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atari2600land's Blog - The genius of the ActionMax.


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While many people poo-pooh it and say it sucks, I have come up with a few reasons to like it.
#1 - the controls. You point the gun. You shoot it with the trigger. No millions of unreachable buttons and painful-to-use like an Intellivision controller. No millions of buttons like a Jaguar controller. After half an hour of playing an Intellivision II, my thumbs hurt because the fire buttons are square and the edges puncture my skin. And if you don't reach the target in time, you only have yourself to blame, not a dumb controller whose joystick decided to quit working temporarily at an inopportune time.
#2 - the graphics. The ActionMax has the best graphics of any console ever. Even better than the current PS4, X-Box 360 and Wii-U. Not bad for a system made in 1987. Why? it uses real-life graphics. The ActionMax employs someone working with a motion picture camera so the graphics look like it would if it was a real thing, because it IS a real landscape, or house, or what have you. Pops Ghostly is way better in the graphics department than Luigi's Mansion. That's because it was FILMED inside a real house. Which brings us to point #3:
#3 - programming. A stumbling block for most wanna-be homebrew developers is that you need to know a certain computer programming language. Not so with the ActionMax. All you need to know is the flickering of the targets are one frame off, one frame on, then repeat. If you want to make a "friendly" target, put the targets opposite the corner sensor thing. That's all you need to know. And you're not limited by a computer limitation because there's no way to program something. In fact, "programming" this thing is so easy, it makes me wonder how I am the first one to release a homebrew game for it 27 years after the last licensed game came out for it.
#4 - uniqueness. Let's not forget the novelty factor. Also like weird systems like the Virtual Boy, which its followers today seem mostly attracted to the console's novelty, or the DS, which tried a double-screen concept to make sales. The thing is just point and click sort of, only for a TV set. And back in the 1980s, a kid with an ActionMax console may have seemed like an outcast because nobody else on the block had one, but even so, the ActionMax has no two-player mode, so he could go and play that ActionMax all by himself. And have a great time doing so.

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