Combat/A-S battle

The readers post their own reviews.
Alienblue

Combat/A-S battle

Postby Alienblue » October 16th, 2006, 4:56 am

COMBAT (2600) B-
AIR SEA BATTLE/TARGET FUN A-

The very first videogame I ever played at home AND abroad was TANK, the main game in Atari's 2600 pak-in, COMBAT. I played "kee games" (just a fake company made up by atari) TANK in a bar while my older sister drank. It was the cocktail table version, and two player of course. Sis was too inebriated to play so I just manuevered the white tank around for a few minutes, shooting the black tank. "pretty boring" I surmised (due to severe memory rstrictions most 70's games were 2-player)...until my mom brought home a Coleco TANK BATTLE dedicated TV game from a lawn sale. I was stoked! Didn't matter it was two player, I had fun just CONTROLLING AN OBJECT ON TV!!! That was INCREDIBLE...I know now what people who first rode a "horseless carriage" felt like!-
my OWN TV world to play with!

Fast forward a year, I have worked summer jobs and saved enough to get a game system. After deciding against O2 (no good games) and INTV (too expensive) I decidec to get Atari...only thing is, ATARI's 2600 VCS came with combat which was STILL for 2 players only! The graphics were in color and there was more variety then TANK...different mazes, "tank-pong", where the ball rebounds, and the airplane games (though BIPLANES and JET did not seem much different from TANK in the sky).

What to do? I didn't have much money and I wanted a pack-in I could PLAY-ALONE (I was a lone wolf).

Saved by Sears TELE-GAMES! This 2600 look-alike came not with Combat but TARGET FUN (Called Air/Sea battle by Atari)...it also by that time included PAC MAN as a bonus but I already knew PM was nothing like the coin-op. A-S battle won me over! It contained dozens of games that were REALLY different and a soloist could make a "game" out of any variation! True, there were always 2 guns, ships, subs or whatever but a single player could play BOMBER, SUB BATTLE, ANTI-AIRCRAFT etc... in most ground based games the idea is to shoot down as many targets as you can! And the targets were tricky! Some, like aircraft carriers moved slowly while high-point speedy PT boats zoomed by teasing you to try 'n hit 'em! I loved SHOOTING GALLERY, where the military theme was replaced with a carnival atmosphere, clown faes, ducks and bunnies. The games ended when you hit 99 points or went over 2 minutes 16 seconds (anyone know why 2' 16" was a standard time limit?) -eventually I got good enough to win all the target games before time ran out.

Ten there were the "plane vs. ship/sub" games where you had to control a plane or water vehicle, speeding up or slowing down, trying to hit the other target. In all games, there were variations like moveable gun turrents and anti-aircraft baloons or sea mines that got in the way of shots.

Sound and graphics were better than most early VCS games. Objects were identifiable, the baloons even had little "A"'s on them. Best of all was the Color, done in smooth shades of rainbow bright blues! Sound was great, good explosions and weird "whoop!" sounds from your guns.

Kids who grew up on Super Mario or Halo will not be impressed, but in 1981 this was a GREAT game-so was COMBAT if you had two people! As the wise ZEN once said, you love what you have, ad for months I had only A-S battle, pac-man and Spae Invaders, with Air Sea getting the majority of playtime!

If you collect 2600 games-you need TF/AS in your collection; and of course Combat if only for its historical signifigance.

Ah...remember when WAR was so much SIMPLER?!

Zenzerotron

Combat/A-S battle

Postby Zenzerotron » October 16th, 2006, 3:25 pm

Alienblue, are you familar with "Sea Wolf"?? it's an Atariage homebrew that is quite popular. I don't own it, as honestly, Target Fun/Air-Sea Battle never really appealed to me.

"Sea Wolf" is basically Target Fun on steriods........

My big childhood memores with early 2600 games....

*My sister could beat my scores at Pac-Man. I never liked Pac-Man, not because I was this wise little tyke whom knew it was a poor translation..........but because I was ONLY interested in games that were about outer-space, shooting, or both.

*My absolute favorite 2-player only game was Outlaw/GunSlinger. When I was little, I went through a  big cowboy stage. I had tons of cowboy hats and cowboy capguns. Not only that, but I'd beat my sister really badly at this game, making her scream, cry, and throw fits.......the greatest joy a big brother can have!

*Once I lied to my sister and said if you took certain routes/exits in Berserk, that you could win the game and see this great ending. This made my sister play this game for hours on end, in vein, trying to escape the maze-planet and win the game. I was so cruel, she hated this game, but since it was my favorite game, I lied to force her to play it.

* you know my story about Amidar. I liked this game SO much, that I ate the label off the cartridge. I wasn't much of a chewer of my toys/things, but this was the one 2600 cartridge that I just had to chew on. It was an act of honor and respect......the label glue on Parker Bros games was yummy


Alienblue

Combat/A-S battle

Postby Alienblue » October 18th, 2006, 6:31 am

Zen: Actually, A/S battle was based on SEAWOLF! -the arcade game! I played the coin-op Seawolf; it was essentialy the same as the Torpedo/sub game in A/S battle except you had a periscope and the screen was black n' white.

