Category Archives: Videos

Atari A to Z Flashback: RealSports Soccer

In real life, I despise soccer, or “football” as we call it over here. But there have been a number of soccer games over the years that I’ve rather enjoyed — and RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 is one of them.

The reason for this is that RealSports Soccer for the Atari 2600 resembles real soccer on only the most superficial level, and is instead simply a highly enjoyable video game, particularly if you have the opportunity to enjoy it with a friend or two. Its mechanics, which make no logical sense from a “realism” perspective, make it a ton of fun — and I can attest from personal experience that this is a game that can produce genuine howls of laughter that stem from genuine enjoyment.

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

Atari A to Z

Evercade A to Z: Side Pocket

I am bad at pool. Real pool, that is. But also video game pool. Although I am marginally less bad at video game pool than I am at real pool.

Data East’s Side Pocket, seen here as part of the Data East Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade, at least makes the experience of being bad at video game pool pleasantly entertaining by providing a smooth jazz soundtrack, some pretty ladies and a series of completely unreasonable trick shots with which to challenge yourself. Plus no onlookers who have had a few too many pints laughing at your incompetence. Ideal.

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

Atari ST A to Z: Paperboy

Porting an arcade game to home computers often wasn’t an immediate process back in the days of the 8- and 16-bit microcomputers. In fact, sometimes it took a good few years!

Such was the case with Paperboy from Atari Games, which first hit arcades in 1985 and didn’t come to Atari ST until a full four years later! Elite put together a rather solid port that played well, but which was regarded as somewhat “outdated” by reviewers of the time.

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

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Rise of the Dragon

Adventure games — particularly point-and-click affairs from the ’90s — are a genre I’ve loved for a long time. And one of my all-time favourites from back in the day is Rise of the Dragon, a futuristic dystopian adventure by Dynamix that feels all the more plausible today.

Taking on the role of William “Blade” Hunter, trenchcoat-wearing private detective extraordinaire, it’s your job to investigate the strange and horrifying death of the mayor’s daughter, stop the spread of a deadly DNA-altering drug and prevent the resurrection of an ancient Chinese wizard who really wants to take over Los Angeles for some reason. I say he’s welcome to it; LA’s a shithole now, and it looks even worse in the future.

Check out my full playthrough of this adventure game classic in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari A to Z: Valgus 2

Valgus 2 (or possibly “Valgus Squared”, thinking about it) for Atari 8-bit is an interesting and creative take on Tetris that, for once, doesn’t just knock off someone else’s game.

While superficially resembling Alexey Pajitnov’s official follow-up Welltris, Valgus 2 is actually a rather different sort of game, tasking you with surrounding a central piece rather than making lines on the floor of a “well”.

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: RealSports Football

Yes, yes, yes, it’s RealSports time again here on Atari A to Z Flashback, and this time around it’s another one I’ve been dreading: the 5200 incarnation of RealSports Football.

I was actually quite surprised to discover that the single-player “practice” mode in this one is a very good means of experimenting with the mechanics and figuring out what all those different “plays” are. As a result, while I’m not sure I’d say I necessarily had a good time, I certainly feel like I learned a bit more about digital American football from this game than any other simulation of the sport I’ve played in the past. Especially that 2600 version.

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

Atari A to Z

Evercade A to Z: Galaxian

Do you like to shoot, but also to think? Then you should give Namco’s Galaxian a shot (no pun intended) — it’s a game where attempting to go in all guns blazing will quickly end in failure.

The Famicom version, seen here as part of the Namco Museum Collection 1 cartridge for the Evercade, is a great adaptation of the arcade classic with pretty authentic sound and visuals — and a very authentic challenge factor!

Witness my intergalactic incompetence in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Atari ST A to Z: One Step Beyond

Whenever someone mentions the Atari ST to you, doubtless the first thing you think of is the delicious, relatively low-calorie cheesy potato snack known as Quavers.

What do you mean, no? Well, that might all change after today’s game, in which the erstwhile mascot of this longstanding British junk food favourite is tasked with clearing a series of puzzle-tastic levels while attempting not to fall into the abyss inside his computer. It makes about as much sense as it sounds, but it’s a surprisingly fun time — and the product placement isn’t as obnoxious as you might expect.

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

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Tee Off

If you’re unfamiliar with various takes on sports games over the years, you might not think that “arcade-style” is a descriptor one could readily associate with golf titles.

But there have been numerous great examples of top-notch arcade-style golf games throughout gaming history. And one of my absolute favourites of all time is Tee Off, a game put together by little-known Japanese dev Bottom Up and published by Acclaim. Not only is it a super-fun golf game, it has a fantastic soundtrack that sounds like something out of Sonic Adventure, as well as a full-on second game mode based on “gate ball”, or Japanese croquet.

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

Atari A to Z: Universal Hero

The origins of the open-structure 2D platform game tend to be traced back to console games such as Castlevania and Metroid these days, but it was always a popular way to put a game together back on 8-bit computers, too.

Games such as today’s title, Mastertronic’s Universal Hero, tended to be known as “arcade adventures” back in the ’80s, thanks to their blend of traditionally arcade-style mechanics with the conventions of adventure games, such as exploration, puzzle-solving and object manipulation. While they didn’t always get that blend quite right, it certainly made for some interesting and challenging games!

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

Atari A to Z