2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

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Sut
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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby Sut » December 22nd, 2016, 3:22 am

Atariboy wrote:Since all the old standbys have been covered here besides Battlezone, so that means material fresh to compilations are on the way.


I hope that comes to fruition but I'm not sure how much of the ST, Lynx and 7800 libraries they will have the rights for.

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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby VideoGameCritic » December 22nd, 2016, 7:11 pm

It's beginning to become clear that acquiring the rights to these old games is the long pole in the tent. The original properties have been sold and passed all over the place over the years. It's probably harder to figure out who has the rights than it is to acquire them. Once you get lawyers involved it's a never ending process that's probably not worth the effort.

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Atariboy
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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby Atariboy » December 22nd, 2016, 10:46 pm

At least some Namco properties should join future volumes. Their rep at AA has hinted at a deal being signed there, so classics like 2600 Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Pole Position might be escaping the vaults at long last.

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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby BlasteroidAli » December 22nd, 2016, 11:41 pm

BanjoPickles wrote:I've said it before, and I'll keep saying that these compilations are the definition of missed opportunity. With the insane amount of space available on a PS4/XB0 disk, why would they not go all out and offer a comprehensive history of Atari? Why not include lost gems from the Atari ST, 7800, Lynx, and even Jaguar? Who wouldn't want to play Tempest 2000 without having to hunt down the old console? I'd kill to play Food Fight without having to download the emulator and rom (I no longer have the space for a physical collection). It would have been cool to have a 3-disc set that looked like this:

Disc 1: Roots

This could include the early arcade games like Pong, Breakout, Battlezone, etc., along with the Atari 2600 games.

Disc 2: The Tramiel years

This could cover the Atari ST and 7800 years, along with the latter-day 2600 releases.

Disc 3: Last Hardware Years

This could cover Atari Lynx/Jaguar.

I don't know why they insist on rereleasing the exact same compilations, over and over. It's the same problem that plagues Sega! They ignore decades of history, instead only focusing on one era. It's frustrating to see companies pretend that 75% of their creative output never happened.

I love this post totally. It is the best. It is what I think also. Sega, what no Star Jacker is the west...?

Sut
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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby Sut » December 23rd, 2016, 5:00 am

BlasteroidAli wrote:I love this post totally. It is the best. It is what I think also. Sega, what no Star Jacker is the west...?


Star Jacker is an awesome game. I actually prefer the SG-1000 version over the arcade/Saturn ports.

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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby Atariboy » December 23rd, 2016, 8:07 am

Emulation and licenses aren't cheap, so I'm afraid that holds a lot of these dreams back. But AtGames is committed to delving deeper into Atari's legacy at least, so some of this should be coming to fruition from 2017 onward.

For an example of the issues, here's where the Lynx library stands today per AtGames (That post comes from their representative/adviser that posts at AtariAge).

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/254611 ... try3589922

So there's a grand total of two games that are available for AtGames to use that Atari's corporate legacy today owns, but which also doesn't utilize an outside license of sorts. Obviously between the small pool of readily available software, the complexity to emulate the platform, the cost of outside licensing, and its failure in the marketplace, we can safely count on never seeing Lynx games in a future Atari compilation.

Heck, even look at the 7800 library. I don't know the legal status of this software, but when you scrap the license based software like Ms. Pac-Man and the light gun shooters that lack a joystick mode from Atari's in-house lineup, you're left with approximately this list of likely candidates.

-Alien Brigade
-Asteroids
-Basketbrawl
-Centipede
-Desert Falcon
-Fatal Run
-Food Fight
-Motor Pyscho
-Ninja Golf
-Planet Smashers
-Realsports Baseball
-Scrapyard Dog

Pretty slim pickings, not to mention that the three best games have all been emulated in arcade form in the past 10 years (While sadly absent on these latest collections, Food Fight reappeared on the 360's short lived Game Room service) and two of them also have 2600 ports that have regularly seen the light of day. And we don't know the legal status of these titles either, which could be problematic such as with the GCC developed arcade ports.

So I'd say that we can't even count on 7800 emulation ever happening commercially (Or Jaguar and ST emulation).

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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby scotland » December 23rd, 2016, 9:01 am

Atariboy wrote:Emulation and licenses aren't cheap, so I'm afraid that holds a lot of these dreams back.


Contrast this to the ZX Spectrum Vega+ with an emulator built from scratch, and 1000 games preloaded, and an SD card slot. If it can be done with the ZX Spectrum, why not with the Atari units?

BlasteroidAli
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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby BlasteroidAli » December 23rd, 2016, 11:23 am

scotland wrote:
Atariboy wrote:Emulation and licenses aren't cheap, so I'm afraid that holds a lot of these dreams back.


