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King Atari

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About King Atari

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    Northeast Ohio
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    Video Games, Music, TV & Movies, Vintage Advertising (Broadcast & Print)

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  1. - It's a pretty decent 2600 port of a still-popular arcade game, one with an incredibly cool concept to boot. (Hey, who didn't want to pilot an X-Wing and blow up the Death Star?) - It's the rarest of the four released Star Wars games for the 2600. Like save2600 said, and after a quick sold listings search on eBay, $25-$30 still seems like the average going rate loose. - Certainly the Star Wars name factor adds some interest, I'd venture to guess even for those without a 2600 console. Add in the vintage video game/coin-op-connection and rarity - and the fact that, frankly, the title of Star Wars: The Arcade Game just sounds cool - and it's understandable why the cart continues to hold value.
  2. These are pretty much my thoughts as well. I'm kinda torn though; if someone were to ask me for my top 5 favorite consoles in general, I'd include the 7800 for both its library and the 2600 compatibility. But if they were to ask me what my favorite 2600 (as in, *strictly* a 2600) is, I gotta go Heavy Sixer - which is what I voted for here.
  3. That was my first thought as well; that's not the 2600 version of SI on the screen!
  4. My Pac-Man 2600 story: I got my first 2600 and a load of games in the early/mid-90s (pretty sure I was in second grade), when the neighbor across the street was moving and just putting whole boxes of stuff out on the curb, apparently straight from the basement. Even at that young age, I knew I cleaned up, not only with Atari but old video game stuff in general. It was, frankly, pretty stellar. (Most of the haul I still have today, though a few things - which turned out to be fairly rare and thus I won't mention here - were stupidly sold off cheap at a flea market around 1999. A couple other specimens of the lot became the objects of childish destruction, though that stuff wouldn't be considered particularly valuable today.) In that same general era of my life, I was also quite enamored by Pac-Man. It was a game I guess I always sort of knew 'of', but my neighbor had it for his NES and that's where I first really fell in love with it. I still remember asking my mom to call Toys-R-Us to see if they had the NES port in stock, but alas, they did not, despite their sizable selection. (*sniff*) I wasn't totally Pac-deprived though; we had a cheap LCD handheld port of the game, and heck, even Entex's Pac-Man 2 portable was part of that aforementioned curb haul. (Which I did indeed hold onto; I can turn my head and see it among all my junk down here right this very moment.) And yet, despite the load of common games that came with my 2600, Pac-Man wasn't included - or at least, it wasn't found during the dig. When it came right down to it, I really, really wanted a "real," home console Pac-Man to call my own! Back then, and extending into the late 1990s, my dad would occasionally take me to these computer conventions, where stuff not unlike what I nabbed off the curb would be sold for cheap. I loved going to these cons, and if I could go back in time, I imagine much of what was sold for mere dollars at them would be considered quite collectible nowadays. Anyway, it was at one such convention that my young eyes fell upon a box of 2600 carts. While scanning all of the then-unfamiliar titles, I spotted a torn end label that read something like "-c-Man." Could it be true? It could and it was! I had found a Pac-Man to call my own! Needless to say, it came home with me. (Also brought home on that same trip? Missile Command, and a TAC-2 joystick from, IIRC, a different vendor. I loved the TAC-2 for its arcade-style good looks - kinda ironic given the topic currently at hand, I know - though the sad fact of the matter was I found Missile Command's title cooler than its gameplay, though I've since come around exponentially and would almost-certainly place it in my top 10 favorites for the console.) Maybe it's because I didn't grow up with the original arcade as an ever-present, world-conquering influence (i.e., it was still around, I knew of it, I think I even played it at the bowling alley, but the days of it being the hot new "must have" arcade game were long over), but you know, I loved that game. From the gameplay to even the (unbeknownst to me then) commonly-derided looks of it. Was it because I didn't truly know any better, or because it was 'mine'? Truth be told, it was probably both. A few years later, it was late 1997, I was at a nearby thrift store (which is still there; I stopped in just this past weekend), and they had a load of 2600 games. Not only did I find a (kinda ratty) lose copy of the mythical E.T. game that my grade school friend once told me about, but also a minty boxed copy of Pac-Man. I couldn't resist - especially since the guy working the counter cut a deal on the Pac-Man - and both came home with me, even though my 2600 had been presumed broken for awhile by then. (Turns out the RF cord just got a bit chewed up somehow; in 2001, I decided to put electrical tape over the offending chews and discovered I could have been enjoying the thing for additional years all along!) Boy, between Pac-Man and E.T., I was really batting .1000 where universally beloved 2600 games were concerned, wasn't I? 