Jump to content

Chronogamer

  • entries
    234
  • comments
    1,078
  • views
    431,388

Brief Rehash

Guest

1,101 views

Okay, I've played through the original 12 home video games for the Magnavox Odyssey. There are different ways of classifying them, but I'm going to stick to the simplest: by Video Gameplay. Other than Tennis which begets PONG, these games really can't be considered to have established any genres by themselves. I could classify them into the genre's as we know them in 2005 (as I've more or less been doing) but if I were staring at them in 1972/73 having never seen another home video game but for these, I think I might classify them thus:

 

The PONG variants:

All involve manipulating Player Spot while attempting to deflect the Ball Spot.

Tennis, Table Tennis, Football(?) and Hockey

I use the term PONG because it is well known. I should note that these games predate PONG and indeed the Table Tennis game is thought to have inspired PONG.Football is a little more special. It's more of a Sports Sim that uses the PONG mechanics to determine the success or failure of a play and then refines that result with randomly drawn cards and penalty/bonuses for play prediction. I'm not sure how to classify it when considering the accessorized play, so I'll leave it where it is for now, unless someone has something to suggest.

 

The MANEUVER variants

All involve manipulating your Player Spot in two dimensions without the added goal of deflecting and then manipulating the Ball Spot.

Submarine does so while avoiding being hit by the Ball Spot so it is a little different. Since one wins by the achievement of the Submarine Commander's Objective, one could also argue that it is primarily an early shooter. They wouldn't be wrong.

Ski: Stay on a trail, or maneuver yourself back on to the trail blindly.

Submarine: Stay on a trail while avoiding being shot.

Haunted House: Maneuver your Spot blindly through a the maze-like "negative space" between items.

Cat and Mouse: Out-maneuver your opponent.

Simon Says: Out-maneuver your opponent.

 

Again, when considering the accessorized aspects of play, some of these titles might classify differently. Haunted House and Simon Says, for example, both use a card collecting system for score keeping, which adds more "feelie flavor" to the playing of the games. I could classify them as "games that use cards for score keeping". Whatever.

 

No Video GamePlay

Roulette and States qualify more as board/card games during which the video screen is used, (poorly), as a randomizing device. Either game could be played without the TV as long as a sufficient way of generating a random number is used.

 

Unique

Analogic:is hard to classify, but it might fit best under "Puzzle". While there is a slight dexterity aspect in the manipulation of the Ball Spot to maintain "contact", this is significantly secondary to choosing a number to which to move and planning well enough so that one doesn't lead themselves into a dead end. (Though, I don't think one should have to worry about a dead end. In my opinion, that's a design flaw.)

 

Of course, these categories are arbitrary and subjective. One could also classify them under Themes like Sports, Shooter, Edutainment, Adventure etc . . . , or even to the different degrees that they each use accessories. Your mileage may vary. These are just how I've chosen to sort them out. Other games released for the system in 1972 may or may not fall into these categories.

 

Running Score: Ultraman in the lead with 6, Odyssey trailing with 5.00



4 Comments


Recommended Comments

Yay! 12 games with a system! Sounds more fun than it actually is, right?

 

Well, all in all, I like those games. But I'm weird.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Well, all of the games are "fun" in a meta sense. I think it's all about having the right attitude and enjoying the people you're playing with. I think games used to require someone to bring the fun a lot more than they do now. (any game, I mean look at tic-tac-toe with pencil and paper. Fun? meh. but how often did we play it when were were in grade school? It was something easy to do with friends.)

 

All in all, I agree, I like the games too and spending time playing them with my kids was so much more fun than watching Ultraman with them would have been. I mean, not that they remember it very much, but I always will.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Maybe they will remember it. If they are still interested in gaming, they have a richer background than most kids nowadays have. They have a better understanding on how we got here and, with that, have a greater appreciation for the games they now play. On top of that, they'll get retro/classic references in modern games.

 

Oh, and they won't vomit if someone shows them a crap game from hell.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
On 9/29/2012 at 8:03 PM, Nelio said:

Maybe they will remember it. If they are still interested in gaming, they have a richer background than most kids nowadays have. They have a better understanding on how we got here and, with that, have a greater appreciation for the games they now play. On top of that, they'll get retro/classic references in modern games.

 

Oh, and they won't vomit if someone shows them a crap game from hell.

Something interesting about this, all these years later, my son is in his 20s now and has been living away from home for almost five years now. (Yes, I miss him terribly and I'm about to be missing his sister, too.) He was having a conversation with a roommate at one point and suddenly realized that most people, in fact, no one he was meeting at university, had ever played, say, the Fairchild Channel F, or an Odyssey^2, or even an Atari VCS! He had to stop and blink a moment when he realized that his experience with older video games was rare and pretty unique amongst all the other humans he's ever likely to meet in person.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...