Posted tagged ‘Atari’

SNK celebrates 20 years of Neo Geo with shirts and cups

September 10, 2010

Newsfeeds 922 & 923 via

The Neo Geo MVS is undoubtedly one of the most important arcade hardware platforms created to this day. The system had support for over a decade and in that time it built up an amazing library of games, some of which still attract attention in arcades today(for example, Metal Slug 5 was listed on the Top 10 Best Video Software titles in Replay Magazine last month). It certainly helped that the games were so easy to swap out and stack up with in multi-slot cabinets. Twenty years after the hardware was released, SNK hasn’t forgot about the platform which brought them success and brand name recognition and so they are celebrating the event. Not with a new game (unfortunately) but with some NeoGeo merchandise – a T-Shirt, a hoodie and an insulated cup. It’s nothing terribly impressive but at least it’s something. If you want a new NG game then you’ll have to look to the homebrew scene for that. [Neo Geo 20th Anniversary - Dengeki Online]

If you feel underwhelmed by that then the Stinger also pointed us to these Asteroids, Centipede and Pong wall decals by Think Geek. Come to think of it, Pong’s 40th anniversary is approaching in 2012. It’s doubtful that Atari would celebrate that with a return of a new Pong in arcades that offers some sort of crazy twist on the original but I suppose we could dream.  That or maybe we’ll get some T-shirts out of it.

Paperboy concept art and an MK9 arcade cabinet

September 2, 2010

The two subjects of our headline have nothing to do with each other except that I found them both on the KLOV forums today. Yes, it’s a slow news day. So here goes a post combining Paperboy and Mortal Kombat into one (hey, there’s a new concept, Paper Kombat)

First is some concept art for a few classic Atari titles. See how they created the sprites for Paperboy, along with some Agent X artwork and a sweet poster for Atari’s Arabian arcade game here on this Flickr photo feed. These were all taken by Scott, who runs Atarigames.com.

Some of the concept artwork

Following on the heels of that is something that should be in arcades but it won’t be except for fan-made efforts – the new Mortal Kombat 9 in an arcade cabinet of sorts. It’s not a complete cabinet, lacking proper arcade controls as it is a kiosk display for some event, with the game running on a PS3 (no, the game does not have MOVE support;too bad they didn’t take the approach that the Castle Crashers guys have). Still, seeing how the last time we had a Mortal Kombat released to arcades was with MK4, one longs for a chance that perhaps they would give the series some real arcade love once again, like Capcom has at least done with Street Fighter.   This picture was found here and brought up by KLOV user Tighe

The wayback machine videos for today are…

May 9, 2010

It’s Sunday so in lieu of news, we have videos to point out. I’m not sure why it seems like we’re getting a lot of videos of arcades from the early 80’s showing up all of the sudden but I welcome it as it offers a deeper glimpse into that great Golden Age of games. Today we have a few videos from youtube user Atarigames1. He has a lot of old footage that he has begun to upload, including this look at an arcade in Mt. View California and some kids hanging out around some machines at a 7-11 in 1981. I remember when all 7-11’s in my area had at least two games, then one day they dumped them in favor of ATM machines.The third video shows the assembly line for San Fransico Rush.

Weekend videos: Atari' Hercules Pinball and Taito's Ice Cold Beer

April 25, 2010

What do you do when there’s not much news to discuss? Find some videos showcasing the stranger or cooler products found in arcade days past. here are two videos from TNT Amusements, who has been restoring some rare games from the early 80’s. First is Hercules pinball, the largest commercially released pinball game ever, followed up by Taito’s Ice Cold Beer, a skill-based game for bars involving balancing a ball.

Weekend videos: Atari’ Hercules Pinball and Taito’s Ice Cold Beer

April 25, 2010

What do you do when there’s not much news to discuss? Find some videos showcasing the stranger or cooler products found in arcade days past. here are two videos from TNT Amusements, who has been restoring some rare games from the early 80’s. First is Hercules pinball, the largest commercially released pinball game ever, followed up by Taito’s Ice Cold Beer, a skill-based game for bars involving balancing a ball.

Asteroids High Score World record broken

April 6, 2010

While we don’t report about every single world record that is broken on here, occasionally there are ones which are broken which are just too impressive to pass by. I heard about this on the KLOV forums and then saw that they had a live stream of the event on Aurcade.com. John McAllister broke the record last night at 10:18PM with 41,338,740 points – he had to start on Friday morning to achieve this which meant playing the game for three days straight, no pause button allowed (or possible). Congrats to John for smashing the previous record, which had been held by Scott Safran who set his record 28 years ago in 1982, which also required three days of playing to set. I doubt anyone will be able to topple John’s score anytime soon but that probably won’t stop others from trying. In the meantime, congrats to John for the achievement!

