Issue #63 - November 22nd, 2002
We all dream of playing
all the arcade games like they were in the arcades. With the
creation of MAME, most of the arcade games are now available to us! But
keyboards and most store bought controllers do little to create this
feeling of the arcade. Luckily, there has been some MAME
controllers made in the past few years to help improve our gameplay. One of these is the
Devastator, a joystick created by Jim Krych, a friend and writer for Retrogaming Times. While the Devastator
has had some success, with sales increasing, Jim has listened to what
the gamer wants and incorporated that into his new
Devastator controller. Now one of the best arcade controllers is both
improved and cheaper!
After attending the
Phillyclassic and the CCAG video game shows, Jim has collected hundreds of feedback
forms on the Devastator and carefully look at what he could do to
improve the Devastator. While there were many suggestions, some very
good and some a bit unrealistic (sorry, but the added costs of a
steering wheel as compared to the small number of games that
support it, does not add up), he tallied these and did what he could to
incorporate as many of these into the Devastator II as possible. So we
will go over the changes in the Devastator II, one by one, so you can
see how much of an improvement it is over the current model.
The biggest request he
received was for more buttons. Gamers wanted to play their fighting
games and the original Devastator with its 4 buttons per controller did
not offer this. So the button total per joystick went from 4 to 6,
which will allow the
Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat type games to be played
much more accurately. But there was sacrifices to be made. With the
Devastator already being a behemoth of a controller, just adding buttons
would have made it too big. So he had to remove the right and left
buttons he had before. Now a gamer can either order a right handed or
left handed model and the buttons will be set up for the gamer. While I
personally thought the ambidextrous design was nice, it was a matter of
giving the gamers what they wanted.
The second added feature
was the inclusion of
pinball buttons. Now the Devastator II features
buttons on the right and left side of the console to emulate the buttons
on the side of a
pinball machine. While this may not seem like a big addition
to arcade gamers, it is a nice inclusion for the pinball fanatics out
there (myself included). And with Pinmame, it makes a wonderful
request was for a
joystick with a button. With games like Battlezone,
Zaxxon, Wild Western and Discs of Tron, a button on top not only helps
recreate the feel of the arcade, but it overall improves the gameplay. In the past, playing Battlezone or Discs of
Tron almost required three hands to play it accurately. But with a
button on the joystick, you can move your tank just like in the arcade
and not have to take one hand off the controller to shoot. This simple
addition will improve the arcade feeling tremendously as well as your
Possibly the biggest
improvement is the spinner. While the spinner on the original
Devastator was very nice and worked well, the new design took it a step
further. With an
original design (that is in the process of being patented), Jim
has found a way to make the spinner have almost no friction. What this
does is make it so you do not need to periodically lubricate the
spinner. It also makes it so the spinner can consistently spin for up
to 25 seconds with one turn. To put this in perspective, that is about
twice as long as a Tempest spinner.
The last improvement is
that the price has come down. Since the first one was successful, the
costs of parts has come down and some modifications were made to make it
more cost efficient. So in turn, the price has fallen. The original
joystick cost $450.00 before shipping, but the new and greatly improved
Devastator II now costs $395.00 before shipping! How often do you get
more for less? It is usually the other way around.
Look for the website to
be remodified in the coming weeks with new photos of the Devastator II!
Also, the Devastator will be shown at the Phillyclassic, CCAG and
possibly other shows like the Cinciclassic in the upcoming year. Jim
strongly believes that the controller needs to be tried to be fully
appreciated and will be making every effort to get it out for gamers to
Click here for the Devastator website.
Here is the official
press release about the new Devastator:
proud to present the Treyonics Home Controller System, Model
The new Devastator II takes all that we have learned about home
controllers, and applied in a concept we
believe provides maximum entertainment.
The Devastator II comes in two forms, the RF and LF, this means that we
offer a right-handed and a left-handed version of the 9908.
We use all arcade parts from Happ. Including a 3" trackball. Joystick#1
is a top fire button stick. Both joysticks can
be set for 4 or 8-way per each customer's
The Devastator II uses an all-in-one USB port for enhanced
The spinner is the Fultra-Trey Spinner. We have taken the best of the
Fultra spinner and radically changed the rest.
We now have 3X the spin time of a normal
Fultra spinner, without the need for lubrication ever, or any
friction on the T-Plate from the flywheel at all. We are very
proud of the
new spinner, and we think that it meets any demand placed upon it. We
also use the Excellent Oscar Controls Model 3
encoder wheel for greater accuracy.
We would like to thank the following people:
9908(RF/LF) chasis and top panel designer: Walter C. Krych
Main Contractor: Carter Jones lumber
Manual: Data Designs
Interface: Andy Warne
Logo: Jason Sawtelle
And eveyone else who has helped in the Devastator II, including Tom
Zjaba and my fiance Lori Geiger.
