Category Archives: Videos

Sunday Driving: Threshold Break

Well, after a disastrous morning of my computer pretending to be dead… I finally managed to get an episode of Sunday Driving recorded!

Our Split/Second adventures continue as we progress through the game’s “Season” mode, the challenges growing ever more severe as we reach each new episode.

Hit the jump to see how today’s automotive mayhem went…

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Atari A to Z Flashback: Canyon Bomber

Time after time in gaming, we’ve seen that the simplest concepts can be some of the most effective and addictive.

Atari’s Canyon Bomber, originally released to arcades in 1977, is a prime example of this. You only need one button to play, and that button drops bombs. The concept is so simple anyone — even someone not at all familiar with video games — can understand and enjoy it. Drop bombs, hit things, score points. Whoever scores most points, wins.

And one of the best things about this game when compared to some of its contemporaries is that the simplistic concept means that it was very straightforward to implement a “computer-controlled” opponent to compete against if you didn’t happen to have a friend handy. So even those of us with no friends can still enjoy this game… and end up playing it a lot longer than you might expect!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

New Game Plus: Creating Explosives

When returning to a game for a second playthrough, it’s always incredibly satisfying when you manage to complete an objective well ahead of “schedule”.

Despite only certain things carrying over to a New Game Plus run in the various incarnations of Atelier Roronayou can still bash out a lot of the early game content very easily, leaving you with plenty of time to make money, grind for experience, build up your relationship values and just generally have a good time in this pastel-coloured world.

Hit the jump to see just how quickly I managed to satisfy the second assignment…

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Atari ST A to Z: U.N. Squadron

If you thought games journalists wringing their hands over “problematic” subject matter in games was a new phenomenon… well, I got news for you, my dear reader.

U.S. Gold’s home computer conversion of Capcom’s arcade title U.N. Squadron (originally known in Japan as Area 88, after the manga it was originally based on) drew criticism from UK computer magazine ST Format in December of 1990 for being “self-righteous”, “crass” and even “propaganda”. Why? Because you shoot enemies in an obviously Middle Eastern-inspired setting — at least in the first level, anyway — and in 1990 the Gulf War had just broken out in full force.

Of course, Area 88 first came out in 1979, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good bit of outrage, shall we? Sigh. Some things never change. Anyway, this is a reasonably solid shoot ’em up, though unsurprisingly not a patch on the awesome SNES version…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Warriors Wednesday: How The Wild Man Does It

How DOES The Wild Man do it? Find out in today’s thrilling installment of Warriors Wednesday, as the Wu forces attempt to prove themselves to Keiji Maeda.

If you were looking forward to seeing my smiling face again on this video, apologies to disappoint; I recorded this before I got the new gear necessary to display my smiling face on videos. If, on the other hand, you were disgusted and repulsed by my fearful countenance in Sunday’s Split/Second video, consider this momentary relief.

Hit the jump to see how today’s battle went.

Continue reading Warriors Wednesday: How The Wild Man Does It

Atari A to Z: Zeppelin

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve done it! Well, we’ve done it once, anyway.

Yes, indeed, with this week’s Atari A to Z video, we finally make it all the way to Z, with Cathryn (formerly William, as seen on the title screen) Mataga’s Zeppelin, an interesting multi-directional adventure shoot ’em up in which the challenge is not just from shooting bad guys and avoiding environmental hazards, but also from navigation and item manipulation.

This is a great example of the sort of quality software publisher Synapse became well-known for, although that quality tended to come at a price — Zeppelin was a whopping $34.95 when it came out in 1983, or nearly $90 in today’s money, taking inflation into account! And if Mataga’s name is familiar, you may have come across another Synapse-published title called Shamus that I’m sure will feature on this series at some point in the near future! But that’s a story for another day…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Sunday Driving: Midway Pass

Look at me, I’m on camera!

Yes, after some reluctance and a surprising amount of urging from my wife (who either really wants me to suffer or genuinely thinks this is a good idea) I finally decided to show my Actual Face on one of these videos. I thought Sunday Driving was as good a place as any to experiment a bit with this format.

And yes, I know I cut the top of my head off in my GameFace shot. This is why we do experimental takes like this!

Continue reading Sunday Driving: Midway Pass