Tag Archives: Let’s Play

Atari A to Z: Warhawk

The shoot ’em up is a genre of gaming with a long and proud history. While the best shoot ’em ups tend to be associated with arcades and consoles, home computers played host to some right crackers too.

One such example is Firebird’s Warhawk, a vertically scrolling shooter with big, chunky sprites and smooth, slick gameplay. It’s an immensely satisfying but challenging shooter — and one that still holds up really well today.

Plus the Rob Hubbard soundtrack on the title screen is absolutely iconic… but hang on, doesn’t it sound a bit familiar…?

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Centipede

It’s that time again! Yes, Centipede is back for a third time — this time in the form of the speedy and challenging Atari 5200 version.

Technically speaking, this version is probably closest to the arcade version, but it’s also one of the most difficult — particularly if you dare to play it with the original Atari 5200 controller, one of the most notoriously awkward pieces of technology ever created.

In other words, if you really reckon yourself at Centipede… then the Atari 5200 version is the one you should be challenging yourself with!

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

Final Fantasy Marathon: How To Train Your Wizard – Final Fantasy II #3

Four-figure magic damage against Rank 2 enemies? It’s more likely than you think!

Yes, after suffering an embarrassing defeat in Kashuan Keep, I decide to take a bit of time to train up Maria as a specialised black mage. The results are very pleasing indeed. Very pleasing, indeed. I think we’ve established a suitable progression strategy for the rest of the game now…

We may not make a ton of story progress in today’s episode, but it’s a solid exploration of how Final Fantasy II’s much-maligned progression systems work. And a reminder that anyone interested in the SaGa series should check this one out — since Final Fantasy II is essentially the proto-SaGa.

Atari ST A to Z: Pengy

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that… or so they say, anyway. I wonder how Sega felt about Red Rat Software’s not-so-subtle take on Pengo… particularly given it came out quite a few years later?

To be fair, Pengy is a perfectly competent version of Pengo for Atari ST… but once we hit the 16-bit home computer era, people were starting to expect a little bit more from their computer and video games than knockoffs of arcade games from several years ago.

Still, looking back on it now, it’s an enjoyable enough game, so let’s spend a bit of time with it today!

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

Warriors Wednesday: The Ultimate Evil – Warriors All-Stars #13

In today’s episode of Warriors All-Stars, several incarnations of “evil” struggle over the definition of that very concept.

Specifically, Darius, Laegrinna, Nobunyaga Oda and Arnice decide to investigate an offer of “the ultimate evil”… but it turns out that each of them are expecting something rather different from this supposed prize, and of course there’s a surprise waiting for them at the conclusion of their journey!

This Dramatic Battle mission shows some of the interesting things that Warriors All-Stars does by mixing up characters from different franchises with different but subtly related thematic content, and allowing them to interact with one another. It’s a lot of fun!

Atari A to Z: Viro-Mania

One fun thing about type-in listings from back in the 8-bit home computer era is that they often provided free versions of classic games for you to enjoy on your system of choice.

Okay, they “cost” time and effort to actually type the damn things in… but when you were done you had a freely redistributable program that you could share with your friends and enjoy whenever you saw fit.

This week’s Atari 8-bit game is an example of a Turbo BASIC XL type-in game from ZONG Magazine — and it’s a pretty shameless clone of a Nintendo classic puzzler.

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Centipede

Centipede is one of Atari’s all-time classics, so naturally it appears in Atari Flashback Classics no less than three times: once in its original arcade incarnation, once on the 2600 (today) and once on the 5200 (next time).

Each version has its own subtle differences, though, and the 2600 version here is particularly impressive for keeping the gameplay’s core addictive quality intact despite not looking super-impressive from a technical perspective.

When you consider quite how much is going on on screen at once, though, you have to give the humble little machine some respect; it’s clearly working its socks off to provide some satisfying arcade action!

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