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IntellivisionDude

The Games That Disappointed You

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DZ,

I enjoyed hearing about your experiences with Coleco's Donkey Kong back when it was released. I'm also happy to hear that DK Arcade did something to shrug off the apparent psychological damage wrought on you by Coleco's original release. (Kidding, of course.)

I remember a neighbor getting Coleco DK first – of course I was dying to get it, too. I had seen it in the arcades many times, but only had played it a handful of times (my parents were also not very enthusiastic about dishing out quarters for play at the arcades). I only remember being absolutely slaughtered on the first screen, but absolutely loving it nonetheless.

I don't really remember being disappointed by the game when I saw it on Intellivision. I was so thrilled that it could be played at home (and the Intellivision saw so few arcade releases anyway), that I completely overlooked the downgraded graphics (which I'd come to expect anyway). I would go over to my neighbor's house just to play the game, and eventually got my own copy.

I didn't realize how awful it was until one Christmas when I was at my cousin's house, some relatives decided to play their Intellivision, and of course the first game they chose was Donkey Kong. To make matters worse, they were the proud owners of the Colecovision (and it's Donkey Kong). And guess what they did when they turned it on? They laughed, of course! They couldn't stop trashing it, and I'm pretty sure they didn't even try another game. Their whole perception of the system was based on that one title. It felt awful. :-(

However, when I started on DK Arcade for the Intellivision, now over 10 years ago, I don't really remember being motivated by a desire to prove that the Intellivision was capable of a superior version. I remember just being curious about how difficult it would be to improve on the graphics. (By the way, the answer to that was, basically, not as easy as I had originally thought. The sprite graphics were not hard to improve upon, but the backgrounds were a different story.)

After I had completed the graphics for the first screen, it looked promising enough that I eventually started to tinker with the gameplay. Being unsatisfied with the EXEC's clunky sprite updates, I got curious again about how hard it would be to write an engine that move the sprites more smoothly, etc. and it all kind of snowballed from there. ;-)

Carl

 

I hope this isn't inappropriate. But i'm taking Carl Mueller Jr's post from one thread to start a different thread. It will make a great topic.

 

I hear these stories a lot, not just here but in other parts of the site, "e.g." when i seen Pac-Man or E.T. on the 2600 for the first time etc. And like Carl's story here with DK on the Intellivision.

 

Who else has had similar experiences?

 

I only have 2 stories to share.

 

First off i didn't have a 2600 when i was younger but i had a friend who did and he had a small handful of games and we played a lot (majority of my memories are of us playing Combat and Outlaw all the time). But i remember a little while later when we weren't hanging out as much i went over his house and he had Pac-Man for it. Was i disappointed on how it looked or sounded? Not at all. I really genuinely figured that was the best the 2600 could do, the 2600 was no Intellivision anyway. ;) Still to this day i like 2600 Pac-Man and the sounds from the game are iconic and even after not playing the game for over 20+ years i never remembered the sounds. He may have also had E.T. but can't remember. It was a turd anyway. :lol:

 

My other experience would be Centipede on the Intellivision. I know you guys will debate with me on this one and say Intellivision Centipede isn't half bad and really it isn't. But like how some of you guy's favorite arcade games were either Pac-Man or DK, my favorite was Centipede. When my mother took me to Chuck E Cheese 90% of my tokens went into Centipede. So i had to be a little more judgmental on it when i finally got it for the Intellivision. I literally shit myself when i seen it on the shelf at Toys R Us. My dream was coming true. And i hate to say it but i was slightly disappointed in it. I of course didn't hate it, and i had the kid mindset of finding the good in any game and growing to love it. But my first reaction wasn't the best. It really had to grow on me. I finally had Centipede so i wasn't completely disappointed. But i still wanted it to feel more like the arcade. It just wasn't smooth enough. This is one of the few times i prefer the 2600 version over the Intellivision (Shh Voltron, i can see your laser pointed at my head). Good thing i never seen or played the 2600 version until just a couple years ago or i would of been having the same experience of you guys seeing DK on the Colecovision. But like i said, i made the game work and made the game fun.

Edited by IntellivisionDude
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And this topic doesn't have to be just about arcade ports that disappointed you, but any game in general.

