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How come a lot getting into retro games skip Atari?


totallyterrificpants
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I've played and beat SMB probably over a hundred times. I still find it fun every time I play it. 1, 2, or 3 they are all fun to play again I think regardless of whether or not you have beat them. Some of the newer games I've played over as well after I've beat them. I've replayed Tomb Raider on the PS1 before because it seems there is always new stuff to find that I've missed first go round. I've done the same with the Tomb Raider reboot on the Xbox 360. If a game is fun it is worth replaying. Also if what you say were the case then there would be no such thing as movie sales, only rentals because what point is there to own something you've already seen and should never watch again(which I actually don't watch movies again very much myself and have a very small library of movies I'm just saying though).

 

There are exceptions, games that I will play again after beating, but there are so many more games that I've never touched after reaching the end, even though I really enjoyed playing them.

 

That's just my personal preference though. Part of that come from so many of the NES-era games being exactly the same every time you play, and it's just memorize and execute, hoping to shave a few seconds off or whatever, which I don't enjoy (I don't really care for a lot of the Activision games for the same reason).

 

Yeah, I know older arcade games have patterns that can be memorized and exploited, but it's possible to not play that way as well. It's harder with something like SMB where you're aimed at a specific destination and all the obstacles are always in the exact same spots.

Edited by KaeruYojimbo
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It is always a compliment to compare the Atari VCS from 1976, designed to be a Pong and Tank console, with the Famicom/NES, which came approx Ten Years After.

Famicom came out in 1983 and shares nearly identical hardware to NES. Timewise that puts it on par with the "third wave" of consoles, what I like to call gen 2.5. Yet the NES is lightyears better than anything that came out in the early 80s in the 'muricas. At the heart of the NES superior tile graphics is the fact it has separate ROMs for PRG and CHR. It's the only console I know of that does this. As a result, it needs no extra RAM hardware to store tile data like the other consoles did. And bankswitching allowed for huge games with varied environments which would be difficult to pull off withconventional single ROM consoles which had to load sprites into memory first.

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Famicom came out in 1983 and shares nearly identical hardware to NES. Timewise that puts it on par with the "third wave" of consoles, what I like to call gen 2.5. Yet the NES is lightyears better than anything that came out in the early 80s in the 'muricas. At the heart of the NES superior tile graphics is the fact it has separate ROMs for PRG and CHR. It's the only console I know of that does this. As a result, it needs no extra RAM hardware to store tile data like the other consoles did. And bankswitching allowed for huge games with varied environments which would be difficult to pull off withconventional single ROM consoles which had to load sprites into memory first.

So that's an even bigger compliment for our neat litlle Atari

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The problem with progression games is eventually you progress to the end and there's no reason to play again.

Oh yeah that's a thing. It's the reason I dislike Adventure really. The second mode makes me feel lost the entire time so I have no enjoyment playing it. And if you know the solution then there's no reason to replay it. The random placement mode in mode 3 could have saved the repeatability problem (though it would still only make me feel lost the whole time), but I read there's a bug that causes a key to be placed inside the castle.

 

Many games on the GBA and DS I've found rely heavily on progression and they're a whole different feel to Atari games where you could always come back to play for a while and enjoy.

 

Another problem with progression games is how I'm currently stuck at all the progression games on my DS so basically I would play the game for 1 minute and not be able to progress further. That gets frustrating whereas with say Missile Command, you are guaranteed to make a bit of progress when you play it.

 

Side note, Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ has several modes which I'm trying to unlock and it would solve the progression vs replay thing, I feel. On top of really being an action shooter so it's less of a progression game than some others.

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It is always a compliment to compare the Atari VCS from 1976, designed to be a Pong and Tank console, with the Famicom/NES, which came approx Ten Years After.

When my modern gaming peers hate on Atari and think people played it because they had nothing else, I reminded them that was not the case and Atari more or less singlehandedly outbeat its rival consoles like the Colecovision, Intellivision, Vectrex, and Odyssey 2, for instance. What made Atari 2600 better for me was the games. More arcade ports, better games overall, and faster than Intellivision (at least it feels faster and smoother. Compare for instance the animation and movement on the demons in Demon Attack for the 2600 and the Intellivision).

Edited by Tangentg
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Atari 2600-dissing is nothing new. As far back as the early '80s the fledgling video game press was calling the VCS a dinosaur and extolling the virtues of newer consoles such as the Colecovision and especially the new wave of gaming-ready computers such as the Commodore 64. Fast-forward about nine years and the VCS was still around while the Intellivision and Colecovision were long gone (to be fair, the C64 enjoyed a pretty long shelf life -- I think there were games still being made for it in the early '90s.).

