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Golgo 14
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by Golgo 14 Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:22 pm

racketboy wrote:
If you're up for it, I could add you to the Google Doc and you can make little notes on our draft.

Sure!
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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:49 pm

Golgo 14 wrote:
racketboy wrote:
If you're up for it, I could add you to the Google Doc and you can make little notes on our draft.

Sure!



Thanks for your additions and notes.

I've "promoted" some of your recommendations on the Google Doc. I love the notes you added for those. Nice thinking!

If you ever want to flesh any of the pieces out more, feel free.
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:08 pm

I'm especially excited to add River Raid.
It happens to be one of my favorite 2600 games -- even my kids love it.
I wasn't sure if it was mainstream enough to make the cut for this guide, but the more I research its place in history the more I feel confident in it.
I can't believe it came out before most mainstream arcade shooters like Xevious and 1942!
Can anyone name another scrolling shooter that came out before River Raid?

Ah found these notes in our Shmups 101
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/shmups-1 ... d-shooters

"The Founding Fathers

With the genre’s basic groundwork firmly set, by the early 1980’s more and more of the features we presently associate with shoot-em-ups were beginning to appear. A number of these innovations came courtesy of Western developers: Williams’ Defender debuted as the first “side-view” shooter, as well as the first to feature a screen-covering “smart bomb” special weapon. Atari’s Caverns of Mars, on the other hand, is generally thought to be the first game to implement a “non-infinite” scrolling backdrop, though Activision’s River Raid, which followed on the 2600 console a year later, takes a form more familiar to modern shooter fans. Perhaps the single most important release of the era, however, arrived from Namco’s Japan in the form of Xevious, which introduced background targets that could only be destroyed by a separate secondary weapon (in turn influencing Tehkan, an early incarnation of Tecmo and developer of Star Force) plus more powerful end-level “boss” enemies (which later turned up in Capcom’s own hit 1942)."
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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Sun Jun 06, 2021 5:36 pm

It's also worth mentioning that we currently have about 21 featured games/categories in the current draft.
That is with "Arcade Ports" as a catch-all in the bottom and is not combining Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man as they serve different purposes.

I think that is higher than most of our Defining guides. A lot of mainstream consoles have about 16 to 18 games features.

The ones that have more than 20 include the PS1 and the Wii. But for what it's worth, I do think the 2600 fits into the same family as the PS1 and the Wii. Lots of diversity and things that shook up the industry. And there's less reliance on big franchises like the NES, SNES, and Genesis/Megadrive, etc.
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Golgo 14
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by Golgo 14 Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:00 pm

Yeah, River Raid was definitely a big title in its day. Activision said it sold a million copies in six months. It was great fun in its day, and is still worth playing now, something I admit can't be said for all of the 2600's hits. For example, the 2600 Ms. Pac-Man was great in 1983 and felt like an apology for the original Pac-Man cart a year earlier, but with all the later ports and emulation of the arcade original, there's no real need to play it today.

I think the 2600's long life and pioneering status make it worthy of one of the longer articles in your series. It's unloved today compared to something like the NES, but there's no denying its prominence in the culture of the US in the early 80s, and its importance to video game history overall.
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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:28 am

Excellent thoughts -- thank you!
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:56 am

In regards to Secret Quest

It was marked as "the late 80s resurgence"

Golgo 14 later made note: "Solaris came out 3 years earlier in ‘86, but I think it’s better thought of, and was still part of the group of games published way past the system’s heyday, probably mostly to people who bought the ‘86 system revision 2600 Jr."

Personally, I've actually never heard of Secret Quest and the artwork doesn't ring a bell. I love Solaris, but I don't know if I consider it "Defining" -- alsmot a Hidden Gem (although I know a lot of 2600 fans have it on their favorite lists...) thoughts?
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Jun 07, 2021 9:07 am

If I had to place them into two categories......

Solaris is a defining game.
Secret Quest is a hidden gem.

Solaris is a tech marvel that's really unlike anything on the system.
Secret Quest is interesting, but also intentionally derivative. Pretty sure it was supposed to be the "Zelda" of the 2600.

In event event, it'd be hard to argue that Secret Quest marked a late 80s resurgence -- more like the end of the console. It was literally one of the final 2600 games.
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:02 am

Ok good to know — thanks
So you definitely thing Solaris was mainstream enough to have it be in Defined?
Was it big in the 80s or did it mostly catch on after the fact?
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:13 am

I can't say for sure but I do think Solaris is a great "resurgence" title.

Consider this -- the console took a hit after the gaming crash. There were zero first-party 2600 releases in 1985, and I believe just one third-party release.

Atari returned in '86 with Solaris and a couple other titles and continued on with 2600 game development until 1990. Third-party production picked up again as well, in '87. Of all the "late era" games I can't think of one that's as competent, popular, or as flat-out good as Solaris.
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