screen is the Reactor that must be cooled down. The player can move around in the level freely, but watch out because if you touch the Reactor or outer walls you will die. There are also enemy particles floating around to avoid, they can bounce of walls and each other and will also track the player. Apparently the player goal is to just survive, having limited control over the ship itself. The Joystick only controls momentum while the ship moves on it’s course. The Button can enable a high repulsion mode to redirect enemies into traps and the like or place decoy ships. The game also seems to include a time limit represented by a slowly increasing reactor size, which slowly increases the difficulty of the game. Alright, since that’s all I could find, it’s time to go play.
The Controls: Up, down, left, right, diagonal movement. Red button releases decoys.
Post Review: Everything bounces of of everything else. However in the Atari 2600 version you do have full control using the joystick. This does not make things easier. In the picture above there are 4 dots on the left of the screen, these actually exist on both sides, and you want to knock the enemies into them. Between this and bouncing off of each other they die. The Reactor does increase in size as you play, and when you kill a wave of enemies it shrinks back down. You get 3 decoys that will attract enemies, so be careful using those. As an arcade game there appears to be no end, just keep playing until you run out of lives and go for the high score. Speaking of which, here is what I got to after about ten minutes of playing. See you all next week for another Atari Friday.
The High Score: 4175
For starters, I bought a NES Four Score today. First I’ve seen of it and it looks better than the Satellite, mainly because it’s not wireless and doesn’t use four ‘C’ batteries.
Secondly, I got hired for a new job this week, training starts Tuesday, so I bought myself a ‘I got hired’ present. I know that’s a lame excuse, whatever I do what I want. I’m super excited I will be getting paid now, these pickups should start increasing in number of items. Anyways, I grabbed myself a Virtual Boy (with Mario’s Tennis, box as bad as it is, and manuals for both).
And present to myself number two was Tales of Phantasia CIB for the Super Famicom. I plan to get the Retron 5 when it comes out, so Famicom and Super Famicom games will start getting added to my collection as I find them. Basically, I wanted to grab this before someone else decided to (Since I’m a big fan of the series).
Alright, everyone is leveled up, time to go finish off Sylph Co. What the hell are you doing here Douche? Haven’t you learned you lesson yet, time to whoop your ass yet again. Ok, that loser’s taken care of, now onto save the Sylph Co President. Some random guy is giving me a Lapras, it gets names ‘Epioth’ and is transferred to the bench. Are you kidding me, a random Rocket grunt in between Douche and the Rocket Leader? I just trashed 9 floors of your buddies plus Douche, and you’re going to stand in my way? just don’t regret it, although I’m sure you already do. Well hello there again Giovanni, are you tired of me making your team look bad yet? Well, I’m here to kick your butt again. With Giovanni’s butt kicked and retreated in fear, the president of Sylph Co gives me a Master Ball and my work here is done.
Now it appears Saffron has two gyms, Lets go take a look. I think I will start with the one on the left, which appears to be a fighting dojo. Well, four members and the leader defeated easy enough by Goa Magara. They gave me a Hitmonlee I named ‘Cha-Cha’ and sent to the bench. That gym was fairly disappointing, lets go check out the other one. This one appears to be a psychic gym with warp tiles leading everywhere. Oh no, whatever will I do…..3 different Pokemon with ‘bite’ and the rest having high special attack. Yeah, Sabrina went down hard, this gym was also a disappointment. Well, thanks for the badge anyways, the other gym didn’t even give me that. I believe that is all Saffron has to offer.
After Sylph Co, all these random trainers are a cakewalk. Route 17 aka Cycling Road first encounter, another Spearow. Named ‘Hypnoc’ and added to the Spearow/Pidgey fodder/expendable pile. Route 18, another Spearow, nicknamed ‘Kushala’. Route 12 encounter is a Horsea, nicknamed ‘Plesioth’ and benched. Route 13 encounter is an Oddish, ah good a replacement for the other one if I need it, nicknamed ‘Altaroth’ and benched. Route 14 encounter is a Venonat, nicknamed ‘Thunderbug’ and benched. Route 15 encounter is another Venonat, nicknamed ‘Hornetaur’ and benched. What a ridiculously busy trip South this has been.
Welcome to Fuchsia City.
