Playing Moon Patrol (A8)

Hello everybody, my name is Jason and I have an almost crippling addiction to Moon Patrol on the Atari 8-bit. I’ve had this addiction for quite a while now, but was only playing with an emulator and telling myself it wasn’t the same as the hard stuff, that I could stop at any time… and then a parcel arrived on Saturday morning containing an actual cartridge and I was hooked!

In fact I’ve wanted Moon Patrol for my Atari 8-bit for a while, although it didn’t occur to me to actually look for one on eBay until R3PLAY where there was an XE Games Machine and a box of cartridges to choose from. Just nine English pounds got me unboxed cartridge without manual (that did include the shipping from America) and after a little digging around through storage boxes, out came the (t)rusty Atari 800XL and power supply. The C64’s Zipstik was borrowed and several hours of diligently patrolling the moon followed.

The sprites might be a little chunky and the otherwise nicely defined backgrounds could possibly have done with a little more variety of colour between stages considering the Atari 8-bit’s large palette, but Moon Patrol‘s gameplay is absolutely spot on and, after a day and a bit of playing with a decent joystick on the big telly in the front room, getting through the first loop without dying is tantalisingly close to being a reality and my final life is usually lost about halfway through the second. And that tune has been indelibly burnt into my bloody brain and I’ll no doubt be humming it all week!

Retro Gamer 85

There seems to be a pattern forming here… I’ve just finished Retro Gamer 87’s homebrew and picked up RG85 yesterday! Judging by a few forum comments, people don’t seem to be aware that there’s quite a delay between the content leaving my inbox and appearing in print so the intro for 87 has waffles for seventy words about why games take a little while to appear.

Anyway, the 8-bit indie games in issue 85 issue are Smurf Challenge (Colecovision), Balls To The Walls (VIC 20), D-Pad Hero 2 (NES) and Mission 2 Mir (MSX), the latter of which got what I suspect is the lowest score I’ve ever handed out in two and a bit years of writing for RG (although not for Oldschool Gaming). The second spread has Tempura of the Dead and Krazy Alienz (Xbox 360), Wild Turret (Windows), Chaos Invaders (Flash) and the Homebrew Hero interview is with Jon “Moloch” Mines of C64 team Arkanix Labs.

Sorted… now I’m going to settle down with a nice cup of tea and the last episode of Bonekickers season 1 on the DVD I got for a quid last week!

Forgot I had a blog!

Ah… that’s the problem with my “jet-setting lifestyle”, I forget that things need updating occasionally…

So there went 2010 and here’s 2011 – since the last post I’ve got the Oldschool Gaming review of 2010 written up and published, ordered a couple of dual CF card readers that mount into 2.5″ drive bays for my Amiga 600HD and A1200 ‘030, written reviews here and there, played quite a few games including the excellent Vorpal on XBLIG, started thinking about discontinuing the Illogistix website and merging the bulk of it’s content into Bullet Mechanics… oh and I got an Adipose stress toy for Christmas, it’s remarkable how easily entertained I can be!

Edit: I tried merging Illogistix and Bullet Mechanics earlier and the results were… messy. All things considered, it might be worth dropping Ilx and rebooting BullMech since it’s quite a bit of waffle about engines and not actually getting stuff done. This needs more thought.

Yesterday evening was spent meeting folks from the Retro Gamer message board; including Sue and myself, five of us got together and went for a meal at a place called Red Hot. The company for the evening (mainvein, SirClive and ReplayRetro) was fantastic, the food rather good and it was a world buffet so I had all manner of bizarre mixtures whilst my urge to take “all you can eat” literally reared its ugly head. We all seemed to have a great time and hopefully it’ll all be happening again soon.