 

I never liked Star Strike. After the initial cool factor of watching the earth explode a dozen times, the gameplay sucked and i never liked it.

Sub Hunt was a game i hated at first but grew to like. I didn't understand the game at first. I was a kid who didn't like reading and i probably never read or never understood the manual. And i was and still am the kind of person who likes to go the fastest speed in a game when you probably should slow down once in a while (especially in racing games). I believe my first mistake was always going full power and then having the ships destroy me quickly. It wouldn't be until a few years later i finally sat down, read the manual and figured out that you really needed to surface before you got to the ships and creep on them. Then the game started to become fun.

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Mission-X disappointed me. I was expecting something much more exciting and fun. Instead, it seems bland and uninteresting to me. The graphics are nice, though.

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e.t. actually is a good game. problem is no one reads the manuals. and with most 2600 games you didnt have to. i didnt like it as a kid cause my parents threw out all the manuals. about a year ago i watched a video of someone playing it through, read the manual, then played the game and actually enjoyed it. i had pac-man as a kid and didnt know any better, but the sounds on the 2600 version are so iconic they are used in tons of movies portraying someone playing a video game that is not pac-man. i even saw in a movie they were playing galaga i the arcade but it was playing the pac-man 2600 music.

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Mission-X disappointed me. I was expecting something much more exciting and fun. Instead, it seems bland and uninteresting to me. The graphics are nice, though.

 

I kind of like Mission X, while i won't argue one bit that it couldn't have been better and can't be improved upon. I guess i always liked the fact i could bomb everything on the ground. I felt satisfaction bombing the train.

 

You gotta admit the game is so much better with AC/DC playing in the background. Maybe that was what was missing. :-D

And after i look back on this video i still wonder why i didn't pick Shot Down in Flames to play in the background. lol

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUQgSD06RKE

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Yeah, maybe that's it. It needs a rockin' background track. They should totally re-release it with licensed BGM from AC/DC. :D

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Yes I agree with Maze A Tron, Solar Sailer also is one I didn't care for because I didn't understand what I was supposed to do. Mission X on the other hand I liked a lot as I was a big 1942 and Time Pilot fan.

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Yes I agree with Maze A Tron, Solar Sailer also is one I didn't care for because I didn't understand what I was supposed to do. Mission X on the other hand I liked a lot as I was a big 1942 and Time Pilot fan.

 

Solar Sailer was disappointment for me as well. Loved Deadly Discs, easily in my top 5, shame these two were duds.

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I've been disappointed by a bunch of the games already mentioned (the latter two Tron games, Mission X, Donkey Kong, Star Strike), but I didn't play them as a kid.

 

However, I did play Boxing as a kid, and I was pretty underwhelmed when I picked it back up. I remember being intrigued by it when I played it at a friend's house, so I assumed I just needed to figure it out, but the collision detection and damage routines are just too wonky.

 

I've also been disappointed by Sea Battle (which I played a little bit BITD), but mainly because my other half hates it. :D

 

Finally, I was disappointed by the two-player mode in Shark! Shark!, a game that's otherwise very fun. I had high hopes, but I don't like the way the game handles player deaths -- the player whose fish gets eaten has to wait around until the other player dies, and then you're both reduced to your starting size. Instant respawn, without losing your current fish size, would be much preferable.

 

Oh, and the two-player mode in Auto Racing is disappointing. I want to race, not constantly get interrupted when one player falls behind.

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This isn't a game, but the Intellivoice disappointed me. I bought my first Intellivision lot off Ebay and was pretty pumped to try that thing out. I'm not sure what I expected to be honest. Either way I was disappointed mainly that it didn't work with every game lol.

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I'm gonna get trolled for this.

 

2600 Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

I didn't get it when I was younger, and even after picking it up again and thinking "Maybe it will be different this time, I've read over the manual, actually hooked up the second joystick..." I still get three screens in and lose all patience with the game.