We are selling the Devastator II for $395."
The 3rd Annual
Twin Galaxies Video Game Festival has been scheduled for the Mall of
America for the weekend of July 18-20, 2003.
There will be four major championships: The 3rd Annual Console Video
Game World Championship, the Annual Classics Video Game World
Championship, the 1st Annual Mall Pinball Championship and a PC Games
world Championship. As was last year, thousands of dollars in cash
prizes will be awarded during these four events.
Plus, a classic games arcade as well as a midway filled with PC and
console games on free play for public enjoyment. To see the full news
story, go to:
Also, Twin Galaxies has a new forums section now set up. You can read
news updates about the festival by going here:
Welcome back, vault fanatics. With Dig
Dug the subject of this month's Many Faces Of, I have commercials for
two arcade ports for both the Atari 2600 and the 5200: Dig Dug & Pole
Position. Both of the original arcade games were at first created by
Japanese giant Namco, then licensed to Atari for release in the States,
and both games were big hits for Atari. They also did well when they
were released for both the 2600 & 5200. The commercials cover both
You can see both of these ads at the Atari Historical Society (www.atari-history.com).
Up first is the Dug Dug ad. Here we find people in a living room,
falling through holes in the floor that suddenly appear. Maybe Dig Dug
"It isn't termites, it isn't mice, it's Atari's Dig Dug, the
earth-shattering arcade game. Dig Dug digs his own mazes, he digs for
balloon men, he digs for dragons, and now he's digging
his way into homes everywhere. Dig Dug. It's under this world."
"You think I should call the Orkin man?"
"Honey, are you down there?"
"Whoa, the house is falling."
This game brings down the house.
Commercial No. 2 is for Pole
Position. Actually Midway had the option to release this for Namco
first, but they passed on it and chose Mappy
instead, and Atari received the right. I bet
they looked stupid when arcade gamers passed on their machine for
Anyway, this 90-second epic features a family of preppies who get
treated to a taste of what Pole Position is about. We first see them on
a casual drive when a loud voice shouts
out, "Hey! You look like a big jerk!" The man
just replies, "Well, I am a corporate executive." and his wife
adds, 'He stops exciting things from
The voice then asks, "So whatcha doin'?" When
the man answers, "Muffy, Buffy, Biff Jr. and I
are going on our Sunday drive", the voice says,
"Oh no you're not, your gonna play POLE
Just like that a giant hand picks up their car and drops then into
several F1 racing cars that just happen to be passing under them. The
rest of the ad becomes a music video, showing several scenes of crashes
and explosions as the family races among them,
all with gameplay clips scatter throughout. By the ad's end, the family
has pretty much become shells of their former selves.
"Pole Position by Atari. It'll bust your crank, and leave skidmarks on
"Duh, I'm a preppie."
"It's Honey I Shrunk The Kids 3!"
"Good thing we landed in these cars that happen to be passing under us."
This is why we have SPEED LIMITS!
"This is better than some ol' Sunday drive"
Didn't we see this scene in The Phantom Menace?
Be sure you can handle it...
..like these guys though they could. Sunday drive indeed.
Don't forget, you still have time to send me what you think are the best
classic gaming commercials of all time. I will
be accepting votes until November 30th, and I'll post the top 20
commercials in the next issue.
We continue our 20th anniversary salute to games released
in 1982 with Dig Dug, an arcade game with a wide range of fan appeal,
particularly from the fairer gender. Let’s see, its cute, cartoon-like,
very colorful with some pastels, you are free to move anywhere you want
and you won’t get dirty while playing in this dirt. Oh and let’s not
forget the violence is funny - watching poor Pooka & Fygar get blown up
– literally until they pop! Just like the maze game Pac-Man in ’80,
Namco brought us Dig Dug in ’82 but this time changed the rules. Who
needs walls – why not let the player make their own maze path. This was
really cool, not to mention how simple the game was and thus easy to
learn. You could play for several minutes on one Quarter, but it always
got hard enough that you’d lose. Then you think “This is easy, it’s not
Rocket Science. I gotta try that again”. OK well, maybe we could call
it Rock Science :-)
See MFof in RT # 56 for the very similar Mr. Do!.
Although coming out independently the same year, and a bit more complex,
it has a lot in common at its roots. The bad guys chase you through a
maze that you create. After a while they get tired and turn into
ghosts, exit the tunnels and head straight for you. The bonus prizes
showed up in the middle of the screen, and you could dig underneath
rocks (apples) and drop them on the bad guys - splat. You should
already know how to play Dig Dug, drop at least 2 rocks, collect the
prize, then use your air pump (what a weapon!) or drop rocks to vanquish
the remaining Fygars & Pookas. Three consecutive pumps and watch them
Dig Dug, sans the AP2, which I won NIB on ebay, but I
still have not received.