Alright, Fuchsia City, what do you hold for me? You hold the Safari Zone, first encounter Nidorino, nicknamed ‘Lagombi’ and benched. So I found a set of gold teeth someone lost, I hear they belong to the warden, what idiot loses his teeth? Hm, if you get far enough in they give you the HM for surf, that’s useful. Well, I picked up all the items people lost, guess they are mine now but I really don’t want these teeth so I guess I’ll return those. The Safari Zone warden gave me the HM for strength for returning his teeth, maybe I’ll start calling Fuchsia ‘HM City’ since they seem to hand out HM’s like candy here. Look’s like they also have a gym, the Poison Gym run by Koga. This is actually Gym number 5, since I’ve already done the 6th gym, this one was no problem.
So I flew up to the old abandoned power plant, but as suspected there really wasn’t anything of any value there. Time to move on, all that’s left is to swim south of Fuchsia and head towards Cinnabar Island. Good thing I just got the surf HM and can just ride Barioth, I do hear I need to go through a cave on the way, aren’t we done with cave’s yet?
Here we go, using The Backloggery I can randomize the game every week, but before we do that I think we’ll go with the one other I’ve beaten so far. That’s right, Haunted House, a game which can be beaten in five minutes easy, which I did when testing new carts last weekend. I want to make these reviews long, but the general nature of Atari 2600 games wont always let that happen. Not all games have the stigma of ET, or the complexity of the Swordquest games. however short the game is I will try my best to give out what information I can find on it.
The Story: You are wandering around a Haunted House and to escape you must find all the pieces to an urn while avoiding bats, tarantula’s and the ghost of the houses final owner Old Man Graves.
From the Manual: “Many years ago in the small town of Spirit Bay, there lived a mean old man named Zachary Graves. Old man Graves was not a very well liked person. He rarely left the old mansion and spent most of his life brooding about the decaying, four story house. When he died, the house was condemned and locked up. The townspeople claim that old man Graves knew the whereabouts of a magic urn that was a family heirloom of the first family of Spirit Bay. It seems that the mansion was the family’s first home and that the magic urn, which broke into several pieces during the earthquake of 1890, is still in the old house. To this day, no one has had the courage to go into the mansion to search for the pieces of the urn. It is common knowledge that the ghost of old man Graves still haunts the mansion. Some of the neighbors claim to have seen lights flickering in the windows. Some say that they have heard eerie sounds, doors slamming, and heavy footsteps. Some even claim to have seen shadows running through the mansion. The mysterious mansion has 24 rooms connected by long corridors and staircases. Some of the rooms have been locked up for over 50 years. There is supposed to be a master key hidden somewhere in the mansion. Without the key, it might be impossible to travel from room to room. There is also an ancient scepter hidden in the mansion. Old man Graves always carried this scepter. He believed it scared off evil spirits.”
From the Box: “You are stumbling around in a dark and dusty haunted mansion. To escape, find the pieces of the magic urn. You’ll encounter giant hairy tarantulas, vampire bats and a menacing ghost. Can you find the urn and escape the mansion before you get “scared to death”?”
The Gameplay: There are four floors to the mansion, well 3 and a basement. I don’t know why it’s listed that way when floor one is the basement and that’s the floor you start and end the game on. One these floors area number of items, keys(to open doors to side rooms), parts of a scepter(which helps protect you from enemies), and the parts to the urn(which you need to escape). You can only carry one item at a time except for the urn pieces. The items appear in random locations every time you play the game. Your character appears as only a set of eyes, however you can light matches which you need to do to find the items(and the map layout on harder difficulties). I believe light attracts the monsters though, which is why you want the scepter. So basically you can either use the scepter to first locate all the pieces of the urn and remember there locations, or you can switch between the scepter and pieces until all pieces are where you want them, either way after you get the urn you need to make a break for the first floor exit. When I first tried the game, it appeared that hitting the monsters did nothing, but in reality you have nine hit points, if you get hit nine times it is game over.
The Controls: Up, down, left, right, diagonal movement. Red button lights/douses a match.
Post Review: All in all Haunted House is a very simple game. It does have nine different game modes which make it progressively harder but for now, I can’t change modes due to a broken switch on my Atari. I beat this in about a minutes just now on game mode one without really encountering any enemies. Like I said, it’s a fairly easy game, at least on lower difficulties. For being one of the first horror genre games, in it’s time period it does it well. That’s it for Haunted House, I hope everyone is excited to hear about a random Atari game from my collection again next week.
The High Score: There is no score counter in this game, which is rare from what I have seen, so I guess all you can do to compete with friends is see who can go through the fastest on each difficulty.
A whole batch of Atari items this weekend. Our favorite stop got some things i and I just got my Atari 2600 this week, so it was time to pick up some things. I’m pretty happy to be able to start collecting for this wonderful system.
