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No more E.T bashing, there are games that are really garbage, ET is not one


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#76 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    Stargunner

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Posted Wed Aug 9, 2017 10:08 AM

Good points. All I know is that in my little world kids were still enthusiastic about video games in 1984-85. The video game press of the time made a marked turn towards computer game coverage, indicating that appetite for video games hadn't changed -- just the platform. Consider the success of the Commodore 64 around the same time.


Yes but the videogame press itself died out around 1985. I remember Electronic Games magazine tried to change to "Computer Entertainment" magazine. That lasted 3 months. (They switched my subscription over to their sister publication "Video" which covered VCRs and video releases, which had only about a half page of videogame coverage every month) so covering computer games wasn't enough to save them. The other publications had a similar fate.

 

I should also point out regional variability as well. I think it took a while for video games to catch on where I lived up in the boonies of Northern Alberta, Canada. I don't even remember seeing a commercial for a video game until 1982. By 1984, when I got my 2600, demand was such that popular titles like Ms. Pac-Man were still selling for $40, which was a hefty sum in 1984 dollars. I think the bust caught up with us in '85 though because by that time games were getting harder to find. That could also be due to hardly any games being produced -- blowback from the U.S. based crash.


That makes sense. It was a much less globalized world and you couldn't just download that hot new app "Pacman". You had to encounter it in the wild to catch "Pacman Fever".

1985 was definitely the low point as I recall. By then most of the new arcades folded, the magazines had folded, games were harder and harder to find in most stores, with Toys R Us being the exception. It was also the point where games were considered the most "nerdy" as you mentioned in your other post.

Edited by zzip, Wed Aug 9, 2017 10:09 AM.


#77 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    Stargunner

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Posted Wed Aug 9, 2017 10:13 AM

How would you know you're supposed to bring a golden cup back the yellow castle in Adventure?


Great point. I would say Adventure was more abstract and at least as confusing to pick up as ET, yet that's a classic.

#78 redsteakraw OFFLINE  

redsteakraw

    Space Invader

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Posted Wed Aug 9, 2017 6:06 PM

 

I've never understood this quote.

 

Damn near EVERY game released on the Atari had "hard to decipher" graphics, unobvious gameplay mechanics, and tons of game select variations that can be further altered with the difficulty switches.

The idea that "most people" never read the manuals just seems unbelievable to me.

...

 

People read these manuals back in the day. They had to have.

 While you may not know what each variation or special item does you can get an idea and be able to play enough to at least have fun.  That is all a kid really would want or expect.  With E.T. you won't even have fun without reading through all of it's convoluted mechanics.  Take surround, Enduro, Defender, Bezerk, barn storming, keyston kapers and river raid.  You can pick them up and have fun without having to read anything.  The atari joystick ony has one button so it was rather easy to find things out through trial and error, that is except E.T.  Most kids don't read or if they do it is usually after some frustration.  Most people kids don't need to read the manuals.



#79 AtariWarlord OFFLINE  

AtariWarlord

    Chopper Commander

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Posted Wed Aug 9, 2017 6:12 PM

 While you may not know what each variation or special item does you can get an idea and be able to play enough to at least have fun.  That is all a kid really would want or expect.  With E.T. you won't even have fun without reading through all of it's convoluted mechanics.  Take surround, Enduro, Defender, Bezerk, barn storming, keyston kapers and river raid.  You can pick them up and have fun without having to read anything.  The atari joystick ony has one button so it was rather easy to find things out through trial and error, that is except E.T.  Most kids don't read or if they do it is usually after some frustration.  Most people kids don't need to read the manuals.

I must have been weird then -- reading the manuals was all part of the fun for me. Activision manuals in particular were a lot of fun to read -- lots of humor and there were even tips from the programmer. I'm an aspiring technical writer and I find Atari's manuals were, in particular, excellent examples of technical instruction. 



#80 zzip OFFLINE  

zzip

    Stargunner

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:33 AM

I must have been weird then -- reading the manuals was all part of the fun for me. Activision manuals in particular were a lot of fun to read -- lots of humor and there were even tips from the programmer. I'm an aspiring technical writer and I find Atari's manuals were, in particular, excellent examples of technical instruction.


My friends and I always read the manuals too. It was part of the experience. And generally they were shortish and easy and fun to read.

#81 Tempest ONLINE  

Tempest

    Monochrome Martinet

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Posted Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:55 AM

Sometimes the manual really adds a lot of depth to the game.  For example the manual for Tutankham adds descriptions and stories for all the treasures and enemies which makes them really cool.  Otherwise they're just random blobs.






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