Arcade: by Namco 1982
Home Versions: all but 7800 & INTV by Atari/Atarisoft.
Coleco (‘84, Larry Clague), C64 (‘83, Michael
Reno), Intellivision (’83 David Warhol, INTV)
1983: Vic 20, 2600, 5200, Atari 8 bit, TI-99. 1987: 7800 (General
Computer Corp –for Atari),
Unknown year: Apple II.
Artwork by: Gus Allen
Sequels: Dig Dug II 1985 Namco
Home Version Similarities.
All versions have: all arcade bonus prizes, a variety of
unique rounds/screens - enemy & rock placement; the screens (play field)
colors vary from round to round; the final enemy runs away to the top
left; and the score, number of lives remaining are displayed on the
screen. Except for those in ( ), all home versions; display the round
number - most using flowers (2600); keep track of the high score (Vic
20, C64, 2600, 5200 & 7800); a pause (2600 & Vic 20); bonus lives (CV? &
TI-99?); the enemies speed up at some point (TI-99); display points for
vanquished enemies (2600 & Vic 20); and the bonus vegetable last for
about 15 seconds (AP2, C64). In only a few versions: must the rocks be
held upwards or fall instantly (C64, Vic 20 & TI-99); there are several
choices for the starting round (5200, C64, Atari 8-bit, TI-99 & CV); and
for these versions, (2600, 5200 & 7800) there is a demo, plus a
continuation option & a child version. One of the most important
elements of the gameplay is that you move slower when digging.
Unfortunately this has not been accounted for on most versions - but
hurrah for the 7800 & C64, and 2600 (sort of) which did this right.
Music: Although the sound effects are pretty much all there on every
version, some of the musical pieces are missing. I’ve named these as
follows: “I” Intro, “D” During play, “T” Tense when they speed up, “C”
Chase when the final enemy is running away and “E” Ending music for the
round. Most versions only have the music play when Dig Dug is in
motion, or shortly thereafter.
Have Nots: Vic 20 (31)
This fairly common cart eluded me for quite a while. My first reaction
was how poorly the Intro music is looped and choppy. The Gameplay is OK
(6), but hurt mostly by the small 10X11playfield, and also the fewest
enemies (max 6) and slow movement by Dig Dug (up/down). There are no
starting round options, but of note is that the rocks are correctly done
here. That is, if you do not continue to push/point up, the rock will
fall once it is dislodged. All but 3 versions did not code this
feature, but since it is not essential to the gameplay, I did not add or
subtract points either way. Addictiveness is very good (7) enough to
make any Vic 20 fan happy, but there is no pause. Somewhat annoying are
the ghosts, who can pop in without warning, one spot from where they
should. This makes the game more challenging than it should be.
Graphics are acceptable (5), and with only 5 different objects, Fygar,
Pooka, Dig Dug, rocks and the prizes you can easily tell what is what.
The Sound is blah (5), with limited sound effects and the music is not
too elegant - also missing the T & C. Controls are well done (9), but I
had just a little trouble – so I wouldn’t call them perfect.
Have Nots: Intellivision (37)
My first reaction was the wide playfield - 18X10 high, but still
satisfactory. The Gameplay is all there (7) and complete, but the
addition of a starting round option would have help. A slight nuisance
is that part of the playfield looks playable, but is not. This “fake
dirt” can be costly if you do not realize you are digging into ground
that cannot be dug. The 5200 has a similar false edge, but it is a
little easier to make out the difference on the screen. All other
versions you can tell at a glance what is NOT part of the playfield - so
learn where the dirt stops here. Addictiveness is enjoyable (8),
complete with the usual INTY pause. Not counted in the scoring, but
you’ll also get a little more mileage out of this particular cart, which
has a hidden game “Deadly Dogs”, (see Digital Press Guide to activate
this Easter egg) which is a combination of the game “Tron Deadly Discs”
using the Dogs from “Burgertime” (both with origins in ‘82). The
Graphics are very good (7) but also small due to the wide playfield.
Sound is all there (8) and among the best. Controls are very good (7),
but are insufficient for this non-stop pump and run game. This is the
hardest released version to find.
