Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Game Group Losses More Than Double

UK video game retailing giant Game Group (owners of Game and Game Station stores) have reported a pre-tax loss of £51.5 million (around $85 million USD) for the six month period to July 2011, a sharp rise from previous losses of £21.5 million last year. The company also reported sales were down by more than 10%.

Game Group blames the squeeze on consumer spending and a lack of new hardware coming to market. Many retailers and software developers have stated the lack of new console models is hurting sales but both Microsoft and Sony are in no hurry to replace their current generation machines.

Game has hundreds of stores across the UK, Ireland, Europe and Australia, and is pinning its hopes of a recovery in sales on the release of big budget titles in the run up to the crucial Christmas trading period.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Atari User In Print via Magcloud

Atari User Issue 12
60 pages, published 22 SEP 2011
Atari User is a monthly magazine dedicated to all the classic Atari consoles, and home computers. Packed with reviews, historical features, news, exclusive interviews and more every month.
Yes folks, Atari User is now available on Magcloud either as a digital PDF download or buy the mag in print, full color with FREE digital download!.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Atari's Heroes Of Neverwinter now in OPEN BETA!

Yes folks, it is here and it actually looks good and plays rather well. OK, it is in beta, and is a bit rough around the edges but what you basically have here is a great RPG game for the facebook generation.

Don't expect this game to have you ditching your Xbox 360 or PS3 any time soon, it is a facebook game after all, but it is an Atari game featuring the Dungeons & Dragons franchise - and, unlike Atari's last D&D venture, this one doesn't suck.

You can choose from one of several classes as well as customize your character and allocate skill points to various character traits before you set off. The tutorial is similar to EA's Dragon Age facebook RPG, but once you get going the game comes into its own and begins to shine.

In the town of Neverwinter you can recruit characters to join you in your quests as well as select from a list of different adventure quests to follow. You can select a different difficulty level for each quest too which is a good option for more experienced players. Recruiting party members is done via the tavern, and characters beyond Level 2 cost gold or crystals (the in-game currency). Level 1 characters, though, can be added to your party for free.

What we have then is a great looking turn-based RPG that does seem to be worthy of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. In order to defeat the nasty creatures you'll inevitably come across, you'll need to choose the makeup of your party carefully as well as use some strategic thinking when it comes to making your moves. Do you go in for melee combat or do you use ranged attacks to wear down the enemy first?

We're impressed with what we've seen so far, and looks like Atari are on to a winner with this one.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Atari User Issue 12 is out!

Atari User Issue 12 is here!

Yes, we're celebrating our first anniversary with this monster issue that includes a feature on arcade smash hit Xeonophobe, an interview with 8-bit games developer Stephen Goss, plus an in-depth look at Nolan Bushnell after he left Atari. A great read if you want to find out about Catalyst Technologies, Androbot, Axlon, Pizza Time Theatre and Etrak.

We look at the best and worst football games for the Atari ST, examine the Atari Cosmos 3D handheld, look at Namco arcade titles converted to the Atari ST plus have loads of reviews for the 2600, 7800, Lynx, Jaguar, ST and Atari 8-bit.

For more details, check out the Atari User Website .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Atari User Issue 12 Preview

A quick preview of Atari User Issue 12, the cover has just been finished and we're polishing off the mag to get it ready for publication.

This issue includes a look at Nolan Bushnell's rise and fall after Atari and his involvement in companies such as Androbot, Axlon and Sente Technologies. We also have a great interview with Stephen Goss, formerly of Harlequin - some fantastic big franchise games almost made it to the Atari 8-bit.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Deep Impact Event as Atari C&D frenzy continues

Atari Inc's cease and desist email onslaught shows no signs of abating. The company has recently targeted website asteroids.co.uk for using an Atari trademark, in its entirety, in the domain name. Just like in the case of atari2600.org, Atari want the domain name - or else. At time of writing asteroids.co.uk shows locations and trajectories of various asteroids that could be a risk to the planet Earth. The site has been used, however, in the past as a tribute to the Atari arcade hit Asteroids and featured a playable clone of the Asteroids game. Atari's email to the site operator makes no mention of this - they just want the domain name.

Atari are also turning up the heat on emulators. This time Atari are targeting various Atari related emulators for, wait for it, the Sega Dreamcast.

There has still been no news from Atari regarding atari2600.org - a story Atari User broke to the world last week. At time of writing, Atari have ignored requests from Atari User Magazine for a statement.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Retro Revolution & Atari User Live!

Retro Revolution is a new retro gaming event, taking place October 1st 2011 at the Red Lion Pub (147 New London Road), in Chelmsford Essex. Planned systems include the Megadrive (Genesis), Master System, PCEngine, Dreamcast, NES, Saturn, Xbox, C64, Amiga, BBC Micro and more.

Plus, Atari User will be there. Yes, Atari User Live! finally comes out of beta and Atari User staff will be at the event with a whole load of different Atari hardware and we'll be covering the event (naturally) for Atari User magazine.

For more information on Retro Revolution, venue details and how to get there, visit the official event website . For Atari enthusiasts there will be a massive Atari Lynx and Atari Jaguar collection on show plus competitions and more.

Doom loses "adult only" ban in Germany

Germany has lifted an "adult only" ban on Doom, some 17 years after the game went on sale. Buying the game alongside other decidedly more adult titles was always a bit off-putting to the average German gamer but now the graphics in Doom are looking a bit old hat to say the least.

Video gaming has moved on and so Bethesda Softworks have been able to appeal against the ban. The American version of Doom II remains banned due to the use of Nazi symbols in parts of the game.