Jump to content

Photo

Top 10 Worst Atari 2600 Games? (Not counting E.T. or Pac-Man)


124 replies to this topic

#51 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

AtariLeaf

    Quadrunner

  • 9,854 posts
  • Location:Ontario Canada

Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:00 PM

I think they've been mentioned but pooyan and Mr do really bug me because I love both games and am so disappointed in the 2600 ports. Pac-Man and donkey Kong don't bother me. I can't be live someone mentioned hero. Metal Jesus will have a fit 😅

#52 the_wizard_666 OFFLINE  

the_wizard_666

    Star Raider

  • 96 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:49 PM

Okay, so I haven't taken the time to read through the responses, but I have to say that I don't think either Pac-Man or E.T. would rank in the bottom ten titles for the system.  Both are highly flawed, but they're not unplayable trash either.  As for the topic itself, I'm ashamed to admit I haven't played much on the 2600, although I haven't found any real stinkers.  Of what I've played, I'd rank Defender, Centipede, and Space Invaders as the bottom of the barrel, but those aren't due to poor quality so much as me just not enjoying the games all that much.  Of course, maybe I'll find something terrible to add soon...kinda getting the itch to play some Atari again...



#53 Atari PAC-MAN Fan OFFLINE  

Atari PAC-MAN Fan

    Chopper Commander

  • Topic Starter
  • 144 posts
  • Location:Freeport, Illinois

Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:57 AM

"So you think E.T. is the worst Atari game? Oh nonononono not by a long shot. Play Fire Fly."- Mark of Classic Game Room


Edited by Atari PAC-MAN Fan, Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:59 AM.


#54 davyK OFFLINE  

davyK

    Moonsweeper

  • 282 posts
  • Location:Northern Ireland

Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:59 PM

There are some games that simply haven't aged well and there are those games that were bad even back in the day.

 

Skeet Shoot was never considered a good game.

Slot Machine is old but really it has next to no interactivity. I read David Crane developed it for his mother who loves slots.

Slot Racer and Street Racer have aged horribly. Just too primitive. Slot Racer could have been better but it's too slow.

Star Ship is another ancient game that may have been entertaining back then but I have my doubts.

Golf has aged horribly.

Custers Revenge  - tasteless and very, very boring

Bowling - never got any entertainment out of this one.

Donkey Kong.  Please

Ice Hockey - too slow.


Edited by davyK, Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:00 PM.


#55 FOX2600 OFFLINE  

FOX2600

    Chopper Commander

  • 130 posts

Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:20 PM

A lot of these "top 10 worst" lists house some of my favorite games lol

They're so misunderstood :-(

#56 the_wizard_666 OFFLINE  

the_wizard_666

    Star Raider

  • 96 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:32 AM

A lot of these "top 10 worst" lists house some of my favorite games lol

They're so misunderstood :-(

 

I have to say that this isn't unique to the Atari.  I've primarily been an NES guy and I feel the same way when I see the same lists for the NES.  Maybe there's a touch of nostalgia glasses in a few cases, but in many cases the games are ones I only discovered in adulthood and had no idea people didn't like them until I asked about them.  I think it comes down to people not giving a game a fair shake before judging them harshly, and frankly it's a reason that I don't rely on lists of terrible games.  While some deserve the criticism, most are just not given the proper chance to grow on a person.

 

Incidentally, I'm curious what some of those games are for the 2600 that you love that others don't.  With the NES, I tend to love the more underappreciated titles, and since I have little experience with Atari, it'd be nice to know a few offbeat places to start.  I've got a couple hundred games in my collection, so I'm sure with a few titles I'd find at least one on my shelf to get started with :P



#57 Emehr OFFLINE  

Emehr

    River Patroller

  • 4,182 posts
  • Happiness is... a chomping Pac-Man!
  • Location:An obscure body in the SK system

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:17 AM

I'm seeing a lot of "this game sucked because it wasn't like the arcade" which is fair, but I was 5 when I got my Atari 2600 in 1980 and I had nothing to compare the games to. The Atari versions of Space Invaders, Defender, and Pac-Man will always be protected by my shield of nostalgia. I even prefer the 2600 version of Space Invaders over the arcade version in terms of playability, presentation, and enjoyability. And the sound effects in Defender are pretty awesome.

