Jump to content
Ransom

Atari 2600: A great video game system? . . .

Recommended Posts

. . . or the greatest video game system?

 

:P

 

(Apologies to Stephen Colbert.)

 

I'm so glad I decided to get a VCS this year. I'd been playing the games in emulation for the last few years, and while that's fun, there's nothing like the real thing. Actually going to the shelf, pulling down a game, opening the box, getting the cartridge out, and putting it in the Atari sure brings back memories. In addition, it's much easier to read the instructions, adjust the game settings, and so on when everything is physically right there in front of you.

 

Plus, I've been rediscovering how great so many of the VCS games are. Sure, I knew Adventure, Kaboom!, and a few dozen others were solid games, but I'd forgotten how much more fun I had with the VCS versions of Berzerk and Jungle Hunt (just as an example) than I had with other versions of those games. Not to mention great home brews like "Lady Bug" and "Fall Down"!

 

I remember how floored I was by the the Atari 5200 and Colecovision's graphics back in the day, but it does all come down to game play. And so many VCS games have that in spades! Also, the simple controls really help with playability, and most of the games are far more replayable than the typical "beatable" games of the last 20 years.

 

The Atari VCS: Better game play, playability, and replayability than any other system.

 

That's what makes the VCS the greatest video game system, ever.

Edited by Ransom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There really is no comparable experience on modern consoles (as far as I know) to playing Kaboom! when it gets fast.. pure twitch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Admittedly you're preaching to the choir here so let me add my voice to the "Atari 2600 is the greatest gaming console of all time" crowd, however I would like to add that it's nice to hear in this present day.

Any time I cruise the gaming websites and gamers who have been around for many years start talking about the old days of video games and deciding which is the best console of yesteryear, it pains me to here them saying "the old days" means the NES. Ugh! I know I'm older than the demographic for gamers but please people, there was a whole generation before 1985 that you simply don't seem to know existed.

Alas, the console that usually wins these discussions is the SNES. I'm sure it was a lovely machine and I wish no ill will to it. And yes the 2600 did die off in a blazing glory filled with ET and Chase The Chuckwagon, but can people at least consider the 2600 when they have these conversations? That's all I ask.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually going to the shelf, pulling down a game, opening the box, getting the cartridge out, and putting it in the Atari sure brings back memories.

You have at least 2 more steps there than I have. That's one reason I don't collect boxes. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2600 is the best system of all time for sure! It was, is and always be THE Juggernaut of the video game world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
but can people at least consider the 2600 when they have these conversations? That's all I ask.

Or can people consider any console made previous to the NES in these conversations? NES fanboys and their revisionist history really irk me. The disrespect of previous systems amazes me. This garbage does not happen in other hobbies. Marvel is a better company but people still are found of D.C. and other comics of the golden era. 1952 Topps was an Amazing set but people still care for Goudy and the T206 cards. Yet with this hobby most NES collectors are posers who barely know what an Atari 2600 is. And they have no clue what a Colecovision, Intellivision, or Odyssey 1 + 2 is. :x

Edited by homerwannabee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even showing older generation people a classic game...they almost invariably have to comment how "bad" the graphics are. Which I have to reply that, no their not...these graphics are beautiful. Which they are to me.

 

It's always graphics, graphics, graphics, blah blah.....screw them, new video games suck.

 

 

An appreciation for pixelated graphics is like enjoying a vinyl record and it's great album cover. I'm sure you can draw your own comparisons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Even showing older generation people a classic game...they almost invariably have to comment how "bad" the graphics are. Which I have to reply that, no their not...these graphics are beautiful. Which they are to me.

 

It's always graphics, graphics, graphics, blah blah.....screw them, new video games suck.

 

 

An appreciation for pixelated graphics is like enjoying a vinyl record and it's great album cover. I'm sure you can draw your own comparisons.

 

 

fing05.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually going to the shelf, pulling down a game, opening the box, getting the cartridge out, and putting it in the Atari sure brings back memories.

