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the E.T. hype

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I'll chime in on this as well. Back in '82 I thought that ET was an ok game. I also never had problems with the controls or gameplay.

 

The REAL issues with ET (as previously mentioned in this thread and others) is the licensing fees Atari paid for the title, and the over production of the carts. These 2 items set up the "failure" of ET so Atari could never have made a profit on it.

 

Timing is everything and I think ET's failure plays into the lore of the crash. Plus people like a scape goat.

 

ET's biggest legacy is licensed movie properties and the risk for developers and gamers. Financial risk for the developer, and entertainment risk for the gamer. Licensed titles like this now are timed to hit with the release of the film, so they have rushed development cycles. Sound familiar?

 

The gaming industry needs to remember it's roots in more than one way sometimes.

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ET's biggest legacy is licensed movie properties and the risk for developers and gamers. Financial risk for the developer, and entertainment risk for the gamer. Licensed titles like this now are timed to hit with the release of the film, so they have rushed development cycles. Sound familiar?

 

The gaming industry needs to remember it's roots in more than one way sometimes.

 

This so much. Name a good movie tie in game.

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I'm not going to sit through an enitre film and then complain that it was too boring.

 

Who said anything about staying until the end? I'm talking about walking out of a cruddy picture and demanding my money back, like that old couple. With "Lady in the Water", I think we walked out at the exact moment that the Shymalan's character was revealed to be the world's greatest writer. This would probably be equivalent to to the moment E.T. players realized that falling into pits was mandatory.

 

Maybe they were expecting some cute kids game that uses the kid's controller where you have to find E.T. hiding in stuffed animals or maybe it wasn't complex enough? I don't know. With Pac-Man it is easy seeing what people expected but with E.T. it is complicated. When I look at the commercial it appears to be honestly showing what it is.

 

Commercials for games are pretty limited in showing the "fun factor", though. Showing E.T. falling into one pit (and finding a phone piece there, no less) was different than the reality of steering E.T. through Pittsville and constantly falling into (mostly empty) pits. I get the feeling that the part players hated the most wasn't so much falling into the pits as it was monotony of floating out of them, which was a chore-like activity that would compromise a big part of gameplay. The floating was an attempt to cram a story element (E.T. levitation powers) into the game without a good design reason. That happens a lot in movie license games, and is probably a big part of why so many of them stink. If Activision licensed "A Lady in the Water" game, the suck from that cartridge might cause the world to collapse in on itself.

 

This game was supposed to be for kids, so the wells were a stupid idea. Making it hard for the average slack-jawed, nose-picking kid to get out of the wells was a very stupid idea. The game wasn't polished enough before it went out the door. Even the countdown clock didn't work properly.

 

As far as the timing issue, everyone agrees that the dev cycle for E.T. was 100% crazy (which is why they were paying Warshaw such a huge bonus). The sheer amount of work he put into it with so little time deserves respect, and the game's presentation is top notch. But the broken screen navigation leading to illogical player placement and cheap falls isn't just a polish issue IMO, and some of the design decisions were just bad ones from the start. The pits are bad (even for non-nose-pickers) not because they are hard to get out of, but because they are boring to get out of. And get into. Everything about them is dull. Warshaw said something about wanting to include them because they would expand the game world. An admirable goal, but it was a dud gameplay-wise. Just because one of the greatest Atari games is called "Pitfall" doesn't mean that falling into pits is fun. It's kind of depressing. Even sound effect is a downer. Meanwhile, E.T.'s enemies are more annoying then menacing. The FBI Mugger robbing your candy and phone parts is servicable, but the Scientist carrying you to the blue screen is roughly half-an-idea, poorly executed. Running from these enemies isn't very fun, and the only challenge involved is those damned pits, which they can somehow magically float over. The analog might be to re-imagine Pac-Man's gameplay where everything is the same except that 1) the ghosts can move through all the maze walls and 2) if Pac-Man touches a maze wall, the game stops for eight seconds. When they come for you, the only solution is to memorize the Roman numeral locations, wait around for them drag their asses onscreen then press the button to make them go away for a little while.

