Quadrun1.png[GameSetWatch is extremely proud to debut this premier review from veteran game journalist Joseph 'BUZZ' Berkley. 'BUZZ' has decided to branch out and invent a COMPLETELY ORIGINAL method of reviewing games. And by golly, it's going to debut right here, and right now.]

Even though I invented video game review scoring back in 1983, I've never been totally satisfied with the system. While Famitsu (and EGM by extension) have been happy as 'pigs in sh*t' using the same format they stole from Game Buzz Monthly back in the mid-eighties, I've been a constant innovator - always seeking the most accurate and concise method for reducing a complex personal experience to a single, almost meaningless numerical representation.

Well - you GameSetWatch readers are in for a treat, because I think I've finally found 'Le Holy Grail' of video game reviewing. The NEW Buzz-O-Meter reviews games based on the principles that really matter to today's hardcore gamer. To wit:

"How does owning this game affect my status in the insular and marginalized world of the video game fan?"

And with that, I bring you the first BUZZReview: Atari's classic title Quadrun for the 2600 VCS.

--

Visuals
Quadrun suffers a little in the 'visuals' category, because it didn't come in a box. You'll have it up on your shelf, with the rest of your 2600 collection, all boxed (at least a few sealed, if you're serious) and you'll likely have this game sitting in a Ziploc bag. It takes the refined eye of a serious collector to realize this IS the complete packaging for the title.

And that's not just any Ziploc bag: it's the original Ziploc bag that the game arrived in when it was shipped to Atari Club members who mail ordered the game back in the early '80s. The game was never available in stores. Genuinely striking. For a real Atari fan, this is truly a beautiful sight, and far better than any onscreen graphics could ever display.

Therefore, it gets: Visual BUZZ: 7

--

Audio
As one of only two Atari 2600 games with simulated voice, Quadrun is very collectible. This is, in itself, something that makes any self-respecting collector sweat profusely.

Naturally, this means: Audio BUZZ: 9

--

Quadrun2.pngGamePlay
Obviously, the point of Quadrun isn't so much to play it, as to have it. Rather than someone else not playing the game, you get to not play the game, assuming you can find a copy. The delight is in knowing that you have a copy of this particularly rare Atari 2600 game that you're not playing, as opposed to all the people who don't have the game that aren't playing it.

Put it this way: Imagine the feeling of choosing to not play the game, especially a game so rare. Very few people have ever had legitimate copies of Quadrun to not play, and having your very own copy to not play is a sensation like no other. Excepting any games that are considered rarer by the official Atari 2600 collecting literature, of course.

Due to these intense sensations, we'll have to go for: GamePlay BUZZ: 10

--

Conclusion

Though ostensibly a true 'lost classic' of video games, it's argued by some that Quadrun is more 'lost' than 'classic'. But then, isn't being lost, and therefore rare, MUCH, MUCH more important than just being classic? After all, Super Mario Bros. is a "classic", and The Buzz now uses Mario Bros. NES carts (with a 'beautifully' photocopied frontispiece) as his BUSINESS CARDS. That's right, they're so common that I'm dropping them like quatloos in Triskelion, bitch.

Quadrun is more like owning a piece of history that is, sure, less important, but definitely more obscure. And isn't obscurity the reason we love games in the first place? Damn right.

For all these reasons, we have reached a decision: Final BUZZ: $350!

['Berkley's BUZZ' is a regular column from veteran game journo Joseph Berkley, whose illustrious career extends from the formation of Video Game BUZZ Monthly back in 1982 all the way to the founding of seminal teen game mag 'GameBUZZ - For Kids!' in 1992. More recently, he was a regular columnist for much-loved late '90s game mag Big Important Thing, and the author of self-help manual: 'BUZZ Says - Less Drugs, More Games!' His column appears regularly on GameSetWatch and is rarely true. His love is real, but he is not.]