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Carnival Shooter/Sabtotage (PD/Ultravision?)

DoctorSpuds

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I have for you all today another oddity that I found in my ROM folder, actually its two oddities but they’re strangely related. When doing my Shootin’ Gallery/Carnival review I found a game called Carnival Shooter, it is a strange seizure inducing non-game where you just shoot a bunch of strange objects that are whizzing around the screen. There is no end to the game there are no lives and there are no points, giving the game no discernable play value. The graphics are horrendous and I would seriously qualify them as an epilepsy hazard. A large amount of big chunky sprites are dancing around the screen, this normally wouldn’t be an issue but I wouldn’t be talking about this if it wasn’t. This is going to be very difficult to explain, each row of sprites have horizontal lines stretching to either end of the screen, I’m pretty sure that these lines are sprites of some sort since they will flicker when overlapping, there are five objects on the screen at once generating a lot of flicker. The flickering mess isn’t over yet though as the background beneath each color is changed depending on if the object are above it (that’s the best way I can describe it) so if you have a few objects near the top of the screen everything beneath them will flicker, at times up to 75% of the screen is strobing between colors, and yes the colors are very vibrant. There are no sounds, this suffering takes place in complete silence, also there is no know publisher or programmer, the closest thing I have is (PD) at the end of the ROM name which I’m sure stands for something but I’m not sure what. Oddly enough this might actually be a hack of another game that doesn’t seem to exist.
 
Sabotage is a game that according to AtariAge and AtariMania doesn’t exist much like Carnival Shooter. Sabotage is actually a game; it has a goal, points, and actual gameplay. This is a complete and total Commando Raid rip-off. You control a central gun to shoot down paratroopers, helicopters, and planes. When a paratrooper reaches the ground he will go to one of three pre-dug holes, if a fourth reaches the ground a little cutscene will play of the four of them creating a human ladder to blow up your gun (it sounds way cooler than it looks). Several of the sprites that were in Carnival Shooter are here, but instead of just being solid black they’re actually pretty colorful. This is not a good game for one glaring reason, if you look at all of the games of this style, Commando Raid, Missile Command, Atlantis, and M.A.D., you’ll notice one commonality, everything is zoomed out so the payer has a chance to hit the falling enemies, not so with Sabotage.  As mentioned in the Carnival segment the sprites are pretty large, so is your gun, and it doesn’t help that the helicopters drop the paratroopers from halfway down the screen. The paratroopers drop at a fairly leisurely pace but due to the sheer number of them, up to four at a time (not seen in the screenshots due to flicker), and the fact that your gun swivels at a fairly slow pace means that games will be short. Also if you hit a paratrooper that is fairly close to the ground he will land and scurry into one of the holes, so you have a very small amount of screen where you can hit these guys and actually kill them (about one fifth of the screen is my best estimate.) Also this game has no sounds, so you’re still suffering in silence.
 
I don’t know the developers of either of these games, one ends with (PD), and the other I simply refuse to believe since it ends with (Ultravision), if this is the lost third Ultravision game I’m glad these guys vanished so quickly since the game is utter garbage (yes, even worse than Karate). If anyone knows any information about these games feel free to share. Since neither of these games are available in cartridge form there is no way I can send them to the Collector’s Zone, but that doesn’t mean they don’t belong there.
 
If you really want to play these games then I'll include downloads at the bottom of the review, just so you can experience the suffering for yourselves.
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Carnival Shooter (PD).a26

Sabotage (Ultravison).a26



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Wasn't Ultravision supposed to be a system on its own, though being compatible with others? Sometimes it is said that publishers putting out games for competing systems on purpose made those inferior to the same games on their own system. Perhaps that was just their plan here, to produce rather crude 2600 games and once their own system was available they would put out the same games, but much better on it?

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Wasn't Ultravision supposed to be a system on its own, though being compatible with others? Sometimes it is said that publishers putting out games for competing systems on purpose made those inferior to the same games on their own system. Perhaps that was just their plan here, to produce rather crude 2600 games and once their own system was available they would put out the same games, but much better on it?

 

I'm not sure. According to the few documents that exist about the Ultravision game console it was going to be called the UIltravision Video Arcade System or VAS, but there was another version that was going to be called the Computer Video System, it looks fairly similar but it wasn't an all-in-one and you'd have to bring your own screen and it was supposedly capable of playing games from every major machine of the time.

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According to this they had a large lineup of games planned, and I assume since they're using what looks to be a Karate cart in the advertisement that it was compatible with, and likely used 2600, hardware among others, unless they had somehow managed to emulate all of those modern cutting edge machines. I also have seen no mention of Sabotage on any piece of Ulteravision marketing material which leads be to believe that the game wasn't actually made by Ultravision and just had that slapped on by whoever compiled my set of ROMS. It's just another one of those cases where the answer to the whole thing can be summed up with a shrug because it pretty likely that no one will ever find out.

 

Funnily enough almost all of the competing publisher games released on the 2600 were the better versions, at least with Mattel and Coleco because of the controllers. Or at the very least they were much more playable, though there are a few exceptions.

 

Honestly the whole Ultravision console is just a confusing mess and it seems that Ultravision themselves had no idea what they were doing as well.

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