Have Nots: Atari 2600 (39)
My first reaction was excitement that Atari packed in a demo and a
child’s version. The Gameplay is complete (7), and besides the C64 &
7800 is the only other version where digging is slower than moving. The
child’s option is nice, but it’s hard to make up for that small 11X10
playfield. The round number is never displayed, but you can “continue”
your next game making the Addictiveness enjoyable (8) when you can
practice those harder rounds. To “continue”, press the fire button
before the “Game Over” disappears, and start on that round with 3 lives,
but of course, no points scored. The remaining versions with
continuation also work this way. There is no pause. The Graphics are
good enough (6), to enjoy the game, no problems, but little to no
details either. Sound is all there (8) in effects and music, but a
little weaker than the medal winners. Controls are perfect (10).
Have Nots: TI-99/4 (40)
My first reaction was that the final ghost/enemy was pretty lame. Runs
off and you cannot pump him in ghost form and does not actually leave
the screen. The Gameplay is impressive (8) with seven starting rounds
to choose from and an adequate sized 15X9 playfield. There are no
drawbacks, although I may have been too generous as I was unable to
determine if there were bonus lives or all the bonus prizes included.
It is one of only three versions where rocks must be held in place.
Addictiveness is enjoyable (8) with a pause wisely chosen as the <space
bar>. Graphics are a little different than the others, but still cool
(7) and do not detract. Sound is effective (7), but missing music T &
C. The wailing sound often in conjunction with enemies getting ready to
become ghosts was fairly annoying and plays almost non-stop. Controls
are perfect (10), using the converter and an Atari style stick.
Have Nots: Apple II (40)
My first reaction was that it really has more music & sound effects than
I expected. The Gameplay is all there (7), but does not appear to have
any options and no continuation (possibly my version is not working
properly). The 17X9 playfield is a bit off, but sufficient. The game
speed only barely speeds up when one plays too long in a round. A
little too much time (20 seconds) is given to reach the bonus prizes.
Addictiveness is enjoyable (8) and the pause is the <ESC> key. Graphics
are detailed (8) but like the INTY, too tiny to give it any better
score. Sound is very nice (8) only missing music C. Controls are well
done (9), but the analog sticks promote more mistakes, plus the fire
button programming requires the button be repressed each time and cannot
be held. The usual joystick or keyboard option can be helpful. As
usual, the AP2 version is only available on disk.
Have Nots: Commodore 64 (42)
My first reaction was shock at how much music is missing (all but D &
T). The Gameplay is impressive (8) with one of only two perfect 14X14
play fields - allowing for possible exact matches of arcade rounds. A
bit too much time (20 seconds) is given to reach the bonus prizes.
There is no child’s version or demo, but options for 10 starting rounds
is cool. Perhaps an overkill is that up to 9 (the most on any system)
enemies can be on-screen, slowing the action too much. Thus the
Addictiveness is very fun (8) but it could be better if not so slow.
The pause is the <space bar> but there is no continuation. Graphics are
fantastic (9), with loads of detail. Sound is very good (7) with nice
effects, but the missing music essentially costs it a share of a medal.
Without music, the “ghosting” sound is thrown in, and thus heard too
often. Controls are perfect (10). This version is found on both cart
and disk from Atarisoft, and also on disk from Thunder Mountain and
Datasoft. I do not have all versions, but Mat Allen says they are
pretty much the same.
Bronze Medal: Colecovision (43)
My first reaction was to agree with Sean Kelly (Digital Press). If
Atarisoft had finished it, this baby may have been the best. I could
disqualify it, since it was never officially released, but then it is
now available in cart, and probably ROM format for those who want to
play it. The Gameplay is impressive (8) and complete. I gave it a
little slack knowing that it was not polished - such as no apparent
bonus lives, no “real” demo and a shortened 14X8 playfield. But there
is a choice of 3 difficulties er uh starting levels combined. Obviously
they couldn’t make up their mind so they gave a mix with 5, 4 & 3 lives
when starting at rounds 1, 3 & 5 respectfully. But there is no actual
difficulty change in any option. Addictiveness is very fun (8) but I
didn’t add a point for the pause <*>. When using a non-CV controller,
you cannot pause. A shame since the second controller can still start a
game, but nothing else. Is it unfinished or short-sighted programming?
Graphics are wonderful (9), maybe the best, with loads of color and
detail, especially the inflation and bursting sequences. Sound is nice
(8) only missing one part of the music. Controls are perfect (10) using
Atari controllers. Never officially released - too bad.
Bronze Medal: Atari 5200 (43)
My first reaction was that there was nothing missing or
wrong - so it should earn a medal. Upon closer examination there is
some play field that almost looks like the annoying “fake dirt”. But
this is not too bad and otherwise, the game only lacks the right
controller. The Gameplay is impressive (8) and possibly the best. The
14X13 playfield is almost enough to make exact matches with the layout
of the arcade rounds. All the options are here, 12 different starting
rounds, the child’s version (easier difficulty) and a demo.
