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Lord Thag

Colecovision: a strange system

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I've had quite a bit of luck with finding colecovision games over the last year. It has always been the redheaded-stepchild of my classic console collection. I've had a core group of about 40 carts for some time, but i must admit, I never really warmed up to the system.

 

Many of the common games are just average. The Kong games paled in comparisson to the 8-bit versions, for example, and most of the rest of the common stuff I owned was pretty fugly. Games like Buck Rogers and Zaxxon played very clunky, while other games like Venture and Popeye were excellent conversions of very average games. In short, nothing really grabbed me. And don't even get me started on the travesties that Activision released. Pitfall has never been more hideous. Oh, and the garish colors made my eyes bleed.

 

Well, that was last year. This year, I have had some extraordinary luck with four very big (cheap) lots of very rare games. I basically scored All of the Spectravision, Xonox, Atari, Interphase, Imagic, Epyx, Activision, Sunrise and Parker Bros games basically, with a healthy chunk of Sierra and all of the one-off carts by Sega, Spinnaker etc. Also included in the lot(s) were all the actual Coleco games, and I'm only missing the educational titles and a couple of rare games like Qberts Qubes, Word Feud etc. Basically, in a couple of giant scores, I went from fifty carts total, up to one hundred and thirty eight. The whole library in one go, so to speak.

 

And you know what? This is a very, very fun system, and I'd never have guessed in a million years. In many ways it's the reverse of collecting for the Atari 2600. On the VCS, almost all of the awesome, fun stuff is dirt common. The rare stuff is usually pretty crappy, with a few notable exceptions. It's the opposite on the coleco. Most of the common stuff is average to poor (again, a few good exceptions), but the uncommon and rare stuff is amazingly good. On the Atari, Activision is king. On Coleco, Activision sucks donkey balls (with the exception of Hero, and Zenji). It's weird.

 

Seriously, on the Atari, Xonox released a lot of clunkers and a few decent games. On the Coleco, Xonox seems to be on par with Activision on most of their games. Artillery Duel is amazing, and so is Robin Hood (!), Sir Lancelot, Slurpy (weird but fun), It's Only Rock and Roll (a text based Rock sim that's fun!?), and Motocross Racer. All of the Sunrise games are fun (Rolloverture has to be one of the most original platform games ever), and so are the Interphase carts (love Sewer Sam). Imagic, as usual is great, and Wing War is a work of art. I can play it for hours. Dragonfire is also the best ever on this console. All of the Atari titles are good to great, and Jungle Hunt is damn near perfect, while Galaxian is *better* than the arcade game. All of the Epyx titles rock too, especially Apshai, which is by far the best version on ANY console. So do most of the rarer coleco carts, like Tapper, Spy Hunter, Tarzan, Dam Busters, 2010 etc.

 

This system really shines once you get off the beaten path. There are tons of 'undiscovered' gems in the library for those who tale the time to track them down.

 

I wouldn't have said this a year or two ago, but I am an avid Colecovision fan now. I can finally see what all the fuss is about!

Edited by Lord Thag

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I think the colecovision is fun too. The coleco versions of venture and mouse trap blow the 2600's version out of the water, and the coleco donkey kong too.

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Have to agree with you Lord Thag the rarer titles are awesome have you noticed the bug in galaxian that if you die on level 9 the galaxians stop firing bullets for the rest of the game,I cant belive how close atari made centipede to the arcade version although the spider tends to get a bit annoying i just picked up all the imagic titles on ebay-uk in one lot waiting for them to arrive down under(australia) glad to hear there fun games cause theve cost me $150 with shipping i still cant believe i paid that much for them but i have a soft spot for the system i see one going cheap and i have to buy it i have four systems and 96 carts with another 5 carts on the way i cant believe it ive spent $1100 dollars on them its kind of like an addiction i bought my first system 3months ago and now ive got all that my girlfreind told me i was an idiot and i couldnt help but smile and that made her angrier, I was wondering are there any forums for the colecovision?

