Feature Article

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Full-length feature articles.
Matt Barton's picture

Jeepney Jeepers: All-Original Retrogame from Myth Core Productions

Jeepney Jeepers: Multiball FTW!Jeepney Jeepers: Multiball FTW!Armchair Arcade is pleased to present Jeepney Jeepers, the all-new game from Myth Core Productions, designed and programmed by Matt Barton with comics and graphics by Elizabeth Barton.

Aliens have landed in southeast Asia, and the only thing standing between THEM and humanity is...one man and his jeepney. Are you brave, fast, and just plain dumb enough to snap on that space-age laser prototype and defend the earth? Of course you are! So get your butt in that jeepney, yup!

  • An homage to classics block-busting games like Arkanoid and Breakout but with a crazy twist!
  • Blow up blocks, roast the invaders, rescue your fellow humans and--above all else--get to the last level and take on the awesome might of THE GORFINATOR
  • Collect upgrades and unleash the unbelievable block-busting power of the five-pronged MULTIBALL
  • Bust that crit bubble for the amazing SUPERBALL
  • Bounce up them balls as much as YOU want, no more, no less
  • Feelin' lonely? Bust out those poor little refugees for fun, fame, and profits
  • Get the energy boost powerups and ram right through the blocks with your jeepney
  • Surrounded? Don't panic, make THEM panic with your amped up car horn
  • Twelve colorful levels with an awesome retro-arcade inspired boss fight
  • Compete with friends and family for the honor of the High Score table
  • Why ain't you playing this already?

Download this sweet mama right now!
JEEPNEY JEEPERS (version: 1.04b)

And if you enjoy playing this game, please leave us a comment below. It's man and womandatory.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Atari Flashback 3 Review and Video

NOTE: This is now the audio-fixed version of the video review, with much quieter in-game audio.

(Download the mp4)

Today I'll be taking a look at Atari's new Flashback 3, which, despite the name, is actually the fourth major Flashback system released. I reviewed the first Atari Flashback way back in 2004, when it was first released. Unfortunately, Legacy Engineering Group (LEG) was apparently only given 10 weeks to create the system from scratch and therefore had no choice but to rely on a NES-On-A-Chip (NOAC) to power the product. Since the goal of the Flashback was to deliver both a plug-and-play Atari 2600 and 7800 experience, this was definitely too tall of an order for what amounted to a Nintendo Entertainment System clone, particularly given the limited time to optimize the game simulations.

While the first Flashback clearly disappointed anyone remotely familiar with any of the 20 first party 2600 and 7800 games it clumsily simulated, the upside was that it sold enough for Atari to order production of a Flashback 2. This time LEG did have the time to do it right, and, while they dropped all efforts to replicate the 7800 experience, they ended up developing what amounted to an "Atari 2600-on-a-chip," whose high accuracy more than made up for the omission. Released in 2005, the Flashback 2 came with a mix of over 40 original, prototype, hacked, and homebrew Atari 2600 games. While the first Flashback was styled like a miniature 7800, the Flashback 2 was styled like a miniature Atari 2600 VCS, complete with simulated woodgrain. As a bonus, the two included joysticks were pin compatible with the originals, meaning they could be used on other systems that worked with Atari-style joysticks. This also meant that you could use original paddle controllers with the Flashback 2 to play the hidden paddle games. This was in direct contrast to the first Flashback, which merely converted its paddle games to make use of the joystick, which again, was not the way you wanted to experience those games. As a final bonus for those with the requisite skillset, the Flashback 2 could be hacked to add a cartridge port, which outside of a few relatively minor compatibility quirks, made it an ideal modern revision of the original Atari 2600 hardware, particularly since it had default composite video output rather than RF.

davyK's picture

Middle Aged Gamers Collection #43 - #51 "Chess Set"

Star Chess (Videomaster)Star Chess (Videomaster)

Chessmaster II - PS1
Virtual Kasparov - PS1
Checkmate - PS1
Virtual Chess 64 - N64
Chessmaster - PS2
Wii Chess - Wii
CXG Computachess - dedicated
Mephisto Atlanta - dedicated
Videomaster Star Chess - dedicated

In 1968, international chess master, computer programmer and author David Levy made a bet that he would not lose a chess match to a computer program within 10 years. In 1978 he collected his winnings of £1,250. A tidy sum - but he didn't make another bet. Maybe Mr Levy saw the writing on the wall for chess as the ultimate challenge to computer programmers at the time. Now in 2011, chess games can be bought at an impulse purchase price that will trounce all but those at the very top of the chess playing fraternity.

