Jump to content
IGNORED

2600 Defender - awesome alternative or heretical hackjob?


ComputerSpaceFan
 Share

Recommended Posts

What's everyone's opinion of the 2600 version of Defender?

 

Personally I love it and I was so glad I finally had a version of Defender that I could play for more than 17 seconds without dying. But I also know the arcade original is considered one of the best coinops of all time so do fans consider the 2600 port a poor man's excuse of a version or can the game hold its head high in the community?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TBH Defender was one my favorite 2600 games when i was a lad and still probably in my top ten list along side Missile Command which also has had its fair share of criticism. Funny thing is i never played either of the coin-ops until the late 90's when i seen them at a bowling/arcade pala. Some say Defender 2600 stands alone as it own game and not very faithful to the coin-op(So i have read in the past) for me it was the only one i knew about for many years. Only complaint i have with it is the alien sprites and colour, however i hacked a ROM and made the subtle changes i always wanted ;)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't too sure what to make of it back in the day. But I was happy it came to the VCS when it did. I also took into consideration the then current state of VCS programming and its limitations and pronounced it an ok game.

 

Today there is seems to be more creative programming pushing the boundaries of what the VCS can do. I'd like to see a DPC+ enhanced version or remake entirely.

 

I sucked pretty bad at the arcade game, but could play for hours on the Atari 400/800 version.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in the day we could be more critical of games that weren't more like their arcade counterparts. Today, since it's trivial to play arcade perfect ports of our favorite games, it's much easier to think of classic home ports like Defender as their own creations, good or bad on their own merits.

 

I always like Defender on the Atari 2600 and still like to take it for a spin once in a while. I think it's one of those games that definitely stands on its own merits, particularly since, as others have stated, it doesn't have the same brutal difficulty level of the original.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was hoping for something that would look like the Stargate/Defender II Atari 2600 game that would be released many years later. I bought Defender when it was new with my own money. Although I ended up I playing it more than you might expect, I remember being disappointed the whole time with that flickery mess where the ship disappeared when shooting. I had the mistaken idea that Chopper Command might be better. When I eventually got a chance to play it, I liked how the helicopter didn't disappear when shooting, but I didn't like the gameplay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought Defender BITD and I liked it. Electronic Games gave it a favorable review as well. But in this day and age there's no reason for me to play it when I can play a superior version like that found on the 5200. That's just me - if I'm in the mood to play a particular game on a home console or computer I pick the best version that I have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love it. Bob was able to pack all the key parts of the arcade game onto the VCS, and IMHO that's pretty amazing. It controls well, plays well, has a nice, smooth difficulty ramp and imho it looks good. The bottom line for me is that it's a fun game, regardless of how close it is to the arcade, and that's the biggest factor. It stands on its own as a fun game. I liked it BITD and I like it today. Probably in my top 5 arcade ports on the 2600, definitely top 10.

Edited by BydoEmpire
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As it plays well, it is for sure a good game. For example on Commodore 64 you have dozens and dozens of disk fillers that pretend to be games but are really just junk hidden behind fancy music and some sort of graphical effects. 1942 to name a good example.

 

As for the arcade verion of Defender, I actually never liked the game for being too difficult to control but what I appreciate is the hardware it is running on. I find the full screen bitmapped framebuffer to be much more flexible gaming design than sprites and scrolling capable text mode. The proof: all gaming consoles in the end of evolution ended being bitmap based.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2600 Defender is one of those conversions that has its own brand of charm. To me, it's particularly impressive for the early effort that it is. Even though we grew up with the arcade game in the house (was a fav of my Dads as well), I had it for the VCS BITD and played it often enough. Love the arcade control panel layout but think the controls translated pretty well to the Atari joystick. Guess I like the game for what it is. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree about the easy difficulty level but not firing all the time makes the game more challenging.

 

Defender is a really awesome game and a diffcult genre to program on the 2600 - look how few Defender clones there are! Killer Satellites is just about it and doesn't compare to either Defender or StarGate.

 

It would be cool to see more Defender style homebrew games :)

post-30777-0-81583100-1459869818_thumb.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never really played either the arcade version or the 2600 version when they were current, but I have played both as an adult.

 

Coming at it from this perspective--i.e., having no history with or nostalgia for either game--the 2600 game is kind of worthless, to be honest, because nowadays I have all kinds of options to play superior versions.

