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Agent X

Member Since 9 Feb 2002
OFFLINE Last Active Feb 13 2019 1:17 PM

#4177668 Rikki & Vikki

Posted by Agent X on Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:33 PM

This is seriously stunning! The trailer shows some great artistry, with detailed sprites and cinematic stills, along with some fine sound and music. It has a slick, professional look that's reminiscent of some of the great commercial action games on competing 8-bit hardware during the late 1980s.

 

A game with this level of polish would have been a welcome treat this during the 7800's prime. But hey, better late than never!




#4177359 Atari Flashback Classics for the XB1/PS4

Posted by Agent X on Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:57 PM



Volume 3 for PS4 is now available on the US PSN. No sign of the Vita version yet.

 

According to this post from PlayStation.Blog, the Vita version has been rescheduled for a December 19 release.




#4175852 What was the Jaguar truly capable of?

Posted by Agent X on Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:23 PM

You mean you weren't on the list of 48 or so names?

Long story short:
When news broke that Eclipse weren't planning any form of Head to Head play in I.S II yet likes of Krazy Ivan had it on PlayStation, a movement shall we say? was started and the plan was for a list of names of people who were refusing to buy I.S II at release unless network play was implemented, was to be drawn up and sent to Atari.

Some of the more ahem, familiar names were Scott Legrand, Steve Scavone and Dark Science.

The entire fiasco fell apart once talks were underway with Eclipse and Don Thomas at Atari and it became apparent Atari weren't going to release I.S II on Jaguar, period.

What's the old saying? Be careful what you wish for...?.
Making threats of non purchase to an Atari who'd already amply demonstrated they didn't care if a title was ready to ship or not, if they needed product out, it just shipped, never seemed the wisest ideas to myself.

 

I don't know the whole story, but in retrospect, maybe they made the correct decision to not implement multiplayer in Iron Soldier 2, especially if this wasn't planned for in the original design.

 

Would it have been cool? Maybe. But if this wasn't planned, then this surely would have taken more resources (including time and money) to plan out the game design for multiplayer mode(s), then implement them, then test them, and refine them further.

 

In that regard, it would not have been prudent to hastily slap on a multiplayer mode "just because" . Yeah, you'd have another bullet-point on the back of the box to appease the handful of people that bought JagLinks or other networking gear for the system. Aside from that, it would have just dragged on the development.

 

After reading some of the earlier posts in this thread, it's alarming how some of the Atari brass insisted on interfering with some games' development, like demanding texture-mapped polygons or other similar features that posed technical challenges. It appears that the programmers knew this would impact performance and tried to protest these hasty additions, but got overruled in favor of having some pretty screen shots (frame rate be damned) on the box. I believe a tacked-on network mode would have ended up the same way.




#3873726 Tempest 4000

Posted by Agent X on Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:24 PM



Wait...they're not calling it the Superzapper?

 

It was referred to as a "Superzapper" in the video shown in this Twitter post, as well as the following YouTube video mentioned earlier in this thread.

 



Searched Youtube and found this:

 

 

I'm looking forward to the finished product!




#3687899 Arcade games that need a PSN/Xbox Live/3DS release

Posted by Agent X on Sat Feb 4, 2017 4:47 PM

 

but was it on actual arcade hardware or is that just a 2600 in cabinet, I always thought arcades used dedicated hardware

(I created this thread so I can derail it a little lol)

 

There was an arcade version of Warlords. See the link that negative1 posted.




#3676482 Could the Lynx have been a console?

Posted by Agent X on Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:05 PM

A console Lynx would have needed higher resolution and that probably would not have been possible at the same speed without changing the whole architecture to allow for more graphics throughput.

 

True.

 

To answer the original poster's question, the Lynx was a great system for sure, but the 160x102 screen resolution would've looked hideous, compared to most other home video game consoles at the time (which were usually outputting 256x224, 320x192, or 320x224). The system did have some punch to its visuals, with a good color palette and excellent sprite handling abilities, but I don't know if that would have made up for the jarring difference in resolution.

 

As a portable system, the resolution drop was more tolerable, since you were looking at a physically smaller screen.