I once heard somebody say (maybe Classic Game Room) that "Old games are cool, because they require a bit of imagination on the part of the player." When I first heard this I thought "What a bunch of crap! Frog is Frog, Truck is Truck, how does imagination come into play on the part of the user?" I was playing a lot of Frogger at the time. It wasn't until I fired up a copy of Berzerk for the 2600 that this comment made sense. I could actually imagine the grittiness of the maze, the blasts of the lasers, the horrible gruesome end to the human. Ok, it makes sense now, I DO use my imagination more when playing old games, Raiders however, is too much of a stretch for me. I find myself saying "Now WTF is that thing supposed to be?" It kinda sucks, I really want to like this game.

Sorry if the thread was meant for only INTV games.

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2600 Yar's Revenge. I never got why all the action had to go toward the side of the screen, and it turned me away. I know there are many who rate it among the best 2600 titles, but why could they not have made it with the attack point at the top of the screen?

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2600 Yar's Revenge. I never got why all the action had to go toward the side of the screen, and it turned me away. I know there are many who rate it among the best 2600 titles, but why could they not have made it with the attack point at the top of the screen?

 

Oh yes, Yar's Revenge. It was all over the TV and radio In advertisements, as a kid I was constantly exposed to it--even though I didn't have an Atari VCS. When my cousin got a copy, and we played it, I realized it was just another Atari space game. I thought it was so much more.

 

dZ.

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I kind of like Mission X, while i won't argue one bit that it couldn't have been better and can't be improved upon. I guess i always liked the fact i could bomb everything on the ground. I felt satisfaction bombing the train.

 

You gotta admit the game is so much better with AC/DC playing in the background. Maybe that was what was missing. :-D

 

I remember coming home from either college one summer (I think), firing up MAME and playing the actual arcade Pac-Man, but while listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I also remember pwning at Doom deathmatch while listening to NIN's Pretty Hate Machine.

 

All that aside, there are several game titles I remember being disappointed at for different reasons:

  • Royal Dealer. I actually loved Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack. Seeing as it was pretty much the first game I played on the Intellivision at the ripe old age of 6 or 7, I was looking forward to a fun sequel. Royal Dealer wasn't it.
  • Maze-A-Tron. I love maze games. I spent several years writing many, many maze generators and maze programs. I love TRON. I've watched that movie maybe 40 or 50 times. So mazes + TRON == win, right? Well, it should, but this game couldn't get the ball over the line. Maybe if they could make the movement more fluid. I think the game concept was fine and the execution was flawed.
  • Lock'n'Chase. It's like Pac-Man, minus the fun, at least for me.
  • Carnival. Ok, I can't say there's much *disappointment*, seeing as my expectations were low. But, it's one of a handful of titles whose sound effects and sluggishness are actually physically repulsive to me.
  • Zaxxon. I didn't have this title back in the day; I only came across it in the late 90s. My initial reaction was: WTF is this? Is this cartridge mislabeled?
  • Turbo: Another game I didn't have back in the day. Sega's Turbo was perhaps my favorite arcade game of all in the 80s. I loved the sit-down arcade units that had an LED-based leaderboard to the right of the monitor. I pwned at Turbo in the arcade, or so I thought. I'd at least get a handful of "Extended Plays" out of the machine. When I discovered there was a Turbo port to the Inty in the late 90s/early 2000s, I tried it out. It was closer to the arcade than Zaxxon was, but that's like saying Neptune is closer to the Sun than Pluto.

Aside from disappointment are the games you have a love-hate relationship with. I loved, but hated:

  • Astrosmash. The game is awesome, but the sluggish 20Hz response kills it.
  • Buzz Bombers. I love the gameplay, but geez, fix the interaction between the music and sound effects?
  • Utopia. A beautiful simulation game. But, if you could fix the boat handling and then speed the rest up 50%, you'd lose no challenge but gain playability, while contracting some of the more protracted games to reasonable periods of time. Plus, the scoring overflow is kinduva bummer.
  • Treasure of Tarmin. I love the pseudo-3D and exploring around the mazes. But, if you explore too long, before too long, all the baddies are Minotaurs. Buh, wha?

