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About WolfAmongWolves

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  1. Are you sure the M Network boxes were meant to be opened from the bottom? I don't have Kool-Aid Man, but the M Network games I have are all meant to be opened from the top. The cart stopper is at the bottom, but you have to insert the cart from the top, with the thin part of the cart facing down. The thin part then fits snugly between the flaps of the cart stopper, with the wider part resting on top. If you opened the box from the bottom and tried to retrieve the cart, you would rip the cart stopper, because the wide part wouldn't fit through. Maybe M Network had different styles of boxes? Personally I'm not a big fan of the box style that opens from the bottom, especially the Imagic boxes. Even as a kid I loved the boxes and kept my games in them. I found the Imagic boxes annoying, because it was always hard to reinsert the cart tray all the way. It would often get caught on the top flap and stick out a half inch or so, and then you had to jiggle it around or open the top flap to insert it all the way.
  2. Hmm, I guess it really depends on how you define weird. A lot of games may have unusual gameplay, but they still have a story/objective that makes sense. Going by that definition, Sneak'n'Peek isn't actually all that weird. It's two people playing hide and seek, pretty normal stuff. For me, an example of a truly weird game is Amidar. A gorilla being chased by warriors and a paintroller being chased by pigs, trying to fill in squares on a grid. There's no rhyme or reason to the characters or the objective. The same goes for Quick Step, which features a squirrel and a kangaroo jumping on trampolines. No story, no motives, it's pretty much just random nonsense. In both of these games you could replace any of the characters with pretty much anything else, and it would make just as much sense as before.
  3. I think I found one of the examples you are referring to. In Season 1, episode 25 of Shaun the Sheep "Shaun the Farmer" there is a very short scene of the farm dog playing video games. You can't see the screen, but the sound effects are clearly 2600 Donkey Kong. It's at the 5:53 mark.
  4. I agree with what most people here have said - most of these late games are awesome. In particular, Solaris stands out to me because it is one of the reasons I got back into the 2600. I have a large gap in my 2600 history; I got one in the early 80's as a kid with a handful of games. I think the newest, most advanced game I had back then was Dig Dug. Around 1985 I got a Commodore 64 and the 2600 ended up in a box in the attic, where it stayed over the next 25 years. I had pretty much forgotten all about the system when in 2010 or so I came across a 2600 video on Youtube and watched it, gripped by sudden nostalgia. It was one of those videos that showcased about thirty 2600 games in a few minutes. Among them were some games I knew, some I didn't, and Solaris. When Solaris came up, I thought the guy who posted the video got his systems mixed up and had posted a 7800 or Colecovision game by accident. The graphics, the scaling, the complexity - to me it just didn't seem possible that this could be achieved on my dusty old 2600 moldering in the attic. So of course I had to get the game and see for myself, and it blew me away. Then I discovered AtariAge, the late 80's 2600 library, modern homebrews, etc. and here I am today, a 2600 gamer and collector. So yes, many of those games rock.
  5. Wow, very broad topic, there are just so many. Bally Midway's Tapper is absolutely awesome. Turmoil (20th Century Fox) is high up on many "best" lists, including mine. I also have a soft spot for Space Cavern by Apollo, but that's probably a minority opinion.
  6. In the early 80s, I think the Imagic games were the most advanced. At the time many of their games just went a step beyond other publishers in terms of visual and aural details. Demon Attack is a prime example. The way the demons appeared, the pieces flying in from the left and right of the screen to form the complete creature accompanied by that scary whooshing noise just blew me away as a kid. Then, as you progressively shot the demons, the pitch of the music became higher and higher, adding a sense of urgency to the game. Compared to other shooters at the time it definitely stood out. I also remember playing Laser Gates for the first time. Those epic explosions when you shot down the enemies in the tunnel, with glowing sparks flying in all directions and then fading, was unlike anything I'd seen up to that point. Each obstacle also had its own distinctive sound, so even with your eyes closed you could tell whether you were fighting a Byte Bat or a Homing Missile, or what type of force field you were coming up against. And finally Cosmic Ark: that huge scintillating spaceship descending from the top of the screen accompanied by that awesome warbling sound, the beasties that changed every two levels, and that escape shuttle that zipped away at the end of the game.
