Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida on December 10, 1982 · 73
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

Tampa Bay Times from St. Petersburg, Florida · 73

St. Petersburg, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, December 10, 1982
Start Free Trial

Ann Landers, 3-D Comics, 23-D Movies, 9-D Television, 20-D 0 section 0 ST. PETERSBURG TIMES DECEMBER 10, 1982 ,r ,js;: ?- v .-"V Ride along on test flight over video game land nr. ... r 6 .' , . s. , i ' he n mmmr ft, i i Plug it By JUDY HILL St. Petersburg Timet SteW Writer ; The final tally for holiday buy ing on the Sun- j. i i : c i. D..4 i - i:tu coast won I ue ui tor weens, ouv nicies jhuc doubt about what some of the biggest sellers will be home video-game components. Nationally, sales of the machines and their cartridges were expected to reach $1.7-billion this The Toy' winds down Thm Tni AtrmMA hu Richard flnnnAr .rr.nnljtu hw Carol Sobieeki. based on film by Francis Vabar. (tarring Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason. Scott SchwarU, Ned Beatty, and Wilfred Hyde-White. Rated PG. Sea movie listing. 9-0 for theaters and showtimes. By TOM 5ABULIS , St. Petersburg Times Critic The Toy comes to us for Christmas with the Richard Pryor warranty: Laughs ' are pretty much guaranteed. However, batteries for the movie are not ; included. Although it's based on a promis-; ing seriocomic hook, The Toy eventually ' loses ambition and sleepwalks to a predictable finish. i( ' Although the film is not very good, i Pryor repeatedly rescues us from boredom. , as dacit Drown, an unempioyeu juuriiansi slipping on life's banana peels, he delivers ) yet another funny, bittersweet portrait of a loser, a performance that seems to spirit ' the movie along alter the novelty or its j premise wears off. RaooH nn a Vrcnrh film The Tov in volves a wealthy southerner named .U. S. Bates (Jackie Gleason) who buys his lonely 11 -year-old son a human being a black ffoCSoIIoIF f 1 0 a.ltl. The Midway 6 p.m. The Country Christmas 1 p.m. Come hither to a right 730 p.m. Have a 8 p.m. The Tampa Oratorio Merchants Association of Midway Music Festival gets underway at Lapgo royal Madrigal Feast, Unitarian foot-stompin' , hand-clappin' evening Society will again present the :' Shopping Center, Missouri Ave., Fairgrounds, E. Bay Dr. and Alt. 19. Universalist Church, Mirror Lake Drive with bluegrass music and clogging at Christmas portion of Handel's 1BIfS Largo, is sponsoring an Arts and Featuring 15 singing bands, arts and and Arlington Ave. Also Sat. and Dec. the Civic Auditorium, 1507 Bay Palm Messiah, at Sacred Heart Church, Crafts show today until 4:30 in the crafts, mud wrestling, camping, food, 16-18. $15 per person, presentedby Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach. Proceeds Florida Ave. and Twiggs, Tampa. center garden area. drinks and more. Sat. 1-1 1 p.m., Sun. Performing Arts Company. benefit the Palmetto Girls Club. $5 per Admission is free. Or visit Curtis Hixon 1-10p.m. $6perday, under 1 2 $ 1 , Reservations must be made in person. Hall, 400 Ashley, Tampa, at 8: 15 for under 6 free. Call 343-7541. advance. Call 521-4636. The Nutcracker, performed by Florida Ballet Theater. Call Tampa 237-29 1 5 . ' ' for ticket information. 11a.m. Jannus Landing, 1 1 a.m. The Gordon Bennett 2 p.m. Lovers of live band 6ll5p.m. Gather along the 730 p.m. Sunshine Kids In Central Ave. at 3rd St. will be a Marionettes will perform The Night musjc wj f jncj jt hard to choose today, downtown waterfront to view the Production will present an original beehive of activity all I day. "Toys for Before Christmas at Seminole Mall, St. Petersburg Junior College Third Annual Lighted Boat Parade. medieval Christmas play, Why Do fcDCei l TtS " collection' po,ice K"9 Park Blvd and Duhme Rd. , Seminole. Orchestra appears at Pinellas Square Boats will assemble in the South yacht Little Children Sing, at St. Petersburg demonstration, doggers, clowns, The show repeats at 2, 4 and 7 p.m. Mall. Gateway Mall is the setting for basin, parade into the Central basin, Little Theater! 4025 31st St. S. U dancers, music, films and displays are the Sunshine City "Pops" Orchestra around The Pier, into the North basin Repeats Sun, also Dec. 17-19. scheduled til 5:30. concert at 3 p.m. and return. To participate, call Matinee Sundays at 2 p.m. $2 893-7329. donation includes medieval refreshments. 