Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey – Atelier Hits the Open Road

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The Atelier series, as we’ve seen numerous times over the course of its complete length, is not one to sit still for long — even within the scope of a single subseries.

Despite this, Atelier games have always managed to establish a sense of coherence between different installments — even when they might appear, at first glance, to be radically different from one another.

Such is the case with the second of the Mysterious trilogy — Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey may initially appear markedly different from its immediate predecessor Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Bookbut the more you spend time with it, the more you’ll realise there are some interesting elements in common amid all that seeming change.

Continue reading Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey – Atelier Hits the Open Road

Atari A to Z Flashback: Super Baseball

People complain these days when a sequel is too similar to its predecessor.

Count yourself lucky you didn’t fall for Atari’s 1988 release of Super Baseball, then, which is actually just a very slightly tweaked version of RealSports Baseball from the early ’80s. Complete with all the flaws of that original version, plus a pretty much impenetrable difficulty wall in single-player mode.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Retro Select: Parasol Stars

The Atari ST version of Parasol Stars may have been perfectly competent, but if you want the true experience, you should go back to where it all began: the PC Engine version.

Yes, unlike the previous two games in the Bubble Bobble series, Parasol Stars actually originated on a home platform. And that original PC Engine version of this game — available as one of the many excellent games on the PC Engine Mini — is the best way to enjoy this wonderful game. So let’s do just that!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: Parasol Stars

A lot of people forget that there’s a third Bubble Bobble game — or, as this port puts it, a second Rainbow Islands game.

But Parasol Stars from Taito is very much a thing that exists — and moreover, it got a very competent port to Atari ST thanks to Ocean Software. While the PC Engine original may be a bit smoother and slicker than this one, this is certainly not a bad effort considering how it’s running on general-purpose rather than gaming-specialist hardware.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Vegas Jackpot

I’ve never really seen the point of slot machine games. You don’t win anything, you don’t risk anything and the level of interaction between you and the game is minimal at best.

That didn’t stop lots of developers from putting them out in the early days of home computing, though — and in the grand scheme of things, Mastertronic and Sculptured Software’s Vegas Jackpot for Atari 8-bit is probably one of the better ones. There’s still very little reason to spend your time on this today though!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z Flashback: Submarine Commander

Submarine games seem to have fallen somewhat out of favour in recent years, but there were quite a lot of them throughout the ’80s and early ’90s.

The Atari 2600’s attempt to capture the excitement of this subgenre of naval combat came in the form of Submarine Commander, a Sears-exclusive release that cast players in the role of… well, of a submarine commander. How long can you survive against the relentless assault of ships that don’t seem to be going anywhere?

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Retro Select: Bonk’s Adventure

Every console platform has its mascot. Sonic has Sega, Nintendo has Mario, Sony has… sad murderous lesbians, I guess.

The PC Engine’s mascot for quite some time was Bonk, also known as PC Genjin or PC Kid. He starred in a number of different games, each of which was quite different from the last. His first adventure, seen here, was a solid and creative platformer whose slightly unsettling aesthetic has been quite influential over the years!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: OutRun Europa

As we’ve seen a fair few times on this series to date, it was quite fashionable for home computer developers to put together “unofficial” sequels to arcade classics.

Sega’s OutRun certainly wasn’t immune to this, and enjoyed several home-exclusive follow-ups over the years — including OutRun Europa by Probe. In this game, you’re on the run from the police — attempting to outrun them, you might say — and must speed your way across Europe in a variety of vehicles. And it’s not bad!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Atari A to Z: Upward

Type-in listings written in BASIC were a common sight in Atari 8-bit magazines — as were BASIC listings that were used to create executable machine code programs on disk or cassette.

The magazines Antic and ANALOG in the United States also had a strong interest in the programming language Action!, though, and published a number of listings written using this speedy, game-friendly setup. Today’s Atari 8-bit game is one such example, bringing some solid and challenging platforming action home for us to enjoy.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z

Simmin’ and Chillin’: BeamNG.drive – Utah Road Trip, Community Management and the Joy of Sims

Do you have games that you enjoy just firing up and chilling out with? Games that don’t have any real “point” to them, but you find them enjoyable regardless?

Simulations are a great way to satisfy that particular gaming need — particularly if they err on the more freeform, unstructured side of things. So I thought they might provide a good backdrop for a nicely chilled out, irregular series where we can just chat; I can tell you what I’ve been up to of late, and you can enjoy some pleasantly relaxed, comfy action.

Check out the first installment of this occasional series in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

The best of overlooked and underappreciated computer and video games, from yesterday and today