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How did you enjoy your VCS back in the day?

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#26 Cepp OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 9:58 AM

My parents bought me a jr in the very early 90s (£20 from Argos iirc) along with a 14" Bush portable TV. I can't remember what games came with it but I do remember going to a local game shop and being told they only had Golf for the system (literally an entire bookcase full). We ended up going to some hole in the wall round the corner and buying a ton of carts for a fiver including Centipede which was my favourite game on the system at the time. Later on my uncle ended up getting one along with some multicart that had Skiing on it and one of my cousins had one for a short while as well. Kind of weird considering how old it was by that point but I guess it was dirt cheap.

Edited by Cepp, Sat Oct 7, 2017 10:00 AM.

#27 BassGuitari OFFLINE  


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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 10:43 AM

Well, for me, "back in the day" was the early 2000s since that's when I got my first Atari.

I used one of those white Radio Shack 9V power supplies with a 45-degree tip adapter on it since mine didn't come with a power supply. My first nine games were borrowed from a friend who had them in the back of a closet at his house: Combat, Pac-Man, Chopper Command, Donkey Kong, Warlords, Space Invaders (red label!), M*A*S*H, Breakout, and Super Breakout. From there I started picking up cartridges when I found them at thrifts (and back then, you still could find them at thrifts); Missile Command, Football, and Grand Prix were among the first I remember. Somewhere around this time I had a gift certificate for the local mall that could be used at any store--I used it at Radio Shack to buy Pitfall from the in-store master catalog they used to have then (it was amazing to me that I could still order new Atari games in, like, 2001!).

I would get new games from Telegames for birthdays and Christmases as well. Defender II, Desert Falcon, Home Run, Street Racer, Pitfall II (I actually had this before I had the first one) Venture, Solaris, Gravitar...man, that was awesome. And a funny juxtaposition--my brother would get Phantasy Star Online for GameCube and I'd get Gravitar, and later we'd run downstairs and play them on the dedicated TVs that were set up near each other, with equal excitement. (This was kind of a thing we did; we played games together, but not the same games, or even the same machine.  :P )

At first I played it on whatever 27" CRT we had in the living room downstairs, which was shared with a PlayStation, and later a PS2 and GameCube. Soon I bought an old 15"(?) TV at a rummage sale and used that next to the "big TV" until I bought a brand new 13" Orion with some money I got for my high school graduation (still have the TV!). I mostly played alone since not too many of my friends were that interested in it, although a few were. My brother played Breakout once, but that's as much as I ever saw him play it. It was actually my girlfriend (to whom I am now married) and kid sister who played the old games with me the most. Lots of warm, fuzzy memories there. :)

#28 Keatah OFFLINE  


    Missile Commander

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Posted Sat Oct 7, 2017 11:31 AM

"Play Atari" time often meant Intellivision, Colecovision, Apple II, Commodore 64, Atari 400/800, and more depending on what the gang bought over. In any case we could have 2 or 3 systems going along with a plethora of handheld LED games. And in the evening when everyone was home or sleeping I'd be up messing with the Apple II. No consoles.


Who else had this kind of gaming style?

#29 AtariWarlord OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon Oct 9, 2017 12:38 PM

My nearest game retailer was a two-hour drive away and we only went to that area if my parents had some business to conduct. If I got a game, I would obsess over the packaging and the manual, which was actually a pretty good way to learn about the game. The sucky thing is that we usually made these trips on Saturday. If we got home late and it was time for bed, I wouldn't get a chance to play the game until Monday afternoon because a.) my parents were super-religious and forbid playing video games on Sunday and b.) Monday was school. I had to learn patience at an early age. 

Edited by AtariWarlord, Mon Oct 9, 2017 12:39 PM.

#30 GeekDragon OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Mon Oct 9, 2017 3:57 PM

We had our Gemini(our first system.  We did eventually get a 2600 Jr.  Still have both.  Have the Jr. hooked up now)set up in our living room.  My mom, dad, me, and brother all played it to death.  My dad always played stampede, my mom, Mouse Trap, and my brother and I alittle bit of everything.  We probably had about 20 carts(still have them all, plus many more now).  My game was always Atlantis and when my uncle would come  over, we would play Ice Hockey.  He never beat me.