Contrast this to the ZX Spectrum Vega+ with an emulator built from scratch, and 1000 games preloaded, and an SD card slot. If it can be done with the ZX Spectrum, why not with the Atari units?

Scotland. Most of them were original works of software perfection. So you do not have the same problems.

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scotland
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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby scotland » December 23rd, 2016, 11:30 am

BlasteroidAli wrote:
scotland wrote:
Atariboy wrote:Emulation and licenses aren't cheap, so I'm afraid that holds a lot of these dreams back.


Contrast this to the ZX Spectrum Vega+ with an emulator built from scratch, and 1000 games preloaded, and an SD card slot. If it can be done with the ZX Spectrum, why not with the Atari units?

Scotland. Most of them were original works of software perfection. So you do not have the same problems.


Thanks. That does put a different spin on it. Bummer.

I would love to see old games see sunshine and find new fans, but I also understand some people may not want old products released again (star wars holiday special syndrome). Maybe a better balance would be to have rights owners have to periodically (every decade or so) re-assert their rights or they lapse into public domain, but maybe that is not fair either.

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Re: 2016/12/20: Playstation 4: Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1, Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2

Postby Atariboy » March 28th, 2018, 11:58 pm

Atari Flashback Classics Volume 3 releases digitally and at retail later this week for PS4/XB1 (And I assume PC?). A Switch version potentially is in the works as well, although AtGames hasn't yet clarified their intentions there.

Here's the game lineup:

    Adventure II (2600)
    Air Raiders (2600)
    Aquaventure (2600)
    Armor Ambush (2600)
    Asteroids (5200)
    Astroblast (2600)
    Atari Baseball (Arcade)
    Atari Basketball (Arcade)
    Atari Football (Arcade)
    Atari Soccer (Arcade)
    Avalanche (Arcade)
    Canyon Bomber (Arcade)
    Centipede (5200)
    Countermeasure (5200)
    Dark Cavern (2600)
    Destroyer (Arcade)
    Dominos (Arcade)
    Final Legacy (5200)
    Fire Truck / Smokey Joe (Arcade)
    Frog Pond (2600)
    Frogs and Flies (2600)
    Holey Moley (2600)
    International Soccer (2600)
    Maze Invaders (Arcade)
    Micro-gammon (5200)
    Millipede (5200)
    Miniature Golf (5200)
    Missile Command (5200)
    Monte Carlo (Arcade)
    MotoRodeo (2600)
    Pool Shark (Arcade)
    Realsports Baseball (5200)
    Realsports Basketball (5200)
    Realsports Football (5200)
    Realsports Tennis (5200)
    Realsports Volleyball (5200)
    Saboteur (2600)
    Sea Battle 2600)
    Sky Diver (2600)
    Space Attack (2600)
    Star Raiders (5200)
    Star Strike (2600)
    Super Breakout (5200)
    Super Bug (Arcade)
    Super Challenge Baseball (2600)
    Super Challenge Football (2600)
    Sword Fight (2600)
    Wizard (2600)
    Xari Arena (5200)
    Yars' Return (2600)

Of the 13 arcade games featured here, 11 are b&w classics from the 1970's. The exceptions are Maze Invaders (A 1981 Atari arcade title that never was officially released) and 1980's Monte Carlo.

It also sees the addition of long last of another Atari console, but I feel it's especially nice to see Atari's black & white arcade heritage finally get some significant coverage in a compilation. Past the early vector games and a simulation of Pong, it has been almost completely ignored. The earlier pair of volumes from 2016 featured one of the Sprint games, which was the first b&w raster Atari arcade game to be emulated in a commercial compilation.

The lack of arcade Night Driver though seems like a big omission. And none of the tank games made the cut, although I'm unsure if any of those are microprocessor based and thus emulateable. But otherwise, I feel they did pretty good at covering this era of Atari's arcade history for the latter half of the 1970's, between the early discrete logic releases like Pong for the first 4-5 years or so of Atari's history and the shift to color in 1980.

And the non-licensed 5200 lineup is almost all here. Just missing the two Meebzork prototypes (Both are different, but fully playable) and the unfinished Tempest prototype that the original programmer successfully brought to completion 5 years ago or so. Would've been especially nice to see AtGames/Atari get his work secured to bring 5200 Tempest out in finished form in an official manner, and for Cafeman's excellent Adventure II homebrew to have been included for the 5200.

I understand why they shy away from random homebrews since they lack name recognition to help sell the collection, but Adventure fans would've gotten a kick out of discovering the unofficial 5200 sequel. It already has a sort of unofficial "official" status, since the name was used with Atari's permission a decade ago or so (And his maps were used for the basis of the 2600 counterpart created for the Flashback 2, which is included here).


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