Thursday, July 23, 2009

Atari Classics -- One Step Closer

I'm over the half way mark when it comes to the awards in the PSP Atari Classics Evolved. I finished all the Warlords ones (tough), and now have a total of 23 I believe.

Apparently there is a file floating around that has all the awards achieved on it, but I want to do this the old-fashioned way. I want to earn them. Cheat codes are for fuckers with mommy issues. (You know who you are.)

I'm taking my car in to be serviced soon. Two hours of uninterrupted time. I plan on achieving a few more.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I first saw the ad for the Atari 2600 game Reactor in a comic book. I don't know why, but the copy for the game made it seem like something I'd want to play. The below commercial did almost the exact opposite.

I ended up getting the game with its unimpressive (by my standards) box. I ended up really liking it, especially the soundtrack (for some strange reason). The game made me a bit tense, as I really feared being "sucked into the vortex." It was, however, everything a good Atari game should be. It was fast and frantic and had me glued to the television for hours on end. Looking at the commerical now shows that it didn't do the game justice.

I don't remember all that much about the comic book ad (other than it may have been drawn by Jack Davis), but I do remember the concept of the game. Being stuck in a nuclear reactor seemed like a cool idea for a game. (And that's saying a lot for someone who lived near enough to Three Mile Island during its crisis that annihilation was a concern.) Sure, like all 2600 games the graphics could've represented anything, but that didn't matter. All that mattered was: Is this game fun?
Reactor was fun. I don't think it's on any anthology/museum game, but if it were, I'd be playing it today. Just don't ask me to watch that damn commercial again.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Humboldt County's Shop Local Campaign Fails Gamers

I've always had a soft spot for Samurai Shodown. I remember spending countless quarters playing it at various locations in Redding, California. Months ago I heard that Samurai Shodown Anthology was set to be released for the PS2 at a $14.99 price. How could I resist that?

Lately the push to buy local has been running full steam ahead here in Humboldt County. I've been a critic of the movement as I think it is less than truthful about its intentions. My attempt to get this game showcases part of the problem with this movement.

I put the game on my Amazon wishlist. If this game had come out a few years ago I could've gotten it at Crasty's, a local video game store that, after several location changes, went out of the bricks and mortar business. Unfortunate, yes. But I did have other options. Namely, Gamespot.

Anyone who has dealt with Gamestop knows what a headache the place can be. On the weekend of the game's release I called them and had this conversation.

Me: I'm looking for Samurai Shodown Anthology for the PS2. Is it in?

Manager at Gamestop: We haven't had that game in a long time.

Me: It just came out Tuesday.

Manager: Oh, right. We have it for the PSP I think.

Me: What about the PS2? Your store's e-mails indicate it is in.

Manager: We don't have it.

Me: When will you get it?

Manager: We won't. It's not ever coming in.

Me: Ever?

Manager: You can wait until it comes in used ...

Me: No.

So I checked the other stores, which were unfortunately parts of national chains. F.Y.E.. Target. Nothing. Eventually I got it on Amazon.

Shop local pushers would have you believe it's easy to keep all your money in the community. As this shows, however, that isn't nearly true. The local, independent video game store had long since gone under. The local big box retailers and national retail stores never got it in and nor did they try. Amazon, however, not only gave me with free shipping (I bought $25 worth of stuff), but it arrived earlier than Amazon had predicted.

What should I have done? Deprived myself of the game in order to keep 45% of my $14.99 here in Humboldt? Wait for the game to show up used? No. Instead I went with the first person who wanted to sell me the game at a good price. Was it local? Nope, but not due to lack of trying.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Asteroids: The Movie

Asteroids is slated to become a movie. That's right. Atari's simplistic arcade game is going to hit the silver screen. Hopefully there will actually be a script or something.

Is this a good thing?


I can't even imagine video game junkies being excited by this one. Adding a story to the video game in order to make a movie makes it anything but Asteroids.

Enjoy the show.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Super Breakout: 3 Down 1 To Go

I've earned three awards and now all I have to do is beat the one that requires me to destroy all the yellow and green blocks. Of course, these two colors are gradients, and I'm color blind, but I think I'll manage.

Earning this last reward will clear Super Breakout. It will not even put me at halfway yet. I've earned zero rewards on Tempest. That may be the next one I go for.

Every day puts me a step closer. I will do this. I think I may be the first one to do it, too. (At least I can hope.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

At War With Atari

I've been doing this thing where I try to get all the awards in Atari Classics Evolved. It's a thankless challenge, but I want to do it. I've got all but one in Super Breakout and a host of others. I decided to give the aforementioned game a break and focus on the awards in Centipede, my all time favorite game.

In no time I beat the three challenges and waited for my awards save screen to appear. Then ... nothing. No awards save screen. No awards rewarded. Then I realized I had been playing the game on the wrong difficulty level. To say I was pissed was an understatement. Clearing the screen of all mushrooms had been hard as hell, and now I had to do it again?

I almost threw the PSP across the room.

I remain undaunted, however. I will beat all 44 challenges, and I will open those Atari 2600 games. It is my will.

(And I will probably be disappointed.)