 

On topic, Superman would have to be on the list of games I don't consider "good". Maybe I didn't give it a fair shake but the map makes no logical sense to me and the overall presentation isn't compelling enough to learn the system. Frankly, I'd rather play Porky's.



#58 the_wizard_666 OFFLINE  

the_wizard_666

    Star Raider

  • 96 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:38 AM

I'm seeing a lot of "this game sucked because it wasn't like the arcade" which is fair, but I was 5 when I got my Atari 2600 in 1980 and I had nothing to compare the games to. The Atari versions of Space Invaders, Defender, and Pac-Man will always be protected by my shield of nostalgia. I even prefer the 2600 version of Space Invaders over the arcade version in terms of playability, presentation, and enjoyability. And the sound effects in Defender are pretty awesome.

 

I'll say that, to me, the games do suck, but it's not because I don't like the ports.  It might be blasphemy in some circles, but I'm not a big fan of the arcade versions either.  While I appreciate their historical value, they're just not my cup of tea.  Hell, your points about Space Invaders and Defender I can 100% agree with despite my opinion on the games themselves.  As for Pac-Man, maybe the nostalgia helps keep in perspective the fact that despite it's flaws, it was a serviceable port that, while not being anywhere near 100% accurate, it at least brought the arcade feel into your living room.  It's far from perfect, but it's still Pac-Man.



#59 save2600 OFFLINE  

save2600

    Quadrunner

  • 13,762 posts
  • Location:Wisconsin

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:41 AM

There are some games that simply haven't aged well and there are those games that were bad even back in the day.
 
Ice Hockey - too slow.


Agree with most of your list (though DK, Bowling and Golf are still good games IMO), but regarding Ice Hockey, Games 3 & 4 speed up the action considerably. Some simple, yet fun to be had there, especially with a real human bean as second player. :)

#60 AtariLeaf OFFLINE  

AtariLeaf

    Quadrunner

  • 9,854 posts
  • Location:Ontario Canada

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:36 AM

Agree with most of your list (though DK, Bowling and Golf are still good games IMO), but regarding Ice Hockey, Games 3 & 4 speed up the action considerably. Some simple, yet fun to be had there, especially with a real human bean as second player. :)

 

Yep I can't believe anyone dislikes Ice Hockey. It's a favorite of mine but then again I'm Canadian and it IS Canadian law to love all things hockey eh :D



#61 retroeight OFFLINE  

retroeight

    Combat Commando

  • 4 posts

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:17 PM

Not sure if this has been mentioned - BASIC PROGRAMMING.

 

junk.



#62 FOX2600 OFFLINE  

FOX2600

    Chopper Commander

  • 130 posts

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:34 PM

Not sure if this has been mentioned - BASIC PROGRAMMING.
 
junk.


BUT you get to use the Keypad controllers! ;-)

#63 FOX2600 OFFLINE  

FOX2600

    Chopper Commander

  • 130 posts

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:40 PM

I'm curious what some of those games are for the 2600 that you love that others don't. 


The first that comes to mind is Swordquest Earthworld. I know even if you have the comic there's "not much point" in playing the game today. But even without the comic, to me it's just an intense experience with bright colors and mystery.

AVGN nailed it when he said "That's what I love about Atari, something as simple as going thru a door is an event." :-D

Edited by FOX2600, Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:41 PM.


