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Baldur's Gate photo
Baldur's Gate

Baldur's Gate: EE pulled following 'contractual issues'


BGII: Enhanced Edition also affected
Jun 20
// Jordan Devore
Overhaul Games has issued a rather worrisome statement regarding Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition and its revamped sequel. The game has been removed for purchase from the Apple App Store and Beamdog as a result of "contractual...
Atari E.T. photo
Atari E.T.

The legendary Atari E.T. landfill is getting excavated


For a documentary
Jun 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
E.T. for the Atari 2600 has a crazy story behind it, and it's something any videogame fan should learn about. Long story short, Atari crushed all the copies of E.T. they couldn't sell and buried it under concrete in a landfil...
Super Mario Crossover 3.0 photo
Super Mario Crossover 3.0

Super Mario Crossover 3.0 is just around the corner


Third major version of the star-studded fan game coming in May or June
Apr 28
// Tony Ponce
Three years ago as of yesterday, indie dev Exploding Rabbit's Super Mario Bros. Crossover was unleashed online, and the reception couldn't have been warmer. For the benefit of the unfortunate few who haven't heard of this da...
Console chimera photo
Console chimera

18 different gaming consoles combined into one system


The ultimate mod
Apr 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Modder Bacteria spent over three years and over $1,000 to merge 18 different consoles into one giant box. It contains circuitry from 15 different systems, works with one master controller, a single power supply, and a single...
Good Old Games photo
Good Old Games

GOG.com Atari sale includes Master of Orion


60 percent off games from the Atari library
Mar 22
// Jordan Devore
Now through Tuesday, GOG.com is running a sale on memorable games from the Atari library such as Master of Orion 1 and 2, RollerCoaster Tycoon, Master of Magic, Blood, Star Control 1 and 2, Pirates!, and The Chronicles of Rid...
Blood shutdown photo
Blood shutdown

Atari shuts down Jace Hall's Blood re-release


Goshdarnnit, Atari!
Feb 15
// Allistair Pinsof
After Jace Hall got the cult-classic first-person shooter Blood on the road to a remake, Atari has stepped in and temporarily shut the project down. Hall notified the Blood fan community of The Postmortem about the standstill...
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Office Chat: Atari Force X Electronic Child Molestor Zone


Another casual discussion from the Dtoid news room
Jan 24
// Conrad Zimmerman
In this edition of Office Chat, I'm joined by Jordan Devore and Kyle MacGregor, as we express our enthusiasm for Namco's announcement that Project X Zone will see western release, our hope that Atari may actually rise from the ashes and our dismay at politicians making dramatic crack shots.
Atari bankruptcy photo
Loved franchises up for sale
Atari US has filed bankruptcy and will sell everything: games, film rights, and even their logo. This Everything Must Go sale and Chapter 11 filing are in an attempt to break away from its French parent company, Atari SA (for...

