2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 18th, 2015, 12:03 pm

Here's a new set of Odyssey 2 re-reviews.  The old reviews (circa 2001) were short and insufficient.  Amok was downgraded from B to C-, and Demon Attack went from B to B-.  KC Munchkin got the controversy icon.

scotland171
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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby scotland171 » January 18th, 2015, 4:29 pm

I always appreciate reviews of the Odyssey 2, and here are three games I really enjoy.  They all would be on my short list if showing off the system.

Amok was a driving reason to get the multicart.  I think John D. created it quickly, lacking the polish of Spiceware's homebrews.  As you said, it fills a niche on the O2 that was missing, and I do enjoy it.  That was a big downgrade, and I know you are a Berzerk fan.   Just longer play exposed more flaws?

KC Munchkin is great.  I was just lucky to have this back in the day.  It may be the jewel of the system, elegant gameplay, well suited to the controller, ignores the 'man shape' character used in so many games, would not be much improved with better graphics, and makes use of the usually forgotten keyboard to create mazes.  Oh yes, some of these are *invisible* mazes, proof Dave does not hate invisible mazes.  

Demon Attack is worth the original B though.   Of the three versions (2600 - B , Inty - A and O2 - B minus), it might be the weakest, but its library does not have the competition of the others.  

By the way, I don't think the two Parker Bros games (Qbert and Frogger) that got As were released in America. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the two Imagic games were the only non-Magnavox games I knew of at the time.

All the versions of Demon Attack warrant the controversial icon for the same legal reason as KC Munchkin.  Atari had bought the rights to Phoenix, and here comes this upstart third party company making their own version!  As seen here:
http://www.nytimes.com/1982/11/30/business/atari-sues-imagic-on-copyright-issue.html
Imagic settled out of court according to IGN.  Its possible that KC Munchkin was a precedent, and helped Imagic just settle instead of fighting Atari.

Of special note is Demon Attacks box art on many (but I don't think all ) versions.
scaleim.jpg 
The flying dinosaurs (dinosaurs? No Birds?  No Demons?) caught my because I had these toys as a kid! They were rubbery and flexible and I recognized them right off. The toys may have been painted and had parts glued on like some old B-Movie that Time Forgot, but these are just kids toys.  The oddity is that I would think Imagic would have good programmers, but lack other parts of the business, like marketing and art - but apparently the company did spend for art.

Here is an article on Imagic box art: http://www.boxequalsart.com/imagicpage.html , while there is a you tube video calling this an epic fail and fugly.   The you tuber picked up they seemed like toys...but not that they actually were.  Oh, that one in the distance is an ankylosaur...I know because I had it too.

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 18th, 2015, 5:54 pm

Thanks for the feedback Scotland.  Thanks for pointing out that Frogger and Q*Bert should be marked as Europe imports.

And I also had those dinosaurs as a kid, which I immediately recognized on the box back in 1982.  That was clever use of them.

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby LS6501 » January 18th, 2015, 7:04 pm

Although the Odyssey 2 is not a system that gets much love, I own one and think it's great.  The two KC games and UFO! are really terrific, and easily rival the best games on any other 8-bit era system.

The O2 also has a very healthy homebrew scene, with several new releases each year recently.  Someone just released an O2 version of the mid-70s classic arcade game "Death Race" that is a very good version of the original.

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 18th, 2015, 7:38 pm

Thanks for the tip about Death Race!  I just ordered a copy.

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby Verm1 » January 19th, 2015, 4:19 am

May I as for clarification on the final line of the Demon Attack review?

Is the game somehow buggy when the voice module is plugged in, does the module change the sounds from beeps and static etc etc?

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 19th, 2015, 11:31 am

With the voice module attached, whenever I hit the fire button it would reset the game.

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby Sut1 » January 19th, 2015, 12:39 pm

Wow - Death Race looking forward to that review, I'm sure that will be on Scotland's radar as well.

Don't believe it got a port to any other gen 2 console ?

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby goldenband1 » January 19th, 2015, 1:16 pm

Great to see more Odyssey 2 reviews. I don't know if you realize this, but you're actually quite close to finishing out the US library. From what I can see, this is what's left, but only the ones in bold are non-educational titles:

Computer Intro            
Conquest of the World
Great Wall Street Fortune Hunt, The
I've Got Your Number      
Keyboard Creations         
Matchmaker/Buzzword/Logix 
Math-a-Magic/Echo        
Nimble Numbers Ned
S.I.D. the Spellbinder     
Type & Tell       
War of Nerves   

I think all the others can be skipped, unless you want to tackle them for the sake of completeness.

I'd really love to see reviews of the other two board games since there's practically nothing on the web about them, although I can't offer much optimism. My wife indulged me by trying Conquest of the World with me a couple months ago, and by the end she was Googling numbers of divorce lawyers! (OK, that's slight hyperbole, but...)

One non-US game I'd strongly recommend you review is Loony Balloon (aka Looney Balloon or Balão Travesso), which was released in Europe and Brazil. It's maddening at times, and you must read the instructions -- in particular, you won't be able to exit each level until you reach a certain threshold of points, and that's completely non-obvious from the gameplay. But along with Smithereens and Killer Bees, it's one of the few really top-shelf original games for the Odyssey 2.

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2015/1/18: Odyssey 2: K.C. Munchkin!, Demon Attack, Amok!

Postby Crash_Corrigan1 » January 19th, 2015, 3:25 pm

I'm surprised you haven't done a War of Nerves review yet. It's easy to find and is a pretty damn good game, especially with two players.



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