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Have to agree with you Lord Thag the rarer titles are awesome have you noticed the bug in galaxian that if you die on level 9 the galaxians stop firing bullets for the rest of the game,I cant belive how close atari made centipede to the arcade version although the spider tends to get a bit annoying i just picked up all the imagic titles on ebay-uk in one lot waiting for them to arrive down under(australia) glad to hear there fun games cause theve cost me $150 with shipping i still cant believe i paid that much for them but i have a soft spot for the system i see one going cheap and i have to buy it i have four systems and 96 carts with another 5 carts on the way i cant believe it ive spent $1100 dollars on them its kind of like an addiction i bought my first system 3months ago and now ive got all that my girlfreind told me i was an idiot and i couldnt help but smile and that made her angrier, I was wondering are there any forums for the colecovision?

 

Yeah, you'll have some fun with those. $150 is probably fair, I just got lucky on mine. These will certainly not be dust collectors! Here's my take on them:

 

Wing War: Amazingly fun and original cross between Joust, a side scrolling shooter, and Atari 2600 Adventure. It's a big non-linear world where you fly your dragon around collecting crystals (which much be collected in a specific order, air must always be between fire and water) to obtain power, as well as finding and flying eggs back to your lair (extra lives) so new generations of dragons can hatch. All of this requires a lot of hunting and figting. There are tons of enemies, finite amunition (repelnishable only by fire crystals from the volcano), a huge map with above and below ground locations, and lots of secrets. AWESOME game. Good luck finding the diamond!

 

Moonsweeper: Quite fun, and certainly pretty, but not anywhere near as polished as the VCS version, mainly due to wonky targeting (your ground-to-space missles hit anyting in the way, unlike the VCS one). Plus, I dislike the space scene, which is full of a lot of pretty pictures, but it's far to busy. The planets have way to many men, and I miss the tense, ten minute long moon flights looking for that one last man on the VCS one. Still, it's not a bad game at all. I'm just partial to the VCS one.

 

Dragonfire: Whoever did this port put a lot of love into it. There are tons of extra enemies, cool extra animations (splashing in water, splatting on side of castle if you jump late etc), new dangers (moat, drawbridge, goblins, archers etc) that make this a simply amazing port of an already very fun game. Gorgeous graphics too. Once you have this version, you'll never play the others.

 

Fathom: Just like the VCS version, only much improved graphically, and with lots of new elements and enemies. Very fun, and relaxing for some reason. Different map layout somewhat too, and I find it harder. Good stuff.

 

Tennis: Well, it's tennis..... *yawn*. Fine if you like this kind of thing. I don't.

 

Nova Blast: On the Intellivision, this is just a sub-par Defender knockoff. On the Coleco, however, it's a very fun game. Definately similar to Defender, but it somehow plays entirely different. Very fun, tons of different enemies, and it gets frantic as hell. Nice animations too. Feels much more polished than the Inty one.

 

Have fun with your new stack of imagic titles. I love mine!

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Nova Blast is one of my all time fave Coleco games.

 

Gotta disagree with Kongl, though. DK on the Coleco looks and plays amazing.

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I have been playing the Colecovision for two weeks straight while my 2600, 5200 and 7800 are sitting on the shelf.

 

Colecovision is the ultimate home arcade out of the bunch. Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. on the 7800 are absolute disasters.

 

Every system has its duds, but all the Colecovision titles in my collection are better than average.

 

To name a few:

Galaxian

Defender

Centipede (although not as good as the 7800 version)

Carnival

Mouse Trap (there's no way you can play this the way it was meant to be played on a 2600!)

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong, Jr.

Tapper

BurgerTime

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Colecovision is the ultimate home arcade out of the bunch. Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr. on the 7800 are absolute disasters.

 

Lastly, although I do not yet own any of the home brews available for the Colecovision, titles like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and the upcoming Arkanoid are certainly creates some excitement.

 

I can't believe I forgot to add Pepper II to my previous post. I only play that game every day. But, I had to rush off to a meeting.

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I think it depends a lot on what system(s) you grew up with.

 

We had a Colecovision, and my friends and I always thought the early releases were gold. Donkey Kong, Smurf, Cosmic Avenger, Venture, Carnival, Mouse Trap, Turbo, DK Jr., Zaxxon, and Lady Bug were all awesome back in the day. To a large extent, they still are (in my opinion)....

