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Which Launch Title do You Prefer?

Which Launch Title Do You Prefer?  

100 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Launch Title Do You Prefer?

    • Air Sea-Battle
      21
    • Blackjack
      5
    • Basic Math
      1
    • Combat
      39
    • Indy 500
      24
    • Starship
      13
    • Street Racer
      3
    • Surround
      7
    • Video Olympics
      18


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Envision yourself as a typical teenager in 1977. It had been raining all about and your family had decided to remain home. You had been fortunate enough to own an Atari VCS/2600 and the 9 launch titles- of those titles, which would you most likely play?

 

*Please select one single player game, and one multiplayer

 

 

Personally, I would have to go with Star Ship for single player, and Indy 500 for two player

Edited by Ataricade
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For single-player, definitely Star Ship. It's one of my favorite 2600 games in general.

 

I voted before I saw you were looking for a multiplayer choice as well, but that's tougher anyway. Star Ship could fit the bill there, too; it's probably actually better 2-player than 1-player anyway. Otherwise it would be between Combat, Air-Sea Battle, Indy 500, Street Racer, and Video Olympics, with the edge going to Street Racer or Video Olympics since they both have a crap-ton of legitimately different games and can support up to four players.

 

(Blackjack is a game I really have to be in the mood for. Basic Math is a game I really have to be drunk for.)

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Of the ones that I remember, gotta go with Combat. I had a ton of fun with that one back in the day. Simple and addictive game with a ton of gameplay variations.

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I always thought PONG was a launch title. Hmm.

 

Perhaps you're thinking of the Sears version of Video Olympics? It had been called Pong Sports if I remember correctly

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Perhaps you're thinking of the Sears version of Video Olympics? It had been called Pong Sports if I remember correctly

 

That's it then it looks like. I had always been under the belief that the original Pong was what started "Atarimania" when it launched as a home console. Guess not. Ya know what I'm probably thinking of the dedicated Pong Atari console. You're not gonna tell me now that this never existed?! lol

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Ya know what I'm probably thinking of the dedicated Pong Atari console. You're not gonna tell me now that this never existed?! lol

 

Oh, it existed all right. It existed to the tune of over a half-dozen different Atari Pong consoles released in a roughly two-year span: :-D

 

Pong

Pong Doubles

Super Pong

Super Pong Ten

Super Pong Pro Am

Super Pong Pro Am Ten

Ultra Pong

Ultra Pong Doubles

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^I had the puzzle pieces, but didn't have them together properly lol. I had long thought that the VCS launched with the PONG cart.

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For me personally, Street Racer is the most fun and has the most variety and playability of the launch titles. BOTH for single player and multiplayer. I also feel it had the best graphics & sounds as well. So it would have been my choice for purchase along with the system, if I had been limited to just one cartridge purchase.

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For me personally, Street Racer is the most fun and has the most variety and playability of the launch titles. BOTH for single player and multiplayer. I also feel it had the best graphics & sounds as well. So it would have been my choice for purchase along with the system, if I had been limited to just one cartridge purchase.

 

I like Street Racer, too. Its multiplayer games are very competitive and even the single-player variations are enjoyable twitch games, although I wish the computer opponent was a bit smarter (ditto for Air-Sea Battle). But, at least it HAS a computer opponent, unlike Combat, Indy 500, and 95% of Video Olympics. :)

 

I like the cartridge's variety of games as well (ditto for most of these carts, really). They're clearly variations on a theme, and yet they're distinctly different. Slalom and Scoop Ball might be my favorites.

 

The variety of games on the launch releases in general is pretty incredible. Between the 9 launch titles, there are almost 30 distinctly different games, and most of them are pretty good (except for maybe Jet Shooter, and Basic Math shouldn't really count, should it? :P ). Even just two or three of these cartridges can yield a weekend's worth of entertainment.

 

(Side note: I'm surprised Surround isn't getting more love. I'd have expected that one to be one of the more popular of these games, given the popularity of Snake-type games even today.)

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(Side note: I'm surprised Surround isn't getting more love. I'd have expected that one to be one of the more popular of these games, given the popularity of Snake-type games even today.)

 

True.

And not only that, but more over the video graffiti option it has. This was surely a novel concept in 1977. To be able to write and draw things digitally on a television screen! Move over Sega Genesis Art Alive and Super Nintendo Mario Paint! (and kudos to Coleco Vision Smurf Paint 'n Play)

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...video graffiti...This was surely a novel concept in 1977...