#64 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

BassGuitari

    Habitual Line Stepper

  • 5,662 posts
  • Remember how bright the future used to look?
  • Location:Milwaukee, WI

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:53 PM

I must like shitty games because I'm reading through all the replies and all them name at least one or two games I really like! :P

Defender. Pac-Man. Donkey Kong. Golf. Star Ship. Bowling. Ice Hockey (what?!). HERO (what?!?!?!). Miner 2049er. Zaxxon. Night Driver. All of these games rank between 7 and 10 on my personal fun meter, even though I can see why other people might not like them as much. :)

(Except for HERO--something's just wrong with you if you don't like HERO.  :P )



#65 Prosystemsearch OFFLINE  

Prosystemsearch

    Dragonstomper

  • 876 posts
  • Location:California

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:54 PM

My current list:

 

10. Double Dragon VCS 

9. Donkey Kong Jr. 

8. Air Lock

7. Custer's Revenge

6. Skeet shoot

5. ssssssnake

4. Math Grand Prix

3. Karate

2. Firefly

 

Dishonorable mentions: Texas Chainsaw massacre, Miner 2049er part 2, Climber 5, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Zaxxon.

 

1. Star Fox 


Edited by Prosystemsearch, Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:57 PM.


#66 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

davidcalgary29

    Quadrunner

  • 5,144 posts
  • Location:Peace River, Alberta

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:05 PM

There seems to be two competing schools of thought here: games that sucked upon first release, and games whose suckiness have increased to legendary status due to the conflation of media influence with the consensus of gamers who weren't alive at the time and have no conception of what gaming was like before, say the CV entered the picture. It's not like people could compare these games with a huge library, the way we can today. There was a choice of the 2600 or maybe Pong -- my friends and I didn't go around saying 'shit, the Odyssey can beat the crap out of this!' (someone must have owned them, but I never, ever saw a Channel F or O2 as a kid). I didn't have a VCS as a kid, and didn't want one, but did play the hell out of my friend's 'Combat' and 'Pac-Man' carts, and can't remember anyone saying at the time that they were crap ports of arcade hits. It's not like the average buyer was going to buy a dedicated arcade game for the home -- I didn't even know you could do that until I watched 'Silver Spoons'! And 'Combat' as a pick for worst game? Sheesh! 'Combat' was revolutionary!
  • jhd likes this

#67 the_wizard_666 OFFLINE  

the_wizard_666

    Star Raider

  • 96 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:57 PM

I was barely alive during the VCS days, so there's no way I could've had experience with them at the time, but I know what you mean because I've seen it with the NES, which is what I grew up on.  Nobody slagged on Castlevania II, SMB2, TMNT, or scores of other games that people seem to love to pick on these days because they were bloody awesome at the time.  I wish I actually had the experiences of playing these games when they came out just to know what it was like.  But I do try to look at a game based on it's own merits rather than comparing it to other versions.  I also realize that, at the time, the game's instructions are required reading in many cases.  I mean, anyone can plug in Pac-Man or Space Invaders and know what to do, but something like ET or Raiders of the Lost Ark require an understanding of what is expected of the player, not to mention utilizing unconventional control methods and other oddities.  Even the simplest titles would still need the mode chart so you know what variation to switch to if you want to play with a friend, or make the game more difficult, or whatever other things you may need.  So yeah, I can't understand why someone would plug a game in, play it for a few minutes, and say "this game sucks" when clearly it's the player getting in over their head for what they were expecting.  And I know you weren't singling me out specifically or anything, I just figured I'd point out that despite my relative youth and inexperience with the library, I know I need to take more than a quick blind run with most games in order to properly experience the games.  Also, I haven't slept in two days and I tend to ramble when I get sleep deprived, so I just saw an opening and took it :P  Hope I'm not getting boring or redundant :P



#68 davidcalgary29 OFFLINE  

davidcalgary29

    Quadrunner

  • 5,144 posts
  • Location:Peace River, Alberta

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:07 PM

Not a criticism of your perspective (and certainly not your thoughtful and insightful follow-up). Just defending 'Combat'. And I came across like an old grouch. Those darned youngsters! :)

#69 the_wizard_666 OFFLINE  

the_wizard_666

    Star Raider

  • 96 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:22 PM

Haha I know how you feel there man.  I feel the same way about the kids slagging on my favorite games from my childhood because they're "too hard" or "too cryptic" or whatever other crap they spew.  And while I can see where Combat would suck for a person sitting on his own playing games themselves, I also know that it's not meant to be played like that.  Maybe I'm spoiled having a few friends that would have no problem playing a few rounds of Combat or Outlaw or whatever other 2-player only titles I want to try, but even if I didn't, i wouldn't feel right judging them without playing the games the way they're meant to be played.  And even then, I'd want to try as many variations as I could, just to see which ones I enjoyed most.  And even if after all that I still decide I don't like the game, the odds of it being one of the worst titles on the system are about as likely as a pink elephant flying through my window.

