The Atari 7800 is a much maligned console. Released far too late to compete with the mighty NES so it had no chance. This wasn't necessarily because of hardware limitations - but more because of the games released with it which were in the main ports of 80's arcade games which sadly just didn't cut it in the era of Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda.
It actually did OK for a short while but long term the lack of contemporary games finished it off. For collectors its a very interesting console though because of the small and collectable official library, its ability to play 2600 games, and a thriving homebrew scene. I'm only going to talk about official 7800 releases here - specifically my favourites:
There is a perception that Armchair Arcade is just about games. This is not true. We have always been about both computers and videogames. It is important to note though that many of us maintain older computers for three reasons: games, experimentation and programming. Programming what? Usually games. Few of us that collect have that Tandy Model I or Commodore Amiga in the corner for word processing or spreadsheet work, do we? Frankly, modern computers do that better and of course work better with modern printers. So, while everything seems to mostly revolve around games at Armchair Arcade , that's more a reflection of reality than any specific limitation we place on our subject matter or content. If you see an article in this issue on CP/M on the Apple II or on Linux from our last issue, don't be alarmed. Remember, it's all about computers and videogames and all related in some fundamental manner. In any case, we hope it always makes for fun and educational reading.
Before we discuss what's new, we'd first like to thank everyone for making the first issue and Armchair Arcade in general a huge success. We've had more visitors and positive feedback than we ever expected this early in Armchair Arcade's existence. Second, we were blown away by the amount of international coverage and visits. Again, thank you! Your support is needed and thoroughly appreciated.
This month's issue features four articles that further demonstrate the ongoing editorial direction of Armchair Arcade. One article in particular concerns a topic that could be ripped straight from today's hard news headlines, but is absolutely applicable to the current state of gaming. It's sure to be controversial and a must-read. Please feel free to make comments and discuss these articles (and any others) in our forums. The editors are eager to read your praise, criticism, and questions.
Issue 2's articles:
Gay Characters in Videogames
by Matt Barton
In this article, Matt explores the issue of homosexuality in modern (and classic) videogames, starting with the rather startling endorsement of gay marriage in Atari's The Temple of Elemental Evil.
Interactive Fiction and Feelies: An Interview with Emily Short
by Bill Loguidice
(Original art by Brandon Knox)
In this interview-based piece, Bill gives us the low-down on the current state of Interactive Fiction development and marketing. "Feelies," or small products sometimes included with a game to help spur interest and player involvement, are making a serious comeback thanks to Emily Short and feelies.org. Read all about it here!
Atari 7800 Double Dragon: A Comparative Look
by Mark Wiesner Jr.
In this comparative review, Mark explains why the little-known Atari 7800 version of Double Dragon is as good as or better than other, more popular versions. This article will interest anyone interested in the game or second generation classic consoles in general.
Early Commodore 64 Platformers: Jumpman, Spelunker, Ultimate Wizard, and Pharaohâ€™s Curse
by Matt Barton
If you recognize any of the games in this title, or are a fan of the Commodore 64, you will not want to miss this article. Matt explores what makes each title distinct, but also how the added features either enhance or detract from gameplay.
A special thanks to everyone who has supported us and we look forward to a continued bright future with both old and new friends!
Welcome to the long-awaited first issue of Armchair Arcade, originally scheduled to come out in early November 2003. Obviously, there have been many unforeseen delays between that time and now, and there has been much hype and speculation about Armchair Arcade. With this first monthâ€™s articles, we think youâ€™ll get a better idea of what weâ€™re actually trying to accomplish.