 

Many of the Lynx's best games were designed to simultaneously maximize the system's strengths and minimize its weaknesses. With a portable system, you could create multiplayer games that could connect two or more systems, and give each player a private screen with his own personal view of the action. This was the type of gaming experience that you generally didn't get on the Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, or Super NES.

 

With conversions, such as their poor Lynx version of Ms Pac-Man, the battle would have been even greater.

 

I disagree about the Lynx version of Ms. Pac-Man being a poor version of the game. It was very well done for a game released on a portable system in 1990. The graphics were decidedly low-res, but they got the job done. The game played very well, with good control and good pacing, and also offered a separate mode with a great number of additional mazes.

 

Sure, we have more "arcade-like" adaptations of Ms. Pac-Man on newer handhelds. The version in Namco Museum Battle Collection on PSP is practically arcade perfect. For its time, though, the Lynx adaptation was a worthwhile game. I still trot out the Lynx version occasionally.

 

Most arcade conversions on the Lynx turned out very well, thanks to the attention to quality and designers' intent on focusing on the system's strengths. Many arcade ports on the Lynx totally smoked their counterparts on the "big" home consoles of the day. Heck, a few of the arcade ports were better than the original arcade games, too!

 

The general high quality of software is one of the key reasons why Lynx is fondly remembered, even more than 27 years after the system was released. The hardware might have aged, but the games remain ageless.




#3620943 Atari Flashback Classics for the XB1/PS4

Posted by Agent X on Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:41 PM

There are several companion apps for many PS4 and XBOX games. They run on android and iPhone devices.

It would be another thing to develop for and support, but would be a neat way to implement keypads and overlays in addition to the software pop-up menu we saw in Intellivision Lives a few console generations back. It's even about the right size on smartphones.

Or update this official but silly Intellivision soundboard app to work as a remote, and stick some promos in there while you're at it. IntelliSound by Realtime Associates, Inc.
https://appsto.re/us/WQRN2.i

Intellivision Lives for the DS is flawed, but the way it brings the old-style touch controller to us with overlays and everything is super nice.

 

I think these are good ideas, and it isn't even necessary to create a dedicated "companion app". The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One already have "second screen" support at the OS level, with companion apps on Android and iOS (PS Vita can also be used with the PS4). They could easily offer the option to use a smartphone, tablet, or Vita as a numeric keypad substitute. Since the Vita has physical controls, you could use the Vita completely as a controller for the PS4 game.




#3553446 Nintendo Classic Mini announced

Posted by Agent X on Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:14 PM



I like it.. and will buy.

 

Although I'm curious what Donkey Kong is going on there. My bet is it will be the minimal original NES version, missing one level, missing animations, cut scenes, tricks, etc.  Because releasing inferior NES donkey kong dozens of times is the Nintendo way! :)

 

Nintendo created an improved version of Donkey Kong for the NES, which includes the formerly missing conveyor belt level and some other enhancements. They released this game preinstalled in a special edition of the Wii in Europe, as well as a downloadable Virtual Console game for the 3DS. It would be a pleasant surprise to find out this is the version included in this system.




#3553219 Nintendo Classic Mini announced

Posted by Agent X on Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:37 AM

 

I disagree, I don't think this should be a series. I think it should be a home run product that they sell for as long as they can. If they make a next generation sequel, they should wait at least five years, then make it a major upgrade. Make an event out of it. Don't cheapen it by making it a disposable toy. Make it an on-ramp to their REAL platform(s) that play both old AND new games, including the SNES and N64 and GameBoy and GBA things the true fans want. 

 

Nintendo should release a really nice companion strategy guide that compiles their Nintendo Power articles from these games. Or maybe release them for free on the internet, wouldn't that be generous?

 

AtGames does annual revisions of its Atari and Sega things. They're largely the same thing over and over again, and they're not known for amazing quality. 

 

The fact that Nintendo did this at all is amazeballs. They're being very strategic in the way they dribble out their retro stuff very slowly, like one title per month. Dumping it all in a cheap bundle gets our attention this time, but I don't see how that would work year after year. 

 

I agree with most of what you said. I don't think they need to do annual refreshes on a product like this.

 

Nintendo often aims to design games that have longevity in the marketplace. Some of Nintendo's hit games have been perennial sellers for several years straight. I'm sure Nintendo envisions being able to sell this system unchanged for a few years down the road.

