Tag Archives: simulation

Atari ST A to Z: Casino Roulette

Casino games, played solo on your home computer or console, may seem largely pointless… but they can be a good way of learning the rules or experimenting with “techniques”.

Of course, it’s a fool’s game to assume that any betting methods “work”, particularly in a game as inherently random as roulette — but if you’re playing in the comfort of your own home on your Atari ST, there’s no harm in trying a few systems for yourself, is there? Particularly when the manual is good enough to spell them out for you.

If nothing else, Casino Roulette for Atari ST allows us to appreciate quite how far speech synthesis has come in the last 30 years or so!

Atari A to Z

Atari ST A to Z: Knights of the Sky

’80s and ’90s MicroProse was most well-known for its jet fighter sims, but now and again they branched out into something a bit different.

Knights of the Sky was an ambitious attempt to simulate rickety old World War I biplanes rather than high-tech jet fighters — something that only became possible due to improving technology and mastery over the available hardware.

It’s a cool game, for sure — but be prepared to live without a bunch of modern conveniences you might have come to take for granted in more recent aircraft!

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

Atari A to Z Flashback: Pool Shark

It might be hard to imagine now, but there was a time in gaming history when it was considered to be a seriously impressive technical achievement to get more than two or three things moving simultaneously on a screen.

Atari’s 1977 release Pool Shark is an early example of the company continuing to push the fledgling medium of video games forward. Not only was it a game that demonstrated the power of microprocessor-based hardware rather than the earlier transistor-to-transistor logic technology, but it also had, like, a whole mess of balls flying everywhere.

And like many of these early Atari arcade games, it’s simplistic… but really rather addictive! Be sure to give it a try.

New Game Plus: King and Knight – Atelier Rorona DX #15

We’re into the third and final year of Rorona’s assignments in our New Game Plus run through Atelier Rorona DX, and some interesting mysteries are starting to be revealed about a bunch of characters.

I’m really enjoying this run, as I’m seeing some scenes I’ve never seen before; the additional “free” time I have available thanks to all the stuff I’ve carried over from my previous playthrough is making it much easier to build up everyone’s friendship values and see all their events.

I’m not sure if I’m on track for any of the “special” endings right now, but I’m certainly going to do my best in this final year to see what we can achieve!

New Game Plus: Closing Out Year 2 – Atelier Rorona DX #14

It’s time to wrap up the second year of Rorona’s adventures with the final preparations for the next Annual Festival!

Of course, New Game Plus Rorona got all the boring stuff done absolutely ages ago, vastly ahead of schedule as usual, so instead we take some time to continue exploring the Dark Woods and see what we can find.

There are plenty of mysteries still surrounding our current party members Tantris and Lionela, too… so perhaps we’ll get a little closer to some answers today!

Atari A to Z Flashback: Lunar Lander

I was extremely intimidated by Lunar Lander as a kid. Revisiting it today, I see that it’s not really anything to be scared by… but it still puts up a pretty stiff challenge, particularly on its harder levels!

Providing one of the earliest examples of a completely non-violent arcade game — and one with significant simulation-esque elements, at that — Lunar Lander is a game that would go on to influence a wide variety of other computer, console and arcade games. Primarily through that “turn and thrust” mechanic I tend to have such difficulty with!

Oh well. Let’s see if we can touch down safely at least once in my lifetime…

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

Delving Into Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown – #3

I finally beat Ace Combat 7’s single-player campaign the other night, and the whole experience is indeed a fine addition to the franchise.

Today I thought we’d talk a bit about the mechanics and controls of the game, including where it fits into the overall franchise from this perspective, and into the broader concept of “flight simulators” as a whole.

Suit up and get ready, pilot; it’s time to scramble.

Continue reading Delving Into Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown – #3

Atelier Arland: Introduction and History

This article is one chapter of a multi-part Cover Game feature!
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Atelier is one of the more long-running, prolific series in the canon of Japanese gaming.

First launching in 1997, the franchise has seen 19 mainline releases since its inception (with a 20th on the way at the time of writing), plus a variety of spin-offs, side stories, ports, expanded adaptations and guest appearances from its characters in various other games over the years. Although we didn’t see our first Western localisation of the series until its sixth mainline game (Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana for PlayStation 2) in 2005, it is, by this point, firmly established as a mainstay of Japanese role-playing games — and, in the nicest possible way, developer Gust’s cash cow.

With that in mind, before we delve into the Arland trilogy in detail, let’s take a look at the history of the series as a whole up until Atelier Rorona’s initial release in 2009. Join me on a trip into totally-not-Renaissance-Germany, and let’s get crafting!

Continue reading Atelier Arland: Introduction and History

PS2 Essentials: Energy Airforce

A core part of my gaming “diet” in the 16-bit home computer era and onwards into the early days of mainstream PC gaming was the military flight simulator.

I have many fond memories of piloting numerous pieces of military hardware around the virtual skies, dropping bombs on filthy commies (this was the height of the Cold War, after all) and dictators in the desert — but for me, it wasn’t necessarily the action-packed parts of these games that was appealing. No, it was the simple satisfaction of remaining in control of several tons of metal that really had no business being up in the air and not immediately plummeting to the ground.

This was a feeling I hadn’t really experienced for a while, to be honest; the Ace Combats of the world have their considerable appeal, but they’re not exactly realistic. Taito’s 2003 release of Energy Airforce, on the other hand… well, let’s take a look.

Continue reading PS2 Essentials: Energy Airforce

PS2 Essentials: City Crisis

While a whole ton of late ’90s PC games have been updated and rereleased through services like GOG.com and Steam in recent years, one which I haven’t had the opportunity to play for a long time is Maxis’ SimCopter.

A fascinating new angle on Will Wright’s SimCity, SimCopter allowed you to take to the skies above either some predefined cities or your own SimCity 2000 maps and take part in a variety of missions ranging from yelling at speeding motorists to dealing with the aftermath of the notorious and iconic SimCity Disasters. Or indeed, tracking down the secret Apache helicopter, setting half the city on fire and then dealing with the carnage you created yourself in exchange for a fat paycheck.

I absolutely adored SimCopter as a kid — and not just because it had Ride of the Valkyries on the soundtrack — but the fact I 1) can’t find my original boxed copy and 2) probably wouldn’t be able to get it running on my current PC anyway makes me sad. Which is why I was so excited to discover Syscom’s City Crisis for PlayStation 2.

Continue reading PS2 Essentials: City Crisis