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How come a lot getting into retro games skip Atari?


totallyterrificpants
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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.

 

If only that were true.

 

It IS true those games have their chronological first titles on the SMS, but like the VCS, these titles were ports of arcade games, ports that were also on EVERY damned system of the era.

Many people remember Space Invaders.... but what percentage have the VCS version as their best memory?

Many people remember Out Run.... but what percentage have the SMS version as their best memory?

And if you want to play those games today you have a myriad of options open to you to play them.

 

The NES games (like those on the NES mini) are NES games... if you want to play them, you do it on an NES or an NES emulator.

 

THAT is what helps give the NES (and also the 16 bit generation) it's strong following... you HAVE to play THIS particular version, because it's the ONLY version.

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If only that were true.

 

It IS true those games have their chronological first titles on the SMS, but like the VCS, these titles were ports of arcade games, ports that were also on EVERY damned system of the era.

Many people remember Space Invaders.... but what percentage have the VCS version as their best memory?

Many people remember Out Run.... but what percentage have the SMS version as their best memory?

And if you want to play those games today you have a myriad of options open to you to play them.

 

The NES games (like those on the NES mini) are NES games... if you want to play them, you do it on an NES or an NES emulator.

 

THAT is what helps give the NES (and also the 16 bit generation) it's strong following... you HAVE to play THIS particular version, because it's the ONLY version.

Another thing about NES, was Nintendo had the developers twisted around it's little finger, developing games ONLY for NES in North America. So much of the lack of games for 7800 and SMS is a direct cause and effect of these deals. Had Nintendo not entered a deserted market, those deals would never have flied. And you still get some of the top Atari and Sega arcade ports on NES through the Tengen releases, most of which are IMO as good as the majority of other 3rd party licensed devs.

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Another thing about NES, was Nintendo had the developers twisted around it's little finger, developing games ONLY for NES in North America. So much of the lack of games for 7800 and SMS is a direct cause and effect of these deals. Had Nintendo not entered a deserted market, those deals would never have flied. And you still get some of the top Atari and Sega arcade ports on NES through the Tengen releases, most of which are IMO as good as the majority of other 3rd party licensed devs.

Yeah, I thought that was kinda messed up. Imagine if back in the day all the VCR manufactures designed there own style cassettes that would only work in there systems and and made it to where you had to by multiple VCRs to play the movies you want due to deals like that. Glad they were standard.

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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 remember showing my friend Enduro and he was surprised at how fast and smooth the cars ran.

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It has always been in the same chronolical order.....

 

 

Atari is always remembered first, Colecovision second, and Intellvision third.

 

And this is only my view from an Intellivision mostly collector,playing games on my tv since 1975. :thumbsup:

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Space Invaders on the VCS is commonly accepted to be the better port, over many versions, including the arcade.

 

Very true. I guess we need to define what "better" is since it can be very ambiguous. Does "better" mean arcade accurate or can it mean a more balanced gameplay to a game that is designed to kill you quickly so you keep pumping in quarters. For me, this is why home ports are better in this sense.

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Space Invaders on the VCS is commonly accepted to be the better port, over many versions, including the arcade.

 

I didn't necessarily mean the best port, but whichever port one has a good memory of. Plenty of people played knockoff SI clones on PCs of the era or other systems, and THAT has become their childhood nostalgia.

 

Anyone who reminisces over SMB1 or Zelda1 (and many other NES titles); reminisces on the NES versions cause they are the only ones. (excepting weird pirates which would be fairly rare in most of Northa America)

 

And speaking of 'better' ports, one could argue SMB HAS been improved over time with re-releases, but it's the original that has everyone's nostalgia.

 

But everyone's nostalgia of games like Space Invaders or After Burner are scattered over numerous systems, so it's the game itself that holds the good memory, not both the game and system.

 

A random sampling of people who played "After Burner" could tell you their strongest memory was getting it for the SMS and were let down by the first Four Mega game being kinda underwhelming, or maybe they loved it like I did; or maybe they'll tell you about how ALL the paper money they earned went into playing the arcade version at the mall, but riding in that environmental cab was SO worth it; a few might tell you how once they got an EGA card the PC version looked pretty good but still sounded like ass; one might say he loved finally playing the arcade at home with the 32X; some will tell you how they loved rubbing the Tengen NES version in their buddies face after he spent so much time bragging about Sega's "Exclusives"; etc...

 

Everyone has the same memories of SMB and Zelda... sitting on a living room floor/bedroom floor or bed with NES controller in hand, and possibly had to blow on the cart first to make it work.

Edited by Torr
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You had to give the carts a blow job.......

 

Haha, yeah...

 

I was thinking about blowing NES carts when I had to do the same to the stupid chip on my bank card to get it to work on the readers.

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Blowing in cartridges hurts them.

 

Anyway the reason I prefer the 2600 version of Space Invaders is because it's a lot more fast-paced: there's actually a risk of the Invaders landing whereas in the arcaDe version, them landing was n3ver a threat to me and it just progressed so slowly I stopped wanting to play the game after beating one wave. The 2600 version though suffers from the laCk of difficulty increase after they get the closest so I could just play on for eternity, but for the few minutes before that, it was enjoyable. Hence my favourite version of SI is the 5200 version. It's fast-paced and harder than the 2600 version and instead of just repeating it gets easier again and slowly gets more difficult again. (Not counting the modern Space Invaders Extreme 2 cause that's a modern rehash done right that I enjoy)

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  • 5 years later...
On 11/16/2015 at 8:17 AM, HoshiChiri said:

It's a big mix of things, I think. First you have the Disney Effect- Nintendo has brain-wormed its way into our collective consciousness as THE source of timeless, family friendly quality gaming. Much as parents take kids blindly to every Disney musical because 'Disney=good for kids', They immediately get a DS/Wii variant when their spawn is old enough to clamor for games because it's the safe option. When those kids get older and decide to dig into the past, they immediately go for that same safe, familiar option.

 

Second is the Marketing Effect- I mean, that was the whole idea behind the Nintendo Seal Of Quality, right? "Those old Atari games, you never knew if it was crap or not. But with Nintendo, we GUARANTEE all our games are good! Available now at your local retailer!" The idea clearly stuck... how many NES games are generally considered crap, even now? I can't think of more than I can count on one hand... and I KNOW there's more than that!

 

Lastly is the Game Design Shift- preNES games are usually arcade style affairs. One or two screens, no ending, the point is to get a high score. NES marked a clear shift towards games with specific goals and endings when that goal was achieved (even if it just told you 'good job! Now play again!') There's been a mental shift towards an expectation of that kind of gameplay... 'I do a thing, I get a reward'. The idea of 'I do a thing to see how good I am, and that's it' is utterly unappealing to those who put no value into a score total.

 

The end result is trying to take someone who's been trained since their earliest gaming days to believe that NES is good family fun & their competitors lack quality, give them a game that's a much lower graphical quality then they're used to, and expect them to instantly switch from 'playing for story' to 'playing for score'. Most people can't overcome their own mental blocks without actively wanting to and working through the 'this isn't gaming' reflex.

This thread got mentioned on another forum recently, so I went back to re-read.  I think this post all the way on the front page pretty much nails it.  Bold added for emphasis.

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