First, the games: Commando Raid, Demons to Diamonds, Dragonfire, and Haunted House. I can’t wait to try these out.
Also picked up some Paddle controllers in box, I need these for Warlords and some other games, in box is a plus. and 3 boxes, I don’t have Adventure yet, but I will pick that up eventually.
Finally, I got these manuals and catalogs for free. I’m pretty excited about that. Even if I don’t have all the games yet, I will have them eventually.
I finally got myself an Atari 2600, so now I can play the 70 some games I’ve acquired. On that note, I thought I should do something to better understand some of these games. Without any manuals it’s hard to know what kind of controller to use in which port or what to even do in some of these games. So here we go, I’m going to start Atari Friday’s, where I look at one game, play it for awhile and then come here and write down my thoughts on it. So look forward to this for awhile until I get through what I have at least, and then it will be a ‘review as a buy’ sort of deal. I may even move onto other consoles at some point.
What better way to kick this off is there than one of the games I actually know something about. The very game I am collecting cartridges of and want to make my gaming name off of. That’s right, I already own eight carts of this game and am always looking for more. If you’ve been ignoring the titles of my posts, and shame on you if you are, then you will be surprised to find out I’m talking about none other than ET. Yes, that very same ET that most people incorrectly label the worst video game ever. ET is nowhere near as bad as most people make it out to be. It is a finished game, albeit rushed through development. It is playable, and beatable for those who know how to play the game which really isn’t even that hard. You can beat ET in a matter of five to ten minutes. There are many other games like Superman 64 which better deserve the ‘Worst Game Ever’ label for beating literally unbeatable. I’m here to talk about ET though, so lets get started.
The Story: I’d say watch the movie, but that won’t really help you, which is the main reason this game has such a bad reputation. The game is a very loose version of ET being stuck on Earth and having to call the mother ship for a ride home.
From the Manual: “What kind of crazy planet is this, anyway? We came here to conduct a simple study of primitive planets, and look what happened! These…things…came and scared away my friends. Before I knew it, all my friends boarded our lightship and flew home. What do I do now? The only one I can trust is that nice little alien– Ellleeott. He gives me those tasty energy pills (What did he call them? Reeessseess Peeesssesss?) But these other aliens! Every time I get ready to assemble my transgalactic communicatior, they come and take me away. The one with the white coat sticks that temperature measuring device in my mouth (I wonder why he was so upset when it melted?), and the other one in the trench coat keeps muttering those strange sounds (Naaashaaannaall Seeeccuuuureeetteee?) I just want to go home! I hope Elllleeott and I can assemble all the pieces of my communicator before my energy runs out. Oh, oh. Here come those crazy aliens again. Help me, Elllleeott! Help me get home!”
From the Box: “Ouch! E.T. is lost on Earth and wants to get home. Help him build an interplanetary telephone to call for assistance before his energy runs out. But beware of government agents and curious scientists who will sap E.T.’s precious energy before he reaches his goal.”
The Game Play: First, how do we even play ET. Well, it’s really simple. You play as ET, who is stuck on Earth, trying to recover the parts to his interplanetary phone so he can call his mother ship to come and retrieve him. These pieces are hidden in the ‘pits’ ET falls into. Actions like levitating out of the pit cost energy, which when it runs out Eliot will come revive you to 1500 energy a couple times before game over.. Energy can be replenished by collecting ‘Reese’s Pieces’, I kid you not those little dots you collect on the ground really are Reese’s Pieces. You will also be chased down regularly by government agents who will steal the phone parts if they catch you, and scientists who drag you around. Once all the phone parts are collected, you have to find the spot where they can be used to call the mother ship. After this has been done, you have a set amount of time to reach the spot where the ship arrives so ET can go home.
There are various screens that all revolve around a cube shape. The field where you start (and end the game) is at the top. The city is at the bottom, and the sides are all the fields with the pits. on some of the screens are icons at specific spots that let you do certain tasks like call the ship, however ET can also teleport between screens which is useful for getting away from the government agent hunting you down. I already mentioned the Icons on the screens, but let me go into what they do. The main icons are the question mark which lights up which pit the phone part is in, the roman numeral III which sends the humans away, a donuts which is where you eat the Reese’s to regain energy, and a human shouting to call Elliot. There is also the Space Invader alien where you phone the mother ship and the square in the forest which is the landing site.
The Controls: Up, left, right, down, diagonal movement. Red button levitates in pits, lets you run on map, and activates the icons on the various screens.