Addictiveness is outstanding (9) with a pause <pause>, and continuation
of the game that may keep you coming back more than any other. Graphics
are sharp (8), just a wee bit simplified. Sound is well done (9) with
the best sound effects and every piece of music included properly.
Controls are super (9), but even with the Wico sticks occasionally fail
to be perfect.
Silver Medal: Atari 8 bit (44)
My first reaction was how lame this game was. Fortunately there was a
revised/upgraded version. The initial release was sad but fortunately
is harder to find. The first version and then revised version was
released on both on cart and disk. Digital Press calls the revision the
“Dig It! Player Update”. There is also the 5200 version made for the
Atari 8 bit, which is probably the best of the 3, and what I used to
score this system. This only works on the 400/800. It gets the same
scores and comments above as the 5200, but then add in a perfect (10)
for Controls. The first version would be scored (7,6,7,6,10 = 36).
There’s no pause, no Galaxian starting round or prize, no kid’s version,
a 13X9 playfield, no continuation, all with some very annoying sound and
effects. The enemies look like green goblins. If you have this
version, just look, but do not touch.
Gold Medal: Atari 7800 (45)
My first reaction was frustration since the 7800 should be capable of
including everything. There was no starting round option, but the
Gameplay is still very impressive (8). The continuation allows you to
practice the harder rounds and there is the child’s version as well as
the perfect 14X14 playfield. The Addictiveness is fantastic (9), and
nothing will turn you away. The pause is <pause>. Graphics are superb
(9) with plenty of color, detail and animation. The Sound is wonderful
(9) with the best effects and very complete music. Controls are perfect
(10) using a 2600 stick. Now if they only would have made a
simultaneous two-player version . . .
Acknowledgments: Thanks to those who directly or
indirectly help me in my reviews. The Giant list of classic
programmers, KLOV, Digital Press Guide, and Yesterdayland 80’s. Also
special thanks this month for help from several folks, and I may have
missed someone too. Andrew Tonkin who sent me FREE from Australia a
spare Vic 20 cart to complete my classic collection. Andrew has been a
good fan of my column for quite a while and is also a Vic 20
enthusiast. Sorry that it did not score so well, but he made sure that
it was not left out. Also Ron Corcoran,
Steve Knox, for the Atari 8 bit details, especially since my cart was no
good and I only had 2 of the 3 disk versions. Mat Allen verified the
different C64 multiple releases. Finally Sean Kelly for the CV cart, a
gem for the CV collection.
Come back next month, just after Star Trek: Nemesis hits
the big screen for another arcade game that premiered in 1982, Star
Trek: S.O.S and its 7 faces on classic home systems for the Atari 2600,
5200, 8 bit, Vic 20, TI-99, C64 & CV. Alan Hewston can be reached at:
Hewston95@stratos.net or to trade see my new pages at:
The Atari Times
Online Newsletter has announced the eminent
release of the 2002 Year End Issue scheduled to be completed in
early December, 2002. A limited-run of copies will be printed to
accommodate the demand.
The issue will include at least 100 page issue of features, reviews, and
previews for all Atari home systems that have appeared on the
website over the past year. These include
articles for the Jaguar, Lynx, 7800, 5200,
2600, and home computers.
In addition, the 2002 Year End Special Issue will include 15 pages of
previously unreleased material as well as a color cover.
The pre-order pricing of the 2002 Year End Issue is $12.00 plus $4 for
U.S. shipping (overseas shipping is $8.) After December 4th, the
price will be $15.00 plus $4 U.S. shipping
(overseas shipping, $8.)
More information on The Atari Times 2002 Year End Issue can be found at
The extremely late,
but stubbornly un-re-dated, Jul/Aug issue of 2600
Connection is now available. The editor humbly apologizes for
the delay to all subscribers. :-)
#73 (Jul/Aug 2002) Autobiography by David Lamkins, Secret Quest Code Is
Cracked! by Warren Lawrence, News & Notes, Letters, Classifieds.
Subscription prices for one year (six bi-monthly issues): United States:
$9; Canada/Mexico: $10.50; International (outside
North America): $12 (payment in U.S. funds please). I can also accept
subscriptions for any number of issues at the rate of $1.50 (US), $1.75
(CN/MX) or $2.00 (world) per issue.
I will accept cash, but prefer check or money order, payable to: Russ
Perry Jr. Payments via PayPal are accepted if not from a credit card,
and I will also accept 4 $0.37 stamps per issue for US subs, but like
cash, these methods are not preferred.
The 2600 Connection
c/o Russ Perry Jr
2175 S Tonne Dr #114
Arlington Hts IL 60005
beg of you to quit asking for roms to arcade games. I cannot help you.