😉 It wasn't until 2001, when I discovered AtariAge, that I learned Pac-Man (and E.T.) were not particularly well-regarded titles in the 2600 stable. And of course, I became far better acquainted with the real Pac-Man, as well. So, is the 2600 version a GOOD port of the arcade? Well, no, not really. Compared to the coin-op, yeah, it's a disappointment. I can totally understand the derision it received and receives. And yet, personally, I just can't hate the game. Part of that's nostalgia, sure (actually, a LOT of that is nostalgia). But you know, even though I have the far superior 2600 Ms. Pac-Man available, and can play the real deal at my brother's house (I rocked the Christmas gift big time one year and got him an original cabaret cabinet), every once in awhile I like to fire up that first 2600 game, not only for old time's sake, but also because, taken on its own merits, it plays okay in my eyes. Maybe it's a bit more Pac-Man 'in-name-only' than it isn't, but yeah, I think it's alright. (And, you can add me to the camp that thinks E.T. isn't that bad, as well.) Of course, that's just my personal experience. Had I been around when the coin-op was fresh and new and taking the world by storm, I may very well have been disappointed that the 2600 port fell so short. Or maybe I still would have been happy to just to have a Pac-Man to call my own, I dunno.
  5. Two games come to mind: - Keystone Kapers, while (probably) not based on a specific entry, is certainly inspired by the silent Keystone Cops short films of the 1910s. - I never really think of it as a movie-based game, but Kung-Fu Master was titled Spartan X in Japan, a tie-in with the Jackie Chan movie of the same name there. However, as per Wikipedia, its plot actually resembles a Bruce Lee movie, Game of Death, which it apparently started out as a game version of until it was linked to the aforementioned Jackie Chan film during development (again, as per Wikipedia).
  6. Very interesting, thanks! Considering Corp's, erm, thriftiness, that makes sense, finding a 'normal' copy in the original box style. It's not like the kids getting these games back then would have cared much about that sort of thing, so why not use up what's already printed?
  7. Since that 1984 Joust box has an old Lionel sticker on it but only Pole Position II made it out that year, is it safe to assume that the old '84 stock of boxes/labels/etc. was used up during the 1986 wide release? (If that was indeed the case, I wonder how "far reaching" it was? I mean, is it possible I could stumble across an '84 labeled Joust or whatever here in Northeast Ohio?)
  8. I like Spiderman, but it's definitely Superman for me. Spiderman is certainly more accessible and I can absolutely understand why it's winning this poll, but I just like Supes a whole lot more. One of those "one more round!" games I keep coming back to trying to beat my best time. The city map can be pretty confusing (rapid-fire x-ray vision searches and the subway are an absolute necessity to getting a good time), but I'm continuously impressed by just how involved and expansive it is for a 1979 game. Sure it's a flicker fest (actually, more of a straight-up blink fest), and can be frustrating, but the good far, far outweighs the bad for me. Honestly, it's a top 10 favorite of mine where the 2600 is concerned!
  9. Absolutely. Many of those ratings are waaay out of date. There was a time when NTSC copies of Xenophobe, Ikari Warriors, Road Runner, Motorodeo, etc. were considered way rarer than what they are now, thanks to the Venezuela NOS find. (Actually, were those ratings modified somewhat at some point? I seem to recall Ikari Warriors and Motorodeo being rated waaay higher than the 5 they both currently have...) Anyway, as far as things currently stand, my rarest game is Swordquest:Waterworld, followed by several 5s and 6s (and plenty of 4s, which I'm not even going to begin naming). Cosmic Commuter, River Raid II, Gremlins, Star Wars: The Arcade Game are what come to mind. I think I might still have Crash Dive somewhere, and there may be a few other 5/6 titles that I'm not recalling. (Regarding Cosmic Commuter, I tried selling it here on AA several years ago, but the only person who bit was someone trying to lowball me. The game isn't worth a fortune, but man, if I'd gone for their offer, after shipping and PayPal fees I would have gotten less than $10 for it! In retrospect, I'm glad we never worked out a deal, not just because of the offer or rarity but because I've just wound up really glad it's part of my collection.) I think my favorite 'rare' game in my collection is a boxed copy of Ghostbusters II. It was only released in PAL territories, and while it isn't (or at least wasn't; not sure how things stand now) particularly rare in those parts, it was never released in North America, and as a lifelong GB fan, well, it was a must-have.