1230 a.m. Amahl And The 1p.m. Channel switchers will 1p.m. Open House at the Arts 2 p.m. More live musicl At 2 2:30 p.m. The Chinese Magic ' . Night Visitors by two groups: Country be kept busy today. The Bucs meet Center, 100 7th St. S, today for the p.m., Sunshine City Band, Williams Circus of Taiwan visits the Bayfront : gm '' Dinner Playhouse ($7.50, $5 children the Jets at New York on WTVT, Ch. Holiday Show of Fine Crafts and Art Park, free; Selma Grotto Band, Center. Second show 8 p.m. Includes SUJ under 12, includes turkey dinner, call 13 and the Dolphins are at New Works, features gifts in all media, plus Masonic Home, 125 32nd Ave. NE, 4 acrobatics, Kung Fu, traditional 577-55 15 for dates, reservations), England on WFLA, Ch. 8, both at 1, jewelry, toys and clothes. p.m., free; "A Cool Yule" jazz concert, dancing, including the Circle of Knives, 1 and Florida Opera West, 7:30 p.m., p.m. The Los Angeles at Kansas City Refreshments til 4 p.m. Show through The Pier, 8 p.m. $5. Human Pyramid and Tower of Chairs. First Congregational Church, 240 4th contest follows the Dolphin game on Dec, Call 822-7872 for additional Tickets $8, $9, less $1 for Sr. Citizens .' ,' f St. N. $3, students $1.50 at church Ch. 8 at 4 p.m. information. and under 12, at box office and or Posno Flowers. Select-a-Seat. I ; L ; I . 1 ,TOiro - u ... t ' , Consumer game: in to scan year. But recent announcements from Warner Communications, the manufacturer of Atari, that sales are slow and earnings are below projections, may indicate that industry expectations were presumptuous. At a number of Suncoast retailers, however, sales of video-game components are brisk. Spin-offs of the immensely popular arcade games, the home games appeal not just to chil- man, no less for a playmate. That idea alone makes The Toy a more ambitious project than today's average Hollywood comedy. Alas, director Richard Donner seems to give it up halfway through. The film has some ennobling moments: It trumpets the pricelessness of human dignity, and sustains a high-profile tone of anti-racism throughout. In general, it means well. But good intentions do not a good movie make. We expect some revelations from the setup. Instead, we get gags from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: falling dominoes, a running Walkman joke, a boxing machine that punches back, pie fights, and fast-forward yucks. The friendship between Brown and young Eric Bates (Scott Schwartz) provides some moments of warmth and mirth, but after the first hour the movie settles more and more for cheapjack laughs, slapstick and sticky-sweet sentiment. No mystery, there: The producer, Ray Stark, and screenwriter, Carol Sobieski, were also responsible for Annie's cavities. See TOY, 1 6-D Richard Pryor and Jackie Gleason in The Toy. The durable 'Meet Me In St. Louis is Partly cloudy and mild, with highs well-staged by a dinner theater near 80, lows near 60. Possibility o cast, 3-D widely-scattered showers. lr 2 ! ' " 2 f I . a . -4 f 1 m ;. V r- ' 3 1 ! ,: . - prices m mum dren, but adults as well. So parents making a video-game purchase for a holiday gift may well be planning to get in a few rounds themselves. THE HOME video-game craze began a few years ago with machines like Pong. But the Pong generation of games provided sport that now See PRICES. 3-D 1 1 ' c t . f s s Columbia Pictures With seven major home-video systems to choose from, each offering different features, the process of selecting can be complicated and emotion-laden. Here's a report explaining" the systems' various features, advantages and disadvantages. By MERRILL SHINDLER Special to The St. Petersburg Times In the beginning (which is to say 1972) there was Pong, the first of the video games to take the great leap of merchandising from the arcade and barroom into the comfort of our own homes. And, for a few years, that was all there was. But the last few years have seen megagrowth on the home video-game scene. And Christmas 1982 is the point at which video hysteria has reached its beeping, shrieking, warbling, hooping, special effects-packed peak. As a first-time video-game consumer you need to know the questions that slice through the advertising super-blitz: What a game system will be like years down the road will it grow with . you? Are there enough variables built into the system to keep you stimulated? " Is it a system that you'll play mostly by yourself, or one that will be used by the whole family at once? Do you want the option to expand into a home computer system? Is game variety the most important factor, or do you want just a few good games to play with? (At between $25 and $40 per cartridge, the cost of a large video game library can quickly outdistance the cost of the unit itself.) I spent several weeks recently playing the field, as it were, jumping from this system to that one. Some of them seemed a bit on the dowdy side, while others had a fla-shiness that I liked to fantasize about. In truth, it's difficult to discern just what the future holds: Video-game companies are only a little less secretive about their research and development than enemy nations. In calls to several of them, I was gently chided for asking what's coming up next year. There are spies