Your Top 5 Pong Games

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Wallyworld
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Re: Your Top 5 Pong Games

Postby Wallyworld » January 24th, 2016, 6:26 pm

My favorite Pong based strictly on creative use of the technology is Basketball for the Odyssey 2. Most critic's pan this title because it's not the best basketball simulation but it's a very clever way of turning Pong into something resembling basketball.

Take a look at it! While not impressive graphically it's freaking Pong basketball!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twDhX3PMcwo

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scotland
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Re: Your Top 5 Pong Games

Postby scotland » January 24th, 2016, 10:12 pm

Actually go back just a bit to the Atari Video Pinball 1st generation console. These were fine little machines, in white or woodgrain, battery or AC, with a better chip than the pong on a chip machines. They had pinball, with side flipper controllers, and a solid analog paddle for breakout, breakaway and a pong style basketball. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B3iiTny5ywE you can see it at the four minute mark. Its breakout vertical pong and paddle, but dribbling up and shooting through three stacked lines as hoops.

The Odyssey 2 basketball was a double game cartridge with bowling, and I think a launch title. The games are tiny, probably 2k at most. It might be 2k for both games. Thats not much code. Its actually very impressive given these games in 1978 were trailblazing.

The Critic was not kind in his review, but basketball is actually amusing. Against an unsuspecting opponent, you can snag the tip off, fire off a shot, and snag another while they are baffled. Once they catch on to that, they watch you steal the ball. As you say, its all pong 1 dimensional, but so is Space Invaders. Good times.

The bowling game has poor collision detection and the low resolution really affects gameplay. Its like an Tiger Electronics LCD game on your tv. One a plus side, its a four player game which was unusual for its time, and easy to learn. Those are merits worth mentioning as 1978 was a time many families may only have had one tv set. Having a family or group game was a good thing.

Sut
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Re: Your Top 5 Pong Games

Postby Sut » January 25th, 2016, 3:20 pm

The first generation is a difficult one to research.

You don't look up a system and then it's games like subsequent generations. You look up a chip and then see what games and systems utilised that chip.

It's interesting but very samey and get a bit dry. There is also surprisingly little resources available. I would have thought there would have been some first generation super simulator by now which simulated all the various game chips.

Video Pinball is one I would like to play as it didn't seem to get cloned as heavily as the Pong, Car Race, Tank games, etc.

Would also like a go on the Telstar Arcade that looks an awesome first gen system, but I don't think it made it over to Europe.

Overall the Pong on a cart systems are the most interesting save for the original Odyssey. Europe got the PC-50x systems, NA had the brilliant looking Telstar Arcade and the Germans (and Dutch I think) got the Interton Video 2000 and Phillips Tele-Spiel.

I'm surprised the Critic hasn't got any first generation reviews up. He could probably but them under one heading.

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scotland
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Re: Your Top 5 Pong Games

Postby scotland » January 25th, 2016, 4:06 pm

Sut wrote:The first generation is a difficult one to research.


I was looking for a screen shot of the Video Pinball basketball game, and I could not find one.

I have one of these Video Pinball machines. Breakout is my favorite on the system, where using the top analog controller is surprisingly fun. Just like a platformer is better with a dpad than a touchscreen, Breakout is best with a paddle controller.

Sut wrote: You don't look up a system and then it's games like subsequent generations. You look up a chip and then see what games and systems utilised that chip.


It is far more about the chip than the system, because these chips are more limited integrated circuits and not microprocessors yet. There were a number of custom chips, such as the Odyssey line, but GI was the industry leader at the time.

The pong on a chip is detailed on wikipedia pretty well https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AY-3-8500
Even among these systems you will see a variety of controllers, some have color, some keep score on screen, etc. The pong on a chip also had light gun games too. Some of those rifles looked awfully real too.

For a nice place to visit about these chips, try http://www.pong-story.com/gi.htm It mentions that Europe got a larger variety of chips. I think this generation lasted longer in Japan and maybe South America too. In the US, there was a sort of crash (or dip) that ended many of these company's interest in video gaming in about 1977.


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