Monday, October 31, 2011

OH GOD WHY?! Halloween for the Atari 2600

Happy Halloween! The return of OH GOD WHY?! goes into the archives as Chris takes a look at Halloween for the Atari 2600. Read on, if you dare!

The Atari 2600 is the dinosaur of videogames. That is to say, Jesus created the 2600 and buried it's remains in the ground to confuse and test the faith of future generations. It's safe to assume that everyone over the age of 25 has or had an Atari system at one point in their life. In fact, I think mine is still in the garage in the same dusty box as my dad's porn collection. Truth be told, the 2600 kinda sucked balls. The graphics are primitive, the sound sucks, and the only way to even connect the system to a modern TV involves a masters class in soldering and engineering. You should probably just do what everyone else does, and pirate the damn thing. It's not like Nolan Bushnell is gonna rise from his grave and hunt you down. Mainly because I don't even think he's dead yet. Except on the inside.

I never really planned on doing an OH GOD WHY?! on a game as old as the 2600, but I've made a special exemption for the holiday. And also because I can't get my copy of Sewer Shark to work with any of the emulators I have. So we're going to take a look at Halloween. The scariest game on the Atari 2600. I guess, I'm not sure. I just made that up.

Run! I guess.
Halloween follows the plot of the movie exactly. That is to say, Michael Myers chases you around for a while and then he cuts your fucking head off. I think that's how the movie went, I've never seen it. I do know that Michael Myer's mask was based on William Shatner, so there's that. You play as the babysitter from the movie, and I think the point of the game is to last as long as you can before you die. Maybe.

The screen is divided horizontally, to represent two levels of the house. The babysitter runs from one screen to another, and doorways let you change floors. Then Michael Myers appears and chases you. The Halloween theme plays the entire time Myers is on screen, and luckily it's not as annoying as it could be. You'll still turn the sound off after a couple minutes though. The game soon after. Also, there's pumpkins at the top of the screen. I don't know.

Yeah, I don't think you're getting that $12.
The best part of the whole game is that the kids you're supposed to be babysitting are in the house as well. And they don't run nearly as fast you can. So you know what they are? Fucking serial killer bait. Yup. That's how I used them at least. You just need to scurry past a kid, and Myers changes his focus to their poor, defenseless ass. THEN HE CUTS THEIR FUCKIN HEAD OFF. One slice, execution style. And blood spurts out their neck stump. I nearly fell out of my seat laughing the first time it happened. And every time thereafter. Seriously, he cuts the children's heads off, and you just keep on going. I'm going to assume that you're forfeiting your pay for the night.

You can pick up a sword? a knife? I'm not sure what it's supposed to be. Once you've got the sword-knife you can poke Michael Myers with it, and he runs off screen for a bit. You also get points for it. Maybe if you poke him enough times, he dies? Or maybe you're supposed to find a way out of the house? I'm not sure and I'm sure as fuck not playing this game long enough to figure it out. This game sucks, but at least it's free. Sorta.

Spooky! Or lazy.
As an entertaining side note, Wizard Video Games, the developer of Halloween, was getting out of the business when the game was released. As such, they decided to put as little time and money in the promotion of Halloween as possible. So you know what they did? The fucking labeled the game with duct tape and Sharpie. That's right. They labeled this game the same way my coke dealer labels his baggies. I mean, what---?

Christopher Linendoll is right behind you! He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.

1 comment:

  1. Your coke dealer should probably stop labeling his bags. Its awfully hard to convince a cop its flour when its neatly labeled coke.