Posts Tagged ‘d.Tox508’

Atari: Game Over

Genre: Video Game, Documentary
Publisher: Microsoft X-Box
Release Date: November 20th 2014

Starting off with an epic feel, visions of mountains and canyons, its clear that Atari: Game Over is gearing up to tell this legendary “urban legend.” The movie quickly transitions into its main concept of finding the rumored legions of Atari 2600 E.T. games buried deep in the Alamogordo Landfill in New Mexico. Not to mention speculating between whether or not the event even happened in the first place. The crew spends the beginning of the film going after where exactly the games may have been dumped, and why they were buried there to begin with.

The team spent over 3 years researching as to where the games were dumped, if they even were. One of the largest concerns of the crew was the possibility of the games being at the very bottom, and had been covered in concrete, requiring large equipment to unearth them. They had to cut through a lot of thick red tape to get permission to do the dig. Originally the crew was met with hostility, but eventually the city found it to be a good idea and allowed them to do the dig.

Atari was the original system that everyone loved. It was a staple in millions of homes across america and was the gateway to the computer revolution. Most people forget that Atari not only made home gaming consoles but also home computer systems as well. So when I think of Atari to me its a computer company, because when it comes down to it, even game consoles are computers. They focus a fair amount on Atari as a company and how it began. From its original launch item, Pong, to the birth of the 2600 (1977) debuting with only 9 carts. An instant hit across the board, this was the first time people were able to bring the arcade into their living rooms and the 2600 grew widely in popularity. The movie eventually leads up to the point where Atari acquires the licensing for E.T. at 22 million dollars. Atari took some time to do this, so when they eventually were able to get permission to make the game, they only had 5 weeks to program it, in order to make it in time for the holiday season. Typical games at this time took 5 to 6 months to create, and with only 5 weeks before the holiday dead line they needed their best programmer, Howard Warshaw.

Atari2600

Howard Warshaw was the developer and programmer for the E.T. game. He also was responsible for several of Atari’s first big hits like Yars Revenge and Indiana Jones, each selling millions of copies. So its not like he was the worst programmer at Atari, to the contrary he was their best. E.T. for the 2600 itself was a really hard game. Hard to understand, and very unforgiving, most people didn’t give it the chance that it deserved. Even today, most people speak badly about a game that they truly never have played.

The movie eventually tells the story of how Atari saw a 500,000,000 dollar loss the same fiscal year as E.T.’s release for the 2600 in 1983. This caused over 8000 jobs to be dissolved and essentially the end of Atari. The E.T. game is largely credited for its demise… But remember what I said earlier about how when I think of Atari I think of computers? At the time, Atari had flooded the market with a line of home computers that had failed terribly. Yes of course a 22 million dollar investment in a game that sold horribly doesn’t help any, but when you take into account everything else Atari was dealing in, this as well effected the overall success of the company.

“You never go to a dump unless you’re throwing something away, we’re here looking for buried treasure.” – Dig Attendant

Atari: Game Over also documents several peoples “pilgrimage” to the dig site in Alamogordo, New Mexico. These people have not only an overall devotion to gaming but to the urban legend itself. When watching the movie I was surprised to see the large turnout at the dig, several thousand people surrounded the site waiting for the first glimpse at what may or may not be there. Most notable was the wind during the dig, kicking up the loose white sands of the desert, apparently record setting. The first thing found was an Atari 2600 joystick top by one of the many onlookers. Eventually they find a boxed copy of E.T. and then subsequently several copies after that. When it really comes down to it though, E.T. only made up 10% of the games found, most were popular games of the time like Adventure, Pac-Man and Asteroid.

In the end, it comes down to a “myth” that was actually already documented in the some cases. I guess since it was 30 years ago its hard to tell if its true or not is up for question. Because of its severity, dumping 100’s of thousands of video game merchandise seems drastic so therefore how could it be true? The movie even ends in some ominous way leaving you wondering what was to happen with all these games that were found. Were they to be boxed up in some hangar in the desert for another 30 years? No, nothing that epic, shady or conspiracy theory like. Other than the ones given out and donated to various different people involved with the dig and video game history, they were later sold by the town of Alamogordo via EBay for $1500 a pop.