Post Review: I have finally beaten ET after about 4 tries. I will admit it is a pain sometimes to get out of the pits and not fall back in immediately. For some reason I cannot change game modes, so I was stuck on game mode 1, which is the most annoying because you have both the government agent and the scientist aggravating you. However after a few tries I was able to scout out all the icon locations. Using this scouting I was able to locate everything before grabbing it so the humans could not take my things away while searching for everything else. I lost a few phone parts waiting for the ship to come, but once the call is placed all you have to do is wait on the landing spot for the ship to come. It can be quite aggravating at times, but a lot of older games are this way, back when games were hard and didn’t hold your hand all the way through. See how easy this all sounds. The controls work, and the game does not have any major glitches. Sure it’s short, and yes it was rushed through development, it may not be the best game ever, but it really is far from the worst. My only wish is for people to stop calling it the worst game ever made, it clearly is not.
The High Score: Game Mode 1 with a score of 3034.
Alright, lets see what Celadon has to offer. Lets check out the housing here, large apartment building… nice rooms…decent people…’Free’ Eevee (nicknamed ‘Barioth’)… and moving on. Oh look, a large department store, definitely shopping time. Junky TM’s here, oh well at least there’s an evolution stone section, I need a few of these. Vending Machines, yes, time to stock up on some sweet sweet soda pop. Next up, Looks like the grass gym is here, now this one will be easy, time to shine Rathian and those many many duplicate birds. Erika’s Grass Gym is now burned to the ground.
I hear there is a casino they allow minor’s into, how irresponsible. Oh it’s run by those team rocket loser’s, time to mess up there hideout and make them look stupid. Damn, I lost Diablos to a koffing’s self destruct, wrong guy Team Rocket wrong guy. Returning to the Poke center to deposit Diablos into the deceased box and retrieve Barioth to fill the empty slot. I’m also going to use a water stone to make Barioth into Vaporeon. Vaporeon will also receive the Water Pulse TM received from Misty.
Trained up and finished wrecking this Team Rocket hideout, beat the shit out of some guy named Giovanni, idiot left me a sylph scope. I guess it lets me see ghosts or something, so detour back to Lavender. Inside Pokemon Tower, guess who shows up, none other than that jerk Douche, he was weaker than any other time before, why won’t he leave me alone. Man, all these channeler’s are possessed, they really shouldn’t mess with ghosts if they don’t know what they are doing, serves em right. Are you kidding me, Team Rocket is here too….when will these guys learn I’m taking over Kanto, get out of here you losers. I received a Pokemon Flute from the guy in charge, kinda neat I guess, wakes up Pokemon, but then again I’m no musician so any instrument would do that in my hands. Anyways I hear Team Rocket is holed up in Sylph Co Headquarters, so I’m going to check that out. You dumb scientists, why are you fighting me, I’m here to help you, guess we know who the moles are.
Man, I lost Bnahabra to a Magneton, thanks a lot, Guess it was to be expected, Rathian went paralyzed and low HP, and the rest of my team is pretty much flying thanks to numerous repeats. I’m going to get Basarios (Geodude) out of the box to fill Bnahabra’s hole, should have gotten him out sooner. Now is the fun task of leveling him up to party level.
With Basarios leveled up, and a Snorlax named ‘Arzuros’ caught and boxed, back to Sylph Co I go. Everything seems to be going better than last time, Sylph Co is almost cleared now. Damn, another one lost to a wheezing explosion, Dosbiscus this time. Whelp, slot filled with Goa Magara, time to train him up to level, Then train everyone to be ready for the end of Sylph Co. It’s okay, I was thinking of switching out Dosbiscus anyways, just sucks to not have him available for later.
Very simple grab today, two games on NES I knew nothing about and was very pleasantly surprised with.
First one is “Athena”, seems very simple. Even the label says “Japans Top Arcade Hit” I spent about five minutes with it, a girl who I can only assume is ‘Athena’ runs around killing monsters. It is basically a side scrolling beat em up plat former, you run along beating up monsters and they drop weapons so you can kill them faster. That’s as much as I got. I will spend more time with it later to see if it goes deeper than this.
The Second one is “Journey to Silius”. The story is apparently about a boy, who’s father has been killed, who receives a message (on a floppy disk) to finish his fathers work, so he sets out. The game is a side scrolling shoot em up, where as far as we played (somewhere in level 2) the enemies are all robots. My friend, The Obsessive Compulsive Gamer, called this game “The game does Terminator better than the Terminator game”. The box/label art is basically a screenshot from level 1. We were very impressed with both the graphic and sound work in this game. The overall quality is just what you would expect from a Sunsoft game.