Review: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition

Dec 06 // Patrick Hancock
Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition (Android, iPad, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Overhaul GamesPublisher: Beamdog / AtariRelease: November 28, 2012 (PC) / December 2012 (Android, iPad, Mac)MSRP: $9.99 (Android, iPad) / $19.99 (Mac, PC) The writing of Baldur's Gate has always been one of its strongest aspects. The story remains unchanged and still holds up. The main plot begins with bandits mysteriously trying to murder the main character in the midst of an iron shortage in the area. Enhanced Edition also includes the "Tales of the Sword Coast" expansion integrated into the main game. While the plot is good, I've always felt as if it were the characters and their interactions that really kept me going through the 50+ hours of gameplay. Protip: Include Minsc in your party. There were already a large amount of characters to recruit in the original game, but the Enhanced Edition adds three more into the mix: Rasaad the Monk, Neera the Wild Mage, and Dorn the Blackguard. Neera quickly became my favorite of the three and one of my favorite characters overall thanks to her unique spell, "Nahal's Reckless Dweomer," a last-ditch effort in which Neera chooses one of her other spells and attempts to cast it. However, this usually fails and the result is completely random; sometimes it's great, sometimes it wipes out the entire party. Rasaad and Dorn fit into the universe just fine and don't feel as if they're ham-fisted in for the sake of new content. You encounter all three new characters within the first two hours of gameplay, and just like with every other NPC, you can accept them into the party or refuse and continue without them. If they are in the party, they will occasionally feel the need to pester you and give you opportunities to ask about their history after resting or entering a new area. It's nice, but it sometimes happens about three or four times in a row, which gets quite annoying. [embed]239662:45947[/embed] The game itself runs on a better version of the Infinity Engine and boasts "over 400 improvements." It definitely runs more smoothly, though there are still some issues with path finding. The user interface is also cleaner and easier to comprehend, though it is far from perfect. Overall, it feels less "janky" than the original, which will definitely be a boon to new players. The AI in general is a bit hit-or-miss. You can tweak it to act according to preset actions, but sometimes there isn't one that fits exactly what you want. If perhaps there were a way to set specific reactions to events, a la Dragon Age: Origins, then the AI for ranged combatants and mages would be much better. There's also a modified in-game tutorial to help explain the Dungeons & Dragons systems at play. It will seem tedious for anyone who has played similar games in the past, yet plenty of game systems go untouched in the tutorial. There are two very lengthy manuals as well, so I'd recommend checking them out if you're confused. The game also crashed on me once during the main campaign, and I've heard other reports of crashes during The Black Pits. Though you should be doing it anyway, save often! The game is hard enough; you don't want to repeat a large segment of the game due to a crash. Oh, did I neglect to mention that this game is brutally, soul-crushingly hard? Allow me: this game is brutally, soul-crushingly hard. There we go. Character death isn't permanent in most cases, but reviving a character requires traveling to a Temple and paying gold to bring them back. But if you take too long to fulfill an NPC's quest, they might turn on you and try to murder you. On top of that, if your created character dies, it is officially game over. Save always. Pause during fights. And, as Minsc would say, "There is strength in numbers, and I am two or three, at least!" The biggest content addition is The Black Pits, an arena-based series of combat trials separate from the main game. It is possible to jump straight into The Black Pits without playing the main game, and it will assign you a party of six to play with. There are 15 arenas of increasingly difficult enemies to get through, which might sound like a complete chore at first. Luckily, the witty writing is still in full effect in The Black Pits. The wizard Baeloth has taken you to these pits and grows continually interested in yet disgusted by your ability to put on a show for the crowd and slay the enemies. In between rounds, you'll get the chance to rest and buy more items from vendors, each with a distinct personality and something to say about both Baeloth and the arena itself. It's a fun distraction from the main story and will take you a few hours to get through, depending on how well you handle yourself in the arena. It's also fully voiced, as opposed to the spotty "sometimes voiced, sometimes not" nature of the main game. Though it may be hard to tell from screenshots, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition really has upped the visuals. Sure, they don't look ultra spectacular, but when you go back and play the original, you'll be shocked as to just how much of a difference there is. A large reason for the improved visuals is support for way more resolutions, including widescreen. The game looks better and you see more of it. Unless you zoom in. Don't zoom in. There are also new cutscenes, replacing the old 3D ones that most people would cringe at nowadays. These new cinematics are hand-drawn and though relatively infrequent and brief are a joy to witness. More character portraits and player voices round out this enhancement, both nice additions, especially if you've trod this ground before. Baldur's Gate was, is, and always will be an RPG classic. The writing is full of wit, the characters and their interactions are exceptional, and the tried-and-true D&D gameplay is deceivingly complex. Sure, there are some minor issues like character AI/pathing, overly chatty and intrusive party members, and the occasional crash, but they fall short of detracting from the overall RPG euphoria. Whether you've run through the game multiple times or have always wanted to, it's as easy as ever to recommend Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition to anyone.
Baldur's Gate EE review photo
Miniature giant space hamster approved
Baldur's Gate will forever be regarded as one of the classic PC RPGs. A lot of people never experienced it back in 1998, and it's not exactly the best-looking game anymore. To complicate things, it can be a pain to get the ol...

Contest: Win an Atari 2600-themed Xbox 360!

Dec 02 // mrandydixon
Here's your puzzle: Word ScrambleUnscramble the words in the image below.Hint: Naturally, it has to do with PONG. Remember, once you think you know the answer, submit it via Atari's Facebook page. You have until December 2 at 11:59 PM Pacific to enter, and you can find more details on the contest page. Good luck!
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Celebrate PONG's 40th anniversary in style!
[Update: Contest over! Check Atari's Facebook page for the winner!] Today marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the original PONG! To commemorate the occasion, Atari is releasing Pong World, the $50,000 grand priz...

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Take a ride with Ubiktune's Motorway and Interlude


Ubiktune's newest fantastic fusions
Nov 19
// Audun Sorlie
Fancy a swing on the funky road of chiptunes this week? Ubiktune's got you covered with another excellent set of releases on their never-ending chiptune label. Motorway is a jazz-funk chiptune album composed with changing tim...