And on the TI-99/4A:

  • Moon Patrol for the TI-99/4A by AtariSoft. I loved that game, but I hated how sluggish it was. I also hated how it didn't prepare me in the least bit for the arcade version. That said, I played the heck out of it. I could get all the way through the beginner course and up to checkpoint D of the Champion course on my first tank.
  • Blasto for the TI-99/4A by Milton Bradley. A great game concept, but, like too many TI-99/4A games, didn't know how to multiplex music and sound effects. Their answer was the worst possible. A really annoying fill-music that would reset any time your ship fired. If the music actually went on for more than a few seconds, it'd start to play a recognizable tune, but after a couple bars it'd exit the tune with a rather garish chord progression and go back to the really annoying fill.

Ok, that's enough for now. I'm certain I could find more games to rail against. But this is a start. :-)

Edited by intvnut

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Finally, I was disappointed by the two-player mode in Shark! Shark!, a game that's otherwise very fun. I had high hopes, but I don't like the way the game handles player deaths -- the player whose fish gets eaten has to wait around until the other player dies, and then you're both reduced to your starting size. Instant respawn, without losing your current fish size, would be much preferable.

 

Ok, yes, that's annoying. I understand why they did it, though. Because of the limited number of MOBs in the hardware, they only send in fish that are appropriately sized for the players. If you die, you're going to come back as a small fry, while your opponent is likely to be huge.

 

So what should the game send in at that point for fish? If the game only sent in large fish (to handle your opponent), you couldn't feed on those fish. If the game only sent in small fish, then your opponent could grow really large really quickly, since either fish could eat anything smaller than themselves, including their opponent, and so you'd have a rather imbalanced situation there also.

 

 

Oh, and the two-player mode in Auto Racing is disappointing. I want to race, not constantly get interrupted when one player falls behind.

 

Ok, yes, that sucked pretty hard. "10 AHEAD 20"

 

Ugh.

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I remember coming home from either college one summer (I think), firing up MAME and playing the actual arcade Pac-Man, but while listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. I also remember pwning at Doom deathmatch while listening to NIN's Pretty Hate Machine.

 

All that aside, there are several game titles I remember being disappointed at for different reasons:

  • Royal Dealer. I actually loved Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack. Seeing as it was pretty much the first game I played on the Intellivision at the ripe old age of 6 or 7, I was looking forward to a fun sequel. Royal Dealer wasn't it.

 

1. I actually liked Royal Dealer. I loved playing Gin Rummy and Crazy 8's :thumbsup:

 

And you beat me to my idea for another topic i didn't get around to starting but i will do it right now. It will be about Homebrew ideas. Ideas for new games, improvements you would like to see on current games, sequels to current games etc. Should be interesting.

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oh, another game that disappointed me was Horse Racing... just felt like you didn't have much control over the performance of the horses and it was a crap shoot if you won a race or not. Now these impressions are from when I was a young... don't think I've seriously tried to play that game in 20+ years

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I don't remember classic games disappointing me per se. They just got put back in the box and not played before I became too depressed.

 

I think I got a hint of disappointment when I realized Super Mario Bros was NEVER going to get harder after cycling through to faster buzzy beetles. Phantasy Star III had a snorfest for an end boss. Quite a let down after so much work.

 

The let downs get even harsher on current gen systems. Dungeon Siege III was so linear and so short I swear it was a demo.

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I think almost every game for the Intellivision disappointed me in some way or another. I got an Intellivision very soon after the national release. The fact that none of the sports games had 1 player modes was terribly disappointing. Space Armada is a horrible version of space invaders. Every time I see it it looks to me like a toy made for toddlers, with extra large pieces or something. Astrosmash just becomes repetitive after a while but the biggest disappointment of all for me was Night Stalker. It just seemed like the Intellivision should have been capable of so much more but the game is just the same thing over and over. No change in the maze or anything.

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For me the biggest disappointments were:

- Zaxxon - my Intellivision equivalent of E.T.

- Donkey Kong - only two levels with character who looked like a fire plug

- Happy Trails

- and Utopia - mostly because I could never get my brothers to play

 

Honorable mentions are: TRON Maze-a-TRON, Triple Action and Empire Strikes Back.

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For me the biggest disappointments were...

 

3) Space Hawk - we rarely, if ever, played it after that first day.

 

2) Tron Maze-a-Tron - we actually spent a fair amount of time trying to like this game but it just wasn't possible.

 

1) Donkey Kong - we played the heck out of it anyhow because it was Donkey Kong. However, we complained the whole time about how bad it sucked.

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