 

The windup is that E.T. is less a game than a buggy, luck-heavy memorization test. On Christmas morning, 1982, nose-pickers may not have been able able to put their finger (multiple puns intended) on exactly what was wrong with it, but I guess they knew a stinker when they played one. There are far worse Atari games - buggier, more poorly designed, etc - but despite all it's bells and whistles, E.T. still feels like one of the least fun to play.

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This so much. Name a good movie tie in game.

 

The original Star Wars vector arcade game was badass! So was the Addams' Family pinball game.

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Commercials for games are pretty limited in showing the "fun factor", though. Showing E.T. falling into one pit (and finding a phone piece there, no less) was different than the reality of steering E.T. through Pittsville and constantly falling into (mostly empty) pits.

 

The wells are obstacles that can be avoided if a person has good eye-hand coordination. Generally, the younger the child, the worse their eye-hand coordination is. Not good for a game that was aimed at children. A teenager or an adult who knows how to avoid objects in video games should be able to hold down the fire button and move E.T. around at high speed (in spurts) without falling into the wells.

 

 

 

 

I get the feeling that the part players hated the most wasn't so much falling into the pits as it was monotony of floating out of them, which was a chore-like activity that would compromise a big part of gameplay.

 

You only have to enter 3 wells at the most if you know how to play. And if you accidentally fall in, you can catch yourself and get right back out:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zh4U3BwlTcY

 

 

 

 

. . . not because they are hard to get out of, but because they are boring to get out of. And get into. Everything about them is dull. Warshaw said something about wanting to include them because they would expand the game world. An admirable goal, but it was a dud gameplay-wise. Just because one of the greatest Atari games is called "Pitfall" doesn't mean that falling into pits is fun. It's kind of depressing. Even sound effect is a downer.

 

If you know how to play, you'll never hear the full sound effect. The wells are stupid, but you only have to enter 3 of them. If you are entering more than 3 wells during a round, you are either going on a wilted flower hunt, you are sleepy, or you are uncoordinated and would have a problem playing any game where you have to avoid things.

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, E.T.'s enemies are more annoying then menacing. The FBI Mugger robbing your candy and phone parts is servicable, but the Scientist carrying you to the blue screen is roughly half-an-idea, poorly executed. Running from these enemies isn't very fun, and the only challenge involved is those damned pits, which they can somehow magically float over. The analog might be to re-imagine Pac-Man's gameplay where everything is the same except that 1) the ghosts can move through all the maze walls and 2) if Pac-Man touches a maze wall, the game stops for eight seconds. When they come for you, the only solution is to memorize the Roman numeral locations, wait around for them drag their asses onscreen then press the button to make them go away for a little while.

 

You don't have to memorize where the Send Humans Back Zone is. If you stumble upon one, use it. If not, run. You usually end up seeing where it is when you look for the Find Phone Piece Zone. If you know how to play, the FBI agent can't take your items. And if you mess up and the scientist has you in his arms, you can usually escape before he drags you to Washington, D.C.

 

 

 

 

The windup is that E.T. is less a game than a buggy, luck-heavy memorization test.

 

That's a huge steaming pile of bullshit. There is only one thing you have to memorize in the game and that is the location of the Phone Home Zone. If you are trying to memorize the placement of every zone in the game, no wonder you don't like it. Your mangled thoughts about what you think you're supposed to do are getting in the way.

 

And what is this luck-heavy stuff? You can finish round after round for days if you have the time and you know how to play. Sometimes the Phone Home Zone can be hard to find, but that's part of the fun. You don't need luck to finish a round, you just need to know how to play.

 

 

This YouTube playlist might be helpful:

 

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The wells are obstacles that can be avoided if a person has good eye-hand coordination.

 

This is true. And through years of careful, patient study, I have developed a foolproof way to avoid them even better... by not putting the cartridge in the machine.