 

Man, all this talking about the Atari is getting me wanting to fire the old girl up again.  I just have to decide whether I want to fix the bunged difficulty switch now or deal with permanent hard mode for a while.  On the one hand, getting the patch requirements on Freeway felt awesome when I did it with the game locked into hard mode...on the other hand, I'd like to actually be able to play Astroblast without getting hit every half second :P



#70 Shawn OFFLINE  

Shawn

    Nodus Tollens

  • 16,350 posts

Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:26 PM

 

Yep I can't believe anyone dislikes Ice Hockey. It's a favorite of mine but then again I'm Canadian and it IS Canadian law to love all things hockey eh :D

 

Yep, it's second only to Blades Of Steel to me.



#71 Atarikid96 OFFLINE  

Atarikid96

    Star Raider

  • 94 posts
  • Buy the ticket, take the ride.
  • Location:New Orleans LA

Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:01 AM

I've always HATED Berzerk. I'll probably get flamed for saying that, but I dont like it on any system.



#72 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

BassGuitari

    Habitual Line Stepper

  • 5,662 posts
  • Remember how bright the future used to look?
  • Location:Milwaukee, WI

Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:37 AM

Haha I know how you feel there man.  I feel the same way about the kids slagging on my favorite games from my childhood because they're "too hard" or "too cryptic" or whatever other crap they spew.  And while I can see where Combat would suck for a person sitting on his own playing games themselves, I also know that it's not meant to be played like that.  Maybe I'm spoiled having a few friends that would have no problem playing a few rounds of Combat or Outlaw or whatever other 2-player only titles I want to try, but even if I didn't, i wouldn't feel right judging them without playing the games the way they're meant to be played.  And even then, I'd want to try as many variations as I could, just to see which ones I enjoyed most.  And even if after all that I still decide I don't like the game, the odds of it being one of the worst titles on the system are about as likely as a pink elephant flying through my window.

 

Man, all this talking about the Atari is getting me wanting to fire the old girl up again.  I just have to decide whether I want to fix the bunged difficulty switch now or deal with permanent hard mode for a while.  On the one hand, getting the patch requirements on Freeway felt awesome when I did it with the game locked into hard mode...on the other hand, I'd like to actually be able to play Astroblast without getting hit every half second :P

 

I know it. I was an NES kid too (who didn't get one until the 16-bit systems were well established...maybe I was a retrogamer even then and didn't know it? I did enjoy Galaga a whole lot...), and I don't remember anybody ever complaining that the games were too hard. Or if they were, we knew it was either because we sucked at the game, or there was something we were missing (Nintendo Power and GamePro to the rescue!). That's just the way it was: Git Gud and figure it out! :-D :P

Now people make excuses for it and chalk their ineptitude up to "bad design," "primitive technology," "bad programming," etc. Though to be fair, there are legitimate instances of that, and considering games have been doing a lot more hand-holding since the NES days, it's hard to blame them. I think it actually correlates to what I see as a wider societal problem in general among my fellow Millenials, but that's a whole other topic that's certain to devolve into a political flamewar. :P

Right on about game variations in Atari carts. Especially on the earlier carts (pre-1982), the best variations are often hidden somewhere among a pack of 17 or 27 or 34 or 112 or whatever, and people only play the boot variation (which is often not as strong as others on the cartridge), think that's the whole game, and judge it based on that.

FYI re: difficulty switches: in a few games, the A difficulty setting is actually easier. Not often, though. And definitely not for Astroblast. :-D
 

I've always HATED Berzerk. I'll probably get flamed for saying that, but I dont like it on any system.

This means war.