Review: Warlords

Nov 14 // Ian Bonds
Warlords (PlayStation Network [reviewed], Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: Griptonite GamesPublisher: AtariReleased: October 9, 2012 (PSN) / November 14, 2012 (XBLA)MSRP: $9.99 (PSN) / 800 Microsoft Points (XBLA) The game itself is fairly straightforward: two to four players guard a castle by maneuvering a shield at the front gate to not only block fireballs from destroying your own castle walls, but to also ricochet them to take out your opponents'. It plays like an awesome hybrid of Combat, Breakout, and to a certain extent, Pong, as each hit depletes the strength and structure of your walls until they're all knocked down and a final fireball entering the castle knocks them out for good. For this iteration, however, they've thrown in a few new features to liven things up. As multiple shots bounce around the stage, if timed right, you can catch one with your shield and charge it as a shot for more damage to your enemies' walls. However, the longer you charge it, the more your wall will be damaged until it's released. These attacks can be utilized to your advantage, as bank shots can slip past your foes' guard, and the shot, while charged, cannot damage your own wall once released onto the field. As more fireballs are dropped into the battlefield (by a flying dragon, no less) the action becomes chaotic, with a possible total of five fireballs on the screen at once. Once a castle is taken out, the number drops back to one fireball, and increases incrementally again as the other castles follow suit. This keeps the action varied enough so that each player is constantly adjusting to each new attack. [embed]238549:45768[/embed] One of the biggest new additions, however, is the inclusion of your minions, known as Snoots. These goofy little creatures are used for a variety of tasks, such as repairing your own walls, directly damaging your opponents, or gathering power-ups for bonuses and take-down assists from your fireball attacks. You direct a flag-carrying Snoot with the right analog stick and his troops will follow him blindly, even attacking enemy Snoots on the battlefield, taking each other out at a one-to-one ratio. The more you lead, the more chance you'll win against opposing forces when trying to stand on one of the power-up icons on the field in order to fill a meter to obtain troop invincibility, shield extenders, or the ability to slow or reverse the controls for your opponents' shields. Juggling control of the Snoots while deflecting fireballs with your shield is difficult enough, but careful concentration on this real-time-strategy element of the gameplay can really turn things in your favor. Thankfully, the main tasks of healing your wall, attacking your opponents, and running to the power-up battlefield icons are also each hot-keyed to a direction on the D-pad to make things a bit easier to control in the heat of battle. Is that not enough for you? How about we throw in a Black Knight, who will randomly appear to start bashing in everyone's walls? Your Snoots can attack him, but the White Knight power-up is what's best for allowing them to stand a chance. You can also direct the fireballs toward him, but that only makes him mad, and if he isn't attacking you before you launch one his way, he will be soon after. All of this may sound like overkill and a bit much to handle -- and in some heated battles, it is -- but that's part of the beauty of this game. The micromanagement of the Snoots never feels intrusive and the Black Knight only shows up often enough to be a mild nuisance. There's a careful balance in effect here that each of these play mechanics feel like an enhancement rather than just a cheap gimmick. I worried initially that I wasn't going to be able to handle every new gameplay feature, but I found myself preferring the new techniques over the classic mode. The graphic presentation is a highlight -- as well as where the game starts to see its downfall. While the characters of the Snoots are entertaining and in some cases downright funny, the framerate in battles can slip and stutter on occasion, making battles stretch out a bit more than you might like. Still, the color coordination of your own Warlord, Snoots, their castle, and charged attacks keep things in focus; the framerate issue only presented itself in a couple of matches, never really hindering gameplay. The battlefield can be viewed at a 3/4 isometric view or in classic overhead, though the action is a little tougher to follow in the former. The sound is also excellent, with an entertaining announcer's deep bass vocal echoing through battles over heavy metal guitars. For a downloadable title, there's plenty of game modes on offer including the invaluable tutorial mode, a short-but-fun campaign, single-player vs. CPU, and of course local and online multiplayer. The campaign tacks on a rather unnecessary storyline, but it's short enough that you won't care, and it serves as a good way to get some practice in before tackling friends in battle. While playing against AI-controlled enemies has its merits, nothing compares to fighting against real people, and the inclusion of local multiplayer along with online brings those glorious old-school memories back. More than just an HD remake, Warlords adds enough new things while keeping the core gameplay at its heart to make everything fresh and fun. It may not be a perfect game with the (thankfully occasional) framerate dips and a story mode that could honestly have been left out, but it's certainly an entertaining one, and a blast to play with others. And with online play, I don't get punched in the arm nearly as much when I win.
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Hey! You got your RTS in my BREAKOUT clone!
In the '80s, if you had three friends over who all wanted to play Atari with you, there was really only one game you would reach for. Warlords was the go-to game for multiplayer combat, and it was also the source for many fru...

