2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

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VideoGameCritic
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2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 21st, 2024, 8:05 pm

Ask and ya shall receive! Let me know what you think of my review of this BRAND NEW Atari 2600 cart!

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LS650
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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby LS650 » February 22nd, 2024, 3:38 pm

I would also rank this game as a B. It does some things really well, and has that "just one more potato chip" can't quit feeling.

On the other hand, I find it a bit maddening that when your character dies, you are thrown all the way to the start of that stage, and have to crawl through the intermediate screens to get to where you were.

And the lack of the most basic instruction manual really hurts!

Darrin
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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby Darrin » February 22nd, 2024, 8:16 pm

I'm a bit surprised there isn't more conversation on this rather monumental event (being the first "official" 2600 game in over 30 years). I also thought it was cool seeing the ESRB rating on the front ha ha.

I rate the game a solid A. The game is hard, make no mistake, but you would be surprised how much easier it gets if you just leave the game on and come back to it later (the points/timer will keep counting down, but you can still play the game even when it reaches zero). Once you get the final "dark stage" memorized, it's actually a fairly easy level. But I always have a soft spot for Atari 2600 games you can "beat" like an NES game (and not just go for score all the time). Mr. Run and Jump has both.

I was expecting/hoping this game to showcase some of the best graphics on the system. Sadly, this is not the case (although the title screen, ending, bits of music, and varying stage designs are impressive enough). I don't know much about home-brews, but I would say that there are quite a few old Atari 2600 games that still boast better graphics (such as Pitfall 2, Hero, California Games, Solaris, Secret Quest, and Stargate). And while Mr. Run/Jump has a nice simple (and ominous) tune that plays during the title screen, the music is pretty sparse compared to games like Pitfall 2, Moon Patrol, or California Games.

I oddly kind of like the fact they send you back to the beginning of the stage (as it feels more like a new-school game sending you back to a save point). Psychologically, it gives the game a sort of "survival" feel that keeps you on your toes and heightens the tension. It raises the stakes and makes the world seem more "dangerous." The spikes seem harsher. The holes seem deeper. And the enemies deadlier. Also, being sent back (Ninja Gaiden style) also impacts your speed-run time as well. It's a nice feeling seeing that final "ladder" on each stage (as it marks the location of the next "save point"). This little bit of added tension makes each victory feel all the more sweet.

Don't get me wrong. I don't like to be enraged when playing games! Quite the contrary. Just remember that at worst you are only ever sent back about a minute. You can usually get back to where you were in about 20-30 seconds. There are only about 12 screens per stage (and most can be memorized through trial and error or by counting enemy movements in your head). Once you beat the game for the first time, that's when the fun really begins. With that initial monkey off your back, now you can focus on beating your completion times.
Last edited by Darrin on February 23rd, 2024, 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thrust26
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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby thrust26 » February 23rd, 2024, 2:01 am

IMO it is a mediocre game (look for VHZC's games to compare what a really creative developer can do) with quite some technical debts. I cannot stand the (unnecessarily) hefty flicker longer than a few minutes. Also, between each screen, the game looses TV signal sync completely, which makes the screen roll on my CRT.

The game itself would be a C for me, with the technical problems it becomes a D. The Atari 2600 can do much better. And I am not referring to the ARM based games.

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bigfriendly
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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby bigfriendly » February 23rd, 2024, 4:01 am

60 frames per second? I never knew that thanks for sharing that interesting tidbit. Don't quote me on this but I think I read over on Atari Age a few weeks ago that Atari did catch a lot of flack about the game not coming with a instruction manual. They said in the future they would start including one in all of the new games.

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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby Van Halbgott » February 23rd, 2024, 1:15 pm

I knew Atari was making a comeback in video games.

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LS650
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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby LS650 » February 23rd, 2024, 6:33 pm

thrust26 wrote:(look for VHZC's games to compare what a really creative developer can do)

In case anyone is curious as to who or what is VHZC...
https://www.vhzc.games/

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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 27th, 2024, 7:14 pm

Had my friend Chris over this evening and he wasn't expecting much from this game.
But just like the others, he got hooked. We were passing the controller back and forth hoping to get a bit further.
There's something about this game!

djc
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Re: 2024/2/21: Atari 2600: Mr. Run and Jump

Postby djc » February 28th, 2024, 1:06 am

Atari legitimately has something on their hands here with the 2600+ and the new games being produced. I think they may have nailed the perfect cross-section between Gen-X nostalgia and newer gamers finding out that fun experiences can trump graphics in a game.


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