What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

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GamingTheSystems
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby GamingTheSystems » May 3rd, 2015, 1:01 pm

C64_Critic1 wrote: 
Honestly, do any of you older folks (like me) actually remember a time when you couldn't find new and interesting games at your local stores around 1983?  I just feel like this whole crash thing has been conflated and exaggerated over the years, and in reality had little bearing on those of us actually playing video games at that time.  Sure, lots of companies may have gone under but plenty of new ones popped up to take their place.


I'm 40. Yes, I do remember a time around 82/83 when most of my friends lost interest in video games. I continued to play the 2600, but noticed the number of games available in the stores shrank (probably about 90%). That in itself is a crash. Many of my friends did start gaming again when the NES became popular, and I think those people who had computers probably didn't notice a slowdown.

Anyone who had money invested in the gaming industry at the time would definitely tell you there was a crash. The new companies that popped up came gradually over the years. For me, it was more like a cultural crash; a few years where everyone stopped gaming.

kaz321123
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby kaz321123 » June 6th, 2015, 6:57 am

Try out the newest awesome pac-man version on Atariage.

It is coded by a guy named: Dintar. It is 8k. You will be AMAZED!

SigSauerLover
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby SigSauerLover » June 6th, 2015, 12:49 pm

PERSONALLY, and this is just me, I believe NOTHING would have changed. Pac-Man was released 2 years before the video game crash. The damage was done, but most people I knew did not care about Pac-Man being bad. Hell, most kids I talked to enjoyed it. I didn't, but that's just me. It wasn't just E.T either. It was the SLEW of under produced titles coming out. Blaming it on just 2 titles is hardly reasonable. As there are far worse games on the system. Though, I will admit they had some people losing trust in Atari probably.

kaz321123
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby kaz321123 » June 6th, 2015, 7:05 pm

Yep, the market was way over-saturated by games that were horrible. Players knew that companies were just cranking them out for a profit, with NO CARE AT ALL about quality.

ET wasn't as bad as people said. They've fixed some issues people had with the game on Atariage, such as falling in a hole if any part of ET touched the hole. They fixed it so it operates more like Zelda from Link from the Past.

Tron
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby Tron » June 29th, 2015, 7:37 pm

I was an Intellevision guy, but I paid close attention to Atari. I remember being excited about Pac Man. After playing it at a friends my enthusiasm for Atari plummeted. I couldn't beleive that they managed to botch this game so badly. I think the person who stated that if they marketed this as Atari Pac Man or Special Needs Pac Man that it would've been more acceptable. To sell it as Pac Man was a huge disappointment. Even as a kid I knew Pac Man was a simple game. I wasn't expecting Advanced Dungeons & Dragons here. I thought it was a real lame effort on Atari's part.

I got an Atari a few years later & loved games like Moon Patrol, Jungle Hunt, Kanagroo & Dig Dug, but I never bothered to get Pac Man.

Tina
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby Tina » July 2nd, 2015, 9:06 pm

New here but I am getting a big kick reading all of these posts, 44 years young and I spent my youth in arcades. Good times to be had !! Finally at age twelve Santa got me a Sears Tele-Game Video Game Arcade II, I loved that thing-still have it actually but haven't played it in years. Now Atari's Pac-Man was just a shame really. We all ran out and got that game and was so disappointed by it. I would play Kaboom a million times over any day of the week instead of Pac Man. Defender, Pac Man and Donkey Kong were so much better in the arcade.

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scotland
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby scotland » July 2nd, 2015, 9:31 pm

Tina wrote:New here but I am getting a big kick reading all of these posts, 44 years young and I spent my youth in arcades. Good times to be had !! Finally at age twelve Santa got me a Sears Tele-Game Video Game Arcade II, I loved that thing-still have it actually but haven't played it in years. Now Atari's Pac-Man was just a shame really. We all ran out and got that game and was so disappointed by it. I would play Kaboom a million times over any day of the week instead of Pac Man. Defender, Pac Man and Donkey Kong were so much better in the arcade.