You have at least 2 more steps there than I have. That's one reason I don't collect boxes. :P

 

Thank you for keeping the price of boxed cartridges lower. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Even showing older generation people a classic game...they almost invariably have to comment how "bad" the graphics are. Which I have to reply that, no their not...these graphics are beautiful. Which they are to me.

 

It's always graphics, graphics, graphics, blah blah.....screw them, new video games suck.

 

You're so right! People forget that either a game is fun to play or it isn't; the graphics resolution has very little to do with that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2600 is a timeless system. Most newer systems have nothing of value after the new systems come out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stella was my first love, and it will always have a special place in my heart. It is also the only system I collect for.

 

That said, sometimes I need more accurate physics on a racing game, big 3-D worlds to explore, or long and epic RPGs. That's when the PSX comes in. I would move to newer systems, but I have so much more to explore on the PSX, I'm set for a while.

 

Basically the 2600's history is facinating, and many games are very ammusing, but to me, the PSX is king.

 

--On a side note, you guys sound like old folks who said the best music was the one made while you were young :music:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*shakes cane in anger*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It's always graphics, graphics, graphics, blah blah.....screw them, new video games suck.

graphics certainly does not always equal fun. how can it? the only thing graphics can possibly give you is a greater immersion and suspension of disbelief. that *can* make for fun because it can create an almost intoxicating sense of escapism when done right...if you've ever played half-life 2, i think the beginning of that game was a great example of this (when you're fleeing for your life from the jackboots through the apartment building and then through the canals). but good graphics are effectively worthless if the core game mechanics or story are boring. conversely there are many graphically primitive games which are extremely fun and addicting - not because they contain any sense of escapism, but just because the game mechanics are fun and addictive...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the people on this site would agree of course, as it is an Atari website. However, the majority of the people I would say would disagree for the following reasons:

 

* The latest is preceived to be the greatest - EVERY Atari 2600 game can be faithfully reproduced and released on a single CD for a PSx or Xbox etc if ever there was the demand for it, and those systems can also produce the latest games as well, so clearly, they are a more CAPABLE system and therefore perceived to be better by the majority of people.

 

* A number of the latest games have the A2600 games as their basic platform. Crash Team Racing and Crash Bash are great examples of games that have their roots in A2600 style games, only with far better graphics. Therefore, if the gameplay is the same and the graphics are better, isn't the system a better system?

 

* Whilst we may not find some of the latest games appealing (the newest games I have ever played are Syphon Filter and Driver on the PS1, so its going back a while), the latest games ARE appealing to the younger generation of players and so you can't blame them fro thinking taht the A2600 is a museum piece.

 

I personally wouldn't swap my A2600 for any other system and have played it more than any other system I have in the last few years. In fact, the latest system I own is a PS1. I never bothered to upgrade as I hardly ever used it and I had bought HEAPS of games for it. But I am a VERY small minority. If you did a wide-ranging poll of the population, I would be very suprised if they rated the A2600 as the greatest system ever.

 

Homer: You'll have your revenge one day. At the moment the NES gets the highest prices, but one day when Generation Y has spending power, they'll be into the PSx and XBOX etc and those will then command the higher prices and the NES will be ridiculed as the Atari is by NES collectors today. What goes around eventually comes around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EVERY Atari 2600 game can be faithfully reproduced and released on a single CD for a PSx or Xbox etc

Have you ever tried to play Starmaster on a Playstation? The game was definately not made for those controllers.

 

Therefore, if the gameplay is the same and the graphics are better, isn't the system a better system?

The gameplay is not necessarily the same due to the difference in controllers. Some games were made for joysticks while others were made for paddle controllers and don't work well with the playstation controllers. Since all the newer game systems have similar controllers I think they would all have this problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EVERY Atari 2600 game can be faithfully reproduced and released on a single CD for a PSx or Xbox etc

Have you ever tried to play Starmaster on a Playstation? The game was definately not made for those controllers.

 

Therefore, if the gameplay is the same and the graphics are better, isn't the system a better system?