#31 Memblers OFFLINE  


    Star Raider

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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:17 PM

Colecovision was my first game system, then we got the Atari expansion for it.  Then later I was given a 7800, and that was my main Atari machine.  Had maybe 15 games for it, but most of the other kids in the area had one with different games, too.  I remember being really excited when we got a new TV, because I was able to move the old one into my bedroom, and soon I grabbed a butter-knife (as a screwdriver) and figured out how to hook it up.  Maybe it was xmas 1990 when my grandma gave me a huge box that turned out to be filled with 150+ 2600 and 7800 games, bought the collection from one my relatives.  I got a lot of use out of those.  It's kinda funny that the very common CX40 joystick mostly reminds me of playing Atari at other people's houses when I was a kid, because I didn't have a CX40 or an original VCS until the mid-90s.  By that time, I was more often using a Sega controller.

#32 Mulletino OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:01 PM

In the lounge room, either on the floor or on the arms of the chairs, although when not in use it went back into the drawer under the telly of the G-plan unit. (here's a pic but it's been disconnected so the oldies didn't trip  on it):




In the same pic is the case we got for it later so it got put next to the TV with the smoked glass lid on it, the games (in their boxes) went in the drawer.


A couple my parents were friends with got divorced, the guy had an Atari and would bring over any games we didn't have to play on it, so us kids would sit on the floor playing Atari while they chatted and smoked.

#33 eegad OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:03 PM

Got my 2600 in 1980...finally...after harassing my parents for over a year to get me one. Had it hooked up to the 25" wooden-console type tv in the living room...and often had fights with my sister when she wanted to watch tv and I wanted to play Atari. Many times over the next 2 years I rode my bike 5 miles to the nearest Toys R Us to get a new game. Played that light-sixer a lot for a couple of years. Then in 1982 I got an Atari 400, and after that, the 2600 rarely got touched.

#34 G-type OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:40 PM

I had already had my TI-99/4a for a couple years, by the time I got my VCS, so by that time, it felt like a bit of step backward for me. I still enjoyed playing it but it just couldn't compete with the TI's Donkey Kong, TI-Invaders, Parsec, and Munch Man. Coming back to VCS as an adult, I have grown much more appreciative of it.

#35 zzip OFFLINE  


    River Patroller

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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:14 AM


You'd wait until you got home to open the box?  We'd open the box the second we got out of the store, and spend the entire car ride home reading and re-reading and re-reading the manual in anticipation.


I think a lot of us did this!   Well except for ET of course since it seems like nobody bothered to read the manual for that :P 

#36 Dauber OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:31 AM

How did I enjoy it?? By PLAYING it! heh. Got it for Christmas in 1982. Switched the joystick and paddles so much that the port wore out within a few days so it had to be replaced.


I enjoyed it so much that my default punishment: no Atari for two weeks. Actually, my parents would say "No Pac-Man for two weeks!" Because I was (and still am) a big Pac-Man fan. (And I played the HELL out of it on the 2600 even though the huge difference between that and the arcade version was very apparent to me: for me, the arcade Pac-Man was a treat, and the 2600 Pac-Man was for every day.) But by Pac-Man, they meant *Atari*. And actually...they meant video games, PERIOD. No Pac-Man = no video games. And no video games meant I wasn't even allowed to WATCH PEOPLE PLAY. Sometimes when my parents were shopping at Kroger, I'd slip away and watch people play the two arcade games up front, but under the two-week punishment I was not allowed to do that. Heck, there was one time during a two-week punishment that I was playing outside, and my brother fired up the 2600. My parents made him close the shutters so I couldn't watch him from outside!


heh...I got my two-week punishment A LOT, and for the slightest reasons. Heck, I could just give my brother a dirty look and..."no Pac-Man for two weeks!" That's one reason Butters is my favorite South Park character: I can relate to him. He'd get grounded all the time for the slightest -- sometimes innocent -- thing, and at his age I would get the no-Atari punishment for the slightest thing. :)


Never gave it up either, although in 2006 I did trade it for a set of DVDs of MAME ROMs and got a 7800. And from early 2006 to early 2007 I was a bachelor -- I moved from New Jersey to Chicago but my wife had to stay behind and finish her master's thesis (and no, I don't know why her master didn't finish his own thesis, so don't ask)....it was a pretty lonely time for me....so I passed a lot of that time by vegging out on Atari stuff. :)  It was great at occupying my time.

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