Edited by else

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We had a Colecovision, and my friends and I always thought the early releases were gold. Donkey Kong, Smurf, Cosmic Avenger, Venture, Carnival, Mouse Trap, Turbo, DK Jr., Zaxxon, and Lady Bug were all awesome back in the day. To a large extent, they still are (in my opinion)....

 

I agree, those are all really fun games. I don't have a CV right now, but I did back in '82 and I loved all those games. I still play them in emulation, and hope to acquire them and buy a system sometime next year so I can play them on real hardware again.

 

I'm still undecided about getting the add-ons, though. The roller controller, the super-action controllers, and the driving controller are bulky and seem to be of limited benefit. With space at a premium, I don't know if I'll bother with them.

 

But the core games...definitely!

 

I just wish the system itself had been built better, particularly the switch. I don't relish the thought of having to deal with that...

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I'm still undecided about getting the add-ons, though. The roller controller, the super-action controllers, and the driving controller are bulky and seem to be of limited benefit. With space at a premium, I don't know if I'll bother with them.

 

But the core games...definitely!

 

I just wish the system itself had been built better, particularly the switch. I don't relish the thought of having to deal with that...

 

The only add-on I will get is the driving controller. If I want to play VCS games, I'll play them on the 7800 or 2600.

 

The Colecovision power thing is a pain. That's one thing you can credit the 2600 is that it was well designed for the long haul.

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I agree, it really depends if you grew up with these consoles. Donkey Kong and DK Jr were fantastic on the Coleco before the NES came out.

 

Of course nowadays its ugly but back then it was fantastic.

 

Some games on the Coleco are now better on other systems.

 

Playable Coleco games today for me are the following:

 

Smurf Rescue

Tarzan

Antarctic Adventure

Wargames

2010

Wing War

Dragonfire (excellent version!!!)

H.E.R.O (this is good on any system)

Mousetrap

Burgertime

Gorf

Cosmic Avenger

Lady Bug

Venture

Pepper II

Gateway to Apshai

Jumpman Jr

Miner 2049er

The Heist

Frogger

Tutankham

 

Everything else is pretty painful but I may have missed a few.

 

I now prefer to play the Kong games, Popeye, Q-bert on other systems.

 

Hey you can even play Space Panic on the CV! :P

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Gorf

Lady Bug

Jumpman Jr

Tutankham

 

Everything else is pretty painful but I may have missed a few.

 

I now prefer to play the Kong games, Popeye, Q-bert on other systems.

 

Hey you can even play Space Panic on the CV! :P

 

I really like Gorf on the CV - it really feels like the real deal.

 

Ladybug is a game I have yet to warm up to. At times I have to play a game over and over again in order to warm up to it. It surprised me how the graphics are subpar and I never played it in the arcade so maybe that's how it looked there as well. The game play is a little strange to me as well.

 

Jumpman Jr and Tutankham are on my shopping list.

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Pepper II is one that I didn't have back in the day, but has become one of the big reasons I want a CV. I really enjoy that game.

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I love the ColecoVision. It's just the pain in the ass RCA jack that pisses me off. You have to jiggle it in order to get a clear picture.

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I love the ColecoVision. It's just the pain in the ass RCA jack that pisses me off. You have to jiggle it in order to get a clear picture.

 

I have found that also. I tried the gold contact cables which made no difference.

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I love the ColecoVision. It's just the pain in the ass RCA jack that pisses me off. You have to jiggle it in order to get a clear picture.

 

I have found that also. I tried the gold contact cables which made no difference.

The ColecoVision is one of the worst consoles for reliability EVER! Hell it almost beats the PS2 and 360.

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There are lots of awesome Colecovision games. Some of my favorites are:

Spy Hunter, Frenzy, Mr. Do's Castle, Gateway to Apshai, Turbo, Star Trek, Antarctic Adventure, Star Wars, Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures in the Park

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What are the best exclusive titles for the Colecovision? If that's too limiting, what are the best games on Colecovision that beat out all other versions of the same game on other systems? I've been finding it hard to get too interested in the Colecovision since it seems mostly like an arcade conversion system...what makes it stand out besides arcade ports?

