2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

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VideoGameCritic
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 27th, 2012, 5:35 pm

Here are some more Donkey Kong re-reviews, with more to come.  Impossible Mission is a brand new review.

I know there has been some discussion about DK on the 7800 vs the Colecovision, but in my opinion there is no contest - the 7800 games are superior.

Comments are invited.

michaeld1
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby michaeld1 » July 27th, 2012, 6:45 pm

Seeing how Impossible Mission can't be beaten due to its glitch, on top of the laundry list of problems you gave, don't you think you should be giving it an F?  I mean, the glitch kills the playability of the game in its way and I know you have no tolerance for that (after all, that was the entire basis for the F you gave MLB 2K6 for its lock ups), so what's the deal? 

Sut1
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby Sut1 » July 28th, 2012, 8:35 am

I can remember Impossible Mission getting rave reviews back in the day for other systems, can't recall which possibly the Master System and C64. So now I'm curious if the 7800 version is just a bad port or you think the game itself is bad ? You may have to try one of the other versions for a definitive answer.

EDIT: Yup thought so see link below, might be worth checking either the Master System or the C64 version out and see how it compares

http://www.meanmachinesmag.co.uk/review/64/impossible-mission.php


Adamant1
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby Adamant1 » July 28th, 2012, 11:33 pm

[QUOTE=michaeld]Seeing how Impossible Mission can't be beaten due to its glitch, on top of the laundry list of problems you gave, don't you think you should be giving it an F?  I mean, the glitch kills the playability of the game in its way and I know you have no tolerance for that (after all, that was the entire basis for the F you gave MLB 2K6 for its lock ups), so what's the deal? [/QUOTE]

The nature of the glitch means the game is perfectly playable, just not beatable. The goal of the game is to search objects for puzzle pieces which you need to piece together correctly in order to unlock the final door and see the ending. The glitch places some of these puzzle pieces in places that can't be searched, meaning that it's not possible to find them all. The only way this glitch is going to affect you is if you managed to complete every room and search every object without dying, which makes you still be some pieces short, and thus be unable to finish the puzzle, open the door, and see the ending... and given how hard the game is, most people won't get that far anyway. Also note that this glitch is only present in the American version of this specific port, the European version is perfectly beatable.

As for the game itself... I haven't played this version, but the C64 game is definitely a classic. I don't really get what you don't like about it, either - all I saw was mostly a description of the gameplay. You jump around between platforms, and sneak behind robots so you can search what they were guarding without getting spotted and hit. You need to strategize in order to get into position, and you need to preserve your "temporarily shut off all robots" items (which you didn't mention... those are your "weapons") carefully so you can use them in hard rooms.
I agree the puzzling-together-passwords thing could've been dropped, though. It's hard, boring and doesn't really serve a purpose.

Allpaul1
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby Allpaul1 » July 29th, 2012, 4:33 am

Great reviews! I'm pretty sure a hack exists of Impossible Mission that fixes the bug.. The original developer came in some time after, and was working on a fix with the original source code.. There's a pretty interesting thread about it on Atariage.. I'm sure a quick search would turn it up..

m0zart1
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby m0zart1 » July 29th, 2012, 5:18 am

... "hanging scrotums"...



I didn't realize there was another meaning of the word!

Ikaris1
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby Ikaris1 » July 30th, 2012, 12:13 pm

[QUOTE]I know there has been some discussion about DK on the 7800 vs the Colecovision, but in my opinion there is no contest - the 7800 games are superior[/QUOTE]
Yes, I was the one thinking that Colecovision version is better, in its own way!
If you rate Nes DK and Dk Jr A and A, I can understand A- for Atari 7800 DK Jr (it's just a little worse than the Nes port, but still a great game) but not A- for Atari 7800 Donkey Kong... apart from the graphics, which is not much lower, the control is not so smooth as the Nes one and the sound is irritating... nearly unbearable! I think B or B+ would be more balanced with Nes Dk's grade...
Anyhow, talking about Nes, Atari 7800 and Colecovision ports of Dk and Dk Jr, they are all good games!

Adamant1
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby Adamant1 » August 1st, 2012, 3:53 pm

[QUOTE=Allpaul]Great reviews! I'm pretty sure a hack exists of Impossible Mission that fixes the bug.. The original developer came in some time after, and was working on a fix with the original source code.. There's a pretty interesting thread about it on Atariage.. I'm sure a quick search would turn it up..[/QUOTE]

As mentioned, you can always just play the PAL version, the bug is not present there.

scotland171
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby scotland171 » September 5th, 2012, 1:34 pm

Impossible Mission is worthy of more respect.  The game is also on the Sega Master System, glitch free (can I nudge for a review). The gameplay is tight and the graphics like a proto Prince of Persia, except with disintegrations and screaming.  I grew up playing this on the Commodore 64, and while I am truly awful at platformers, this became a favorite pasttime.  I find the graphics far better than any Mario game on the NES, and the probably pain stakenly created voices (which did not make the 7800 port)such as "Another visitor. Stay awhile. Staaaaaay fooooreveeeer' wonderful.  The joy of the game is that its an action platformer for people who like turn based rpgs and strategy games.  It just takes practice to puzzle out each robot and item location - running to search for a few seconds, flipping, getting in another two seconds of search, etc. Its mesmerizing. While the room layout is randomized each game, the rooms themselves are the same, so once you puzzle out a room, you can duplicate your success again (hopefully).   Plus, the price of failure is low - just a few minutes off the game clock.  Epyx came up with a winner here, at least on the C64 (also found on the plug and play unit of a few years ago) and SMS.  Many of the people who enjoyed games like Zillion on the SMS are also Impossible Mission fans.

scotland171
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2012/7/27: Atari 7800: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Junior, Impossible Mission

Postby scotland171 » January 15th, 2014, 3:45 pm

Impossible Mission on the 7800 came up today on the Review Spotlight. As Adamant said above, on the Commodore 64 this game is a classic; a defining game on the system for its rotoscoping graphics (like Karateka), use of digitized speech, and slick gameplay that makes you plan your leaping strategy.  Several magazines of the day heralded the game. Yeah, the puzzle thing at the end is unnecessarily hard, but considering its just the analog of beating the 'final boss', ie, final puzzle, its okay.  Played it a lot back in the day, and I only think I actually beat the game once - but at least I did it as in the days before YouTube it was the only way to ever see the ending.  At least it had an ending...(Behind the Blue Door....No!)

The bug in the 7800 is not a big deal as you could play as most players will never get that far.  I like how there are no 'lives' or hearts or anything video game silly there, but instead just a time penalty for each setback.  So, when you can zapped or plummet down a shaft, its only like you've taken a knock down, and ten minutes later are back in the fight.  In a way, its nonviolent in the sense that character is unarmed.   It really is like Prince of Persia.

Questions For Dave and Friends:
*) The review says the publisher is Atari, and not Epyx?  Is that true for the 7800 version?  I thought it was Epyx.
*) The Arthur Award for Extreme Difficulty seems a bit much. I can play this while Prince of Persia is a real challenge  - this game ain't no Chakan.
*) Why is it controversial?  Not exactly Mortal Kombat or Night Trap stuff.  
     **) Actually, it would be nice if all the games Dave marked as controversial at least said why - the ad campaign, language, horror?
*) Has anyone played this game on the other systems? C64?  Sega Master System? Virtual Console? The DS? That Epyx C64 Plug and Play? 

Sadly, this may be a Rorshach test for retro gaming, like Space Invaders or Ms. Pac-Man that *mostly* only 1980s gamers still find enjoyable. 



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