 

That's a huge steaming pile of bullshit. There is only one thing you have to memorize in the game and that is the location of the Phone Home Zone. If you are trying to memorize the placement of every zone in the game, no wonder you don't like it. Your mangled thoughts about what you think you are supposed to do are getting in the way.

 

Yeah, how is it possible that I don't like one of the most infamously terrible video games ever made? I must be that I'm stupid, or uncoordinated, or have terrible taste in video games, or something.

 

For the record, I've sent that little green bastard home exactly twice (A & B difficulty), and see no point in giving him any more free rides. I know that it's not hard to stop yourself from falling along the way into the pits, or avoiding all but the pits with the pieces in them. Collecting all the candy and avoiding the bad guys isn't hard either. None of it is hard... because E.T. is not a difficult game. It's just a boring, broken one, by a great programmer who tried to bite off more than he could chew. If you want to continue to verbally mate with this stinker of a product tie-in here or elsewhere, that's entirely your business RT. But pretending that the only reason to dislike the game is the inability to play it is the true "steaming pile of bullshit." Plenty of easy games suck ass.

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Spider Man 2. :-D

Okay, you got me.

 

 

The original Star Wars vector arcade game was badass! So was the Addams' Family pinball game.

I totally did not skip class (multiple times) in order to spell G-R-E-E-D, and have to take Government over again the next semester. ;)

 

The Star Wars Arcade is interesting though, it came out in 1983. That's quite a gap from 1977. I don't think the developers were rushed too much.

Product license must take up a huge chunk of resources. The good movie games are few and far between. Even Parker Brothers "Empire Strikes Back" came out in 1982, around two years later than the movie.

So many movie games are rushed to coincide with the movie's release date, and they show it. :jango:

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Okay, you got me.

 

I totally did not skip class (multiple times) in order to spell G-R-E-E-D, and have to take Government over again the next semester. ;)

 

Such a great game. My local arcade actually had both Addams Family and Twilight Zone at the same time. Pinball heaven.

 

The Star Wars Arcade is interesting though, it came out in 1983. That's quite a gap from 1977. I don't think the developers were rushed too much.

Product license must take up a huge chunk of resources. The good movie games are few and far between. Even Parker Brothers "Empire Strikes Back" came out in 1982, around two years later than the movie.

So many movie games are rushed to coincide with the movie's release date, and they show it. :jango:

 

Yeah, I was just thinking that too. The time care they took in that game was obvious, and though I'm not sure what their total development time was, I'm sure it wasn't comparable to the ridiculous launch schedules most license games operate on.

 

Then again, Tron -- another great arcade game tie-in -- was launched with the movie, and the programming was so rushed that a major sub-game (the disc battle) had to be left out of the final product, and had to be redesigned and released separately as Discs of Tron. But it was still a great, fun game. Interestingly, KLOV lists both Star Wars and Tron in their Top Ten Most Popular games. That's not a bad showing for such a cursed genre. :)

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For the record, I've sent that little green bastard home exactly twice (A & B difficulty), and see no point in giving him any more free rides. I know that it's not hard to stop yourself from falling along the way into the pits, or avoiding all but the pits with the pieces in them. Collecting all the candy and avoiding the bad guys isn't hard either. None of it is hard... because E.T. is not a difficult game. It's just a boring, broken one, by a great programmer who tried to bite off more than he could chew. If you want to continue to verbally mate with this stinker of a product tie-in here or elsewhere, that's entirely your business RT. But pretending that the only reason to dislike the game is the inability to play it is the true "steaming pile of bullshit." Plenty of easy games suck ass.

 

Your other comments were clearly coming from a guy who doesn't know how to play the game and now you want me to believe that you're an E.T. master who finds it too easy? How about picking a story and sticking to it?

 

Here's a challenge for you: download Bandicam, if you use a PC, record yourself playing a round or two of E.T. with Stella, and upload it to YouTube. Then I'll be able to tell which story is the real story. If the game is so easy that it's boring to you, the video should be a pretty good learning tool for others, so I'll add it to my playlist when you're done.

