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Baseball, APF, 1978

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Baseball, APF, 1978

 

 

Is there a system anywhere in the universe of programmable game consoles that doesn't have Baseball on it? I guess I'll find out sooner or later.

 

Another "green"-ish game. The controls are similar to other Baseball games. The outfielders are moved with the joystick, though you can't move them after the ball is pitched. They're spaced a little oddly, so there's usually a gap in right field that the computer player manages to hit to more often than not. To pitch, you send the ball with the fire button and control its path with the joystick. To bat you simply press the fire button.

 

cppicf.zip

All players accounted for. To me, they each look like the letter "A" with a head.

 

The Bally's players are animated better, so if I had to rank this one by graphics, I'd place it as better than the Fairchild's version but not as good as the Bally's, based on overall look and player animations. Control-wise the Bally outfielders had a better range of motion, without the gap that the APF players can't seem to fill. At bat, it seems harder to get a hit on the APF than it does on the Bally and I don't feel I have the same control over where the ball is hit. Pitching is pretty similar in that you've got a lot of control over the ball after you "throw" it and it is fun to try to fake out the person at bat with wildly curving balls that they swing at anyway.

 

deco.zip

It was hard to get, but this is a screenshot of the players running on (or off) of the field. It's only a two frame, lockstep animation, but I appreciate any effort on the part of the programers to give the illusion of life.

 

Again, lacking from this is any music. There are sound effects, but they are forgetable. I only say that, because I really don't remember them, myself.

 

EDIT: I forgot to point out: Look! There's people in the stands!!! It's the first time I've seen characters used a decoration to give the impression of stadium play. Just thought I'd mention it.

 

Forgive me if I'm repeating myself, but to date, the first Baseball game, Odyssey Baseball, is the one with the most interesting rules set. That's primarily because it wasn't a "pure" videogame and used a gameboard, cards and dice to generate events. That still provided more of a "simulation" experience than the "arcade" experience that "pure" videogame systems are able to provide. Which is better? I personally prefer the simulation, but your mileage may vary.

 

Okay, that's all I got on the APF. Again, if you've got carts that I don't have for the APF, I'm open to buying, renting or borrowing them. I'm also open to anyone writing a little entry about the gameplay, graphics etc for any of the carts I haven't done already. Please, Please, Please get in touch with me if you're willing to do so.

 

Next entry we finally start on the Odyssey^2, something to which I've been looking forward.



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Do the baseball players move smoothly, or in 'character-sized' increments (12 pixels vertical or 8 pixels horizontal)? If the former, I wonder how the thing works? The CoCo video chip would probably require 6K of video memory to do those graphics, and I wouldn't think a 1978 video game system would have that much.

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Do the baseball players move smoothly, or in 'character-sized' increments (12 pixels vertical or 8 pixels horizontal)?  If the former, I wonder how the thing works?  The CoCo video chip would probably require 6K of video memory to do those graphics, and I wouldn't think a 1978 video game system would have that much.

 

They don't move smoothly, but I couldn't tell you how jumpy they are. It was hard to get the picture of them moving out to their positions because it happens so quickly (and my digital camera doesn't take pictures so quickly.) I'll try to plug it in this week and check it out for you, 'cause I'm curious now, too.

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I'd never heard of the APF until I found a copy of this game in a thrift store years ago. It took me a while to figure out what system the cartridge belonged to. I ended up selling the cart on ebay, but I remained curious about the system, so I'm enjoying your reviews of the system and it's games. They are the only APF game reviews I'm aware of.

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I'd never heard of the APF until I found a copy of this game in a thrift store years ago. It took me a while to figure out what system the cartridge belonged to. I ended up selling the cart on ebay, but I remained curious about the system, so I'm enjoying your reviews of the system and it's games. They are the only APF game reviews I'm aware of.

 

Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying these things.

 

One of the early ideas about chronogaming was to just get a system on ebay, with a bunch of games, play it for a weekend and sell it back the next week. I started by getting an original Odyssey (which I still need to auction back to ebay) In my research on the Odyssey I discovered that there were other games released for it (about 15 others) but I could find nothing that actually talks about the games. Pick any site about some of these old systems (RCA Studio II, Fairchild Channel F, Odyssey, APF MP1000) and you may find talk about the internals (chips and such), its general specs like resolution or number of colors, even how well or how poorly it sold but there's very little about the games. Very few box scans, overlay scans, instructions, etc (and when they are posted, they're emblazoned with the website address across them).

 

It was as if the people who collected these old items were interested in sharing the fact that they had them (not that I really blame them for that) but it seems to never have occured to them that people might be interested in how these old games played. So my main point, aside from fulfilling an obsessive impulse (that claws at the inside of my mind day and night along with the voices, oh GOD the VOICES!, ahem), is to hopefully satisfy some of the curiosity that people may have about these games.

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You are right - it's still rather difficult to find info on some old games. The systems on file in websites such as MobyGames are fairly well documented, though.

 

I couldn't play Baseball on MESS either. But I don't mind this one. :P

 

Before moving along to your next entry, I'm going to try playing some of the APF games you missed. Hopefully, some of the ROMs will work on MESS.

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I just peeked at some of your future entries and found that you managed to play the APF games you missed before. Good!

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