 

-Adam

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Although there are interesting, non-arcade games for the ColecoVision (such as Wargames, Fortune Builder and Campaign '84), its strength as I see it lies in the same direction as the Atari 2600: the arcade ports offer difficulty levels, so that you can play those games at a lower difficulty level and actually enjoy learning the game rather than facing that quarter-grabbing arcade learning curve. Then, later, you can choose to advance the difficulty a bit, and keep the game fresh and challenging. Most CV games have four difficulty levels, so they'll stay challenging for a long time.

 

That, coupled with the fact that most of the CV arcade ports look and play best on the CV, makes the ColecoVision a must have for classic gamers.

 

The only down-side is the infamous ColecoVision build quality and lack of reliability. If you get one, plan on learning how to maintain it.

Edited by Ransom

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What are the best exclusive titles for the Colecovision? If that's too limiting, what are the best games on Colecovision that beat out all other versions of the same game on other systems? I've been finding it hard to get too interested in the Colecovision since it seems mostly like an arcade conversion system...what makes it stand out besides arcade ports?

 

-Adam

 

It was intended to be the "home arcade." I can't think of any game that is available on the Colecovision that has a better version ported to another system.

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I'm still undecided about getting the add-ons, though. The roller controller, the super-action controllers, and the driving controller are bulky and seem to be of limited benefit. With space at a premium, I don't know if I'll bother with them.

 

But the core games...definitely!

 

I just wish the system itself had been built better, particularly the switch. I don't relish the thought of having to deal with that...

 

The only add-on I will get is the driving controller. If I want to play VCS games, I'll play them on the 7800 or 2600.

 

The Colecovision power thing is a pain. That's one thing you can credit the 2600 is that it was well designed for the long haul.

 

the powerplug makes it look worth it. look at the simple 2600 with its rinky dink games then you see the mega power plug for coleco with its intense, high quailty games.

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the powerplug makes it look worth it. look at the simple 2600 with its rinky dink games then you see the mega power plug for coleco with its intense, high quailty games.

 

:rolling: Sure, but then you have the 5200 console, which is big enough to serve dinner for six people on it.

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The Kong games paled in comparisson to the 8-bit versions,

 

Did you mean "later" 8-bit versions? Colecovision is 8-bit as well.

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Congrads, Lord Thag on the huge Colecovision cache! You're definitely right about the games for this console. The programming got progressively better as the system peaked in mid '83. All of the best titles were released in one run of limited numbers about the time of the great "game crash" ca 1984, making them somewhat and/or very rare.

 

(My) Top 3 reasons for dusting off the old Colecovision:

I. It's an excellent sister console to the Atari 5200 b/c it has many great arcade ports which are either in the "rumour mill" and/or were never considered for the Super System, such as:

 

Tutankham(un)---an 8-bit exclusive & incredibly accurate port of the Arcade (--I dumped alot of quarters into this one)--well worth tracking down...Good Luck :)

Mr. Do---another impressive port, which was oddly overlooked for the 5200 (it does exist on Atari 8-bit disk however and could be converted by some genius with the wherewithal, until then... :ponder: )

Q*Bert's Qubes---this game barely made it out the door late '84 and is near impossible to find, but the hunter(if successful) is rewarded with and excellent quality sequel which is extremely fun to play!

All of the Xonox titles, which are a vast improvement over 2600 counterparts; Artillary Duel is GREAT...

Other quality Arcade level titles: Ladybug, Time Pilot, Mouse Trap, Mr. Do's Castle---(slightly better gameplay than 5200), Venture---(best home version by far) .

 

II. The controllers are durable and have stood the test of time; also, joystick extensions which greatly enhance gameplay are still available for purchase: Note to those who dislike the stubby circular sticks...

 

III. Quite possibly the Biggest reason: The 2600 adaptor practically eliminates the need for the VCS, with the exception of a handful of obscure 3rd party carts, which should work on the 7800 anyways.

 

...And that's my 25 cents worth ;) .

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