  7. Totally agree with this. As a kid I liked the game, but the constant firing in conjunction with the original Atari joystick totally did my thumb in, to the point where I had to stop playing the game because it became so painful. Otherwise I thought it was an engaging game, especially on the smart bomb settings. I also liked the fact that you could land and repair the ship after a hit, a feature that to my knowledge no other game had at the time.
  8. I have a few PAL cartridges, and they all have that vertical rolling issue. I still have an old TV with a vertical hold knob, so it's easy to fix. You just have to accept the weird colors. I'm not sure if there is a fix for a more modern TV though.
  9. Are the colors off as well? Might be a PAL cartridge.
  10. Thanks for the info, guys. Let's see if Dan can shed some light on this matter. I'd be really interested to know if the non-appearing energy pod is a bug or if it is just generated randomly and sometimes the player is just plain out of luck.
  11. Laser Gates is one of the rare 2600 games that is supposed to be beatable: Destroy the four failsafe detonators, and according to the manual you've won the game. What has always frustrated me about this game is that it doesn't seem possible to reach the fourth detonator. Even if I manage to shoot or avoid the obstacles and keep my shields up, I always die because I run out of energy, as the game simply does not provide an energy pod when needed. This often also happens before I reach the third detonator. Energy burns at a steady rate, unaffected by laser fire and collisions. The Dante Dart also advances down the cavern at a steady pace, and even if you fly to the left side of the screen to dodge an attacker, you can never slow down or stop your overall progress. While it is possible to accelerate your advance by flying to the right side of the screen, this is not really a feasible technique because that's where all the enemies and obstacles appear, and you don't have time to shoot or dodge them if your ship is glued there. I'd really be interested to know whether anyone has ever managed to actually destroy all four failsafe detonators and beat the game. If not, has anyone ever taken a look at the game's code and figured out at which intervals the energy pods are supposed to appear or what triggers their appearance?
  12. Keeping a score notebook and trying to beat your last score can certainly do tons for your motivation to keep playing and getting better, but I think the second part of your epiphany is even more important: 2.) If a game doesn't make sense, I go on AtariAge and read the manual. In my opinion reading the manual is key to getting the most enjoyment out of a 2600 game, regardless of whether or not the game makes sense without it. Sadly some manuals are just lazy descriptions of the game's controls, but most of them offer great backstories that add depth which the game cannot convey by itself. It makes a difference whether you think you are being chased by a red duck, or whether you know that that's Rhindle, the fiercest and meanest of the three dragons. You may very well be able to figure out how to play Yar's Revenge, but once you read the manual and the comic book, the whole story makes sense and the action becomes much more "alive", for lack of a better word. Did you know that the four Warlords have names, and what grief they caused their poor parents King Frederick and Queen Christina? Lastly, read the manual to Riddle of the Sphinx and see if it doesn't immediately make you want to play the game. Anyway, enjoy the manuals, enjoy the games, enjoy getting better and beating your high scores.
  13. Could you elaborate on that, Thomas? I always thought the two stages scale in difficulty at the same level, i.e. usually when I start getting destroyed multiple times in the meteor stage I'm not able to pick up any more beasties on the planet surface stage either. Those lasers just fire so fast that I always thought it was pure luck whether you make it through or not. Is there a secret technique that I am not aware of?
  14. Which collision detection are you talking about exactly? I always thought the collision detection in Cosmic Ark is spot on. Maybe you're thinking about the later meteor shower levels, where your shot sometimes misses the wobbly meteor? I'm relieved to see that there are many others who don't love Yar's Revenge. It shows up on so many top 10 lists that I thought there must be something wrong with me.
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