Atari came into being way back in 1972 as the brainchild of Nolan Bushnell, a delightful gentleman who would later go on to devise the Chuck E. Cheese franchise after necking some particularly strong LSD and crank-calling an old college friend. During the time of its reign in the arcade and home-entertainment industries, they were the bad ass system of the day, and are credited with pioneering ideas such as cartridge games, healthy socialising, cultivation of stylish facial hair, and indoctrinating young children into a hate-filled culture of sexual violence. Its good reputation has since 1983 been sullied by corporatism, Hasbro, Infogrames, and the development of good video games. Atari's name is continually pissed upon by blithering 'fans' who insist on wearing clever T-shirts with the Atari logo and captions like "Kicking it Old School" or something equally as stupid. Worse is the fact that most of the shirts have a joystick with the button on the wrong side.
After the 2600, Atari went on to release a series of further consoles & hand-helds until it became clear that they sucked beyond salvation and went third-party. They appear to have bequeathed their terrible curse unto Sega, who also dropped out of the hardware business some years later. Sega would seem to have passed the taint down to Sony.
Not really, Sony are great.
HOLY SHIT SON, 7-BIT GRAPHICS? The Atari 2600 was the first gaming console to utilize a microprocessor, meaning games could be written by anyone and stored on programmable cartridges. This paved the way for future consoles and also blew the market wide open for third-party vendors who were now able to release their own games without having to provide a proprietary console of their own. It was so expensive that even IRL funny niggers like Richard Pryor couldn't afford one until years after it was released. And by then he was all fucked-up so he couldn't even play it. The original price of the unit was around $300 USD back then, which is like $1200 today.
In the early 80s, dozens upon dozens of third-party companies developed and released cartridges for the Atari 2600. Hilarity then ensued when what became entitled the "Video Game Crash of 1983" took place, bankrupting and putting out of business many of these third-party vendors. The real lulz came when some of these plucky third-party people then went on to jump through many legal hoops in order to keep on churning out shitty games for the system, going so far as to take their fight to the Supreme Court. A fantastic by-product of the eventual ruling was Custer's Revenge, for which Atari consequently took Mystique to court. The fucking cry-babies, who doesn't like rape?
The Atari 5200 is an inferior piece of shit to its predecessor oldfag: the Atari 2600. Its controller barely responds to anything you do unless you beg it to end your suffering, and it used a number pad for some of the simplest games ever, making it look more like you were playing on a shitty cell phone than anything. It did have another controller to attempt to fix that problem rather than fix it, that had you playing with its ball, but it was like playing with a VCR in your lap. Because clearly, simply fixing what was wrong with your controller was too much effort and money while Atari swam in its pool made of Jew Golds and tears of crying, unhappy children, Scrooge-style.
It had a tiny library akin to Dylan Standerford's reproductive organs, which you couldn't play anyway because of said controller working like it was a block of styrofoam. The games, like the system, are shit and bubba-sized. At least the back opened up to hold your Bud Light so you can drink yourself to sleep and disappointment at having spending hundreds of dollars on a potential brick.
The Atari Lynx
AKA: THE ANVIL
The Lynx was released by Atari in 1989. It has the distinction of being the world's first handheld gaming device with a colour LCD screen. It was also notable for its monstrous proportions, shitty graphics, and the fact that it could be utilised ambidextrously. Sadly for Atari, they brought it out in the same year that Nintendo dropped the Game Boy. Piss-poor sales aggravated by a lack of decent third-party support resulted in the beast being flushed like so much aborted foetus down a Somalian hooker's toilet.
The Lynx took six AA batteries up its pooper like a crack-addled, cock-hungry whore. It would then proceed to devour their delicious electro-jizz with gleeful gusto, providing users with a staggering five whole hours of gaming; although as pointed out earlier, there were no decent titles available to play anyway. Initially it was planned to have Lynx games load from tape. Somebody at Atari suddenly realised just how fucking retarded this would have been, so they relented and went with ROMs. The games still needed to go from the ROM to the RAM though, so every title took about two days to load. The system's ComLynx facility, which allowed networking with up to seventeen other devices, was originally intended to run over infrared links. This was changed to a cable-based system prior to release. Given that it was rare for any title to allow even eight players to synch, nobody gave a fuck.
