The Return of Talking Time

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  #61  
Old 06-19-2017, 03:45 PM
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For me, it really is a matter of nostalgia. The first console system my family ever had was an Atari 7800, which was a family Christmas gift when I was... Four? Five? Around then, anyway. My dad shortly thereafter got a bunch of games from a store called Unclaimed Freight -- basically goods sold as-is, and possibly missing parts. Our early 78p0 library consisted of Pole Position II, Galaga, Asteroids, Xevious, Centipede, Food Fight, Robotron 2084, and Joust. We didn't have a manual for Joust, and until I decided to spend some time dicking around with it one evening, it didn't occur to us that rapid-fire button presses would cause you to fly.

A few years later, we got Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Mario Bros. (and I was tremendously disappointed to learn that this was not in fact the same thing as Super Mario Bros. at all), and Dark Chambers. Later still, I bought Choplifter, Jinks, Ballblazer, Tower Toppler, and Crossbow. And at some point, we bought or were given copies of 2600 games: Galaxians, Jungle Hunt, Raiders of the Lost Ark (which is about as obtuse as it gets, and basically impossible without a manual), and yes, E.-motherfuckin'-T., which is either tedious and dull on the easiest setting, or mindbendingly infuriating on literally any other difficulty, there is no in-between.

The large problem I had with moat of these is that they're a lot like old arcade games. In fact, moat of the ones we owned were either conversions of those, or games made in that mold. That's not bad in itself, but it does mean you never, ever win. The games like Adventure, which require and reward experimentation, we never had. So I didn't have much experience beyond twitch action games.

And that was fine, it just got a bit old after a while. It's hard for me to go back to those games today as anything but time killers, because I'm rarely working toward anything except beating my high score.

I actually have the old system and all of our games, but it takes some doing to hook it up to a modern CRT, and I can't think of the sorcery you'd need to connect it to an HD set. As it is, I mostly just resort to emulation when I want to get my Atari on, but there are issues there, too.

Basically, in my own personal experience, a lot of the appeal for Atari lies with good old-fashioned quarter-munching arcade-style games. It just happens that those don't sustain my interest for long these days, and aren't as involving.
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  #62  
Old 06-19-2017, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
This is your regularly scheduled reminder that the company currently known as Atari has absolutely no relation to the company that we knew and loved, and is pretty much just a board of directors in France with a stated goal of leveraging brand name nostalgia for profit.
As long as they republish E.T. I don't mind. I played dozens of hours of E.T. back when I was a kid and there was nothing else, and, lemme tell you, there are far worse games out there.

FAR worse.

YeahOK they're still Atari but they ARE worse.
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  #63  
Old 06-19-2017, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf View Post
Basically, in my own personal experience, a lot of the appeal for Atari lies with good old-fashioned quarter-munching arcade-style games. It just happens that those don't sustain my interest for long these days, and aren't as involving.
Our interests are like, completely opposite then. I just don't have the interest in 100 hour epics with intricate play mechanics and tons and tons 'o grinding. Give me something I can pick up and play for fifteen minutes, then leave once my attention span wanes.

Zef: E.T. was... not good, but I'll agree that it's hardly the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Atari 2600 games. Beyond that, I appreciate that Howard Scott Warshaw tried to bring some sense of purpose to a game that probably shouldn't have been made in the first place. I mean, it does follow the plot of the film in an abstract sort of way, and it's deeper than the average game on the system (without being an unfocused wreck, the way the Swordquest games were). HSW did a better job with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but that had the same problems with its ambition overshadowing the 2600's wimpy hardware. It's too abstract, and there's too much guesswork involved.

It wasn't like Atari learned its lesson with those games, either. Even after the company changed hands, someone attempted a 2600 version of The Legend of Zelda, called Secret Quest. Cue the GIF of the gold star with "You tried" written in Comic Sans.