 

Five years for a refresh might be a little too long, though. Four years would be fine, or maybe even three years, especially if this turns out to be a rousing success and fans express demand for more games. More frequent refreshes would cheapen its image, as you said.

 

If there is an improved successor, then perhaps Nintendo could include a working cartridge slot so that new games could be added to the system. I doubt Nintendo would offer an SD card slot and let you toss on any old ROM image, but they might use a proprietary cartridge slot and offer miniature cartridges (about the physical size of a Game Boy cartridge) with compilations of several NES games.




#3552257 What console is the Lynx most similar to?

Posted by Agent X on Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:34 PM

I think it's unique due to the really low resolution.

Since it has some games the amiga has (apb, lemmings, sotb to name a few), 4096 color palette, pcm capable sound (klax), and made by ex-amiga people (RJ Mical, Dave Needle), I always thought of it as a little amiga :).

 

Same here. I have always considered it connected to Amiga, for reasons that you mentioned.

 

If I had to limit the relationship to other video game consoles (not full-fledged computers), then I would say it's closest to Genesis or TurboGrafx-16. It's ironic if you think about it, since they later released portable versions of both of those consoles.




#3524944 Atari Flashback Classics for the XB1/PS4

Posted by Agent X on Sat Jun 4, 2016 10:53 PM

A homebrew adapter would be nice but not too useful in my eyes since it's not really the joystick games that can't be fully enjoyed here with existing accessories. There are arcade sticks and digital gamepads for those not satisfied with the d-pad or analog stick on a stock XB1 or PS4 controller and many enthusiasts can get something working themselves if they really wanted to use a classic joystick. 

 

But something official with support programmed into these two releases that allows you to hook up Atari/AtGames paddle controllers, 2600 track-balls, Indy 500 controllers, and maybe even the keypad accessory would be great. Some of these games no matter how Code Mystics handles it will just never play nice with modern console controllers.

 

I really liked the fact that they had a patch for Atari: 80 Classic Games in One to support the Stelladaptor, so you could connect actual Atari 2600 controllers to play the games. I'd love so see something like that here as well.

 

Aside from that, they should also consider supporting USB mice/trackballs, which could come in handy for the paddle, spinner, and Trak-Ball games.

 

 

This is where I think that Intellivision Lives faltered on the PS2/GCN/Xbox (And on Game Room for the 360). Not too many of the games there had any need for a virtual keypad during gameplay thanks to the more than adequate number of buttons available on a modern gamepad, yet many forced you just the same just in a counter productive attempt to remain faithful to how the games originally played. 

 

And if AtGames supports the optional keypad attachment that I think both the Dual Shock 4 and XB1 controller have, you don't even need such a thing just to input numerical values to set up games like selecting the number of players or the difficulty level that you desire.

 

98b273f2-6d59-40b7-af98-fbbb84ff3ca6.jpg

 

And of course with the widescreen displays that we game on today, any time that a virtual representation of the keypad display does has to be shown, it at least doesn't have to be overlayed over the games themselves anymore.

 

B-17 for instance probably can't be done too well without such a compromise despite plenty of buttons being available for every function since it simply would be too difficult to remember which button corresponds to which crew position in your Flying Fortress.

 

That's a good idea.

 

I would also strongly suggest that they implement second screen support--in other words, the ability to use an iOS device, Android device, or PlayStation Vita along with the primary home video game console. Here are a few ways this could be useful here:

 

  1. Act as keyboard or Video Touch Pad controllers (with overlays, too).
  2. Display and interact with the Atari 2600 console switches.
  3. View the game manuals while the game is being played.

You could do multiple things at once, too. For example, display the 2600 console switches in a narrow strip on one side of screen, and use the rest of the screen to flip through the manual. This would be great for looking at the game selection matrix and deciding which variation you want to play next.

 

You could even use the touchscreen as a substitute for Trak-Ball or paddle, if you wanted to. I believe someone earlier also suggested using the touchpad on the Dual Shock 4 for this purpose.

 

If the screen isn't being used for manuals or game input, then it could display historical facts or other bonus material pertaining to the game currently being played. There are plenty of creative applications for second screen support for a collection such as this one.




