Atari Anthology (PS2)

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Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » May 29th, 2015, 6:42 pm

Centipede 2600

I'm repeating myself alot with these arcade ports but wow another great coin op conversion. You hear so much about how poor the Pac-Man port was but all the Atari coin-op ports have thus far been brilliant.
Speed of fire is a little slower and of course the graphics are chunkier but the great gameplay is still very much intact. It also seems easier to 'funnel' your enemy centipedes in this version.
Another great job Atari. A

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » June 1st, 2015, 6:54 pm

Millipede 2600

It's another good conversion by Atari. But like the arcade version I find it too chaotic and not as much fun as Centipede.
C+

Only two games left in this 'constellation' Gravitar and Crystal Castles both of which I didn't particularly enjoy the arcade versions of. We shall see if I enjoy the home ports any better.

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » June 18th, 2015, 6:58 pm

Gravitar 2600

Good lord ! Forget 'NES Hard' forget Bloodborne this is ball busting hard.
I knew I was in for a hard time after playing the arcade version, then when I saw the variations that follow the initial one are all designed to make the game easier or more manageable (100 ships, no gravity, bunkers can't fire) I knew I was in for an hiding. I wasn't wrong - it's very, very hard.

I actually prefer the 2600 version over the arcade version I can't explain why but I just feel more in control with the 2600 game. I've managed to get onto the second solar system on the 15 lives variation but the planets in this solar system are horrifically difficult and I had to give up.

I can't agree with the Critics score, I agree it's a good game but the high difficulty knocks it down a grade. For me it's a C+

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » June 29th, 2015, 6:58 pm

Crystal Castles Atari 2600

Ok I finally forced myself to play this one, I didn't enjoy the arcade version. I dislike this one just much, if not more. Technically it's impressive but the controls suck (it's very difficult to do diagonals) and it's more difficult to pick up the 'gems' than it should be. Too often Bentley just sprints by them. On the plus side the enemies aren't as tenacious as they are in the arcade version. I truly never want to play Crystal Castles again. I can understand why some people like it but for me the gameplay is infuriating. So I would agree with CGR over the Critic with this one.
D-

Well that's the arcade games and the arcade to conversions played through. No real surprises thus far. The big name games have been the better ones. There is probably only Red Baron that I've not heard of and enjoyed up to yet.

I'm now going to move to the 'adventure' section which includes Adventure, Haunted House and the Swordquest games. Not sure what to expect, I know Adventure is highly regarded but I'm not sure how 'adventure' games are going to pan out on a second generation system with its limitations but I'm looking forward to finding out.

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scotland
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby scotland » June 29th, 2015, 7:41 pm

Thoroughly enjoying the voyage. Have fun with Haunted House and Adventure. They are both fun, and I probably should play them more myself. Don't forget to try to findcthe Easter Egg in Adventure.

The Swordquest games, as well As Raiders were early attempts to really build a interesting video game adventure, and in a different way than Rogue likes or other adventures on the 8 bit computers. Swordquest also has that neat heritage of the prizes. The Swordquest comics are on Atari Age.

Have fun.

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » July 28th, 2015, 5:34 pm

I'm admittedly running out of steam with this I've really enjoyed the arcade games and ports but the quality seems to take a nose dive afterwards.

What other 2600 games on the compilation are worth a play through ? Suggestions most welcome.

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Atariboy » July 28th, 2015, 7:39 pm

Discounting the arcade categories, I recommend the following...

Some of these I think you've already played, but I didn't feel like going back and scanning the thread to check. I've also eliminated some paddle releases that I think are worth some time on the real deal, but are too crippled on this collection to enjoy much (Circus Atari, for instance). I've also excluded some technically impressive efforts like Sprintmaster, Quadrun (Voice), and Radar Lock that just aren't much fun to play.

I've eliminated Star Raiders despite its reputation, due to a combination of both factors. I just don't think it's much fun despite being a well programmed game. And you lose the keypad and overlay that helps you play it on the real deal, which weakens it even further. But it's a iconic release so you'll probably want to give it a look.

