EDitorial ± 14-Jan-2002

Retro Blaster

Playstation 2? Pah! In my day (sucks pipe, reaches for Werther's Originals) we didn't have no 128 bit graphics or polygon engines. Instead we had a bleeding edge powerhouse boasting 4k of ROM and 128 bytes (count 'em!) of RAM.

One fantastic Christmas day, around 20 years ago kids, me & big brother came downstairs to find the present of our dreams: one six-switch woodgrain effect Atari 2600, c/w joysticks, paddles, power supply and the ubiquitous Combat cartridge. Cool. It ruled the roost for a year or two before things, as they do, moved on, and we sold the lot to help finance our first home computer, an Oric. That story can wait.

I'm wallowing in nostalgia now having bought not one but two Atari consoles in the last month. One went to my mum (by the way, Happy Birthday!) for Christmas, since she always enjoyed a good shoot-em-up, then I decided I had to have one too.

Atari 2600 Jr.

Two televisual happenings late last year conspired to persuade me to dip into ebay:

  1. Thom Yorke, Radiohead's front man, sporting an Atari logo T-shirt on their Later With Jools Holland appearance
  2. in BBC2's Attachments, the site of Brandon, king of the geeks, playing Pac-Man in bed on an old 2600

I set up my Atari 2600 Jr (a later model - those woodgrains cost a fortune these days) on Friday evening for the first time, and engaged in some serious tank-on-tank action with all-comers. My six-year old opponent never stood a chance. Three hours and two pizzas later we were whacked.

If You Take Away With You Nothing Else

  • it's gameplay that matters, not graphics
  • best carts in an online poll:
    1. Adventure
    2. Solaris
    3. Yar's Revenge
    4. Asteroids
    5. River Raid
  • now what did we do with the old Intellivision?

Be seeing you!