#3523815 Atari Flashback Classics for the XB1/PS4

Posted by Agent X on Fri Jun 3, 2016 10:48 AM



 

You're either failing to understand the realities here or choosing to not understand the realities. Either way, it's not that complicated. If the retailers won't carry the product, there will be no product, period. We come up with the fully formed idea and then present it to retailers to see if they want to carry it. If they do (or if they do and want tweaks to make it something they'd feel more comfortable selling), the retail buyers agree to buy x number of units, which makes it possible for us to produce y number of units to meet that demand and any additional demand. So, like almost every other product, retailer input is critically important here. Obviously the hardcore Atari fans make up a portion of the audience for this type of product, but it's not the only audience. If $20 or less for 50 games is somehow an affront to hardcore Atari fans, then perhaps said fans can't ever be satisfied by a mainstream product.

 

Also, considering we have something like five months to develop the product and bring it to market, I think we might be cut just a little slack that the first two products consist of games that have been collected before. Again, it's not intended as the only volumes we bring out, but you've got to start somewhere.

 

Anyway, that's the last I'll say on this particular aspect of the subject. You can be offended, feel it's a rip off, feel like we don't have gamer interests in mind, etc. I'm part of it and telling you that none of that is true, which you can take or leave.  I'm here because I care about the community, I care about the product, etc. Normally, you'd just be pissing in the wind here, just bitching with no context. I'm giving you rare context here, something I probably shouldn't even be doing, but I do because when I'm on the other side I love to know the "why" of things.

 

Yes, it's a business. Yes, they want to make money like every business. Yes, there are many other ways of presenting an offering like this, but no, none of those other options were practical at this time. You don't have to be happy with what is being offered here - and the simple solution to that is just don't buy it - but hopefully you can understand the difference between your lovely, idyllic vision, and the realities of business.

 

Bill, believe me, I appreciate your explanation, but I also understand the realities of the business already. There should be a way for my "lovely, idyllic vision" (as you put it) to meet in the middle with a sensible business plan. Remember that business is ultimately about satisfying consumer demands, 

 

One point that you have continued to avoid addressing is why this isn't a single, unified collection for $19.99?

 

You already said that retailers resisted the proposed concept of selling a single pack for $40, because $20 is the "sweet spot". So, with that in mind, why didn't the publisher propose a single "complete" pack for $20...the same way it's being sold on PC right now...the same way it was sold 12 years ago on game consoles?

 

Did retailers balk and say, "Oh my gosh, you're offering too much value for the money!"? Why wasn't this a concern with the collections on PS2 and Xbox from 12 years ago?

 

You continue to miss the point that this compilation is regressive, that it offers less for the money compared to the offerings from two console generations back.

 

Other companies have no problem increasing the content and value when updating their products for successive hardware generations. Why is this product an exception here?




#3523596 Atari Flashback Classics for the XB1/PS4

Posted by Agent X on Fri Jun 3, 2016 5:28 AM



I certainly don't want to be contentious, as I kinda rolled my eyes when I first heard was it being split into two volumes as well, but in answer to this specific question; the PS2 didn't have to deal with 1080p resolutions, online functionality or trophy/achievement systems, all of which require additional work to account for.

 

This is a thoughtful answer, and probably the best "justification" that I've seen so far. That being said, I still disagree, as the addition of high-def or trophy/achievement systems kind of "comes with the territory" with generational leaps nowadays.

 

When going from PS2 to PS3, we've seen several compilation packs such as God of War, Metal Gear Solid, Devil May Cry, and others, all of which were had added HD visuals and trophies/achievements. Yet, they didn't feel the need to break the original games into smaller portions. On the contrary, they combined multiple games into a single package for an affordable price.

 

Heck, this very collection of Atari classics on PC was able to add each and every one of these features, without the need to break up the collection or increase the price. The R&D for HD, online, trophies/achievements was already done with the PC product. They just need to translate these features over to PS4 and Xbox One. This doesn't seem to be any problem for other reputable video game publishers.

 

If other PS2 games were able to make a generational leap, and successfully add both features and value simultaneously, then why does the publisher of this collection struggle to do the same with a two generational leap? Atari fans deserve better treatment than this.




