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Atari Flashback Classics Volume 1 Review

Atari Flashback Classics Volume 1 ReviewWhenever a collection of classic games is released, I always find myself picking it up. Despite not usually having nostalgia for these retro packages (as my first console was the Genesis), I enjoy learning more about the medium that I love, and they’re typically a good way to experience games that I missed out on. Unfortunately, a lot of these end up being hit-or-miss; for every one game I end up loving, there are often a handful of titles that are only interesting to look at through a historical lens.

The latest retro video game collection comes in the form of Atari Flashback Classics Volume 1. This $20 collection features 50 games in total, with 9 being arcade games, and 41 Atari 2600-era titles. Since the games are the reason why anyone would pick this up, and there are way too many of them to touch on individually, here’s the full list of arcade titles: Black Widow, Centipede, Liberator, Lunar LanderMillipede, PongSpace DuelTempest, and Warlords.

Meanwhile, here are the 41 Atari 2600 games: 3-D Tic-Tac-ToeAir-Sea BattleBackgammonBasketballBlack Jack, BowlingCanyon BomberCentipedeCircus Atari, CombatCombat TwoDesert FalconDodge ‘EmFatal RunFootballHome RunHuman CannonballMillipedeMiniature GolfPong SportsQuadrunRadar LockRealsports BoxingRealsports FootballRealsports SoccerRealsports Volleyball, Save Mary, Slot Machine, Slot RacersSprintmaster, Star Raiders, Steeplechase, Stunt CycleSuper BaseballSuper FootballSwordquest EarthWorldSwordquest FireWorldSwordquest WaterWorldTempestWarlords, and Yars’ Revenge.

As you can see, 50 games is a lot. The biggest name on the list would be arcade hits like CentipedePongTempest and Warlords, but the Atari 2600 list isn’t too shabby either. Volume 1 features both of the Combat games (although I’d only recommend playing the original, as the iconic tank combat game’s sequel seems like a total step backwards from the simple fun that the original offers), and a lot of sports games. One thing that Atari did a deviously good job at was splitting the must-have titles between Volume 1 and Volume 2, making sure that retro fans would pick up both.

Atari Flashback Classics Volume 1 Review

The big issue that past collections have had is properly controlling the games given the change in input devices. A lot of these games used the Atari 2600’s paddle controller, which hasn’t been seen in decades (besides the super rad Nintendo DS accessory Taito put out). Games like Pong and Warlords feel terrible when using an analog stick, as it just doesn’t offer the precision needed for those titles. That’s a problem that Atari Flashback Classics has to tackle, and I feel like they’ve done a pretty solid job even if they didn’t completely solve the issue.

Each paddle game can be played in three ways: A) with the analog stick where it resets to the center after the player lets go of the stick, B) using the D-pad to move the paddle and then holding it there (it doesn’t reset position), and C) using the DualShock 4’s touchpad as a replacement paddle. I found using the touchpad to generally be the best solution (although it varies from game to game), and I actually had a good time playing these titles that are hard to port. It isn’t perfect, but it’s far better than giving players a single option.

Since Atari Flashback Classics is primarily comprised of games from the late ’70s and early ’80s, I was expecting a lot of the games to be dated. That is definitely the case, and quite frankly a lot of the offerings here are titles that I booted up once and never had any desire to play again. That said, while they offer little in the fun department, they do have plenty of historical value and seeing them preserved is great. I’ll never play Black Jack or Slot Machine again, but I’m glad they’re available.

Atari Flashback Classics Volume 1 Review

Some of the surprise stand-outs of Volume 1 ended up being Save Mary, a game where I attempted to save a young girl (who I assume is named Mary) from drowning by lowering blocks she could climb, and Fatal Run, a racing game released in 1989 (yes, somehow the 2600 was still getting new games just a few years before I was born). While neither are as good as Tempest or Millipede, they’re games that I would’ve never played if it wasn’t for this collection, and I feel like that’s why these packages are so important.

While there are probably only a dozen games or so that I actually enjoyed playing (such as 3-D Tic-Tac-Toe, a game I’ve put probably 30 rounds into and lost every single time), that’s more than enough for me. This clearly isn’t about playing the latest and greatest games, it’s about taking a look at the history of gaming, and in that aspect, it totally succeeds.

There are also some really nice extras added in on the presentation side. Players can view the manuals for all of the Atari 2600 titles, which is a really cool and thoughtful thing to do. There is one issue, though, as sadly the photo viewer’s instructions can’t be hidden from the screen, so the bottom of the manuals are often obscured when zoomed in. That’s a bummer, but hopefully it’ll get fixed in a patch. Another awesome touch is that the game’s cartridge artwork are shown when selecting each title. It’s the small things that make a collection like this feel like a labor of love, and not a cash grab on nostalgia.

Finally, there are some great modern additions such as online multiplayer for games (you can even play games while you wait for someone to join your online lobby), and online leaderboards for the arcade games. The multiplayer is where I feel like the game really shines because even if Realsports Boxing is terrible in 2016, I still managed to laugh hysterically while playing it with a buddy. It’s also pretty cool to see that I’m apparently the number 6 player of Black Widow in the entire world (despite being terrible at it). While it doesn’t go as far as Microsoft’s Game Room did in allowing players to view the replays of high-score runs, it’s still a great addition.

