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Newbie to 8 bit


nd2003grad
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Hi, I'm kind of getting a feel for the waters of several systems. I'm wondering where to start game-wise on the 800/xt. I would like to get an idea of what's going on with these systems as I was generally too young the first time around!

 

I own a 2600 and various other consoles.

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You mean, the 800xl? I could throw some games at cha but why don't I first ask what are some of your favorites on the 2600 and what type of games you enjoy playing. Also, do you want just single player games or games that play better when you have another human to play with.

Finally, do you have device to load these games with or are you onlyngoing to play carts?

Oh, and the Atari community is quite active, both in envolvement from indiviguals, as well as new software and hardware. If your into podcasts, the Atari coverage is pretty extensive.

Edited by Justin Payne
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Yes, that was stupid--that was what I meant. Lots of letters and numbers swimming around in my head any more.

 

I'm currently emulating, so I'm really looking for 1-player games (my son needs to get older!). Faves on the 2600 include Centipede/Millipede, Mario, Battlezone, Defender 2, Breakout, tons of others--probably pretty standard. I collect for Intellivision, Coleco, NES, and Astrocade as well (so I like Wizard of Wor).

 

I've been VERY impressed with this community and I'm still new to it. I guess it's the XL that is most compatible were I to buy one? In short, I'm basically trying to see where I'd like to expand into classic computing in the future. I grew up with PC.

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Haha. Not stupid and I was just pointing it out to be clear as to what system you are targeting. Since you'll be emulating at this point, we don't have to worry about a specific version. As far as the emulator to use, I mostly use Altirra. Get your games at AtariMania or someone might be able to provide you a torrent so you don't have to download each game separately. If you like those 2600 games, you'll generally find those also on the 8-bit and there are some original games that were inspired by arcade games so you get something different but also something familar. I can drop you a few games off of the ones you have provided.

Yes, the 800xl seems to be the most desired. The 600xl is also nice but you'll probably want to get the RAM upgraded unless you plan to only play cart based games. I'd also suggest getting a floppy and multicart device. Real cart should still work but floppies and the drives are very susceptible to time.

Before you spend any money on hardware, get up and running with the emulator to see if you want to continue going further with this system. When your readynto buy, we can give you suggestions on where to get a good system.

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Given enough time all garbage can become antiquities so you're a regular Indiana Jones. I'd also like to point out that a lot of artists make art out of garbage so you just have to make something with it, such as a game, so that others will appriciate it. Then it's officially art. Finally, lots of people collect old cars. Even Jay Leno has a show about his old cars. Would she say those old cars are junk?

As you can see, I love to have a few excuses at the ready. ;-)

 

You are welcome. There are many more people here with much more info than I could provide. I was just the first to bite. I'm sure if I steered you wrong in some way they'll make sure to improve on my answers.

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  • 3 months later...

I thought I'd update you--I did end up getting an 800XL, and I haven't used it much yet..I'm waiting on my SIO2SD. I basically got it for free!!!!! I wasn't going to buy another computer, but I couldn't pass it up.

 

The 800XL's are great machines. They are easy to modify to get nicer video output and/or RAM expansion as well. They are also compatible with most hard disk controllers available for the Atari 8-bit. The SIO2SD is a very good device. Makes life real easy.

 

The XL's also happen to be the coolest looking 8-bit machines out there. ;-) I really like mine. It's a fun toy.

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I thought I'd update you--I did end up getting an 800XL, and I haven't used it much yet..I'm waiting on my SIO2SD. I basically got it for free!!!!! I wasn't going to buy another computer, but I couldn't pass it up.

:thumbsup:

Congratulations on your free membership for the High Score Club! OK it's always free but we welcome anyone who wants to post a score :)

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I thought I'd update you--I did end up getting an 800XL, and I haven't used it much yet..I'm waiting on my SIO2SD. I basically got it for free!!!!! I wasn't going to buy another computer, but I couldn't pass it up.