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People don't understand how impressive the games for a console with only 128 bytes of RAM really is. The games are the right level of simplicity that anyone can play. Sure the graphics are basic, but they have such a wonderful charm to them. Especially all the manuals, documentation, etc.

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What made Atari 2600 better for me was the games. More arcade ports, better games overall, and faster than Intellivision (at least it feels faster and smoother. Compare for instance the animation and movement on the demons in Demon Attack for the 2600 and the Intellivision).

 

This can't be said enough. When we got a C64, I was genuinely puzzled why the games on it didn't have the speed and responsiveness of the Atari. Compare, say, Gauntlet C64 with Dark Chambers. Or C64 Double Dragon with Activision's.

 

Atari had no noticeable lag ever.

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This can't be said enough. When we got a C64, I was genuinely puzzled why the games on it didn't have the speed and responsiveness of the Atari. Compare, say, Gauntlet C64 with Dark Chambers. Or C64 Double Dragon with Activision's.

 

Atari had no noticeable lag ever.

I think that is an effect of how simple the hardware is. There's no room to program any lag. The VCS just does its thing when you press a button.

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This can't be said enough. When we got a C64, I was genuinely puzzled why the games on it didn't have the speed and responsiveness of the Atari. Compare, say, Gauntlet C64 with Dark Chambers. Or C64 Double Dragon with Activision's.

 

Atari had no noticeable lag ever.

C64, TI-99/4A, TRS-80 CoCo, had quite the lag. VCS was lag free, so was the Apple II with a good portion of its action games library.

 

I think it has to do with the amount of ROM calls and other things getting in the way. Just a guess..

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I think that is an effect of how simple the hardware is. There's no room to program any lag. The VCS just does its thing when you press a button.

The joystick switches and buttons are very close to the "Game Program" and hardware registers. Which are close to the video out circuits. So to speak.

 

Notice how the VCS starts its program instantly? Notice how the VCS has an almost mechanical analog feel to it?

Edited by Keatah
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This can't be said enough. When we got a C64, I was genuinely puzzled why the games on it didn't have the speed and responsiveness of the Atari. Compare, say, Gauntlet C64 with Dark Chambers. Or C64 Double Dragon with Activision's.

 

Atari had no noticeable lag ever.

The 2600 had no screen memory. Almost everything post 2600 gave you screen memory as a frame buffer where you drew things they stayed in memory until you changed them. This is a nice luxury. But when you wanted to move screen objects that weren't sprites, you had to write routines to move them, sometimes computing transparency (expensive for CPU). If they were large objects, there were a lot of bytes to move. If your movement didn't finish in the space of one frame, you saw screen tearing. Then when you are finished moving everything, you read the controls and repeat. But several frames may have past, causing the controls to feel less responsive.

 

The 2600 had no frame buffer and forced the programmer to draw everything for every frame. When you moved an object, you moved it completely, because it wasn't stored in screen memory somewhere only half-moved. you read joystick inputs and immediately applied them next frame. This pretty much forced the programmer to draw everything and read the inputs every frame. The plus side is not lag. The downside is it's harder to program.

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So that's an even bigger compliment for our neat litlle Atari

Atari is kind of an odd duck. Most game consoles updates the display register at 60Hz. Atari updates the scanline register at 15kHz!!! :o

 

No other console builds each frame line by line, and to this day, I am still amazed at the stuff people pull off with it.

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Famicom/NES is third generation. It was just early to the party. If there's a 2.5 generation then put the Sega SG-1000 there as an SMS predecessor.

I came up with the "2.5" gen concept to differentiate the Atari and some of the consoles that came after. I've not familiar with any SG-1000 games but I imagine the SMS was a quantum leap from it as was the Genesis afterwords. And backwards compatibility 2600 <-> 7800,

or SG-1000 <-> SG-3000 / SMS and SMS <-> Genesis / Mega Drive.

 

There is also gen 3.5 (TG-16) and gen 4.5 (Neo Geo, Jaguar, CDi, 3DO, Sega CD, Sega 32X), and Dreamcast could be considered 5.5 in a stretch. Then there's Wii (Gen 6.5), Wii-U (Gen 7.5) judging purely by performance rather than release date.