everywhere, I was told. In playing the various systems, this is what I found: ATARI: There are two Atari systems to choose from. One is the Atari 2600, which is by far the most popular of all the video game units (and which is compatible with the nearly identical Sears Video Arcade). The other is the new Atari 5200, which is a far more sophisticated, complex and expensive system. The basic Atari 2600 is a simple system to master, and features the largest selection of video cartridges, made not just by Atari, but by a burgeoning number of video-program shops. Of the games made by Atari itself, the best are Berzerk, Pac-Man, Adventure, Defender, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Star Raiders and Super Breakout. Cartridge companies have created variations of these but also games that are the equal of the best Atari has turned out like the Donkey Kong, Lady Bug and Venture cartridges from Coleco, StarMas-ter from Activision and Trickshot from Imagic. Aside from the basic Atari 2600 console, there are three pieces of software used with the games the joystick (which is a bit clunky, but replaceable with high-speed models from video-accessory companies), the paddle, and the new button-control panel, which involves a plastic overlay and is currently used only for the Star Raiders cartridge. Graphics are good and clean on the Atari games, though the sports games tend to look dumb and are simplistic. That's not true, however, with the new Atari 5200 system. The computer memory is a quantum leap bigger, which allows for fine graphics, intelligent (and even subtle) action, and greatly improved versions of many of the Atari classics. The 5200 also costs about twice as much as the 2600. One other advantage to the Atari games is that they can all be played by one person, an option that's not available in all the systems. , MATTEL INTELLIVISION: Where the Atari games can be played with a minimum of preparation, the I ritelli vision cartridges demand a bit of study before you start blasting aliens out of the stillness of space. Rather than a joystick, the controller here is a 12-button keypad, which is used with an overlay (as in the case of Atari's Star Raiders). There are also trigger buttons on either side, and a round disc that you use much as you'd use a joystick. You have to study the instruction books carefully to figure out how to use all these controls, but the result can often be far more satisfying than on the Atari machines. The sports games in particular "Major LeagueBaseball,""NFLFootball," "NBA Basketball," "NHL Hockey" are realistic, with players taking on surprisingly anthropomorphic qualities. I found myself actually liking some of the little guys out on the playing field, in a way adopting them as if they were miniature versions of Yours Truly. Virtually all of the games in the Intel-livision system involve two players, which means this isn't the best of systems for someone who wants to be able to while away an evening in solitary amusement. Many of the Atari games exist in variant forms here Astrosmash is reminiscent of Asteroids and Space Invaders, Night Stalker is like Berzerk or Venture, Auto Racing is like any number of car cartridges. The Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack cassette (which comes with the basic system) is good. And Utopia, in which you create your own world, is wonderfully complex, like Stratego and the other adult board games of the '70s. Recently, Intellivision has also released a speech-synthesizer voice module, which allows your Intellivision unit to speak to you ("Fighters at 3 o'clock," "Target now in sight," and so on). The module expands the nature of the experience considerably. Mattel has also been promising a computer unit for the Intellevision system for nearly two years. COLECOVISION: The new kid on the block is making a big splash. The Coleco cartridges for use in the Atari (and therefore the Sears) and the Intellivision systems have been as good if not better than many of the games created by Atari and Intellevision games like Donkey Kong, Zaxxon (which gives the illusion of three-dimensionality), Venture, Smurf, Turbo, Avenger, Mouse Trap, Lady Bug and Carnival. But even better than those cartridges is the Colecovision game system itself. Its graphics are excellent, giving the Atari 5200 a run for its money. Indeed, the home-game versions I tried on the Colecovision system were identical, as far as I could tell, to the arcade versions of Donkey Kong and Cosmic Avenger, including all the variables, changing boards, and clever sounds. See VIDEO GAMES, 12-D

What members have found on this page

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 20,900+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the Tampa Bay Times
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free