 

I understand it was a challenging game to make on the system due to the technical constraints, but... so what? That fact offers no consolation to me as a player looking for a good game of Defender and being presented with the video game equivalent of a crappy garage band doing a horrendous cover version of a classic song that I like. That crappy cover version might have been acceptable when it was the only music available to listen to, but that's not the case today; not by a long shot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I understand it was a challenging game to make on the system due to the technical constraints, but... so what?

 

I agree. The bottom line is if the game is fun to play or not.

 

I really get tired of people saying "what an achievement on the 2600 given the technical limitations"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I agree. The bottom line is if the game is fun to play or not.

 

I really get tired of people saying "what an achievement on the 2600 given the technical limitations"

 

Yeah, the 2600 is so close to the hearts of so many that there seems to be a tendency to treat the system like that chubby and athletically-inept child who may not set the world on fire with bona fide achievements, but always deserves a participation ribbon for trying.

 

Thing is, the 2600 is an old videogame hardware platform, not a living/breathing child with feelings.

 

For me, all games are held to the same standard. Yes, it is possible for genuinely good/memorable games to be made for the 2600, but it will fall on its face in a hurry if you try to stretch it too far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always liked the 2600 version of Defender. I played it last night!

 

Personally, I always thought the arcade version looked better but that the movement buttons made it overly difficult to control the ship - suspiciously difficult given that it was a machine that ran on quarters...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loved 2600 Defender. But I remember though being VERY disappointed with the "swarmers". I was hoping they'd be a lot more closer to the arcade where those little buggers would be fast and zip around like bugs, but we all know how it turned out to be. :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always liked the 2600 version of Defender. I played it last night!

 

Personally, I always thought the arcade version looked better but that the movement buttons made it overly difficult to control the ship - suspiciously difficult given that it was a machine that ran on quarters...

 

That's a common thing said these days.. but it really is a great control mechanism for how Defender itself plays, and mastering it where it becomes intuitive is half the fun. :) But yes.. you had to "spend a lot of money to get good at Defender". :lol: (as quoted from "Invasion of the Space Invaders")

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

but it really is a great control mechanism for how Defender itself plays, and mastering it where it becomes intuitive is half the fun. :)

 

^^ agreed!

 

 

I don’t even particularly like the arcade game, and yes, that opinion is in large part due to the game’s off-putting difficulty, but IMO that difficulty does not stem from the controls. They’re not THAT difficult to learn, and when you do, it’s kind of rewarding. In fact, I think the control scheme on the arcade game is one of its most endearing features, and, like all arcade games with “different” control schemes, the mapping of those controls to generic hand-held controllers for home ports is a great way to suck the soul out of the game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love Defender, it's one of my favorite 2600 games. Even though you have to set it on the highest possibly difficulty for it to be remotely challenging.

FWIW I grew up an NES/16-bit kid, so I missed out on the Atari in its prime. I got my first system in 1999 and knew the games wouldn't be anything like the arcade versions, but I thought were fun and interesting anyway. I even liked Pac-Man. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I agree. The bottom line is if the game is fun to play or not.

 

I really get tired of people saying "what an achievement on the 2600 given the technical limitations"

I appreciate someone being able to pull a lot out of a given piece of hardware. To me, that's a thing of beauty in and of itself and having programmed quite few 8 bit games I can absolutely appreciate that. It is an achievement (although IMHO every 2600 game is an achievement!). That doesn't affect whether or not a game is fun, but it is something of value and part of the conversation about a given game. Of course, I'd always rather play a fun game than an impressive tech demo.

 

Also, for a lot of people, the bottom line is that 2600 Defender is a fun game. All the better that IMHO it's impressive how much of the arcade game made it onto the 2600.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My two younger Brothers and I thoroughly enjoyed the Atari 2600 version of Defender.

 

I had just entered my teens, and the Arcade Defender was a great gaming experience.

Only Atari VCS 2600, Intellivision, and Odyssey2 were popular in homes when Atari's 2600 Defender came out.

 

Atari's version covered the gameplay of horizontal shooter with radar, landers taking humans that you could save and capture and return to the ground. The captured people turned the landers into ship seeking mutants. The stars that turned into pods, the squares leaving mine trails, the baiters when you took to long to finish a level, and even outer space when all the humans were taken was all there.

 

For the home game to have all that, and even an odd hyperspace and smart bomb feature like the arcade, there wasn't much to dislike about the game.

 

That's why we felt so let down by Pac Man, which got everything wrong compared to the arcade game, the maze, the sprite, and even the GO! tune.

 

Ms. Pac Man went on to get so many things right, amazing us with a start tune and even an attract titlescreen!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...