Nah, just playing.  :)  I have to ask, though: you're playing the variations that have Evil Otto, right? The default boot variation doesn't, and it gets pretty tedious in a hurry.

I could see maybe not liking the Vectrex version that much since it's kinda slow (I like it, though). And the 5200 version is excellent but hard as f@#$.



#73 Downland1983 OFFLINE  

Downland1983

    Star Raider

  • 91 posts

Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:55 AM

There seems to be two competing schools of thought here: games that sucked upon first release, and games whose suckiness have increased to legendary status due to the conflation of media influence with the consensus of gamers who weren't alive at the time and have no conception of what gaming was like before, say the CV entered the picture. It's not like people could compare these games with a huge library, the way we can today. There was a choice of the 2600 or maybe Pong -- my friends and I didn't go around saying 'shit, the Odyssey can beat the crap out of this!' (someone must have owned them, but I never, ever saw a Channel F or O2 as a kid). I didn't have a VCS as a kid, and didn't want one, but did play the hell out of my friend's 'Combat' and 'Pac-Man' carts, and can't remember anyone saying at the time that they were crap ports of arcade hits. It's not like the average buyer was going to buy a dedicated arcade game for the home -- I didn't even know you could do that until I watched 'Silver Spoons'! And 'Combat' as a pick for worst game? Sheesh! 'Combat' was revolutionary!

 

Except Pac-Man and ET were both HEAVILY returned by the consumers who bought those games back in the day.  That's well documented, so it had nothing to do with a coloration of perception over time.  I had a Coleco Vision in 1982, so I knew how good an arcade conversion look at home (Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., etc).  We had the expansion module for playing 2600 games, and I remember enjoying playing Space Invaders, Combat and Kaboom! (our downstairs neighbors had this one).  I didn't have E.T. personally, but I remember seeing it being played at my brother's friend's house.  I distinctly remember watching E.T. constantly falling in holes, and I wanted nothing to do with that game.



#74 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    Dragonstomper

  • 832 posts

Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:03 AM

I'm seeing a lot of "this game sucked because it wasn't like the arcade" which is fair, but I was 5 when I got my Atari 2600 in 1980 and I had nothing to compare the games to. The Atari versions of Space Invaders, Defender, and Pac-Man will always be protected by my shield of nostalgia. I even prefer the 2600 version of Space Invaders over the arcade version in terms of playability, presentation, and enjoyability. And the sound effects in Defender are pretty awesome.

 

On topic, Superman would have to be on the list of games I don't consider "good". Maybe I didn't give it a fair shake but the map makes no logical sense to me and the overall presentation isn't compelling enough to learn the system. Frankly, I'd rather play Porky's.

 

I think the version you first encounter will always be your "definitive" version, and you'll judge the other versions by how much they keep to the spirit.   So if you played the home version first, that will be the one you have the most nostalgia for.

 

I put Defender on my "worst" list,  but it was kind of a hard decision because overall it's not a bad effort given the 2600's limitation.  But I chose it because it changes a few of the arcade's core mechanics.  

1) your ship disappears when firing, giving you limited invincibility

2) you have to go off-screen up and down to use the smart bomb and hyperspace,  vs the arcade where you can use these on the fly by hitting the button.  So again, a significant change to how the game is played.   I know this is a limit because the joystick has a single button though.



#75 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    Dragonstomper

  • 832 posts

Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:06 AM

I must like shitty games because I'm reading through all the replies and all them name at least one or two games I really like! :P

Defender. Pac-Man. Donkey Kong. Golf. Star Ship. Bowling. Ice Hockey (what?!). HERO (what?!?!?!). Miner 2049er. Zaxxon. Night Driver. All of these games rank between 7 and 10 on my personal fun meter, even though I can see why other people might not like them as much. :)

(Except for HERO--something's just wrong with you if you don't like HERO.  :P )

 

Lol,  I picked HERO,  It was because I thought Activision had done an amazing job with Pitfall II, and I had high-hopes for HERO- which I believe was using the same tech as Pitfall II.  But I found it repetitive.

 

But I'm open to change if you can convince me why I should give HERO a second chance :)






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users