Video Olympics (Atari 2600)

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scotland171
Posts: 816
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Video Olympics (Atari 2600)

Postby scotland171 » March 14th, 2015, 3:28 pm

I would like to drum up support for a re-review of Atari Video Olympics (aka Pong Sports). Not because I disagree with it or the letter grade, just because its just a review fragment at 50 words.

Dave reviewed Video Olympics in June of 1999 - it might be one of the oldest surviving reviews.  In a way, the review is like the game...an early launch title.  Its too brief, not descriptive, and uses 'pong' as a pejorative synonym for 'dull'.  Its like the Hitchhikers Guide review of Earth ... mostly boring.  

I think this is a launch game for perhaps the bedrock console of this website, and it merits a better review. 

There is an old thread about it being just lots of pong variation:
http://dmrozek.websitetoolbox.com/post/video-olympics-2600-4776732?highlight=video+olympics
I think Zenzerotron makes a good point that the game was a concrete illustration at how 'next gen' the VCS was. 

I'm okay with the cover art as... well, look at Combat...does that game look like its cover art.  No.  This is not a dig, this was just the evocative stylings and never meant to be descriptive, that's all.  The back of the box could have had screen shots, but it did clearly list the games as pong, superpong, quadrapong, etc.

Paddle games are both fun and really the quintessence of pick up and play. They are also as tied to the earliest of video games as the joystick is.   Have a kid you want to introduce to video games, try a paddle game.  Avoid missing ball for high score. 

The volleyball game is actually a cunning homage to 'tennis for two'.  Did you know that?
(I hope not, because I just made that up, but now its on the internet, so it must be true)

For Video Olympics itself, I will recommend the variations where pushing the button changes the angle on the ball to be far more acute.  The fun is that if you were the last to touch the ball, you can toggle the angle from flatter to wider at will by playing with your button.  It can really toss a monkey wrench at your opponent.  To the see the effect clearly try it on the hockey variation where you can toggle the angle repeatedly since the ball (or puck here) rebounds off the walls. 


Teddybear1
Posts: 130
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Video Olympics (Atari 2600)

Postby Teddybear1 » March 14th, 2015, 4:10 pm

While I have no clout or pull around here I second this....that is one sparse review.  I was a little too young in the mid 1970's to remember the dedicated Pong consoles but Video Olympics did satisfy the need.

Sut1
Posts: 789
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Video Olympics (Atari 2600)

Postby Sut1 » March 14th, 2015, 5:00 pm

[QUOTE=scotland17]The volleyball game is actually a cunning homage to 'tennis for two'.  Did you know that?
(I hope not, because I just made that up, but now its on the internet, so it must be true)[/QUOTE]

You know the more I think about that statement the more it resonates, I think it's fair speculation.

I think Video Olympics was a great release by Atari. It was basically saying 'stop buying those imitation consoles with only one game' here are all the variations - in one cartridge! Sell your old systems - Have you played Atari today ?

So I third a re-review. This one release rendered almost the entire first generation obsolete.

eneuman961
Posts: 16
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Video Olympics (Atari 2600)

Postby eneuman961 » March 14th, 2015, 6:38 pm

It's probably the shortest review on the site, so yes, it would be nice for him to post a more elaborate one.

goldenband1
Posts: 139
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

Video Olympics (Atari 2600)

Postby goldenband1 » March 14th, 2015, 6:40 pm

I was surprised by how much fun Video Olympics can be with multiple players. It may not look like much but can offer a good time for a few minutes, not to mention 4P simultaneous gameplay.

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VideoGameCritic
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Posts: 11002
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Video Olympics (Atari 2600)

Postby VideoGameCritic » March 15th, 2015, 1:24 pm

Excellent feedback guys.  Keep it coming.  You're right - a short, sparse review like this is the reason I go back and revise old reviews.  This deserves a proper update.

That's probably why Video Olympics is sitting on my 2600 right now - I've intended to re-review it for a while!

Next time I have three guys over I'll give it a good workout. 


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