EBay ET

Watch Atari: Game Over

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Deep Dungeons of Doom

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Hack & Slash, Casual
Developer: Bossa Studios
Publisher: Bossa Studios
Release Date: October 14th 2014

First off, this game met one of my prerequisites immediately: Looking like it was made in 1991 for MS-DOS or the Commadore 64, and this game fits it better than a condom. This Android port originally made for tablets, despite what some may say in forums, is a great port to PC and although simple, is still incredibly fun. Initially the graphics reminded me a lot of a recent release called “Ultionus” but the gameplay however is incredibly unique. Deep Dungeons of Doom takes a bunch of elements and blends them all together to create a playing experience like no other. I love everything from the painstakingly perfect pixel graphics,  intense and spectacular soundtrack, all the way down to the deep, rich and in-depth story straight out of the times of King Arthur.

Deep Dungeons of Doom is what I would call a “Timing Based” dungeon crawler. Meaning you can’t move your character on the screen and you only have 3 actions, attack, block, and use item. Simple and straight forward controls, my only complaint would be the lack of controller support, but I can only hope that will come in the future. Starting out is pretty basic, but it takes a short period of play to get the timing down for blocking and attacking enemies. You face your opponent in a turn based style, but battle is very much real-time. Seemingly simple at first, Deep Dungeons of Doom ends up turning into an involved and intricate game that continues to keep your mind at work and make good use of your keyboard skills. You can cause extra damage if you attack an enemy while they are attacking, but be aware; it works both ways, so watch out. The fighting isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. During boss battles, like the first dungeons boss Pitch Black, you need to learn his secret before being able to inflict any damage. Each enemy has a unique attack and block pattern, so stay on those toes and attack when they aren’t blocking, and block while the enemy is attacking.

You will meet monsters and you will need skill and tactics to defeat them. You will find weird and wonderful treasures along the way. Most will help you, but some might not. You may choose to play as a Crusader, a Witch or a Mercenary – in fact each one might well be required if you are to successfully complete your quest – but knowing when to use each one is something you are going to have to figure out for yourself. – Deep Dungeons of Doom

The whole point of the game is to clear dungeons and build the characters stats with special items and skills. After completing the first dungeon you are given missions to complete with the Crusader. Once the first dungeon is cleared you are then able to view the map, this is where you can visit the shops and are able to purchase potions and upgrade your skills. The first skill upgrade for the Crusader is “Holier Than Thou” which gives you +5% Miracle Heal & +1HP. In the dungeons you find Altars, these Altars are where you exchange gold for enhancements. Usable items make up a large part of gameplay and are essential to success… most of the time. Some items like “Contract of The Vampire” that gives you +1HP & deals +2 normal damage to your opponent have nothing but positive effects, but others like “Devils Contract” where on use you pay 8HP but receive +60% resistance to all, +6 attack & +6 agility for 3 floors have some negative effects as well. There are also equipable items found in random chests after you defeat an enemy in a dungeon, or in shops when on the map. Items such as “Sturdy Sword” gives +1 attack while equipped, or even better “Ring of Magic Cure” which requires 2 magic but gives +2HP per floor. With continued gameplay you unlock 2 other playable characters, also upgradable. This gives the game a bit more “depth”, using magic with the Witch and swift moves with the Mercenary, combining items with the heroes passive skills makes for an even better chance of victory.

The soundtrack stays true to the 8 bit era, composed with astonishing perfection. Songs don’t get overly boring or repetitive they actually keep you interested and are pretty catchy fitting the game perfectly. Graphically Deep Dungeons of Doom is brilliant with incredible pixel art capturing the essence of the original games we call retro that paved the path before it. The cut scenes are awesome with beautiful 8 bit graphics to tell its incredible and strong story line. The death animations are on point, imaginative and gorey as hell. I don’t usually promote games made for the tablet and ported to the PC, but in this case, its was done perfectly. I’ll be honest, I had no clue this was originally Android based that’s how good the gameplay in Deep Dungeons of Doom is. This is an incredibly fun game, and for the price completely worth it. Not only does it have several hours of gameplay, but the “replay factor” on this game is huge, because remember those dungeons do get deep.