The event was viewable on Aurcade.com. Two other world record attempts occured at the same time but it looks like only John made it. The achievement is also bringing out some nice coverage across the internet, as you can see here. (Image above via Wired.com)

One question I would like to ask is how possible do you think it is for a modern arcade to hold this sort of appeal of competing for a high score on it almost 30 years down the road? Obviously that is quite difficult to achieve once again – Asteroids has the classic popularity going for it and you don’t see them making many games anymore that just go on for eternity (or until the game breaks). It almost makes me wish that current arcades would at least offer an option to just loop over to the beginning so one could at least attempt it – I understand why games have endings, so that incredible players like this can’t hog a machine on one credit for eternity but if it were an option that the operator could set, it makes it possible for better high score competitions. What do you guys think?

Check out these Atari glasses

February 2, 2010

Most of the news regarding Atari over the past few years has been negative – of the company barely holding on, churning through CEO’s at an alarming pace and not releasing many games that anyone actually cares about. Of course the Atari of the arcade world is long gone, the people and the ideas behind it going onto other projects or fields of work. But someone over at the current Atari has realized how valuable their classic material can be and over the past few months there has been a renewed push for merchandise featuring classic games and even the original Atari logo (which is much better than that bellbottom one they have been using for ages). The merchandise I have seen is mostly related to clothes but one company called Kryptonite Kollectables is now producing glasses that feature Atari artwork on them. I am not sure if these are officially licensed through Atari or not but they look professional enough. There are shot glasses featuring Pong, Breakout, Asteroids, Centipede, BattleZone and Missile Command; pint glasses featuring all of those minus Pong and Breakout; and some nicely detailed glasses featuring side art from Asteroids, Missile Command, Tempest and Centipede.

All of the items can be seen here at Amazon.com.

The Atari flight yoke controller returns

December 29, 2009

One of those things that I hate to admit is that I have never had the pleasure of playing the original Atari Star Wars on the original hardware. Only once did I ever come across one of these at an arcade growing up and when I did the unit wasn’t working (fortunately they had a BattleZone that was in great condition that I played way too much). For those who have played the game mentioned here then you know that one of the cool things about it are the controls. Atari made what was called the “flight yoke controller” which was similar to a controller they had used in previous games like Starship 1.  A few games have used similar controls since but it has been quite a while since a yoke controller of any kind in arcades and to be honest I think it’s a shame that we haven’t as it’s one of those things that you don’t get the same feel for at home.

Anyways, this post isn’t about a new game that is going to use a yoke but about the reconstruction of the old Atari yoke used in the Star Wars arcade game. From the looks of it, the makers of this device, RAM Controls put a lot of effort into recreating the yoke perfectly and they are now selling them so you can replace an old worn out yoke on your home Star Wars machine (I guess I should ask – how many operators out there still have one of these on location? Anyone?). You can get a completed yoke controller for $260 or they also offer a number of options to rebuild one for less than that. Hit the link below for more on how this came to be.

Quick update: While looking around the RAM Controls site I noticed that they have parts for rebuilding other hard-to-find Atari controllers, like the hall effect stick on I, Robot or Major Havoc controls. Pretty cool stuff.

[Star Wars Flight Yoke Controller Rebuilt - RAM Controls] [Discuss on the Forums]

Panel discussion with ex-Atari alumni at California Extreme 09

December 8, 2009

One thing I don’t think that I will ever tire of is getting into the history of the game industry, particularly that involving the arcade side of things. On one side I think it’s fascinating and on the other there are always some helpful ideas you can learn from what people have tried in the past. Obviously as times change not everything that worked “back in the good ol’ days” will work anymore but there are some things in human tastes that never change.

To get on with with the point, here is video of a panel discussion with several ex-employees of Atari back when it was a giant in the arcade industry, including Al Alcorn, Mike Hally, Owen Rubin, Steve Bristow and Steve Ritchie. Each one of these guys made contributions to gaming that were important not just for arcades but for gaming as a whole. Some of the talk is serious, some is light-hearted, they cover a number of the classic games they worked on and even quite a bit of discussion on Atari pinball machines.  You’ll just have to check them all out below

Gravitar testing, pinball talk

Vector monitors/game talk(speaking of that, my Asteroids Deluxe monitor recently went kaput), exergaming, cabinet make-up,

Failed prototype talk, cabinet designs, Namco licensing,

Copy protection, best selling game, worst business decision, Video Music, Picking innovations, The Last Starfighter

The Last Starfighter cont., Tank 8, the future of arcades, “hot tub stories”

This collection of arcade art is pretty groovy

August 20, 2009

atariconcept

stinger

I always enjoy looking at the artwork that has been used on arcades over the decades and even though I’ve seen a lot of different art, there’s always something out there that you haven’t seen yet. The Stinger Report has pointed us to a site that has a small collection of arcade and other retro gaming artwork including some itmes that I haven’t seen before, such as concept art for certain cabinet designs or other arcade related concepts. Most of it is from the 70’s but there are a few items from the 80’s as well and not all of it is arcade related (like the stuff from Activision). For the full collection, click here.

[Discuss on the Forums]


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