Tag Archives: arcade games

Atari ST A to Z: Hard Drivin’

We’ve got it pretty good these days. Even if we haven’t quite mastered true photorealism as yet, we’re getting pretty close, and a lot of game developers have really figured out what is and isn’t fun for the player.

Back in Hard Drivin’s day, though, all sorts of things were still new, exciting and unproven. 3D polygonal graphics, analogue controls, simulation-style handling… all of these things still had to be figured out properly. But Atari Games had a good old crack at it, and actually came out with a decent — if somewhat limited — driving experience.

And, moreover, we actually got a fairly authentic port to Atari ST, too — albeit without all the fancy specialist hardware of the arcade version. But, again, it was a more than valiant effort…

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

Rolling Thunder 2: Leila Takes the Lead

Rolling Thunder is a classic Namco title with good reason. Its slower pace, methodical gameplay and learnable patterns make it an obvious precursor to the stealth games of today.

Its 1990 sequel offers more of the same in many ways — but with considerably enhanced visuals, refined mechanics and presentation and an all-new option to enjoy the game with two players simultaneously.

It’s not nearly as well known as its predecessor, but it’s a great game in its own right. And, conveniently, it’s part of the Namco Museum collection on Nintendo Switch!

Continue reading Rolling Thunder 2: Leila Takes the Lead

Splatterhouse: Elements of Horror

Yes, yes, yes, I know it was Halloween yesterday and thus I was supposed to cover a spooky game then, but I was busy then, so you’re getting it now instead.

Splatterhouse is a classic 1988 horror game from Namco, and there are a variety of ways you can play it today — the most recent and readily accessible of which is the excellent Namco Museum on Switch.

It’s also a very interesting game to look back on from a modern perspective, given how popular horrific, gory games have become as the gaming medium has matured.

Continue reading Splatterhouse: Elements of Horror

Taito Essentials: The Electric Yo-Yo

One of the nice things about the two Taito Legends compilations on PS2, Xbox and PC (and the separate PSP release, which acts as a kind of “best of” compilation containing elements of both) is that it includes both well-known games and more obscure affairs.

One such example of the latter is The Electric Yo-Yo, an unusual Taito America game from 1982 that is so obscure that it doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page (shock!). If Giant Bomb’s rather bare-bones page on the game is to be believed, it seems that it wasn’t all that well-received back in the day — but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in MoeGamer’s lifetime, it’s that it’s always worth considering something on its own merits, devoid of its original context and popular reception.

And y’know what? I kinda like The Electric Yo-Yo. I mean, sure, it’s kind of infuriating and I’ve hurled some deeply offensive language at it during my time with it… but I still kinda like it.

Continue reading Taito Essentials: The Electric Yo-Yo

Taito Essentials: The New Zealand Story

New Zealand, as beautiful a country as it is, is not a place that gets a lot of attention. I mean, it’s tucked away down there right in the corner of the map where everyone forgets about it.

However, back in 1988, the country left a sufficiently lasting impression on one of Taito’s programmers that, upon his return from holiday, he wanted to make it a setting for a new arcade game.

The result was The New Zealand Story. And it’s one of Taito’s most interesting games.

Continue reading Taito Essentials: The New Zealand Story

Atari A to Z Flashback: Warlords

Pong and Breakout were winning formulae for Atari, so it makes perfect sense they would want to try and do everything possible with this style of game over the years.

Warlords was one of the more interesting experiments, adding a healthy dose of theme, four-player competitive (or team-based) action and a couple of interesting additional mechanics.

It’s even reasonably fun by yourself… but get three friends together and you can expect the trash talk to flow freely within moments of starting!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Atari Soccer

Yes, yes, yes, I know the “A to Z” angle in this series is already questionable and this one following Tempest makes it even more so, but we only just managed to find time to have a two-player match!

Indeed, today’s game is Atari Soccer, an arcade title which can only be played with two or four people simultaneously, so bad luck if you have either no friends or two friends. As a follow-up to Atari Football, it again had a cocktail cabinet form factor and exhausting trackball controls to blister your palms with.

Thankfully, the port in Atari Flashback Classics can be enjoyed with nothing more than a couple of analogue controllers, and even for those who aren’t big soccer fans, the game makes for an entertaining, competitive pastime for a few minutes every so often.

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