 

Nice! I went the same route as you. I tried emulation first, got hooked, and picked up an 800XL. It's the only instance where emulation motivated me to get the real thing. A few months ago I found a good deal on a 130XE and picked that up as well. I now have ~20 cart games, a few repro carts, an AtariMax multicart, and a SIO2PC. I love that there's no need to get a disk or tape drive if you don't want to. The games hold to a really high standard. I still haven't played any real stinkers. It's one of the most fun systems I can think of.

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Emulation definitely sold me on Commodore 64. I wasn't as impressed with Atari, but I took everyone's advice. I have only played Centipede on it, but I really do love it so far and it's a solid machine. I'm excited to be an owner! I wish I could say emulation got me into Amiga, but it didn't. I found Winuae to be very difficult for a novice to work with...but YouTube really sold me on all three in the end.

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Emulation definitely sold me on Commodore 64. I wasn't as impressed with Atari, but I took everyone's advice. I have only played Centipede on it, but I really do love it so far and it's a solid machine. I'm excited to be an owner! I wish I could say emulation got me into Amiga, but it didn't. I found Winuae to be very difficult for a novice to work with...but YouTube really sold me on all three in the end.

 

C64 vs Atari is a difficult comparison in several ways....

 

C64 has better multicolor sprites and more colors in hi-rez without tricks.

 

Atari has faster CPU, more useful OS, more elaborate BASIC support for graphics and sound, more versatile and programmable graphics hardware, faster I/O and far bigger color palette and with DLI magic and programmable graphics chipset can achieve more on-screen colors of greater variety.

 

C64 had more big-name games like Elite, Lemmings, etc later on and a very interesting sound chip.

 

Atari's SIO bus is brilliantly designed and PBI is cool and you generally had MUCH faster floppy drives.

 

Pros and cons to both. Personally I think the Atari is a better computer but for many types of sprite-based games, the C64 is a winner. It really depends on the game though. They are very different in a lot of ways. Comparison can be tough.

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Colour wise I always found the 8 bit more vibrant, the C64 was more pastel to me...

 

Early C64 sound effects were not as punchy as the Atari although the SID when it was being exploited musically was excellent, early C64 music was basic and often tunes sounded way too similar (because of the noises used)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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I like the C64, but I find that the Atari is better for early 80s games and arcade ports. The colors look nicer and usually play better. The C64 would win out if you really enjoy post-crash style of games. You'll find a lot more scrolling platformers and action games. I also like the convenience of playing games on cart for the Atari. I wouldn't want to be saddled with only using real disks/tapes or some PC interface device.

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Wow. it is so amazing the Atari community.. we all enjoy our Atari's but for such different reasons.. LOL

 

I have about 20 carts.. and I NEVER play them because I can access them all very easy as images, and with the hardware mods ive made.. I can have the ROM in hardware of the ones I would play.. Missile command and Star Raiders. :)

 

Me the Atari is about the hardware.. the joy and amazement of the introduction of Personal computers to the world.. something I could open up.. follow the circuit, understand whats happening.. My desktop PC I am typing this on.. I swap parts in and out of.. my Atari is like an electronic classic car.. everything I can touch, change, understand work with.. THAT is my fun.

 

James

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... the joy and amazement of the introduction of Personal computers to the world.. something I could open up.. follow the circuit, understand whats happening.. My desktop PC I am typing this on.. I swap parts in and out of.. my Atari is like an electronic classic car.. everything I can touch, change, understand work with.. THAT is my fun.

 

James

101% ‎accordance ;-)

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I think part of what made me doubt the Atari was one arcade port...Wizard of Wor. As you can see from my icon, I'm a big Bally Arcade/Astrocade fan, so I'm familiar with one of the very best ports of this game. I found the Atari one to be ugly and simple, but the C64 one to be magnificent. HOWEVER...it appears that I didn't look at enough titles. I can tell you certainly that I bought these computers (Amiga, C64, Atari) in that order of interest. After holding and seeing the actual machines, that interest (for now) has reversed, largely due to the major complications with the ol' 500. However, I never thought I'd get into the non-console side of this hobby. I was mistaken; this is great fun and a little more interactive with involvement. Waiting to find time to hook up my three modern devices to these machines.

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