Last edited by ArugulaZ; 06-19-2017 at 09:03 PM.
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  #64  
Old 06-20-2017, 07:35 AM
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My sole bit of Atari nostalgia comes from it being the last time my mom played an action game with me. It may have been Gauntlet? Something very Gauntlet-like, art least.
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  #65  
Old 06-20-2017, 11:50 PM
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When my earliest gaming memories kick in, my family had both a 2600 and a NES. I didn't particularly prefer one over the other, but my older brothers monopolized the NES, so I went for it whenever I could, since I could play the 2600 any old time. Our full catalog was:
Yar's Revenge
Berzerk
Donkey Kong
Pac-Man
Journey Escape
Space Jockey
London Blitz

I loved Yar's and still do. The NES didn't have anything like the cool energy field in the middle of the screen in it, and the lack of music and droning made the game feel intense and a little scary to me. Berzerk was my next fav, though I never made much progress in it. I didn't realize until years later that Journey Escape was about the band. I thought the game was about an alien's journey to escape Earth. I also remember the day I noticed the Nintendo logo on Donkey Kong's cart, and how bizarre it seemed to me. I liked all the games decently, with the exception of London Blitz. It was a first-person maze game about disarming bombs, but I could never figure out how to disarm them, or what any of the symbols on the screen meant.

Space Invaders and especially Pitfall always felt like the must have games for the system, and it always tore me up that I didn't have either. Long after my Atari had passed away, I saw a Pitfall cart at a flea market for $2 and picked it up just to satisfy that lifelong itch.

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  #66  
Old 06-21-2017, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
My sole bit of Atari nostalgia comes from it being the last time my mom played an action game with me. It may have been Gauntlet? Something very Gauntlet-like, art least.
You're probably thinking of Dark Chambers.
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  #67  
Old 06-21-2017, 08:23 AM
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Retronauts just put up an article on the RetroN 77.

I found an Atari Flashback 2 for like $6 at a thrift store; it thankfully ended up being the revision that properly plays a certain sound clip. I'm hoping at some point that I can mod a cartridge port into it.

I don't really have a desire for a full-sized 2600; that is, unless I take out the internals and put them in a much-smaller case. I guess if I go that route, though, I can install video mods, too.

I'm not certain that I can video-mod the Flashback 2; even if it has the B&W switch that indicates that Chrominance is separated from Luminance, the chips look to be glob tops, and it might be that the separation occurs internally, away from any easier-to-access traces.
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  #68  
Old 06-21-2017, 08:27 AM
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Well, there's always the 2600 Junior. A little tough to mod, but it's definitely small!

It's fun to take apart a 2600 and check out the kind of RF shielding they were using back then. That metal is thick enough to save you from a damn bomb blast, man.
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  #69  
Old 07-17-2017, 11:09 AM
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Ok, here's the case, or at least a concept of it.





Quote:
Our objective is to create a new product that stays true to our heritage while appealing to both old and new fans of Atari.

Inspired by classic Atari design elements (such as the iconic use of wood, ribbed lines, and raised back); we are creating a smooth design, with ribs that flow seamlessly all around the body of the product, a front panel that can be either wood or glass, a front facing logo, indicator lights that glow through the material, and an array of new ports (HDMI, 4xUSB, SD). We intend to release two editions: a wood edition, and a black/red edition.
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  #70  
Old 07-17-2017, 12:22 PM
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I got the Atari 5200 for my first communion; I think the controllers survived for about 30 seconds before they began to disentegrate.

(I was always SO ANGRY that I never figured out the hack that I think Scott Sharkey talked about on OG Retronauts - use rubber bands to cause the joystick to hold a natural center position.)

Anyway, on the days when the moons were aligned and the joysticks worked, that thing played a hell of a game of Missile Command / Defender. The Football game was also pretty interesting, as you could use the numeric keypad to input plays.

I don't think I ever got many more games after the first batch of six I had; I think I had Megamania and Congo Bongo.

So, basically, for me: no numberpad joystick, no sale.
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  #71  
Old 07-17-2017, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBear View Post
This is your regularly scheduled reminder that the company currently known as Atari has absolutely no relation to the company that we knew and loved, and is pretty much just a board of directors in France with a stated goal of leveraging brand name nostalgia for profit.
That would be true except I believe Atari Inc has now parted ways with it's French division and is back to being an American company.

From what I can work out, it seems like the director of the American division was able to leverage a complete buyout of the entire brand, all because the company formerly known as Infogrames(who acquired the name Atari inc in 2008) went totally bankrupt in 2013.