Matt Barton's picture

The Top Ten Greatest Innovations in CRPGs

When you got 300 shortswords.No copper breastplate left behind.This week, I'm looking at what I consider the ten best innovations in CRPGs. That means, I'm looking at games that introduced new gameplay elements or at least adapted existing concepts, forging something that has become (or should have become) important, influential, or at least pretty damn awesome. Keep in mind that the game as a whole might be weak or even a flop; that isn't relevant here. What is relevant is which games introduced which concepts and when. So, let's get started with #10:

10. The mule in Dungeon Siege. Year: 2002. Concept: A pack animal to help carry your lootz. I don't remember much about the original Dungeon Siege game, but I will never forget that crusty pack animal. I'm pretty sure the thinking behind the mule was simply utilitarian; "Hey, that'd be handy to have around." But in one stroke the designers made a game ten times more memorable and self-parodying. And how many times did a battle hinge on the kicking of your mule? Mules literally kick ass. Wait, is that possible? Now I'm so spoiled that I always want a pack of them in assorted colors--what, I'm supposed to just leave that solid gold Elminster statue behind?

Matt Barton's picture

Matt's List of the Top Ten Worst CRPGs

Nooo! Don't play the third one!Nooo! Don't play the third one!What are the ten worst CRPGs? This is a question that takes a lot of thought, because terrible games typically do not sell well and are quickly forgotten. What I think most of us have in mind with questions like this are high profile disasters--games that received a huge amount of hype, had no excuses to be bad, and turned out to be so spectacularly awful that it was more fun reading and writing the scathing reviews than the game would have been in the first place. We're not talking about low budget, small-team productions that you wouldn't expect much from anyway. These are the big budget games that stank so badly you not only flushed them three times but actually went to the store for a giant can of industrial-strength Lysol. With that as my build up, let's crank up our Roto-Rooters and dredge these crusty wads back up to the surface.

#10. Lands of Lore III. The Lands of Lore series was created by Westwood Studios, the legendary developer responsible for Eye of the Beholder and plenty of other epic CRPGs. The original Lands of Lore debuted in 1993 to critical acclaim, offering an interface similar to Dungeon Master or EOB that holds up well even today. The franchise was brought to an intestine-blocking halt in 1999 with the arrival of this boring game with terrible graphics and enough bugs to keep an entomology department busy for decades. Perhaps the biggest problem, though, is that the game tries to be an FPS, ratcheting up the "action" because that's what all gamers want, righhhht? Uh, nope. Don't worry, though, it's a pattern we'll see repeated. And we all know that the definition of genius is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, right?

Matt Barton's picture

Why Does Duke Nukem Forever Suck?

Forever wasn't long enough, apparently.Forever wasn't long enough, apparently.Well, the first wave of reviews are in, and it looks like somebody's gonna freakin' pay for screwing up Duke's comeback. IGN gives it a 5.5 and offers us this stinger: Duke has not aged well. As simple as he ever was, as irrelevant as he's ever been. Ouch! Joystiq gives it similar treatment: Allow me to borrow Duke's trademark line which he, in turn, borrowed from a fellow 1990s artistic endeavor, Army of Darkness: "Don't come get some." PC Gamer was more forgiving, settling on an 80 score, but warns us that the development-time-to-awesomeness ratio isn’t impressive.

The complaints are many and numerous, but most come back to how long this game took to make and how lackluster the finished product finally turned out to be. Wikipedia even has a special page just for the game's long and storied development cycle, which according to them went into production in 1997.

Valentin Angelovski's picture

Flea86 Retro Gaming Project - Finally! Improved VGA support added...

Hi all,

After a few distractions (including a bout of flu), I managed to get back to seeing to what extent I can transform this minimal hardware into a real PC...

Chip Hageman's picture

Three for the Road: April 17th, 2011

Three for the Road[ APR . 17 . 2011 ]
 

Three for the Road: 03.27.2011

Greetings folks! Welcome to the April 17th, 2011 edition of Three for the Road. This week we take a look at a few more indie PC gems that are sure to entertain you for a while. This edition also marks the first time I am posting the games with GigaTribe download links in addition to the standard web-based download links. For years I've been trying to find a file sharing (P2P) package that I liked and GigaTribe comes closest to what I've been looking for.

Ultimately, I'm thinking of getting a P2P network established for fans of indie/classic gaming. So if you'd like to join, send an invite (from GigaTribe) to Mythran42 and we'll see if we can turn this grass roots effort into something larger. :-)

Note: The GigaTribe links download straight from my laptop PC.. so whether it's online or not will dictate the availability of the files.

Matt Barton's picture

Paul Reiche and Fred Ford's Science Fiction Reading List

In my Matt Chat interviews with Fred Ford and Paul Reiche, the duo proposed updating their 1991 list of science fiction novels and stories for aspiring game designers. They've also added a few fantasy authors to "keep us guessing!" How many of these fine authors have you read?

Chip Hageman's picture

Three for the Road: March 27th, 2011

Three for the Road[ MAR . 27 . 2011 ]
 

Three for the Road: 03.27.2011

Greetings folks! Welcome to the March 27th, 2011 edition of Three for the Road.

This week we take a look at a retro style platform game where you try to save the dinosaurs from extinction.. a shoot'em up where music plays an integral role in the gameplay.. and a recent scene re-release for the venerable Commodore 64.

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