  10. I get that, and we're certainly all aware of various games being advertised and then never released. This instance just struck me as particularly odd; a bigger company releasing an ad featuring some vaporware coupled with actual releases is one thing, but in this case, it's a small company, pitching one game, and with all the pertinent ordering info (including a phone number for charges) included up front. Just seems that if the game was indeed never released, they put the cart way, way before the horse here.
  11. So if the game was (as per that link) never released, was that ad just something that was proposed but never actually ran anywhere? It sure looks like it came from an actual newspaper, and with all the info provided, it certainly sounds like the game was 'ready to go'. So did it run and they were just REALLY jumping the gun?
  12. Would Telegames UK nowadays have the same artwork/cart design/etc. as that older issue? Because PAL or not, I'm kinda intrigued at the prospect of owning this 2600 game with the Intellivision name and cover art.
  13. First off, bear in mind that I *like* the NES port of Commando; for all of its faults, it has remained one of my go-to vertical run-and-gunners on the console. But, I simply can't see how "it's pretty easy to argue that the NES version is, in fact, superior" to the 7800 version. The NES port might throw more enemies at you, but it's also a buggy flicker-fest. It may run a bit faster, but it's not exactly like the 7800 is slogging through mud the whole way through. Indeed, I've never even remotely considered the pace of the 7800 version to be an issue. And as for the challenge, the 7800 version certainly becomes easier once you pick up the machine gun and knife icons - but those are things the NES version should have had as well, but didn't. (The NES version does feature some different, additional bonus items that you can pick up, which is nice - except the bugginess often makes them disappear before you can actually reach some of them!) Also, the 7800 allows you to adjust the level of difficulty; the NES version doesn't, and doesn't really put up much challenge until the second go-round. Graphically, I just can't see how someone could consider the NES port to be better, at least not objectively. The resolution might be higher on the NES, but the 7800 version displays a level of richness and depth and detail that the NES simply doesn't. As I said before, the NES is certainly brighter; it looks more like a desert-setting than the 7800's forest-like aura. Is that enough to consider it better than the 7800 though? I certainly don't think so. Atari games in general tended to be chunkier when compared to competing versions, but unless someone is just completely and utterly put off by that, I don't see how someone could say the 7800 looks worse than the NES here. (Images courtesy of MobyGames.) 7800: NES: And sonically, forget it; there's no comparison between the two. The 7800 sounds far superior. Honestly, the biggest knock against 7800 Commando isn't even something that's a fault on the game's part: the stock U.S. controller. That may have been a very real issue back in the day (in the States, anyway), but it's far less of one nowadays. Indeed, with a Euro joypad, it plays like a dream, and I can only imagine it plays even better with an Edladdin joystick or Genesis controller adapter. Look, I'm no kool-aid drinker; for as much as I love the 7800, even I have to admit that versions of the same game tended to be better on the NES. There were a few exceptions though, and I absolutely feel Commando is one of them. IMO it's one that's definitely in need of a VGC re-review. And by the way, the 7800 port features the underground bunkers, too. You don't have to watch very long in this video to see one. Like the rest of the game, it looks and sounds way better than the NES port, and includes some additional challenge in rolling boulders, as well.
  14. Just a thought: since this came from an employee, perhaps it wasn't produced in conjunction with a game but was rather something for working at Activision? Like, a 'getting started' orientation packet given to new hires, with that "survival kit" branding being tongue-in-cheek? Maybe it included some notes or whatever tools someone might have needed to get started with whatever they were doing? Maybe it was for interns? I have no idea if Activision would have done something quirky like that strictly for in-house or not, so I could be way off on this (and I probably am), but it's just something that popped into my head.
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