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Wanted: Feedback For Jinks & Xenophobe


nosweargamer
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I'm looking for feedback for the next episode of the Atari 7800 Game By Game Podcast (you can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or use this feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/78gbg )



What are your memories and/or thoughts on Jinks & Xenophobe on the 7800?


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Also, how would you rate them? I use a system of 4 choices (From Best to Worst):



Hall of Fame Game (Top 5 game on the system)


Solid Game


"Meh" Game


Trash Game (Bottom 5 game on the system)



These games will be covered on Episode 24


You can also e-mail text or audio to atari7800podcast@aol.com


Just keep it family friendly :)


You can also send feedback on previously covered games or the system itself.


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Jinks: "Meh Game" I like the innovative concept that it is a "Breakout" and "Video Pinball" mixed in one and in a large area. But the gameplay is a little tedious and frustrating. Grade: D+

 

Xenophobe: "Meh Game" Xenophobe is a fun game but it is plagued with bad hit detection, awkward controls, and depressing music. I don't like that the buttons are each used for firing and grenades while you push up to jump. Especially as you are moving left to right and vice versa you accidently press it only to collide with a door or into an enemy. Also the hit detection is unforgiving. The arcade port is the best version and most reccommended. Grade: D

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Jinks: meh
Xenophobe: solid

Jinks is an interesting take on Arkanoid, but it gets stale in a hurry and the paddle-flipping mechanic is mildly annoying. The lack of music is unfortunate, as well (on the other hand, knowing how well the 7800 does sound, maybe we were spared!). It's worth a quick spin every now and then but it won't make you forget about Arkanoid, or even your crusty old copy of Super Breakout sitting next to your 7800.

I think Xenophobe is a great game marred by the fact that gets really tedious over a not-long-enough period of time. "Up to Jump" can be occasionally irritating but is hardly a game breaker. I like the varied items and weapons (except what the heck is a Poofer Gun, besides the least dangerous sounding weapon in the known universe?), and how even the basic laser rifle upgrade is a godsend when an alien knocks your weapon away and destroys it. I also like the varied backgrounds in the different rooms and how the bases have more levels as you go (to a point). Good game, and I really like it, but it's too much of the same.

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Jinks: Broken Pinball Machine in Zero Gravity. It's hard to tell the difference between a target, a trap, and the background. It would be trash, but the novelty brings it up to meh.

 

Xenophobe: Meh. Split screen when using one player- why? Plus, it's on the 2600 and probably sounds the same.

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Jinks - meh

Xenophobe - solid

 

Can't really add to what's been said gameplay wise for either, but even though Xenophobe is flawed and repetitive, I give it props for having a cool title and for the type of game it is. Fun blasting aliens any old day! Then there's the plot of blowing up the ship and escaping with your life. Great game in concept, but let's face it - even the arcade gets old before too long. Never really cared for it BITD, but I bet having 2-3 players going at once really added to the "excitement". :)

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If I can't get to recording tonight, here's my thoughts on Xenophobe

JINKS - Never played

Xenophobe - A couple weeks ago, the Galloping Ghost arcade in Brookfield IL had NARC Developer's night. Everybody at Williams who were involved in the game NARC were there, but a few other luminaries were present as well, such as Jeff Lee, creator of Q*Bert, and Brian Colin, creator of Rampage and Xenophobe. I've never played the 7800 version of Rampage, but I have played it in the arcade and on the Atari ST computer. Brian did confirm to me that his hometown of Plano, IL is the last city in Rampage (Plano is a short 35 miles from where I live, and a short 5 miles from where the Clark farm from Man of Steel and Batman Vs. Superman was filmed). Rampage in itself is fun in short bursts, but my problem is that it gets very repetitive.

We didn't really talk about Xenophobe, but I do enjoy the game in the arcade, but it too gets repetitive. As for the 7800 version, I have to give it props for being two player, but it's a meh. The repetitiveness really shines through on the 7800 version. They did a good job of translating it for the most part, but without allowing selection of the different characters, it takes some of the charm of the arcade version away. I mean, who DIDN'T want to play as Dr. Kwack, the half- man, half-duck character? In the 7800 version, it's just a generic, faceless person. Meh. The biggest flaw with Xenophobe, and this extends back to the arcade version is how your character moves so slow, compared to the speed of the enemies. I do like how they combined the multiple buttons of the arcade version to the two button control of the 7800.

I do play it from time to time, especially if there's a second player, but it's a meh. Let's rate it a high meh.

Fun trivia.. Brian was inducted into the White Castle Craver Hall of Fame in 2005, along with the rest of the Game Refuge team.

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Jinks - Meh. I don't hate it as much as some do. Not a "good" game IMO, but playable. There are games I'd rate lower. I like Arkanoid type games a lot. It's a bit hard and the sound effects can get really obnoxious. On the other hand, it's the only 7800 game from "the day" that had digitized voices and music.

 

Xenophobe - Solid. Better graphics than the NES version. Lots of levels, though a bit repetitive. One of the few "arcade hits" from the time on the 7800. I always found it more fun with two players. No ending is a minus for me.

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Xenophobe - meh. I barely have any memory of this game in arcades. It was a great example of an arcade game that I didn't care about being brought home. I was never going to spend my allowance on it.

