Monday, July 28, 2014

That guy made my garage a better place

Larry Kaplan, kaboom, Activision
After yesterday's fiasco with Laser Blast, I tried Kaboom for the first time today, and 1 1/2 hr later I can safely say that this game is awesome. Very simplistic game, it has that the ability to put you in a trans feeling where you don't really get why you hand is moving the paddle but it does, and the score keeps inflating. I am at 2500 points, so the 3000 points necessary for getting the patch seem reachable, I will try again this week.
I am wondering if I need to WD40 my paddles, I wonder if this will help. Best 0.99 cts at Goodwill so far

Kaboom Atari 2600
2522 points, on the way to 3000 ?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Activision patch #3, Laser Blast, 100 000 pts+ ZZzzzzzz

I was very surprised with Laser Blast as I tend to think of Activision games of that era, to be some of the best, but this one is bad, really bad. Even more surprising, it was designed by David Crane, himself, unbelievable. I have to remember this the next time I see him in a convention.
Laser Blast, you snooze, you loose, otherwise you win
I managed to get the patch score (100 000 pts) on my second try, the first try was just to lean the commands, and there is not much to learn. 3 enemies, half of the time they sit idle, you shoot them, next screen (aka next 3 enemies). The other half of the times, one of them tries to shoot at you, either you are lucky (80% of the time) and you shoot first, or you are not and you lose a ship. Done, end of the game. Since it is very generous in giving extra lives (every 1000 points, aka 3 screens), you quickly max out (6 lives), and you browse to the patch score without any problem, the only challenge is to stay awake.
90 points per enemy, 270 points per screen, 371 screens to get to 100 000, or 1112 enemies. Probably 30-45 minutes.
I can safely say that little Billy who is excited in the commercial is a loser and was always picked up last at recess.

That game is an interesting discovery, for the ones who thought that  the 1983 crash was caused by poor games from fly by night companies, well, the greatest of them all also produced crap.

Laser Blasting my garage
Proof that I did it, David, send me a patch please
Federation of Laser Blasters ....

I hope the next game is going to be much better. I think I might try the Activision Decathlon challenge, I remember playing this one to death, I might be able to do it.

The one fun thing is that if you really have 5 hours of boring time you can hit the million, apparently the score shows 1!!!!!!! and you get a special badge. Without me, I was picked up first.
Laser Blast 1 million points patch

Monday, July 21, 2014

Activision Patch #2, 5.94 sec. Dragster Atari 2600

Step 2 of my road to the patchiest denim jacket is complete, I broke the 6 seconds barrier at Dragster.  Now this is one the of the weirdest game ever, most of my attempts lasted less than a second until my engine blow up, very annoying for a 9 y old (maybe), who spent $49.99 on a brand new game.
It took me 30 minutes overall, and I shaved the last tens of seconds by reading ToddRogers' post on AtariAge. After playing I feel super nervous, like when I was playing these repetitive Game & Watch games, or like a tic prone guy high on Jolt Soda.

Such a weird game, were you have to press the fire button, then go left 7/8 times, not even in rhythm. So 5.94 is my one time best, I tried to break this time but was never able to beat 6.01 after that. It was my one time, but it is sufficient, I want my patch.

Patch #2 whoohoo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Activision patch #1 Freeway

Freeway Atari 2600 Activision.
Well, so I have no shame to admit I don't remember ever beating a score that would give me an Activision patch back in the days, or perhaps I did, but I did not care to get the patch, or perhaps I cared, but did not send these patches to France.

Anyway, I decided today to go on a quest, and to get some patches (well I initially said all, but come on..), using my ever expanding collection of carts. Turns out I miss many Activision games, so good excuse to spend time and money on eBay.

If you don't know what these patches are, they were fabric patches, that you could get by beating certain score on Activision games. Apparently they would make you look cool on your jean jacket, next to the Ac/DC button and the peace and love sign. Very similar to the acheivements that you have everywhere today (gamificaiton of games.... Hooray for Activision)  Link to AtariAge that explains a little more.

So I had to pick game to start, I was hoping to find a list by order of difficulty, but couldn't so I tried at random a game that I always wanted to dive a little more into but never really had the time, Freeway. Similar to Frogger, but less known, maybe better, at least on Atari, you nee to help a chicken cross the freeway. And for whoever witnessed a chicken crossing a high traffic road, this has promises, a lot. So, quick look at the patch rules, I need to score 20 points on either game 3 or 7. I have no idea what are the differences between the games, typically, speed changes, and onscreen enemies change also. I went to game 3, and tried.

And tried, and tried again. It took me about half an hour and I did it, I feel like I am on the top of the world, I score 20 points, and I am sure I can push this score by a little more if I had to. So this gives me the honer to send a picture of my screen to Activision (btw, back then w/o digital, how many kids took a picture , had to wait a week for it t be printed, then realized it was black, or the flash on the screen etc..). And supposedly, I should receive a save the chicken foundation  patch.
Save The Chicken Foundation Patch

and here is the proof.
20 points, freeway game 3.

My game room, also known as my garage. (yes I am beating records on a Heavy Sixer)