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Wow, that Taipan! game looks fascinating. A good example of an early trading game. I wonder if Ports of Call was inspired by this at all?
I'm surprised you haven't heard of "Taipan!" before, because it is definitely an old-school simulation classic. I played versions of this game on the TRS-80, Apple II, Amiga, and Windows platforms, and with only minor differences in the graphics or interface, they're all the same game. I lost many hours, and perhaps points off my GPA, playing this simple but addicting gem of a game. There is indeed many similarities to "Ports of Call," although "Taipan" is a far simpler game, and it also includes very simple ship-to-ship combat with pirate ships.
A very faithful port of "Taipan!" is available on Download.com if you want to try it. It has a mouse interface, but the underlying game is the same, for better or worse. I actually prefer the old school interface to the mouse one, but this mouse version is still "Taipan," and will save you from having to boot up an emulator. Here's the Download.com link for the game, and it's only 2MB. Read the comments: "There's no graphics, no sound, no action, this game sucks!" and so forth, so you know you're getting the real deal. :-)
Rowdy Rob was saying I ought to give the PoP games a chance. I played the first one a bit, but again not hardcore.
If you find PoP:Sands of Time in a bargain bin for $3, I recommend trying it, but otherwise, I'm not sure it's worth the risk, considering it does require very deft reflexes to beat. Despite my praise, it IS an action-arcade/puzzler, which might not be up your alley.
Maybe the answer is simply to mix it up. Do a few shows on specific games, with intermittent special episodes on platforms or whole genres or series. The only problem I see is again that the broader the topic gets, the more superficial your commentary is going to get.
Mixing it up may be a good idea. You don't have to cover ALL the great games in one sitting! Perhaps "Matt Chat: Grab Bag o' Great Games for the C64" will give you some leeway in covering a select few games in one episode, and you can come back at a later date with "part II" or "part XXIV" or whatever. Just an idea. I'm quite satisfied at how Matt Chat is playing out so far as is, though. And "the customer is NOT always right!" I thought it was a bad idea for you to cover the Atari 2600 platform, only to have egg on my face when it turned out brilliantly in your "Adventure" episode. Pick something you want to do and MAKE US LIKE IT!
My goal with all of my videos has been to try to inspire people to want to know more about the game or platform and then seek it out themselves. I'm not really the guy to give you the lowdown on how the code or the chips worked.
Only the nerdiest of nerds would be disappointed that you don't say "the game consisted of dual player/missiles set at bit 3 of the priority register, with multiple display lists and audio running during the vertical blank interrupt." That's the TECH, NOT THE GAME! The game is the concept, the WORLD, and the experience! Neither the interested newcomer nor the nostalgic gamer really cares what went on behind the curtain; they care about the fun and magical experience to be had from the game in question. Your videos get that part right! I have yet to see a "Matt Chat" where the end result didn't make me want to play the game being covered.
I'm so glad that I watched; and then watched, and watched, and kept going until I ran out of Matt Chats to watch. I even viewed some of them multiple times to keep the nostalgia hot. These are perfect little gems of heaven for me. (.........)
Let the nay-sayers go one saying nay, because they don't really know or appreciate what you are doing for us here. Foo on them. Foo.
Preach on, brother!!! At least you had the pleasure of experiencing these "Matt Chats" successively; the rest of us had to wait a whole week for each new episode!
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