Welcome fellow parent. If you find fun modern console games for your kids, let us know. Portable gaming seems to offer a lot. I think retro console games, like Pac Man, is a lot of fun, the games are quick enough to take turns, the controllers (especially joysticks) are almost as intuitive as a touch screen, and since many early games lacked AI makes playing early two player games fun with kids.

I spent my youth, and my quarters, in the arcades as well. I have vivid memories of both Pac Man in the arcade, and Pac Man on the 2600. Obviously there are opinions on each side about the 2600 version, with some people advocating that a poor home version was not a big deal. I never expected a more complicated game to have a good home version, Pac Man was terribly disappointing for what appears so simple. In my circle, people bought a console just for Pac Man, and were disappointed.

Another aspect is that my school, and many others, had computers then. While I'm sure it was frowned on, many kids had copies of Pac Man for systems like the Apple IIe. Compare Pac Man for the Apple II and the 2600. Wow. Hands down is the Apple version much better, and playing with the keyboard more responsive still. Its also interesting in that both systems used a version of the MOS 6502 chip, so its not like one had a Z80 or something in there. Sure, the Apple was more expensive, but it was right there in front of kids eyes as another home version of Pac Man, and really made the Atari version look rushed, second rate, or a money grab.

In retrospect, maybe Atari could have used the 5200 version, which was a launch title, to really kick start sales of that replacement console after seeing their 2600 version. I think only a few months separated them, but then again the production version of the 5200 controller may not have been a wise decision either. Pac Man looks so simple, but even in 1982 I guess either techniques were yet undiscovered, the ROM size too small, or time constraints too tight to get a decent version. With Space Invaders, they simplified the game, but added in all those wonderful options. They could have gone that route too (bye bye Clyde), but maybe that would have been an insult.

Kaboom represents an awesome little game, made by one of those programmers that was disgruntled at how they felt they were being treated at Atari, and paved the way for 3rd party games. Kaboom is a little gem, although I don't recall any other games by Kaplan, at Atari or Activision that stand out. I'm sure someone will remind me.

sliceofawesome
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby sliceofawesome » July 3rd, 2015, 1:45 am

Crash would have still happened. The quality of games was all around horrible. The crash, I'm my opinion, was due to the quality of games being very low. Also most of the games from that era were just one or two screens and that was it.
Paying $50 for a game that barely resembles the arcade game that it's ported from and you've seen everything in 5 minutes. That's why the industry crashed. People felt ripped off.
Last edited by sliceofawesome on July 3rd, 2015, 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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scotland
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby scotland » July 3rd, 2015, 7:55 am

sliceofawesome wrote:The quality of games was all around horrible. The crash, I'm my opinion, was due to the quality of games being very low. Also most of the games from that era were just one or two screens and that was it. Paying $50 for a game that barely resembles the arcade game that it's ported from and you've seen everything in 5 minutes. That's why the industry crashed. People felt ripped off.


I understand that sentiment. The games in 1982 terms were very expensive, and quality on average was low. For every Pitfall and Adventure were many a disappointment.

Yet the family computer world was doing fine and growing, cheaper games, more complex, more genres. To many gamers, we just transitioned to an 8 bit computer. The story then becomes how did Nintendo correct the US console market, or did family computers mess up their day in the sun, or was it just short memory and high turnover? There are some threads out there waiting for your opinion.

Tina
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Re: What if Atari's Pac-Man was better?

Postby Tina » July 3rd, 2015, 8:26 am

Scotland-no kidding about the modern console for kids. I favor nintendo over the others for this very reason. On some PC games, there is the ability to turn off the taunts ( language ), call me old fashioned but I really do not need my thirteen and four year old hearing garbage from a game-Playstation I am talking about you.
Last year I bought Atari flashback-plugged it in and played for about 10 minutes-had to hear the sounds and find Yars Revenge, the controllers were horrid and ended up putting it right back in the box.


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