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 9/10
Challenge: 7/10
Replay Value: 7/10

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Genre: Action, Indie
Developer: Test3 Projects
Publisher:
 Paradox Interactive
Release Date:
 July 24, 2013

First off, the only way to describe what was running through my head when I first started playing Teleglitch was “WHAT THE FUCK?!!?” Saying that, this indie roguelike from developer Test3 Projects rabidly eats your half alive corpse and then spits it out leaving you wanting more. Strangely addicting, you find yourself drawn to Planet Medusa 1C left in awe by the pixellated madness that is Teleglitch. So strap up and make every shot count, and I’ll tell you why this is one of my top 5 picks of the year.

Teleglitch is one of those games where watching “Lets Play” with some youtube douche bag in his mothers basement isn’t going to suffice. Best played with a keyboard and mouse,  this top down shooter is reminiscent of GTA but put together with the savage intellect of a guerrilla militia planning its next terrorist move. To be honest, I was standoffish when it came to this game at first, it didn’t catch my eye, and I wasn’t really sure what it was all about. During a sale on Steam I was able to purchase Teleglitch for a good price and give it a chance, and I’m glad I did. After getting the hang of this game I felt like Rick Grimes or Daryl Dixon on a rampage blowing off zombie’s heads and throwing pipe bombs at anything in that got in my path.

In a cold, dark future dominated by mega-corporations, a place 30 light years away from Earth, Planet Medusa 1C is on the edge of habitable space and the site of a shadowy research facility specializing in necrotic tissue reactivation. You are a scientist who has suddenly awoken to the realization that you are the lone survivor. The rest of the facilities personnel have all been killed, micro-chipped and reactivated as combatants by the facilities central processing AI. An in-depth storyline keeps you constantly informed of your surroundings and almost adds a sense of excitement through your adventure. The story of Teleglitch continues throughout each level and grows deeper and more involved as you progress on your quest.

This game is hard and involves a lot of tactical thinking on the fly. An advanced crafting system helps you build explosives among other various weaponry based on the materials you collect throughout each level. You are also able to craft other tactical items like the Detector which helps you locate enemies on the map in close quarters where you would otherwise be ambushed.  Combining health kits or different materials can result in health upgrades or even steroids. These crafted items are a key element of Teleglitch making later gameplay almost impossible without them. The map is another vital piece of gameplay and by using it as a constant reference I found that it not only allowed me to keep my bearings but also helped keep track of any missed rooms I may have passed on the way. You will also encounter databases that hold crucial information regarding your mission, or maybe some tactical advice regarding secret locations which also make up a large part of the game.

The “Die More Edition” of this game alters gameplay slightly making each of the enemy creatures slightly more powerful to increase difficulty, as well as offering more weapons and items to craft with. Weaponry is a large part of the game, but in a small way. On Medusa 1C there is a lack of ammunition so every bullet counts and depending on what you are wielding you may not put down what is attacking you in one shot.  Without the “Guns & Tunes” DLC you start off with the standard 9mm pistol, then with continued play you are able to find more ammo and other weapons or explosives. Something that sets Teleglitch aside from other roguelikes of its kind is the unique crafting system I had mentioned earlier, and with this you are also able to build upgrades to your guns, which gives them more power or a special ability.

Some might think the pixel graphics in Teleglitch belong in 1981 but I look at them and see a visual masterpiece. Nostalgic, with flawless gameplay that keeps you on the edge of your seat Teleglitch is an amazing example of a simple pixel game that took it to the next level. Seemingly so basic, Teleglitch is a breath of fresh air to the retro movement and another essential in the library of any indie game. Like many roguelikes the map and environment change with every new game. Thousands of zombies and mutants deliver hours of gameplay making this game another instant classic and comes highly suggested to any gamer.

Graphics: 7/10
Playability: 7/10
Story: 10/10
Challenge: 8/10
Replay Value: 8/10