 

Honestly the whole generation concept was posthumusly applied from early PONG consoles through the 16-bit era, I think. One thing I have noticed is that "X.5" gen consoles (based on release dates being mid generation) tend to be poor performers at the market place. Interesting to see how long 8th gen lasts. We are midway through and so far Nintendo has retired the Wii-U in favor of Switch, with Sony and Microsoft releasing beefed up versions of the PS4 / XB1. Should these new entries be referred to as Gen 8.5 or 9? Confused...

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I'm getting into retro gaming again and Atari is on my list but I'm in no rush. I do enjoy the games, I think it comes down to (for me at least) what I played most as a kid. So nes, sms, smd and snes are top for me. I do have a couple of Atari games ready for when I pick one up though lol

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I'm getting into retro gaming again and Atari is on my list but I'm in no rush. I do enjoy the games, I think it comes down to (for me at least) what I played most as a kid. So nes, sms, smd and snes are top for me. I do have a couple of Atari games ready for when I pick one up though lol

Welcome to AtariAge! :grin:

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I think the VCS is hurt by 1. No franchise sequels. There is no Mario for the 2600. (Yes I know there was the Mario Bros. Game haha). They relied on a lot of arcade games or arcade style. Which is both a great appeal and a drawback foe those who have no concept of what a high score is anymore (super Mario on MED had a score but why? It didn't matter).

 

2. I love Atari but damn you have to have a manual for a majority of games to know how to play. If you don't want to take the tome to look online or get lucky and fund manuals with the game you purchased, then you will look at a game and be WTH? ME A is just more accessible.

 

I would like to put my niece and nephews on an old Mario game to see how they do. Because they are use to the Mario games in which it's normal to have 60 plus lives. I really dont think they could handle the difficulty of mario 1 or even 3; but the name recognition of that game would get them more interested than any of my Atari games.

 

1. Very true. The NES has the bait of being the system to play the 'original' Nintendo franchises on. This helps give the Sega Genesis it's small following.

And then, like the VCS, you have the SMS, which has it's small niche fanbase (of which I am) and it too suffers from the fact it has no legacy to this day, excepting Wonder Boy.

 

2. YES. I hate when I hear some 'hipster' say something like "the beauty of Atari is the pick up and play of the games, just one stick and one button".

True, you may know the basic controls, but damn near EVERY game you are going to want the manual (either real or digital or hand written notes) to read at least once and figure out any deeper controls if any and what the game variations are.

 

3. YES. I bet the percentage of kids today (and they are NOT allowed to consult the internet... maybe slip them some nintendo power pages that "showed up in the mail" if they start to get frustrated) that would be able to beat Super Mario Bros. on the NES without giving up completely and moving on to another game is very small. Even if they find the warp zones.

 

EDIT. And that's not meant to sound like bragging. MANY people I remember couldn't beat it back in the day because losing the fire flower on 8-3 is basically a death sentence, and without the warp zones or nintendo power maps handy the maze castles are ridiculously hard.

Edited by Torr
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I came up with the "2.5" gen concept to differentiate the Atari and some of the consoles that came after. I've not familiar with any SG-1000 games but I imagine the SMS was a quantum leap from it as was the Genesis afterwords. And backwards compatibility 2600 <-> 7800,

or SG-1000 <-> SG-3000 / SMS and SMS <-> Genesis / Mega Drive.

 

There is also gen 3.5 (TG-16) and gen 4.5 (Neo Geo, Jaguar, CDi, 3DO, Sega CD, Sega 32X), and Dreamcast could be considered 5.5 in a stretch. Then there's Wii (Gen 6.5), Wii-U (Gen 7.5) judging purely by performance rather than release date.

 

Honestly the whole generation concept was posthumusly applied from early PONG consoles through the 16-bit era, I think. One thing I have noticed is that "X.5" gen consoles (based on release dates being mid generation) tend to be poor performers at the market place. Interesting to see how long 8th gen lasts. We are midway through and so far Nintendo has retired the Wii-U in favor of Switch, with Sony and Microsoft releasing beefed up versions of the PS4 / XB1. Should these new entries be referred to as Gen 8.5 or 9? Confused...

Colecovision and 5200 were considered third gen at the time they released. But later revisionism puts these systems in the same gen as the 2600, which is crap. If anything, they are closer to the NES than the 2600/Channel F, etc.

 

I would put CV, 5200, 7800, C64 (significant gaming platform) and NES into the same mid-80s 8-bit generation.

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The SMS legacy is ports of well-known Sega arcade games like After Burner, Outrun and Shinibi.

 

Similarly, the VCS is known for classic ports of arcade games. The problem is that in most of the better-known cases, superior ports have since been released elsewhere.

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