Obviously, this package won’t be for everyone. But if you’re looking for a solid way to play Tempest and Centipede, or just looking to learn about the Atari 2600, then I easily recommend this solid retro collection.

This review is based on the PS4 version, which we were provided with.

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Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition Adds a Big Feature to 30 Retro Games

Now that the global insanity surrounding Pokémon Go has finally — and thankfully — subsided, Nintendo’s new NES Classic Edition is expected to unleash another wave of gaming nostalgia when it arrives in stores next month. And now, a new trailer for the miniaturized retro gaming console reveals a new feature that could change the way you play the 30 classic games that come pre-loaded on it: the ability to save your game whenever.

It’s pretty simple: Instead of having to find a save point in the game to secure the progress you’ve made, all you have to do is press the NES Classic Edition’s Reset button and you’ll be taken to the console’s Home screen where you’ll be able to save what’s called a “Suspend Point.” When you’re ready to play again, you’ll be able to pick up exactly where to you left off. Crazy, right? Basically, the feature will make playing games like PAC-MAN, Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and others slightly less maddening.

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Here’s how Nintendo explains the “Suspend Points” function on the NES Classic Edition website:

“Pick up right where you left off with four Suspend Point slots for each game. Just press the Reset button while playing to return to the HOME menu and save your progress to a slot. Have a perfect run going? You can lock your save file and resume at a later time so there’s no danger of losing your progress.”

The console also comes with screen settings like a CRT filter that adds those retro scan lines to your TV screen, a 4:3 mode that horizontally stretches games to better fit your screen, and of course, a “pixel perfect” mode that lets you play the games exactly as they were designed. Likewise, busting out your old hairstyle and denim jacket from 20-something years ago is totally optional. The system comes out on November 11th and will be priced at around $60.

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Mooski’s Stories !!!

little-mooskimooskifranceWhen I was around 11, I went to the local newsstand to check out the “Dirty mags” one that was only $5.00 caught my eye cause it was cheap .  I took the magazine in my hands, and at that exact moment the jerk owner of the store yelled at me to either buy the magazine or put it back NOW!!!….When he yelled at me, I dropped the magazine and also knocked down a few racks of snacks behind me.  I ran out of the store NEVER TO RETURN!!…. Luckily there was another newsstand a few blocks away that had the same magazine. As I got the magazine and went into my pocket for the $5.00, I got to the register and hastily put the money on the counter and ran out of the store.  I got the magazine and ran home with it, it had the usual naked ladies and at the back of the magazine it had an ad that got my attention. The ad read for $5.00 you can have your own blow up doll. I had to have it. I put the $5.00 bill in the envelope and ran to the post office, to mail it right away. The ad said two to three weeks for deliver, and I waited everyday standing by the mailbox, stood there so long I knew the name of the mailman Bob.  So two weeks later, a envelope arrived in the mail and I pretty much ripped it out of mailman bobs hand and ran up to my room immediately.  Finally here my own blowup doll , I could not wait to see what the $5.00 got me, how she looked and all. I ripped open the envelop  and lo and behold there she was, a picture of a girl on a balloon….It came with a note that said Here is your Blowup Doll…Enjoy……..And that was my first and last time ordering anything from a magazine EVER until that one other time…………

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The Birth Of Baba Booey (Videos)

babalooey

Baba Looey is Quick Draw McGraw’s sidekick. He is brown, has long ears, wears a
sombrero and speaks with a thick Mexican accent. He is often seen hanging around with Quick Draw and helps him catch bad guys.

Baba Looey is often portrayed as the more thoughtful half of the duo. At times realizing some detail about a given situation, Baba Looey tries desperately to caution Quick Draw of a trap or other danger, before Quick Draw charges headlong into the fray without listening or giving consideration to his surroundings.

The birth of Baba Booey from all the way back in July 26th 1990. Gary loved collecting animation cells from classic cartoons.  Gary came into the studio telling Howard how he wanted to get a Quick Draw Mcgraw and a Bababooey cell next. Howard was , what did you call that and Gary repeated Bababooey.  Howard to Gary if you loved the character and the cells so much, you should have at least said the name right. Bababooey was born and the rest is history.

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South Park Returns For Their 20th Season (Video)

 

Image result for south park

South Park returned on Comedy Central for their 20th anniversary season. South Park’s lightning quick production schedule is one of the show’s greatest assets. It allows Trey Parker and Matt Stone to lampoon current events at a rate that simply isn’t possible on any other animated sitcom. This episode cast a very wide net, covering everything from the Colin Kaepernick National Anthem controversy to online trolls to Hollywood’s reboot obsession to the Black Lives Matter movement to, naturally, the current US Presidential Election. It’s great to have South Park back on the air.

comiccon2015Looks like this season will be all about the elections and I hope South Park can be funnier and more topical than the real election. I give this episode two stars and I hope it gets better as the season goes on.

 

 

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