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Your other comments were clearly coming from a guy who doesn't know how to play the game and now you want me to believe that you're an E.T. master who finds it too easy? How about picking a story and sticking to it?

 

Oh my... here comes the Internet Tough Guy! :lol:

 

Here's a challenge for you: download Bandicam, if you use a PC, record yourself playing a round or two of E.T. with Stella, and upload it to YouTube. Then I'll be able to tell which story is the real story. If the game is so easy that it's boring to you, the video should be a pretty good learning tool for others, so I'll add it to my playlist when you're done.

 

I've got an even better idea... why don't I smash my skull with a brick for an hour and upload that to Youtube. Far less painful.

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Just for shits and giggles, I just booted up E.T. in Stella. Haven't played this turd in many years... about three minutes later I got this:

 

post-21152-0-89455400-1356029575_thumb.png

 

What I didn't get was an ounce of enjoyment... stay home, E.T.

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Oh my... here comes the Internet Tough Guy! :lol:

 

I think you have things backwards. You're the guy who is suddenly claiming that you can beat E.T. like you're the Atari 2600 version of Neo from the Matrix after you just got done whining about how frustrating and difficult the game is.

 

 

 

 

I've got an even better idea... why don't I smash my skull with a brick for an hour and upload that to Youtube. Far less painful.

 

Just as I thought. Your "Atari Tough Guy" act is just that. An act. You threw on a Superman cape at the last second in a lame attempt to save face. Didn't you think I would notice when you turned on a dime and contradicted everything you said up to that point?

 

 

 

 

Just for shits and giggles, I just booted up E.T. in Stella. Haven't played this turd in many years... about three minutes later I got this:

 

That's not a video.

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I think you have things backwards. You're the guy who is suddenly claiming that you can beat E.T. like you're the Atari 2600 version of Neo from the Matrix after you just got done whining about how frustrating and difficult the game is.

 

Just as I thought. Your "Atari Tough Guy" act is just that. An act. You threw on a Superman cape at the last second in a lame attempt to save face. Didn't you think I would notice when you turned on a dime and contradicted everything you said up to that point?

 

I know this game is an obsession for you -- not exactly a secret. Obsession isn't necessarily a bad thing (in one way or another, most people in this hobby all mildly obsessive) But at times your passion for it can turn you into a raving jackass. I haven't said anything contradictory about E.T.'s alleged "gameplay." I said the pits are no fun. They aren't. I said the bad guys are more annoying then dangerous. I said that the screen movement is busted. It is. As soon as I fired this junker up, all of that continued to be true.

 

It also was as easy as I remember. Granted, I just beat it on "A", which is so ridiculously easy it's hard to call it a game. I suppose I could try it again on "B", but whatever added difficulty the faster agents offer won't change the fact that it's just not fun to evade them.

 

That's not a video.

 

And wishes aren't horses. But given how obnoxious you are being, why would I want to reward you by jumping through your hoops? I'm sure just ask for another video anyway ("This time do it on hard! Now with Elliot on the screen!").

 

Basically, this all adds up to a big case of fuck you, RT. I'm sorry you think that "E.T." is so challenging it requires 170 Youtube videos to teach people how to play it. That's fucking tragic, man.

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For those who don't want to take RT's online graduate degree course in "How to Play a Shitty Game", here's how to beat E.T.:

 

1. Scrub the ground in each of the pit rooms for "?" marks. Press the button to see if there's a piece in one of the pits, and keep that position in mind.

2. Scrub the ground for the phone home and pickup symbols and keep those in mind.

3. Scrub the ground (monotonous, I know) for a roman numeral symbol and keep that in mind.

4. Make a run at all three pits with the pieces in them, collecting them one after the other. If the FBI guy tails you, stand on the roman numeral and press the button, then continue collecting pieces.