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Champions Online gets massive vehicle update


Take to the skies
Nov 11
// Harry Monogenis
Champions Online has gone through some rather big changes since its launch back in 2009, most notably the one in 2011 which saw the MMO go free-to-play. Now there's another rather large update to the game, with...
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F-bombs in the Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie trailer


Yep, it's a trailer alright
Nov 10
// Tony Ponce
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie is still a thing that is happening. As proof, the official trailer just went live. You can watch it. So... do that. We've known previously that the film will follow the Nerd and a group of fr...
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NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL KULOR! has got the chips


And I've got the dip, know what I'm sayin'?
Oct 24
// Tony Ponce
I've got another kickin' chiptune album for your twisted pleasure. You people make me sick! Between 2008 and now, Richard "Kulor" Armijo composed a bunch of tunes based on the NES, Game Boy, Master System, Game Gear, Atari 80...
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The 80s computer sounds of Strange Light Under My Bed


Oct 07
// Tony Ponce
I have been all about the chiptunes lately! Is that a problem for anyone? I didn't think so! The Ubiktune net label has just released a new album entitled Strange Light Under My Bed. However, these aren't the kinds of chiptun...
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RollerCoaster Tycoon returns on 3DS next month


Employment opportunities for janitors skyrocket
Sep 04
// Jordan Devore
This past weekend, SimCity prompted Chad and I to discuss the disappointing lack of a new RollerCoaster Tycoon game. Then I remembered that -- oh, yeah -- we are getting one: RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D. Not exactly what we had i...
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The retro and modern armies are at all-out war!


Sep 01
// Tony Ponce
Everyone loves to debate the merits of games from "back in the day" versus those of more contemporary fare. But why should we have to fight their battles for them? All those gaming heroes are perfectly capable of settling th...
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Game covers with an Atari 2600 twist


Aug 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The current rage is reimagining anything and everything with an original Nintendo style twist. Sure, the pixel art remakes are nice, but EVERYONE is doing it. So it's nice to see someone approach things differently, as devian...
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I had ALMOST forgotten how crappy Tiger LCD games were


Jun 27
// Tony Ponce
Before the Game Boy, handheld gaming was dominated by LCD electronic devices, most famously the Game & Watch line. Each device was dedicated to playing a single game in the crudest way imaginable -- all possible object l...
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Swordfight will get your joystick hard


Apr 29
// Tony Ponce
I stand corrected. This is the weirdest story of the weekend! If you read Joseph Leray's "Nordic New Wave" feature from the other week, you ought to be familiar with Johann Sebastian Joust, a game using accelerometer-powered ...
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NCsoft bows out of E3, probably playing Farmville instead


Mar 21
// Liam Fisher
I know you folks are starting to compile your own personal lists of who will or won't be in attendance at E3 this year, right? Well it seems you can definitely count on seeing Zynga there, so go ahead and breathe a sigh of re...
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Atari is bringing back the pong


Feb 29
// Fraser Brown
Pong is almost 40 years old, which means it's probably going to get a sporty wee convertible and start hooking up with people half its age. To celebrate Pong's impending anniversary, Atari has challenged indie developers to d...
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Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends gearing up for spring


Feb 03
// Jordan Devore
The Ferrari fanatics in attendance will want to keep an eye on Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends. The game revolves around this single brand and is due out on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 in spring 2012. What got me to ta...
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Asteroids: Gunner is a free game coming to the App Store


Nov 08
// Harry Monogenis
Atari has announced Asteroids: Gunner, an upcoming free game making its way to the App Store "soon" for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. People, this is Asteroids -- the official kind of Asteroids -- so I high...
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I-War, The Witcher & Total Annihilation among GOG deals


Oct 14
// Maurice Tan
Good Old Games is having the rather large Atari Collection on sale for 50% off this weekend. Some of the games have been on sale a couple of times before, so here's your chance to grab them if you had missed out. Notable game...
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Atari founder: Nintendo is pretty crappy


Oct 11
// Jim Sterling
Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell has been predicting all kinds of fun things at GDC, suggesting that kids will one day play neurologically implanted videogames, and that we won't have another generation of consoles. Of co...
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Be part of Smithsonian's 'Art of Video Games' Credits


Oct 02
// Caitlin Cooke
The Smithsonian is gearing up for their "Art of Video Games" exhibit which will feature images, concept art, sketches, and footage from 80 games. The games have been judged and voted, the art has been chosen, and all that's l...
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Black Lodge: The faux Atari 2600 Twin Peaks game


Sep 25
// Jordan Devore
Seeing as how we'll never get a Twin Peaks game in the same vein as L.A. Noire, sad as that makes me, this Atari 2600 tribute will have to do. It's a free game for PC and Mac fittingly called Black Lodge. The instruction manu...
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Atari Flashback 3 includes 60 built-in Atari 2600 games


Sep 06
// Kyle MacGregor
If you're feeling nostalgic for the '80s and are interested in getting a bunch of games on the cheap, you just might be interested in this one. The Atari Flashback 3 is a "new" console that comes packed with 60 retro games fr...

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