I do not know who has them and do not have the time to find them for
you. Use Google or another search engine and find them. Sorry, but I
get a few hundred requests a month for this game or that game. Now
onto the letters of the month that were not rom requests.
Why didn't you do a
Halloween issue of Retrogaming Times?
To be honest, we did it in the past and there is really nothing more to
say. Play Haunted House, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween for the
2600. Then play Dracula for the Intellivision and drink lots of cider.
Then try to squeeze into your Pacman costume from your youth and scare
the trick or treaters.
I bought an Atari on ebay
and it said that it came with paddles, but when I opened it, there was
no paddles. I really wanted an Atari paddle, so I could show all my
buddies the next time we went canoeing. So I am asking you, do you
have any Atari paddles?
It is letters like these that you just hope the person is joking around
and not serious. This ranks right up there with the woman who emailed
me and said she could not figure out how to keep a roller controller in
Are there any Atari games
that I can play with my dog?
Sure, you can play fetch with a joystick. Also, tug of war with power
supplies is always a fun game.
I tried downloading some
games off your site, but your links do not work. Please help me.
One day I will find out what these people think are download links on my
site. I have never had any games for download on my site, yet I get
emails every month from people who cannot get the downloads to work. I
just have to laugh or I would end up going crazy.
Continuing my discussion of 7800 Sports games, I decided to do another
of the big three: basketball. Plus I included hockey and some winter
sports, seeing how it's that time of year again for skiers to hit the
slopes and hockey player to do battle on the ice.
Once again expectations will be high if Atari hopes to compete with
Nintendo and Sega.
One On One (Atari, 1987)
Before NBA Live, Electronic Arts had One on One, featuring
b-ball legens Larry Bird and Dr. J. Their game on the Commodore 64 was a
smash hit, and a fun one to boot, so the 7800 should be no problem,
Anyway, here we find Bird and Dr. J in half-court basketball action. One
or two players can go at it, and if you're alone you can be either
player. You can either play for a set time or play to a set score. As
you play, remember that half-court rules are in effect. In addition to
the standard fouls, if you get the ball when the other player rebounds
it, you must take the ball to the bottom of the screen to clear it
before you can shoot it. You can try to block the other player's shots
or steal to ball and go for it yourself. If one player slams the ball
the backboard may shatter, adn the janitor won;t be happy about that.
When all is said and done, as the sole b-ball title One on One is
decent, but not as good as the C64 version. The graphics are weird and
the players look cartoonish. Other than the decent intro tune, there's
no music, and the souns effects are sub-par. The controls are sluggish
but usable. The game does score points with its options, making it easy
to customise your game, and the computer opponent does provide a good
challenge. You may still find some enjoyment from this one-on-one game,
but the other version are still superior.
Hat Trick (Atari, 1988)
Again, this is the only 7800 game to represent hockey, and
it's based on a fun little arcade game. From an overhead view you and
and friend play a game of 2-on-2 hockey. Each team has one player and a
goalie. Basically you just play for five minutes, seeing who can score
the most points in that time. If the puck is coming your way, you take
control of you goalie to attempt a save.
The arcade game was fun, but the 7800 game falls short again. The
graphics are choppy and the players movements
are jerky. The sounds aren't so great either. Again the music is
lacking, and what is there is hard on your ears, and the sound effects
are silly. The controls are easy to use yet unresponsive. You just don't
have much to do, just get the puck into the goal. Because games are only
two minutes long, that hurts the replay factor. If you've played the
arcade game, you might enjoy it, but this hockey game should be thrown
into the box.
Winter Games (Atari, 1987)
Another one of my faves from my C64, Winter Games is one of
the few playable 7800 sports games. Based on the real life
Winter Olympics, you and several friends
compete in four events for medals. First there's the biathlon, a
combination of cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. You need to
go through the course in the shortest time, and at several stations you
need to use your rifle and hit several targets. Next is speed-skating,
where you go head-to-head with another player. You need to move your
joystick in a certain rhythm to gain speed. Following that is the ski
jump, where you fly through the air and attempt to land correctly.
Finally is the bobsled race, sending you shooting through the tube in
the shortest time.
The graphics are very good overall, especially in the biathlon and ski
jump. You also gets some good sound effects during the game, and the few
musical tunes are nice as well. The events require different control
setups, but you'll pick them up soon. My only beef is the game is too
short. There's only four events;
the 2600 and C64 versions had seven. Plus the
closing ceremony to crown the overall winner is missing. Winter Games
loses a few points because of that, but it's still a very good Olympic
experience. I'll give it a Silver.
From what I've seen so far, the 7800 really got short-changed when it
came to sports games. Atari should have looked at the games that the NES
and Sega Master System were getting and saw the writing on the wall.