5. Stand on the phone home symbol and press the button

6. Stand on the pickup symbol and press the button.

7. Take game out of Atari and place it into box.

8. Wait 35 years, then sell.

 

8)

Edited by jrok

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I haven't said anything contradictory about E.T.'s alleged "gameplay."

 

Do you think I'm stupid enough to fall for that old trick? You also didn't say anything contradictory about E.T.'s dangling package or the pocket on the FBI Agent's coat.

 

 

 

 

And wishes aren't horses. But given how obnoxious you are being . . .

 

Your posts were ignorant and obnoxious. If mine were only obnoxious, I guess that means I win the Internet today.

 

 

 

 

. . . why would I want to reward you by jumping through your hoops? I'm sure just ask for another video anyway ("This time do it on hard! Now with Elliot on the screen!").

 

There's more of that unnecessary stuff you're making up in your head. What hoops? I just said you should make a video. I didn't say you should take a screenshot, make a ham sandwich, or play a banjo. Assuming I'd ask for more videos is based on nothing but more of that unnecessary stuff you're making up in your head.

 

 

 

 

Basically, this all adds up to a big case of fuck you, RT. I'm sorry you think that "E.T." is so challenging it requires 170 Youtube videos to teach people how to play it. That's fucking tragic, man.

 

My playlist has 5 videos at this time. If you think that's tragic, you don't know what the word tragic means. I think it's pathetic and tragic that a guy would go out of his way to make post after post about a game he claims he couldn't care less about.

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Do you think I'm stupid...

 

I'm starting to.

 

Your posts were ignorant and obnoxious. If mine were only obnoxious, I guess that means I win the Internet today.

 

How mature of you.

 

There's more of that unnecessary stuff you're making up in your head. What hoops? I just said you should make a video. I didn't say you should take a screenshot, make a ham sandwich, or play a banjo. Assuming I'd ask for more videos is based on nothing but more of that unnecessary stuff you're making up in your head.

 

Oh, I see. So I guess you're claiming that screenshot I posted is some sort of a lie? How nice. I guess that makes me part of the Lizard Illuminati conspiracy against E.T, HSW Steven Spielberg and "controlled randomness". If you really think it's so odd that someone can pick up E.T. and immediately beat it, I'm not sure what to tell you. It is an easy game, even without collecting candy and getting the part from Elliot. I'm certainly not going to download software and play this turd twice in one day to prove something to a deranged E.T. crackpot with a chip on his shoulder. That's like trying to teach a pig to sing. Wastes my time and annoys the pig.

 

Cheerio,

J

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Oh, I see. So I guess you're claiming that screenshot I posted is some sort of a lie?

 

There's more of that stuff rattling around in your head again. I wanted to see your playing style. I don't know how many times you fell in a well before you finished the round.

 

 

 

 

I'm certainly not going to download software and play this turd twice in one day to prove something to a deranged E.T. crackpot with a chip on his shoulder. That's like trying to teach a pig to sing. Wastes my time and annoys the pig.

 

Yep, you're the king of maturity.

 

You have something to prove to anyone who has read this thread. Your previous posts were coming from a whiny, complaining guy who clearly knew little about the game, then you changed your story at the last second. Suddenly you know everything about the game and can beat it with your eyes closed.

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It could be time to sort of step back and realize that actual arguing and name-calling over a thirty year old E.T. video game is more-or-less the most pathetic thing that's ever happened on the internet. Yes, on the entire internet.

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Okay, you got me.

 

 

 

I totally did not skip class (multiple times) in order to spell G-R-E-E-D, and have to take Government over again the next semester. ;)

 

The Star Wars Arcade is interesting though, it came out in 1983. That's quite a gap from 1977. I don't think the developers were rushed too much.

Product license must take up a huge chunk of resources. The good movie games are few and far between. Even Parker Brothers "Empire Strikes Back" came out in 1982, around two years later than the movie.

So many movie games are rushed to coincide with the movie's release date, and they show it. :jango:

 

First Star Wars video game came out in 1979, official Kenner game:

http://www.handheldm...ttleCommand.htm

Edited by high voltage

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