 

Jinks - I personally think this is in the bottom 3 for the entire library. The only thing that might save it is that they are taking a risk with the game design, but it just doesn't pay off. The levels take sooo long to complete and half the time you are just sitting around waiting for the ball to do something else while it hits the same area over and over. The sound effects are very noticeably taken from video pinball which is not a good thing. The game feels more like an unfinished demo or something someone would make after going crazy in pinball construction set and just "experimenting" with some extra ideas in assembly.

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Jinks - I personally think this is in the bottom 3 for the entire library.

 

Heh - it does get that reaction a lot. Personally, I had more fun with it than it I did with any of these hehehe:

 

Karateka

Touchdown Football

Super Huey

Fight Night

Title Match Pro Wrestling

Tomcat

Hat Trick

Ace Of Aces

Mat Mania Challenge

Meltdown

Real Sports Baseball

Water Ski

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Jinks = "Meh". Teeters on falling to the trash at times, but it really isn't -that- bad overall, it just not very good either. There's potential for this to be a solid game, but the game overall comes off as being almost good in execution and stops at just being fairly handled at best. The odd hodgepodge of various arcade sounds at the beginning, including a tease of Gauntlet, certainly doesn't help to counter the feeling, but is pretty cool to hear. One way the game could be more engaging and inviting is having some of the sound effects be less grating at times. The game is definitely playable though and not of the “trash” worthiness experienced in other games such as sports titles on the ProSystem, but as a futuristic pinball/breakout-ish approach it misses the mark as a good solid game.

 

Xenophobe = Solid. Granted, those who don't like the Arcade original or are indifferent towards it, this port will not do a thing to persuade them differently. For those who enjoy the Arcade game or are new to the game, it is an enjoyable experience. Extra points perhaps for the Sci-Fi/Alien(s) fans here, and good for the general action game crowd as well. Plays very well as a one player game, two players is even better. There are various difficulty settings. If the game is too boring or slow for one's taste, it may be best to bump from the default "Standard" difficulty, to the more challenging "Advance" (Matching the Arcade difficulty better), or the maximum challenge of "Expert". Variety of weapons and alien designs keep things interesting, and hunting for that last xeno or two, riding the elevator for two or three different floors, preventing the xenos from taken over, can get the adrenaline pumping nicely.

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Jinks is trash I never could quite figure it out I get what it's going for but the elements just do not come together. Xenophobe on the other hand is Meh but a fun Meh. It plays well, controls well, and I never fell like the game was being unfair. Its presentation is just bland. A bit of a flashier presentation and I think it'd be remembered better because the underlying game is solid imo.

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Jinks: What a weird strange game was my first thought on firing this one up. The voices and music on the title screen are quite good, impressive quality on both counts for the 7800. Sounds during the game I found grating, though, and muted them. I played this for a few hours and I'm still not totally sure if I understand it. It feels like a weird Breakout/Arkanoid type game with the camera able to go across more then one screen, which gives the stage a sense of depth. The 'paddle' though is weird, I don't like how you can move it around as I find that makes the game actually harder to try to hit the ball to where you want it to go. Controls also felt a bit sloppy to me, even using a 'better' controller. The stages are nice and detailed with impressive graphics although I wish there were more colors -- although I think this is a 7800 limitation. Overall I give the programmers kudos for trying to put a fresh spin on a old game idea but I don't feel everything comes together in this game. Rating: meh

 

Xenophobe: To be honest, I never cared for the arcade game much, although I played both it and the NES port a bunch of times with friends and in two player mode I think the game is better. I've never been a fan of split screen games, although I understand why it was done. And with two buttons on the 7800 controller, why couldn't they have mapped one to jump instead of pushing up? I really dislike games that do that. It looks and plays like the arcade game and I think the graphics are a little bit better then the NES version, but the controls are worse. The disappointment in only having one character to play versus three for the arcade and NES is offset by your choice of three difficulty levels, a nice touch many 7800 arcade ports had. Still, all in all I'd rather play the NES version if I was going to play a home version of this -- or nowdays the arcade version in MAME. If I played at all -- like I said, I was never a big fan of the arcade game. By the way, how awesome would it have been if they got the Aliens license for this? Rating: meh

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Jinks seems to perform well as a donor cartridge for various home-brews.

 

As for Xenophobe, I think the 7800 version plays better than the NES version but it's kinda uglier. It's missing a lot of polish. The C64 version has a lot of flash to it for an 8-bit and I think it just points to the fact that the 7800 version needed to have more cartridge RAM to it. It also should've used a POKEY. Not that Blue Sky did much better with the XEGS version but its POKEY audio does sound better than the TIA although they didn't utilize it that well. The arcade original had a lot of charm from its audio but then again, it used a 68000 and a DAC for its audio. The XEGS version uses lots of powder blue in its coloring, like the NES version, which is better on the eyes than the drab colors used in the 7800 version.

 

But even the ST and the Amiga ports are disappointing. I would've liked a Jaguar version. At least it could've been arcade perfect.

Edited by Lynxpro
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Jinks is trash for me. Interesting concept/idea but that is about it. Slow/boring gameplay, sounds that are just offensive to the ear and a color palette that is just ugly. I went in on my first play knowing it was a mediocre game and tried to have a positive outlook on it, but just could not stomach it for more than 10 minutes or so.

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Jinks is trash for me. Interesting concept/idea but that is about it. Slow/boring gameplay, sounds that are just offensive to the ear and a color palette that is just ugly. I went in on my first play knowing it was a mediocre game and tried to have a positive outlook on it, but just could not stomach it for more than 10 minutes or so.

 

I wonder if it looks better in PAL than NTSC.

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