Trying to pick apart the corporate history of Atari is one giant headache.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/...porate-deaths/
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  #72  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:03 PM
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That's an elegant design. I like the choice between wood grain and no wood grain.

(Honestly though, who's choosing no wood grain? Posers, that's who.)
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  #73  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:08 PM
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This is crowdfunded, there may have at some point been a period where giving something named atari your money without an object for them to give you the very moment you and your money parted ways made sense, but it was probably before I was born.
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  #74  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:24 PM
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I honestly can't see why anyone who would buy this would buy the non wood version.
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  #75  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:51 PM
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I remain confused by the lack of a cartridge port
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  #76  
Old 07-17-2017, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daikaiju View Post
Ok, here's the case, or at least a concept of it.



Ribbed for your (gaming) pleasure.
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  #77  
Old 07-17-2017, 09:34 PM
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Looking at the back end we got what appears to be 4 USB ports, an ethernet socket, HDMI socket, Power cord socket, what I think is a SD card slot, and one oblong socket I can't identify.
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  #78  
Old 07-17-2017, 10:17 PM
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The oblong thing underneath the leftmost USB port is casting a shadow, so it may just be a power button? I suppose that is roughly the shape of a USB-C port too if the shadow is just a photoshop mockup mistake.
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  #79  
Old 07-18-2017, 05:23 AM
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It's the wrong size to be a USB-C port. It's larger than the other USB ports. So that'd have to be a big mistake to both have a shadow and be over-sized.
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  #80  
Old 07-18-2017, 07:54 AM
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It does look very much like a USB-C port. This image is a render, maybe they got the scale wrong? I have no idea what other port that could be if not a USB-C...
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  #81  
Old 07-18-2017, 08:13 AM
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Woodgrain or not, that thing is as ugly as a rhinoceros rump. It's got that "bad guess at the future" look that you see in a lot of dated movies. And I'm definitely not down with that !!RED!! backplate in the second model. You could bring down an aircraft with a color that obnoxiously bright.
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  #82  
Old Today, 07:09 AM
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uh...



Atari’s back! With a speaker hat! For Blade Runner!

Quote:
The Speakerhat is a Bluetooth-connected hat with an Atari logo on it, that allows you to listen to music, make and receive calls, and even synchronize music with other Speakerhat users. This Atari version will be joined later by a Blade Runner 2049 tie-in version.
uh...
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  #83  
Old Today, 07:40 AM
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You don't remember the iconic scenes in Blade Runner where Deckerd plays "Yar's Revenge" while wearing his characteristic Atari logo hat? This is just an homage to that famous scene that you'd have to be some sort of philistine not to remember.
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  #84  
Old Today, 08:09 AM
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With those speakers making the visor bounce up and down with the beat, I hope the subwoofer is a band around the skull.
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  #85  
Old Today, 08:54 AM
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Guess I'll cross post this here to (From my personal game dev thread

So two weeks ago I started on two separate game jam projects - both of which I finished up yesterday! One of them isn't up publicly yet but I'll let you all know as soon as it is. The one that is though is Dead Rising 2600 - a reimagining of Dead Rising for Atari 2600. I made it for the Retro Remake Jam, where you had to remake a game that was at least ten years old (and yes, Dead Rising came out eleven years ago. We're all so very, very old).

It's only for Windows and doesn't support controllers at the moment. More details at the game's dev log. Let me know what y'all think!
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  #86  
Old Today, 01:28 PM
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Atari could have the perfect opportunity to promote their new console by featuring it in the new film somehow. Even if it was in some minor way. It would have been a brilliant move.

Instead they're doing a speaker hat?
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  #87  
Old Today, 01:39 PM
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I mean, it is the perfect Atari move.
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  #88  
Old Today, 01:57 PM
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Important questions:

1. what is this?
2. what does it do?
3. who is this for?
4. who gives a shit?


Like, man, I can't see any real excitement on this. I can't. i just can't.
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  #89  
Old Today, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiers in Rain View Post
Atari could have the perfect opportunity to promote their new console by featuring it in the new film somehow. Even if it was in some minor way. It would have been a brilliant move.
Unless there's something in the article, I don't see why it should be ruled out that they're not doing both. DISCLAIMER: Did not read the article, so I'm just going by the quoted bits, which leave open the possibility.
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