Thursday, May 19, 2011

Testing Atari Games

New video games, whether they are old or new, is always a time of great rejoicing here. It's also a time of great cleaning and testing. We can't just let these games go out on the shelves without verifying they work or cleaning the copious amounts of dirt and grime off of them. We have to hold them, feed them, clean them, teach them the ways of the world, and then let them run free on the shelves when they're ready. I assure you, it's a very emotional process.

It's not all sunshine and candy though. It's not all unicorns and kittens wearing funny hats, no sir! Sometimes, testing a game can drive you to the brink of insanity. It can be like starring into the subconscious of Gary Busey, full of wild animals singing Motley Crue songs while gnawing at piles of rotten meat. It's a real test of a man's worth, that's for sure.

Superman, for the Atari 2600, really stood out as a game that can break the will of a civilization. It's seizure inducing characters and level screens made my eyes hurt. Its lack of instruction and intuitiveness left me foaming at the mouth. It made no sense. It sounds like a Daft Punk B-Side and looks like a child's first foray into the world of computer animation. When looking for an example, it was no surprise to me that the video showcasing this game had the word "unplayable" in it. Here, take a look.

The word "unplayable" implies that there is a way to play the game. Whereas I feel that there is no way to play it. There can't be, it's just a mess of shapes and sounds. A world of noise and color that you navigate this helpless sprite through. It's damnation. This is not a game in the classic sense. This is an insanity simulator.

While I do enjoy cleaning and testing the majority of games that come into our shop, it sometimes causes me mental harm. In this case, Superman for the Atari 2600 has scarred me for the rest of my life. There will come a day when I am old and withered, sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair, with a vacant look in my eye. If you look closely, you'll see scenes from this game running their hellish course in my eye, in my soul.

For the sake of you having confidence in purchasing used video games here, it was worth it. Goodnight everyone.

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