Atari Basketball (XEGS)

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Kevin T.

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby Kevin T. » March 2nd, 2008, 3:04 am

In a batch of game cartridges I picked up for my Atari XE Game System, a golden oldie really surprised me: Atari Basketball, from 1979.

Despite its age, the graphics look fine, the sound is good, the controls work well, and the gameplay is quick and responsive. It is definitely ahead of its time! My only complaint is that in one-player mode, the computer player whizzes around the court way too fast, although he's not too hard to beat.

This might even be the first video game with a black person in it. The arcade version had crisp monochrome graphics, with a white player playing against a black player. The 2600 home version didn't have the capability to be so detailed, so the two guys are solid-colored green and blue, plus the ball is squre! But in the 8-bit version, they show up with the proper skin and uniform colors and a round ball.

You can compare this to VGC's review of the 2600 version to see how much better the graphics are on the 8-bit version. (On a real Atari and TV set, the "white" guy shows up as less pinkish than he appears in these emulated screen shots.)

[IMG]http://ekranownia.atari8.info/grafika/ekrany/gry/a/atari_basketball_1_1.png[/IMG]

[IMG]http://ekranownia.atari8.info/grafika/ekrany/gry/a/atari_basketball_1_2.png[/IMG]

Kevin T.

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby Kevin T. » March 5th, 2008, 12:04 am

I have uploaded a gameplay video of Atari Basketball, with a little bit of voice commentary:

[URL]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxvkyFsc5nA[/URL]

I don't have a video capture card yet, so I aimed my webcam at the screen of my trusty Amdek Color-I monitor.  The camera's frame rate is too low to get a good represenatation of the game's animation, but at least the audio is a direct hookup.

I have more on the way.  I'll try to first cover the 8-bit/XEGS games I have, which the Critic hasn't reviewed yet.


Wallyworld1
Posts: 488
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby Wallyworld1 » March 7th, 2008, 12:26 am

This game looks pretty sweet.  I like how the players can goal tend without it being a violation just like in NBA Jams.  With no dunk though can this game really hold your interest?


Kevin T.

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby Kevin T. » March 7th, 2008, 2:26 am

[QUOTE=Wallyworld]This game looks pretty sweet.  I like how the players can goal tend without it being a violation just like in NBA Jams.  With no dunk though can this game really hold your interest?
[/QUOTE]
It's a fun game to play just for the fun of it, without getting caught up in the technicalities of real basketball. I'd rather have a sports game that bends or ignores the rules of the sport and is fun to play, than a sports game which is true-to-life but is boring and tedious to play.

Be sure to check out my YouTube channel ( vwestlife ) for my gameplay videos and commentary on various other Atari 8-bit computer series games played on my XE Game System. I just got a new, much higher quality microphone so on the latest clips you can hear my sexy bedroom voice.

Kevin T.

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby Kevin T. » March 13th, 2008, 1:37 am

One thing I forgot to mention is that this game has a four-player mode available, but it will only work on an original Atari 400 or 800 computer, since those were the only two models with four joystick ports (instead of only two).

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VideoGameCritic
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Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby VideoGameCritic » September 7th, 2011, 7:11 pm

Here's another interesting review that does not deserve to be forgotten.  Promoted to the review pages.

TedE.Bear

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby TedE.Bear » September 7th, 2011, 9:40 pm

I never knew this existed - other than appearing to be a much-prettier version of the 2600 Basketball - was the game play improved on this?  I like the review and it sure does look really sweet!

I was (and am) a Commodore 64 guy but never really understood the accolades heaped upon "One on One" with Larry Bird and Dr. J (or Michael Jordan later on.....).  While I thought the janitor sweeping up the backboard glass was cool, the game is boring.  Just like real-life one-on-one.  Play HORSE or PIG!!!!  For a much more superior old-school game, look to Gamestar's "Two-on-Two" on the C-64.  Are we there yet?

That rant & rave aside, I always did enjoy the VCS basketball game.  Crude & primitive but always fun as heck.  While I will never acquire this game (or system) I would like to hear about it.





PacFan

Atari Basketball (XEGS)

Postby PacFan » September 11th, 2011, 9:27 pm

I play it on my Atari 400. You can hook up four joysticks and play two on two. I agree it should'nt be overlooked.



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