30 March 2010

Gorf - Colecovision

Nostalgia can play tricks on you. Some movies aren't as good as you remember. Some of your high school buddies, the ones you thought were hilarious back in the day, are actually jerks.
And vintage video games rarely stand the test of time. Some of the games mentioned on this blog are the exceptions to the rule, but for the most part only the die-hard golden age nerds are playing Stellar Track on an Atari 2600 right now.
Gorf – the Black Sabbath of classic video games - kicks that convention in the teeth.
I come to this after today's purchase of a working Colecovision (for only $40!) completed my collection. There are some obscure systems and handhelds I'd like to add, but I'm going to lay low for awhile. While I revel in the collection I have assembled, I'll be playing Gorf.
I have absolutely no memories of playing this game as a child. I don't know how I missed it – perhaps the heavy metal sound of the arcade machine saying "My name is Gorf!" turned me off. Or maybe it was the name. Gorf? Really?
How sad for me.
I just played it for the first time and (at $7) it's some of the best video game cash I have ever spent. Gorf is four games in one, and they're all basically clones of other space games. The first stage is a Space Invaders clone that is cooler than space Invaders. The second stage is a Galaga clone that is not nearly as good as Galaga but still plenty of fun. The third stage sucks (think a weak Tempest) and the last stage, in which you attack the mother ship, is short and deceptively simple. Hit the reactor or else.
I spent the past two years casually looking for a Colecovision in good working order. They are notorious for breaking easily and most of the ones I found were very pricey. Today's purchase – from the good people at Time Capsule Comics – is the perfect classic purchase. So many times I've secured a classic console and games only to be happy to have them but sorry that they suck (Atari 7800).
Not this time.
By Victor Paul Alvarez

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