Memmmmmmories:

* I'm glad all my siblings were grown up at the time I got my atari. You r cruuel! (: I do remember my brother had 3 boys though, and one of my nephews was 6 and could beat the living snot out of ANYBODY at pac-man. He knew the secret of course; play a fast pac against slow ghosts and you can play FOREVER!

* Except for my big sister (who was very strange) most girls did'nt seem to like my atari until I got FROGGER, then DONKEY KONG. (you have to remember, at the time this was about as "cartoony" and cute as VCS games GOT!)....my mom would try for
hours to reach DK's top ONCE or get 5 frogs home!

* Before Ms.Pac-Man came out, my favorite maze game was, by far, LOCK N' CHASE. Even today it seems a great acheivment-no flickering, sharp bright colors. I have since played the INTV and the Coin-op versions and they are not nearly as fun (too slow!)

* I mentioned before, mom passed away of cancer a year after my stepdad died. She tried to spend as much time with me as she could, and hence got better at the games. She could get 6 mazes in lock n chase, 5 in frogger and get all the way to the Bananna board on Ms. Pac-Man. Last 3 months she was restricted to a bed downstairs; When I got my Colecovision (by selling my VCS and 30 games) I had to bring the system downstairs to show her. A general comment of the time was "Look! the ape actually rolls the barrels down at you!"- gosh, ANIMATION in a videogame! Who would have thought? (:

So, I'm forever tied to old games if only for nostalgia.

Zenzerotron

Combat/A-S battle

Postby Zenzerotron » October 18th, 2006, 2:59 pm

The Atariage homebrew of "SeaWolf" isn't the primitiave arcade game it's based on. Just like "Wolfenstein VCS" is a far-advanced Venture, "Sea Wolf" is a far-advanced Target Fun/A-S Battle.

One more "I was a rotten big brother" story, but this is the NES era.........

My sister only played "Super Mario Bros". I had the same reaction to this game as to her with 2600 Pac-Man.........this game is too cute/non-violent. I was into side scrollers like Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania...games about serious action, not happy-go-lucky-gaming like SMB was.

I recall the neighbor kid showing me the "minus world" trick. So of course, I went into the "minus world", then tried to convince my sister that if she played it long enough, a secret world would become available. Irony is...........sister learned her lesson with my little "you can win Berserk by taking  certain exits" trick, and she didn't fall for it............darn

Alienblue

Combat/A-S battle

Postby Alienblue » October 18th, 2006, 5:10 pm

Zen: Yay, that's one for Sissy!

My BIG sister Dorothy bought my NES collection when I "moved up" to 16-bit Genesis around the time it came out. Sadly, she eventually passed on as well but not before amassing an AMAZINGLY huge collection of Nintendo stuff-500 games, Nintendo cabinets, Mario figures, etc.... she was really into it. I showed her my Genny and then SNES but she was of the opinion that the old NES was the best system ever created. If she were still around, I bet she'd have her own NES site!

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11002
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Combat/A-S battle

Postby VideoGameCritic » October 22nd, 2006, 11:36 am

Good review, but I noticed this one contrasts my review style.

The author is reviewing the game based on his initial impressions of it "back in the day".  The background information is pretty interesting, but I think the grades are less useful when they're given while wearing the "rosy colored glasses".

I prefer to grade the games in terms of how fun they are to play today.  When most games first come out, they tend to be pretty impressive.  But I think it's more interesting how they stand the test of time.



User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11002
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Combat/A-S battle

Postby VideoGameCritic » October 22nd, 2006, 11:38 am

Oh, and by the way have you noticed how most video game magazines have jumped on the retro bandwagon and have started posting reviews of classic games (actually they've been doing this for a while)?

I noticed that some include a "Then" grade, and a "Now" grade, which I think is pretty neat.


Alienblue

Combat/A-S battle

Postby Alienblue » October 22nd, 2006, 12:35 pm

CRITIC: I know the review makes it sound this way, but I still love and play TARGET FUN (A/S battle) TODAY, I think it is the BEST of the first batch of VCS games. The grade reflects that. Combats "sorta high" grade reflects it's COLECTIBILITY, it is an important collection piece, and I think I said that I never liked combat that much because it was two player only.

So, it's not just rose colored glasses, I still play a lot of those old games today. I'm an old-timer and my gaming tastes reflect that (DS games, mario games, Sonic collection, etc..);
only "modern" racers appeal to me more than older ones.

PONG forevah!

a1
Posts: 3032
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Combat/A-S battle

Postby a1 » October 23rd, 2006, 1:33 am

[QUOTE=The Video Game Critic]Oh, and by the way have you noticed how most video game magazines have jumped on the retro bandwagon and have started posting reviews of classic games (actually they've been doing this for a while)?

I noticed that some include a "Then" grade, and a "Now" grade, which I think is pretty neat.

[/QUOTE]

Game Informer has been doing that for at least 3 years (since I started subscribing). There is a short Classic GI section at the end of every issue.



Return to “Reader Reviews”