The Atari Lynx II: Electric Boogaloo
It still won't fit in my pocket, faggots... By 1991 Atari came to the shocking realisation that the majority of people looking to buy handheld gaming devices simply didn't have the physiques of professional wrestlers, so they sensibly took the step of slimming down the Lynx. In addition, they introduced a 'power save' facility for the screen and a stereo jack for the headphones, then dropped the price to $99... but still got royally buttfucked by the Game Boy. With the eventual emergence of Sega's Game Gear they decided it was time to GTFO of Dodge and by 1994 had switched their focus to...
The Atardi Faguar
In 1993 the Jaguar was ripped from Atari's by now haggard womb and left to fend for itself in a world that just didn't care. Its story is one of epic failure.
Heralded at the time as "the only 64-bit system", it was in fact a deceitfully steroid-pumped whore of a system; the CPU and GPU only executed 32-bit instruction-sets, but spunked control signals into 64-bit graphics co-processors for OMG 1337 graphix! When called-out over this faggotry, Atari stated that the presence of 64-bit ALUs for graphics was sufficient to validate their claim.
At launch, customers were raeped out of $249.99 for the pleasure of ownership. This fell over the years to the point where units were being sold new by a UK high-street retailer for the niggardly sum of £10, although many have expressed concerns that even this was too steep a price to pay.
A major contributing factor to the overall awfulness of the system was its controller, essentially a brick with seventeen buttons. Atari later addressed criticism by releasing the 'Jaguar Pro Controller', which gave you six face-buttons instead of three (including shoulder buttons), but by then it was far, far too late.
A total of 82 games were released for the system, fifteen of these being for the Jaguar CD, none of them are worth playing. No, not even Alien Vs Predator, faggot.
Atari Jaguar CD
In 1995 some stupid fuck decided it would be a good idea to create a CD-ROM based addition for the Jaguar rather than doing something sensible... like shooting it in the face and burning every last fucking trace.
E.T. & other Blunders of Wonder
During its prime, the folks at Atari figured based upon the success of the Indiana Jones game that making an E.T. title could possibly be an even better bet. Little did they realise that their fantastic idea would give birth to a curse that saw every movie-spawned video game ever after to be doomed to the level of mediocre, at best. Steven Spielberg could not have cared less about video game ethics, seeing that all it meant was more money for his fat Jew wallet. However, the initial deal wasn't quite kosher, so he Jewed away four months of precious programming time to arrange a deal that “worked out for both sides”. As the programmers were put on hold whilst all this serious business went down, they were left with only a five-month window to get the game out on the shelves for Christmas. Bear in mind that back in these heady days, your average Atari game would usually take a developer between a year and a year and a half to program. The lack of time available resulted in something that is now widely regarded as the all-time worst video game ever made. Though challengers have appeared, including Superman 64 and Halo, one would have to make a damn good case for any game being worse than this. The initial sales did not seem to be those of a terrible title, but shortly after the holiday-season passed, angry folks lined up at their local toy stores to demand refunds. Three months later, the company was stuck with close to 70% of the cartridges. With absolutely nowhere to store all these toxic turds, they rented out a landfill in New Mexico and buried close to three million of the fuckers. Yes, the game was that bad. It's damn near impossible to review, since all you really do is walk around and try to piece together a phone to call home (original, eh?). If you manage to put the phone together without falling into a pit, being caught by the two sources of AI opposition, or simply chucking the hunk of shit out of your nearest window, then you can consider yourself a winrar. Congratulations, you wasted precious moments of your life beating a terrible game. As bad as it is, it's relevant to internet culture in that ripping on it makes aspiring video game reviewers believe that they are funny and good at what they do, when in fact they are simply a bunch of mouth breathing fuckwads.
A commercial that captures the brilliance contained within this game:
- Play Atari 2600 games here.
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