Players were into actual teams, not simplistic computer ports.
Fortunately, thanks to the 2600 compatibility, you can still enjoy the
VCS's GOOD sports games. Then again, if any aspiring programmer wants to
give the ProSystem some decent sports titles, please hurry.
This article is
going to be quick and short. But first, I want to thank Charlie Good for
all of the Geneve software he has sent me! That also includes the Tomy
Tutor games that can be played on the Geneve. My initial thoughts on
them? Well, they are a nice addition to the software library of the
However, given the
power of the TMS9995 CPU of the Geneve, and the extra memory, and the
V9939 VDP, I wonder if a Colecovision emulator would not be too
difficult to write. The only thing that would be different is the CPU,
the rest of the Geneve’s components, the VDP, and sound, are similar to
I have heard rumors
that someone was trying to do such a thing, but I have never seen
something like that in the flesh. Another thing too, is that this would
be the basis for an MSX emulator too. That would open up a TON of
software, and especially games, for the Geneve.
I have been playing
around with the ABASIC of the Geneve, and indeed it is much faster than
XB on the 99/4A. Plus I have more memory and better video to play with
too. The games I have been able to try are fairly responsive and the
action fast enough to engage the arcade player.
I have been in
contact with a company that actually makes a TMS9995 clone, in an FPGA
package. From what I have been told, it is very possible to have a
faster version of the CPU!
I wonder, with the
OS of the Geneve, MDOS, being very stable-the newest version was
released at the latest Chicago Fair, if a Geneve clone would be built. I
mention this because the same company that makes the TMS9995 clone has
also cloned the V9938 VDP. All we need to do now is reverse engineer the
gate array of the Geneve.
Charlie Good posted
a recent article on the recent Chicago Fair. And as always, there were
nice goodies to play with, new hardware and software. Also, something
very dear to my heart was more SAMS software was also released. Thanks
progressing on the CCAG 2003. Though we have an opportunity to use the
National Guard Armory this time, only stipulation being that you must
have a photo ID on you, the events on Iraq make my situation tough to
predict. So, we are again using the school.
Well, by this time
next month I will be married! Lori has been such a Godsend in
everything; especially with my son Treyton-they hit it off from day one!
And, talk about being a real helpmeet too! She will be helping me
produce the new Devastator II!!! She also loves to thrift, go to Flea
markets, and she loves playing MAME32 and the Devastator! As a matter of
fact, the first production Devastator II is a wedding gift for her! How
about them apples! Love ya Lori!!!
Now that we have
mentioned it, we are indeed making the Devastator II! We have taken
everything we have learned and applied it to the Devastator II. We have
some of the old Devastator boxes left, and those can be had for a small
fee. I think that once you see the pictures, you’ll agree about the
Devastator II being a “Serious Joystick for Serious Gamers”.
“Hi, my name is Jim
W. Krych. I am a 33 year-old electronics technician. I am also a 14-
year veteran of both the USCG, active, and the Ohio Army National Guard,
reserve with B Co. 112th engineers. I can be reached at:
email@example.com I have a three year-old son, Treyton, and he is
the CEO of Treyonics! I have also been blessed with a beautiful fiancé
her name is Lori!!! I have founded my own business and, of course, I
named the company after my son Treyton!
And now, Treyonics
is proud to present the Treyonics Home Controller System, model
Better known as the
This has to be one of the coolest sounding game shows out there!
Classic gamers uniting at an English Pub and having Jeff Minter in
attendance! Does that sound great or what? One problem, convincing my
wife that a trip overseas is necessary for the website. Guess I will
have to dream of being there. Anyway, here is a link to the site with
all the information you need. If you can attend the show, you will have
a great time. Just think of all the fun you can have. Some ale with
your Asteroids. Lager with your Llamatron. A pint while playing
Pacman, you could go on and on.
Click here to check out
How much is too much
A little more.
Maybe this has
happened to you. You’re talking at work or school one day and the topic
of old video games comes up. Someone mentions that they had one of
“those” machines and has it in the attic or basement or garage and that
you can have it if you want it.
Then they bring in
something that looks like the mice have used it as a chew toy, or it is
so moldy that you now know how they discovered penicillin.
What do you do ?
Do you smile, say
thanks and chuck the thing when you get home ? (Or before if you don’t
even want it in your car ?)
Do you try to
salvage the good stuff and throw the rest away ?
Is there a part of
you that feels guilty when you do ?
Let’s face it. There
is only so much you can do as a collector. If you are what passes for
normal with us, you understand that not everything that is video game
oriented can be kept. There are times when acceptable losses to the
collecting community as a whole will happen. Every Atari can’t be kept.
