Tag Archives: arcade game

Atari A to Z: The Last Starfighter

Greetings, Starfighter. You have been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada.

Any kid who watched the 1984 movie The Last Starfighter longed to hear those words for real — to put the skills they’d learned in video games to the test with real conflict against invading forces!

Unfortunately, Atari’s attempt to cash in on the popularity of the movie didn’t quite make it to market in time, instead finally seeing the light of day in 1986 as the hastily rebranded Star Raiders II. However, the original, fully playable prototype of the game in its original The Last Starfighter format has been well-preserved over the years… so it’s that we’ll be taking a look at in today’s video!

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Atari A to Z: Kid Grid

This week on Atari A to Z, it’s another game by Arti Haroutunian and Tronix that… pays homage to a popular arcade game.

Much as last week’s Juice! was clearly inspired by Q*Bert, so too is Kid Grid more than a little bit like Amidar. That’s no bad thing, though; both Amidar and Kid Grid are a good time. If a bit difficult.

Okay, quite a lot difficult. But don’t judge me too harshly; I couldn’t even beat the first level of this when I was a kid!

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Taiko no Tatsujin Drum ‘n’ Fun (Demo): Motion and Music Don’t Mix

As regular listeners of The MoeGamer Podcast will know, I greatly enjoy music games, but I’ve never had a chance to play the Taiko no Tatsujin series to date.

Well, I figured, it’s probably time I rectified that situation, isn’t it? Various installments in the series are often held up as all-time classics in the genre, after all. Plus it’s hard to resist that super-cute artwork — which, if you didn’t know, is the inimitable work of Yukiko Yoko, wife of the man who brought the world the Nier series. How’s that for a weird-ass twist?

So it was with some excitement that I downloaded the newly released demo of Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun, one of two parallel games which mark the first time the series has ever officially come to Europe. And… well, read on.

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Atari A to Z: Juice!

It was pretty common in the Atari 8-Bit era for games to offer a bit of a new twist on established formulae. You had to make your games stand out, after all!

In Juice!, a game developed by Arti Haroutunian and published by Tronix, you take on the role of “Edison, the kinetic android” who is essentially a mechanised electrician. It’s up to you to connect all the wires on the board to get things up and running again while avoiding the unwanted attention of various electrical-themed enemies.

If you watch the video, it probably won’t take you long to notice that the game bears an uncanny resemblance to Q*Bert in some ways — but there’s enough different here to keep things interesting, and this remains a great, highly playable game for Atari 8-bit computers.

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Atari ST A to Z: Chase

Deep in the seventh galaxy of the Nebulus system, a lone warrior has been selected from thousands to perform an unenviable task: to save the beautiful Princess Chardonnay from the clutches of the evil Disgusmatrons.

Thus begins the rather overblown story to Mastertronic’s Chase, an Atari ST title shamelessly attempting to ride the coat-tails of the popular Star Wars arcade game with its transparent vector graphics and arcade-style thrills.

As with most titles from the era, the story was completely and utterly irrelevant… but that didn’t mean that the game experience itself was lacking. On the contrary, despite the game’s simplicity and its rather bare-bones presentation, Chase is an oddly addictive little affair I still enjoy booting up for the occasional blast-and-dodge session even today!

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Atari A to Z: Gorf

When is a Space Invaders rip-off not a Space Invaders rip-off? When it also rips off Galaxian and Gyruss!

No, that’s unfair to poor old Gorf, an arcade game by Bally Midway that was ported to Atari 8-Bit by Roklan Software. Gorf is an entertaining and enjoyable game in its own right that most certainly has its own identity — albeit perhaps not what was originally intended.

This began life as an adaptation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, of all things, but was presumably adapted into what it eventually became after someone at Bally Midway figured that a game involving a 20-minute sequence slowly panning around a spaceship with nothing happening probably wouldn’t be that much fun. The end product was rather good… and bastard hard.

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SNK Heroines: Fighting is Fun

I’ve tried numerous times to “get into” fighting games over the years with varying amounts of success.

Back in the SNES era, I had a good time with the original Street Fighter II and managed to beat it with most of the characters — but my skills have gotten severely rusty since then. Beyond that, my main contact with the genre has primarily been the Dead or Alive series, which I enjoyed for a combination of its cast of beautiful people and its enjoyably fluid, reasonably accessible action.

But I’d always find myself hitting a wall. I’d never be able to pull off impressive combos, I’d struggle to reliably trigger special moves and I’d have difficulty understanding the underlying strategy that is fundamental to the fighting game experience as a whole. Oh, what to do, what to do?

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