#3523443 Atari Flashback Classics for the XB1/PS4

Posted by Agent X on Thu Jun 2, 2016 9:54 PM



It's fine you don't agree, "Agent X." Certainly future plans do include completely different systems and games, but volumes 1 and 2 are set the way they are for very good business reasons. If you want to call a new retro release from a company that has and will continue to do them (and in fact will be increasing their previous pace) "a quickie slapdash cash grab," that's certainly your prerogative. Your opinion and tone are both noted.

 

It's obvious that it is a cash grab. Every time you mention the decision to hack the collection into two parts, you state that it was done in order to cater to retailers' desires. What happened to consumers' desires? What good is producing a collection like this if its development has been constantly steered by some stuffed suits sucking up to the perceived whims of retailers who don't have a damn clue what the games are all about? They don't know what the fans want, and evidently they don't care what the fans want.

 

Could you please explain how it's possible that a collection of 87 games was able to sell previously on PlayStation 2 and Xbox for the same price as a mere 50-game pack is selling for here? Why are we regressing now? Doesn't it bother you that today's gamers are getting less for their money?

 

I want to see a product like this that is driven by a desire to satisfy a wide range of Atari fans, hardcore and casual alike. I want to see a product that is developed by people who have a true passion for the industry and its rich history, who lovingly pour their hearts into the process to create something they can be proud of and would endure the test of time. I want to see a product that showcases the progress of Atari, and likewise showcases the progress of the overall industry by exceeding what previous iterations of the product have offered.

 

This product is none of those things.




#3523291 Atari Flashback Classics for the XB1/PS4

Posted by Agent X on Thu Jun 2, 2016 5:40 PM



 

I agree about being combined in a single interface. At this time, that's just not practical because of the idea of volumes and the fact that it's not digital only. The concept is not permanently tabled, though. We'll see how things go. In the best of all worlds, we'd have a single interface for ALL volumes, so you'd have hundreds of games across multiple volumes from one interface, but right now that's not happening. The best way to think of the first two volumes is that they're coincidentally related, like if one volume were a ColecoVision collection and another volume were a Midway collection. Instead, we happen to have two Atari collections that consist of Atari 2600 and arcade games (because that's the easiest to start with).

 

This shines a spotlight on yet another problem with the decision to split up the collection, as well as manner in which the collection was split up. The games in each of these packages don't share any thematic consistency.

 

If we absolutely must have this pool of games segregated into multiple "volumes", then it would have made much more sense to distinguish the collection along thematic lines, such as chronology, genre, or platform of origin. For instance, volume 1 would be the "Atari 1970s collection" and volume 2 would be the "Atari 1980s collection". Or volume 1 would be the "Atari arcade collection" and volume 2 would be the "Atari 2600 collection". As it stands now, there's no rhyme or reason why these particular games were separated the way they were. I just don't get it.*

 

This collection is coming many years after Atari's last effort, on a completely new generation of hardware. They have a fresh start with a clean slate. This would have been the perfect opportunity for them to integrate games from other platforms such as Atari 5200, Atari 7800, etc., into the mix. It looks like they're going to miss the boat on this one, and the best we can do now is cross our fingers and hope that maybe, just maybe they produce a 5200/7800 collection later. The problem is that so many of Atari's best and most popular first-party home video games were licensed from other companies--already very evident with the 2600, but maybe even more so with the 5200 and 7800. Unless they're willing to pony up licensing fees to Namco, Warner (Midway/Williams), Square Enix (Taito), LucasArts, etc., the collection of "pure" Atari games on 5200/7800 is scant, and would consist mostly of repeats of arcade/2600 games.

 

Adding 5200, 7800, Lynx, Jaguar, and computer games really could have added a lot of value to the collection, and painted an encompassing picture of Atari's history and evolution throughout the years. Sadly, the opportunity was wasted.

 

* Oh, I do get it, alright. After taking into consideration the most well-known, highly-recognized marquee games in the library, it's painfully obvious what criteria was used. I mean, we already knew this collection is just a quickie slapdash cash grab, whored out into development existence for no reason other than to milk off of the nostalgia of the unsuspecting casual market. I just wish they weren't so flagrant about it.