Every blinking NES console should not be stored. And an occasional O2
can be put out for the trash because it doesn’t (and probably will
Deal with it and
(Fred has been playing
games for over 25 years and actively collecting them
for over 10. The 2500 + games that he has takes up most of his
home office and
Living room. He lives in Denver, PA with his understanding wife Jennie,
his 6 year-old, button-loving son, Max and his
3 year old, 4th player, Lynzie. He believes
the only thing worse than someone offering to bring in something and
being disappointed is when someone offers to bring in something and then
can’t find it. He can be reached at
Let us once again illuminate a pathway to some great sites. May you
follow the pathway to enlightenment and entertainment. Begone brothers
and sisters and enjoy.
For the site that is all things Atari (and I do mean all
things), you need to go to the site that has Atari in the name. And
unlike Atari.com, which is the site for new Atari games (no, not for the
2600, but rather new games with the Atari imprint on them), this site
deals with all the classic systems. Everything from the 2600 to the
Jaguar. Here is the link to the site
Ozyr's Classic Video Game Emporium
This is one of those sites that I found through a search
engine and I am glad I did. Alot of information, especially about all
of the overseas Odyssey 2 games. Also info on the Bally, Atari and
more! If you like to read, this site will keep you satisfied.
Once again we stop off at the offices of Dr. I.N. Sane, the leading
psychiatrist for the video game industry. Today's session brings in the
shark from Fishing Derby. Let us sit in and listen to another session
of Video Game Therapy.
Dr. Sane-What brings you in today,
Shark-I have an eating disorder
Dr. Sane-I see, what makes you think
that you have an eating disorder, other than your very large girth.
Shark-You see Doc, I am stuck in
this one small section of the ocean, where two fishermen are constantly
fishing. And for some reason that I cannot explain, I need to keep
trying to steal and eat all the fish they catch. I don't know what it
is, but once I see a fish on the line, I have to eat it. Most of the
time, I am not even hungry. What is wrong with me Doc?
Dr. Sane-So how long has this gone
Shark-It began about 20 years ago.
I was swimming along, minding my own business, until I came to a section
of the ocean that was teeming with fish. At first, I could care less, I
wasn't even hungry. But then a fish got caught by a fisherman and
suddenly something inside me snapped and I had to have that fish. From
then on, I was hooked. Sorry about the bad pun.
Dr. Sane-So when a fish is caught by
a hook, you get hungry and need to eat it, but when it is just swimming
free, you are not interested in it, correct?
Shark-That's right Doc, one hook and
I am in a frenzy. Why Doc, why is this?
Dr. Sane-Have you tried leaving this
area, possibly a change of scenery would help.
Shark-I have Doc, but everytime I
try to leave, I come right back. It is like an endless loop.
Dr. Sane-Very interesting. What
other effects has it had on your life?
Shark-Look at me Doc, I am a fat
shark. I used to be slim and trim, but now I look more like a whale.
Have you ever seen a fat shark before?
Dr. Sane-Cannot say that I have. I
do think we need to set up more sessions to find the root of this eating
disorder and what is causing it. We will need to set up some more
Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and here at Retrogaming Times, we
are going to take this time to give thanks to an overlooked hero in
video games. Someone who has been stepped on and largely ignored. They
are there when we need them, but we never discuss them. So on this
holiday, we will finally give long overdue thanks to one of the most
important and largely forgotten parts of classic video games, the
Before you laugh, think about how important ladders are to video games.
Without their aid in going up and down, we would be stuck on a single
level. No matter how great Mario was in Donkey Kong, he would have
never made it past the first level without ladders. Take away ladders
and Miner 2049er would be a terrible game. Add in Pitfall, Space Panic,
Montezuma's Revenge, Lode Runner, Mr. Do's Castle and many other great
games. So during this holiday season, let us take a moment to reflect
and give thanks to the brave ladders of the video game world. For these
tireless souls allowed us to walk all over them and never complained
when they were not thanked for their contribution. Stand tall ladders,
you will never be overlooked at Retrogaming Times!
Time to wrap up another issue issue of RT. We had joy, we had fun, we
had seasons in the sun. But snow is on the way, so indoors we must
play. Good thing we have video games! For all you Playstation 2
owners, check out the new Activision Anthology, which looks to be good.
Also, the new Game and Watch collection on the Gameboy Advance shows
lots of promise. Remember to give thanks this year for all the
blessings we have. After you have eaten the turkey and watched the
football games, look at your video game collection and instead of
looking at what you don't have, instead look at all you do have and give
(This issue was written while listening to Roland Orzabal and Leonard
Nimoy singing Bilbo Baggins. That and I cannot get enough of Linda
Ronstadt's rendition of "Long, Long Time" since I heard it on an episode