Last weekend was the potato festival, when our humble midwestern town celebrates the tuber that keeps America plump and its own economy healthy. When I was growing up, the festival was a wonderland of carnival rides, flea markets, and even a makeshift arcade set up under a tent. However, as the years went by, the festival limited its ambitious. A couple of years ago, it was limited to a rodeo, a few T-shirt vendors, and trucks selling the usual assortment of artery-clogging junk food.
Apart from an admittedly impressive fireworks display, this year wasn't much more exciting. However, there's one thing you can always count on from the potato festival... dozens of yard sales. There's something about this time of year that gets people eager to clean their homes of unwanted junk. And when that happens, you'd better believe I'm there, ready to take those unloved items off their hands. You know what they say about one man's trash!
(picture courtesy of Amazon.com)
Its conversions of Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Rally X, Bosconian, and Galaxian are dreadfully flawed, with imperfect graphics and simplistic sound effects. I get the sinking feeling that the games are running on the Famicom-on-a-chip that was all too frequent in the cheaper TV games units. The ports aren't any worse than the ones on an actual Nintendo Entertainment System (in the case of Pac-Man, it's hard to imagine how that would be possible...), but the five games nevertheless fall far short of the arcade perfection players must have been expecting. Bosconian in particular was eviscerated by the decision to set the radar over the playfield and a diamond gate inside the joystick that makes it impossible to move diagonally. You won't be hearing your co-pilot shout "Blast awwlf!" either, but after all I've told you, you probably guessed that already. If you haven't already graduated to one of the Namco Museum collections, the much more faithful TV Games unit starring Ms. Pac-Man is a better bet.
|Pardon the dust!|
It's actually not that hard when you don't have the cash. So I haggled with the seller and weaseled them down to twenty dollars. After a quick trip to the grocery store to wrangle the money out of my dwindling bank account, I had my prize... a computer with definite potential as a Steam machine. It may not be bleeding-edge technology, but believe me, for the price I ain't complaining.