The gameplay is not necessarily the same due to the difference in controllers. Some games were made for joysticks while others were made for paddle controllers and don't work well with the playstation controllers. Since all the newer game systems have similar controllers I think they would all have this problem.

 

True... but if there was a market for it, they would release a joystick adaptor for the new systems. Problem is there is not enough of a market for it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The VCS is the only system powered by magic. On most other systems, there's hardware for everything or almost everything the game does visually or aurally. On the 2600, there's hardware for almost nothing. Somehow, though, it's possible for the arrangement of electrons in a game cartridge to unleash some powerful magic that lets the system which was designed to show two single-color objects at half resolution, instead show four independently-color independent-shape objects per line at full resolution.

 

Is there anything a PS/3 could do that would cause one to say "wow, I didn't know it could do that?" IMHO, the 2600 has more unexplored potential than any other system, though it's possible there are some surprises in some of the others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The VCS is the only system powered by magic. On most other systems, there's hardware for everything or almost everything the game does visually or aurally. On the 2600, there's hardware for almost nothing. Somehow, though, it's possible for the arrangement of electrons in a game cartridge to unleash some powerful magic that lets the system which was designed to show two single-color objects at half resolution, instead show four independently-color independent-shape objects per line at full resolution.

 

Is there anything a PS/3 could do that would cause one to say "wow, I didn't know it could do that?" IMHO, the 2600 has more unexplored potential than any other system, though it's possible there are some surprises in some of the others.

 

Totally agree with you there. Andrew Davie's Boulderdash is proof of that!! The problem is when you are talking about the greatest system EVER, most people interpret that as the output the system is capable of, not whether it can do amazing things based on its limitations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Totally agree with you there. Andrew Davie's Boulderdash is proof of that!! The problem is when you are talking about the greatest system EVER, most people interpret that as the output the system is capable of, not whether it can do amazing things based on its limitations.

 

Wouldn't it be existing content that matters to most people, not what it's capable of?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, personally, I come to AtariAge because, like a fly, I was attracted to the stench of the horrible Atari 2600, the manure of video game systems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

VCS rules all other gaming platforms IMO. Gameplay, which the VCS has plenty of, is pure fly. The eyecandy of the current gen is passe when compared to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2600 is great because just when you think you knew it all, something else pops up.

 

When I was a kid I had 50 or so games by the time it went in the attic.

That was a pretty big collection for a kid my age.

I thought I knew it all.

 

When I dusted it off about 10 years ago and plugged it in for good, I started really 'collecting'

I learned about joyboards and superchargers that I never knew existed.

Then I learned about label variations.

Landfills.

Some crazy game called Air Raid.

I learned that I should have joined that silly Atari Age magazine club and got a few games from there.

I found out that my dog should have definitely ate Purina dog food, but he didn't. :(

Then there were games that I should have played but never did, like HERO and Piece O Cake.

 

A little later I learned about an Activision title that had blinds opening an closing... how weird...

I found out that there was more than one Smurf game, and it is now my prize possession even though

it is still in the plastic.

 

I learned that I am dumb enough to keep things in plastic.

 

More things come out if you are patient. How about Actionauts, Cabbage Patch Kids and GammaAttack all popping up recently.

 

And I am still patiently awaiting Knight Rider. I know it will appear someday, and I can't wait.

(okay... maybe not)

 

I could go on and on. (I actually already have.)

 

The reason the 2600 is so great is because of its history.

Because the gameplay never gets old and the 'graphics' never mattered so they can't ever 'look crappy.'

They already looked crappy and we already accepted it when we were 9 years old playing pac-man.

It's great because we have a great community of fans and insiders that will give you a Star Wars cabinet if you are lucky, will answer any question you have with little or no snide remarks, and will always welcome a newb (whose first post isn't selling something...)

 

I love new systems.

I have always bought the newest thing.

I have my 360 that I love. I have a Wii that I like. I enjoy my DS and PSP.

 

But I worship my Atari 2600 and unlike my Xbox, Dreamcast, SNES, Saturn, etc., my 2600 will never wind up in the attic or basement again.

 

Peace out girl scouts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   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...