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The Force is on Fire! - The Atari Times

The Force is on Fire!

Do the Star Wars
by Bart Harrison

June 4, 2002
I am sure by now that all of you have seen the new Star Wars movie, Attack of the Clones. I have seen it four times, and you know, every time I see it, it seems like the special effects just get better and better while the acting just gets cheaper and campier. The whole love story between Anakin and Padme (Does anybody out there know what Padme's last name is?) [Yes, it's Amidala - Ed.] just gets plain ridiculous after about an hour into the movie. I think the relationship between Princess Leia and Han Solo in the later episodes is a little more real to life, and added quite a bit to the later episodes while this new love story just takes away from the movie, even though John Williams did a great job creating a love theme for them both. But overall, it is a much better story than Episode 1, and I am very anxious to see Episode 3.

I remember, back in the day, when I was about 5 or 6 years old, I took a road trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. My family stayed at a casino called Circus Circus, which had a massive video game arcade and amusement area. This was where I played my very first Star Wars arcade game, which was the vector graphics version, where you destroyed the Death Star over, and over, and over again. But man, was it fun! I was addicted. I think I spent about 10 dollars on that game, which was quite a bit for me to spend back in those days. The game was fun and very addictive. Then several years later I played Return of the Jedi at a Chuck E Cheese's video arcade. It was all right in the sense that it was a Star Wars game, but didn't have to zing that the vector graphics game possessed. Then, about fifteen years later, I actually went back to Circus Circus, and they had the newer Sega version of Star Wars, and it was actually a very exciting game. This game was really great, and also led to the now popular Star Wars Trilogy arcade game, which is absolutely GREAT (Even though it costs 75 cents to a dollar to play at my local video arcade, grrrr). All of those games added quite a bit to the Star Wars expanded universe, but they aren't the only ones. The 2600 gave us a few good ones and a bad arcade translation:

I think that everyone should have copies of all of these games, simply because of the rarity of the last two, and the great game play of the first two games. Anyway, lets get back to planet Earth and look at a few news items which have been going on in the past few weeks.

News #1: It looks as if the massively popular Raine video game emulator has been upgraded to 0.35B. I am very fond of Raine simply because it contains one of my favorite mid-90s video games, Wrestlefest! (Yes, I was a big time pro wrestling fan, and still am in many ways whenever I have a chance to watch the WWF / WWE / WWWhatever) The update fixed some issues in the gameinfo part, and fixed several bugs in the game, Elevator Action 2. For more information on Raine, please visit www.rainemu.com.

News #2: It looks as if Tron is going to be re-made for the Windows platform, under the name Tron 2.0. It is of course based on the popular Disney movie, which was released in 1982. Man, I remember shelling out the big money for the old Tron arcade games. I think one day I will review Deadly Discs, which was made for the Atari 2600, but that will be for different day!

News #3: And finally, Nintendo's president, Hiroshi Yamauchi announced his retirement on May 31, 2002. He is known for being a very shrewd businessman. He took over the business from his father in 1949 when it was simply a card making company. He then fired every single manager in the company to let everyone know that he was the boss, he then went on to make light gun video games in the 70's, and helped create the first Odyssey system, which was Nintendo's first actual console, and of course, in 1984, when the american video game business was all but dead, Nintendo of America was founded and brought out the Nintendo Entertainment System, and you all know the rest of the story. Man, I bet he was a tough boss to be under! Yamauchi's position will now be simply an advisor to the six man committee which will be replacing the business legend.

Well, I think that about wraps up this first column. While there is another person on this site that accepts questions, I want to pose a question to all of the Atarimaniacs out there, so if you get it right, I will make sure that I include you in my next column. So here is my question...

Out of all of the sports games released in the Atari 2600's "RealSports" series, almost every major sport was included, except one which was originally supposed to be included, but was canned in the early stages. Which sport was it? (Hint: the prototype was discovered in 1998, fourteen years after the big Atari crash)

Also, check out my review on the Atari 2600 version of The Empire Strikes Back, then e-mail me and tell me what your opinion of the game is, because, yes, I really do value other people's opinions! What do you think of the other Star Wars video games?

So send me your e-mails. I will include everyone who guesses the "Realsports" question correctly. I also want your high scores on any Atari 2600 game, so make sure and send them in also (With some type of picture proof, of course!)

Take care, and keep the dream alive!

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