Adventure Games:
-Adventure (You haven't really played Adventure if it's not set to Game 3)
-Haunted House

Action Games:
-Air-Sea Battle (Not amazing, but there's fun here with two players)
-Combat (You'll need a friend, but this is truly an underrated gem that doesn't get the love it deserves)
-Outlaw (Simplistic, but like Air-Sea Battle, there's fun here in moderation with two players)

Mind Games:
-Maze Craze (Fun with two players)

Sports Games:
-Miniature Golf (Easy to dismiss, but there's more here than meets the eye; Best enjoyed with a friend)

Racing Games:
-Steeplechase (Fun multiplayer game and supports up to four players. It's a paddle release but doesn't suffer here at all)

Space Games:
-Space War (Never enjoyed this one in multiplayer, but I suspect it's worth 30 minutes with a buddy)
-Yars' Revenge (Be sure to try Game 6 if you're alone, or Game 7 if it's multiplayer)

Due to many factors, Atari's non-arcade based library isn't the best for the VCS, as you've discovered. And while there are some good to great games here, many only really shine when they're played with a friend. Combined with Atari's emphasis after Space Invaders on licensed arcade games that don't appear here and the crippled paddle content, it makes for a weak collection of 2600 titles.

I really recommend that you track down Activision Anthology for your PS2. High quality games, many remain attractive looking, most can be enjoyed solo as well as with a friend, and only a single paddle game is present thanks to Activision's near total reliance on the 2600 joystick. And the package surrounding it is fine with decent emulation and plenty of extras.

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » July 29th, 2015, 3:16 pm

Many thanks as always Atariboy I shall put your recommendations on the top of my 'to play' list.
Activision Anthology is definitely on my radar to get around to at some point.

Regarding Adventure I have played it a little and I can see why it's viewed so fondly but I'm not really getting into it. I find the dragon duck things in the dark area frustrating and the bird irritates me. But admittedly it does have that 'one more go appeal'.
I couldn't give it an A like the critic, I have it as a C at the minute but I've only played the first two variations I may change my mind after variation C.


Atariboy wrote:Due to many factors, Atari's non-arcade based library isn't the best for the VCS


Interesting. Factors as in talented programmers leaving for Activision ? Demanding deadlines ? Poor quality control ? Or are you alluding to something more ?

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Atariboy » July 30th, 2015, 2:07 pm

I was thinking about all three.

Atari was infamous for how they treated their programmers. They refused to give them credit, assigned them to projects that they weren't passionate about (Such as Pac-Man with Tod Fyre, for perhaps the best example), had tight deadlines that simply weren't realistic (E.T. is a great example of a game that had a lot of possibilities, but was nearly crippled by the lack of time), etc. Not a recipe for high quality output...

Another thing I had in mind as I wrote that was Space Invaders. This was such a hit that Atari's internal development focus shifted afterwards towards arcade conversions and away from original content, often utilizing outside IP as a basis. So much of what's represented by Atari Anthology are the early efforts from Atari's internal development teams, since most of it was unlicensed and original and thus free and clear to include.

Relatively little from the 1980's when 2600 programming really hit its stride made the cut, And much of what did was either sports related content that almost as a rule hasn't aged gracefully, or late 1980's material that often was technically impressive but lacking in the fun department.

At least thanks to a few gems like Battlezone (Whicb won't be present ever again sadly in a future collection, thanks to being auctioned off and separated from its stablemates), a taste of that era is available here.

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » December 6th, 2015, 10:57 am

Well to say I was disappointed with the rest of the Anthology is an understatement!

The only 2600 games (excluding the arcade ports) that I've derived any enjoyment from are Adventure and Yars Revenge. It seems like Activision are the true kings of the 2600 rather than Atari.

Adventure C+
I can see why it's fondly remembered but I don't think it holds up that well anymore. It is still definitely worth a play through but I found parts of the game unfair and annoying.

Yars Revenge A
Now this is definitely the best non-arcade port game I've played. Really enjoy this one and can see me revisiting it often. I'm not great at it, I've managed to find the Easter egg but I can only get to the first colour change. Excellent game.

Atari Anthology overall thoughts:
Definitely worthwhile owning especially for the classic arcade games and Yars Revenge. But there is an awful lot of filler on here. Personally I would have preferred a smaller, higher quality roster with more information on each game.
I have read that many people have issue with the menu system and interface but I found it easy to navigate.

The bonus game styles e.g. double speed, trippy, etc. Add nothing and even break some games. Although the game hopping option is a fun addition and makes some of the poorer games more fun and bearable. Oh and the paddle games should have been left out the collection, they just don't work well with a PS2 controller.

Overall Score: B


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