Neo-Geo, Arcade, Portable, & Every Other Platform
User avatar
racketboy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9556
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Michigan

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

by racketboy Fri Jun 18, 2021 12:10 pm

racketboy wrote: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)."



So it seems that the arcade version of Vanguard came out in 1981 (and The Atari 2600 port in 1982), so it seems it was out before River Raid.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_(video_game)

River Raid might feel more refined and more like a "modern" shmup, but Vanguard seems quite pioneering, no?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewQDKtc1i-4
User avatar
o.pwuaioc
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 8097
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:59 pm
Location: NYC

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

by o.pwuaioc Fri Jun 18, 2021 9:54 pm

racketboy wrote:
racketboy wrote: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)."



So it seems that the arcade version of Vanguard came out in 1981 (and The Atari 2600 port in 1982), so it seems it was out before River Raid.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_(video_game)

River Raid might feel more refined and more like a "modern" shmup, but Vanguard seems quite pioneering, no?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewQDKtc1i-4


It didn't come out on the 2600, but I believe Scramble beat both Vanguard and Cavern on Mars. I would +1 Vanguard to the 2600 article, though. It was a best-seller and major game for the system.
User avatar
BoneSnapDeez
Next-Gen
 
Posts: 19897
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: Maine

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

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:50 pm

River Raid is significant not for being the "first shmup" but for being one of the better ones made for the 2600 (as opposed to an arcade port). Also, female designer.

It also plays nothing like Japanese shooters. It feels almost like a racing game, with the plane locked onto an x-axis, where holding up makes the scenery scroll down faster.
User avatar
Golgo 14
64-bit
 
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:26 am

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

by Golgo 14 Sat Jun 19, 2021 1:48 am

BoneSnapDeez wrote:River Raid is significant not for being the "first shmup" but for being one of the better ones made for the 2600 (as opposed to an arcade port).

Yeah, in this way I feel that River Raid is to shmups as Pitfall! is to platformers. Games like Space Panic and Donkey Kong are earlier platformers, but Piffall! added something new, and was primarily a 2600 title. Same relationship River Raid has to shmups.
Budsmoka wrote:If theres one thing that will help you with the ladies its physical fitness.
User avatar
racketboy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9556
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Michigan

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

by racketboy Sat Jun 19, 2021 12:13 pm

Great additional context -- thanks!
Vanguard also does kinda get lumped in with the Arcade Ports section. But I'll work in some of the earlier pioneers into the notes for River Raid for context.
User avatar
racketboy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9556
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Michigan

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

by racketboy Sat Jun 26, 2021 6:04 pm

I have a more-than-full-length writeup of Combat up on the Google Doc.
Could a few of you give it a look and give feedback?
I'm up for improvements. It's also just a bit longer than I'd like, but unsure what else to cut.
User avatar
Golgo 14
64-bit
 
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:26 am

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

by Golgo 14 Sun Jun 27, 2021 4:36 am

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Combat?

I believe I got my 2600 on Christmas Day 1981, and by then Combat was old news. It played a lot like a dedicated tank video game we had earlier, and I wanted something new, dammit! And while I was only 8, I was already aware that you don't get anything for free in this country, so I eyed Combat with a great deal of skepticism. Maybe because it was a pack-in game, my cartridge didn't even feature awesome 70s art on its front, and instead just had a plain label that read "combat" in lowercase letters. Again, lame. My friends at the time were equally unimpressed, and the general feeling among the kids I knew was that Combat was a lower-tier title.

It wasn't until I dusted off my 2600 and started retrogaming in the early and mid 90s that I realized I had been wrong, and that Combat is a great game. Looking back, it didn't matter anymore that its graphics were simplistic and outdated. The gameplay was rock solid, and two player games were incredibly fun. Imho, there are few more satisfying video game experiences than lining up for an easy follow-up shot while your opponent's tank spins helplessly out of control. Even today, if I were to make a list of my 25 favorite video games, Combat would almost certainly be on it.

So that's my (ahem) personal experience with Combat. I don't know if that helps you much. If I had been older and gotten my 2600 a few Christmases earlier, it's likely I would have had a different perspective and realized that Combat is awesome a decade sooner.

Your current write-up is accurate, though maybe a bit in the weeds if you're not intending to go as in-depth on the history of all the featured titles. You could probably drop the paragraph about Combat Two. That game is an oddity and a footnote, at best. Also, I don't know if you have to single out Combat for promoting itself as containing a ridiculous number of video games, when in reality they were mostly variations. That was a common Atari marketing tactic pre-1982 and Combat was hardly the worst offender. Space Invaders boasted of 112 video games! Though to be fair, some were more rad than others.
Budsmoka wrote:If theres one thing that will help you with the ladies its physical fitness.
User avatar
racketboy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9556
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Michigan

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

by racketboy Sun Jun 27, 2021 7:45 am

Very helpful, thank you!
I do want to get into the history a bit when its useful -- at least on these Defining ones.
But per your guidance, I will cut the Combat 2 part.
I'll also think about how to work in concepts from your personal experience as well.
User avatar
racketboy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9556
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Michigan

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

by racketboy Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:01 pm

Was it safe to say that Pitfall was a major turning point in presentation and gameplay styles in video games?

Was there any Atari 2600 games released before Pitfall that even had quite the visual presentation? (I'm thinking about more realistic backgrounds/settings in addition to the scrolling screens)

Were there any arcade games that had any similar visual or gameplay experiences in the same league as Pitfall before? I'm trying to think back to 1982 or earlier, but would appreciate the braintrust here to help think of games beforehand that innovated in a similar way.

Donkey Kong was pretty exciting, but didn't have the backgrounds/settings or the scrolling.
Pole Position actually came out a bit after Pitfall, but is the closest I can think of with semi lifelike backgrounds. But also didn't innovate other things in the same way.
User avatar
racketboy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 9556
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Michigan

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

by racketboy Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:07 pm

FYI: I also just added my new, longer writeup of Space Invaders on the Google Doc.
I welcome proof-reading and feedback.
Return to Other Platforms

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests