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Tempest 4000 blasts its way to retail next week

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Atari and industry legend Jeff Minter seem to have settled their unfortunate feud.

A few years ago, Llamasoft founder Jeff Minter (best known for his work on Tempest 2000 and numerous games of a similar nature that have followed) and Atari were engaged in a nasty dispute that was bad for everyone. Now they are on speaking terms again, and one result of that new peace is the impending arrival of Tempest 4000 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC late next week.

The feud dates back to 2015, when Minter's studio was preparing to release a game called TxK on a variety of platforms following its early critical success in the narrower Vita marketplace. Atari sent its lawyers into the fray, alleging the game was too similar to Tempest 2000 and couldn't have been created unless Minter had privileged access to that original source code.

The accusation was interesting, maybe even a little silly, since Minter was the one who coded Tempest 2000 and would obviously have had access. His response to Atari hostilities was to point out that Atari had already established a history of changing games just enough that it could release "new" installments in the series without paying Minter the royalties he otherwise was owed.

There's additional information at Kotaku, and other sites besides. The story was all over the news for a day or two, especially since Atari also requested that TxK be removed from the PlayStation store and tried to bar Minter from making any additional games related to the license, however indirectly.

In any event, hostilities seem to have ended, for reasons that aren't entirely clear. Perhaps the current owners of the Atari brand and IP simply are more interested in mining the past for tomorrow's hits, or maybe they're nicer people. The long and short of it is that Tempest 4000 is coming to the platforms mentioned above and will even be available as a physical release for consoles.

Here is a quick list of features, straight from the press release:

  • Arcade Style Shooter: Blast down hordes of enemies in this fast-paced, arcade style shoot 'em up.

  • Unparalleled Graphics: Experience Tempest 4000's mind-blowing graphics in beautiful 4K resolution.

  • Multiple Game Modes: Pick from three different game modes including Classic, Pure and Survival that will push your skills to the limit.

  • Level Up: Progress and clear through 100 unique geometric levels by destroying enemies with various weapons and power-ups, and earn upgrades through bonus rounds.

  • Climb to the Top of the Leaderboards: Post your high score in your quest to be recognized as number one on the leaderboards.

  • Retro Techno Soundtrack: Enjoy the beats of a thumping soundtrack inspired by early 1990’s techno.

  • Old School Gameplay: Feeling nostalgic? Relive the traditional gameplay of the original Tempest with enhanced graphics on current generation consoles.

Tempest 4000 has an MSRP of $19.99 USD on Steam, and $29.99 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is available now for pre-order at various online retailers.

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Staff article by Jason Venter (July 09, 2018)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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