Odyssey 2 Impressions

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Odyssey 2 Impressions

Postby Teddybear » June 16th, 2015, 7:48 am

After years of procrastinating I recently took the plunge and grabbed an Odyssey 2, The Voice module and several games. The good news - it didn't cost too much cash. I had never played the system prior to this so I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed when the mailman left the package on my porch....

The console itself is unique, although cheap and excessively bulky. I will say this: it certainly has a futuristic look when compared to the faux wood-grain designs of the 2600 and the brown Intellivision. The controllers were a pleasant discovery as they worked well with the games I played. I got an assortment of 30 games and most were so awful I could only have sympathy for those parents who spent $30.00 in 1979 on Bowling/Basketball or the Computer Intro cartridges. There were a few noteworthy exceptions:

K.C. Munchkin and Krazy Chase The most famous games for the system and for good reason - they are awesome! I now fully understand the lawsuit from Atari trying to have K.C. pulled from the shelves. It is superior in every way to 2600 Pac Man. Pure maze fun and the Voice speech for Krazy Chase is cool....but weird.

Killer Bees Wow.....I didn't think this system could have produced such fast-moving graphics. This game is totally addicting and crazy-fast when it peaks. It is comparable to Kaboom or Taz for creating that frantic gameplay that is a rush.

Attack of the Timelord This game was my most pleasant surprise! And with the Voice module...being threatened before each round by that red faced dude is a real treat. As you rack up some impressive points the messages from Mr. Red actually become complimentary! I found this to be amazing and shows some real depth for this ancient system! I would take Timelord any day over the over-hyped Demon Attack for the Atari 2600....I think it is a superior game!

Honorable mentions to Freedom Fighters and UFO!....simple but interesting games that are worth a few minutes of gameplay. My huge disappointment was Pick Axe Pete (which is what really led me to buy an O2). I found it frustrating and worst of all just not any fun.

To sum it up - I am glad I grabbed an Odyssey 2. It is truly a piece of gaming history and is worth hooking up to play a small handful of great games.

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Re: Odyssey 2 Impressions

Postby scotland » June 16th, 2015, 8:29 am

Good for you TeddyBear!

I am an old O2 guy, and I think you summed up the system. Yes, plopping down birthday money for helicopter rescue was a rude awakening to capitalism for a kid. It became a big reason stayed with computers instead of the NES.

It is still a pretty cheap console to buy for. There are multicarts from Donzilla if I recall and homebrews like Kill the Attacking Aliens to try. Try Monkeyshines too. If you have a few coins and it tickles your fancy, you could hunt down one of the board games, like quest for the rings - although the video game ROMs are on the multicart I think.

The controllers are quite solid and responsive, and are actually from an earlier magnavox odyssey pong console. The keyboard does work well enough, but never was used to any great degree.

I too was disappointed in Pick Axe Pete, but it has its fans. Many of the games need a 2nd player to enjoy, like football. Also remember that many of the games were made by one person who seems like they were on a shoestring budget and no playtesters. Real shame as many games seem like proof of concept, but quickly lost any challenge.

For Freedom Fighters try this. Use one controller to move your ship to the left, facing right. Use the other controller to go hyperspeed to the right to make the game a side scrolling shooter instead of a Defender wannabe. That will give you a few more minutes of fun.

Give us more impressions. Love to hear them, even if negative.

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Re: Odyssey 2 Impressions

Postby Sut » June 16th, 2015, 4:03 pm

Teddybear wrote:I got an assortment of 30 games and most were so awful I could only have sympathy for those parents who spent $30.00 in 1979 on Bowling/Basketball or the Computer Intro cartridges.

That sentence did make me laugh.

The odd thing I found with Odyssey 2 (or G7000 in my neck of the woods, yes I know very catchy) is despite its humongous size was how incredibly light the console is. You expect it to have some weight but it's amazing light.

Seeing as games and consoles of this period just seemed to clone each other's games I find the Odyssey 2 no worse than any other 2nd gen console and like it's peers you do have to play a lot of chaff to find the wheat.

Scotland is your man for Odyssey 2 I'm sure he will guide you to some gems.

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Re: Odyssey 2 Impressions

Postby VideoGameCritic » June 16th, 2015, 7:41 pm

Thanks for posting about your experience. I love my Odyssey 2. The graphics are rudimentary but the graphics are clear and smooth - two qualities that go a long way toward a pleasant video game experience.

And how about the controllers? I find them very comfortable and durable. I think they are even analog!

Unfortunately the keyboard is pretty worthless!

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Re: Odyssey 2 Impressions

Postby scotland » June 18th, 2015, 6:34 pm

I am not plugged into the hack scene, but it seems like the Odyssey 2 games would be ripe for it. Games like Cosmic Conflict have bones, but no skin - no challenge in the gameplay.

One observation is that I would say the similar games on the 2600 are seen as better. Witness Atari 'trashcan' football and the Odyssey 2 football, which are rated very differently. Not trying to say the legacies of these two machines are incorrect: Atari (big success) and Magnavox (They made a video game console?), but the Odyssey 2 games do seem to get the short end. Its like if Jackson Pollack tripped over his paint cans one day...masterpiece!

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