 

Possibly. The Channel F and Studio II also had "doodle" programs. The Bally system did too, and IIRC it was the best of all of these since you could change colors and "pen" sizes. I forget if the Fairchild one could do multiple colors (my gut tells me "yes"), but I'm pretty sure the Atari couldn't (Video Graffiti was IN color, but you couldn't change the palette). The RCA certainly was the most primitive, being b/w only.

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definitely at launch in the day would be star ship for me! since it's also multiplayer, it gets both votes :)

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Didn't get my original 2600 till 1980, but Combat was still the pack in game. And we played the heck out of it. So, I guess I will go with that. Indy 500 was a close second though.

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Combat. I didn't play much single player games untill the early 80's

 

Possibly. The Channel F and Studio II also had "doodle" programs. The Bally system did too, and IIRC it was the best of all of these since you could change colors and "pen" sizes. I forget if the Fairchild one could do multiple colors (my gut tells me "yes"), but I'm pretty sure the Atari couldn't (Video Graffiti was IN color, but you couldn't change the palette). The RCA certainly was the most primitive, being b/w only.

 

If I remember, that art program let you change colors, but it was kind of weird, like red green yellow and black or something like that. it was my first system but it died long ago so I don't remember, that may have been all the colors the system could even make.

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Had to go with Surround. As much as I've always loved the 2600, it's never had the strongest launch titles IMO. But the same can be said about many of the most successful consoles.

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For me it is Video Olympics. The paddle is my favorite controller. If I would have grown up with Pong consoles then Video Olympics would have felt like a Harmony Cart for them. Going from a crap load of Pong consoles to one cart with a crap load of Pong games would have been awesome. I think it should have been the pack in game. It would have made the transition from Pong consoles easier and made the VCS appear to be one that can also play other games. It was what Atari was known for so it just makes sense to make it the pack in game.

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Kind of a toss up for me between Air/Sea, Indy 500, and Video Olympics. I love the pong stuff, lots of variety and Indy 500 is just insane fun with two people. I did always like Air/Sea a lot more when I was a kid then I do now. I think I'd go with video olympics.

 

Question - Was Air Sea Battle supposed to be a carnival/shooting gallery type game or just a generic war/battle game? I ask because the Sears version is just called Target fun and I always thought Air/Sea was just a war game until I noticed the sears version many moons ago.

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For me it is Video Olympics. The paddle is my favorite controller. If I would have grown up with Pong consoles then Video Olympics would have felt like a Harmony Cart for them. Going from a crap load of Pong consoles to one cart with a crap load of Pong games would have been awesome. I think it should have been the pack in game. It would have made the transition from Pong consoles easier and made the VCS appear to be one that can also play other games. It was what Atari was known for so it just makes sense to make it the pack in game.

 

To my way of thinking, if they originally packed in both types of controllers, they should have packed in a game that used each - Combat and Video Olympics would have been a great combo for starting out in '77

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Question - Was Air Sea Battle supposed to be a carnival/shooting gallery type game or just a generic war/battle game? I ask because the Sears version is just called Target fun and I always thought Air/Sea was just a war game until I noticed the sears version many moons ago.

 

There's a carnival/shooting gallery game on it which is just a version of the Anti-Aircraft (which is a port of the 1975 arcade game of the same name) games, but with clowns and rabbits and stuff instead of planes. But in general it is, as you put it, a generic war/battle game. :-D (A good one, though!)

 

Maybe Sears thought giving a generic war game an even more generic title would give it broader appeal?

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To my way of thinking, if they originally packed in both types of controllers, they should have packed in a game that used each - Combat and Video Olympics would have been a great combo for starting out in '77

 

That makes sense but it probably would have made it too expensive. It was already more expensive than the PS3 was when it launched. Now that I think about it, It probably would have been better if they didn't include a pack in game at all, lowered the price of the VCS, and people just bought their first game. That would have made their first game their choice, people would have got used to the concept of buying cartridges right away, instead of everyone knowing Combat but not all the others there would be a mixture, and there would be more trading/sharing right at launch. It definitely would have made more sense when Space Invaders and PAC-MAN were released. When Space Invaders was released people bought a VCS just to play it and got a Combat rather they wanted it or not. They could have used the price of Combat to buy Space Invaders. Many people were disappointed with PAC-MAN so it didn't make sense to turn it into the new pack in game. I think choice would have been better from the start. People would have made different choices just like they are in this thread.

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^ Good points, and when you think about it, if you're buying an Atari in 77 and its mostly going to be played by one person, Combat is a frustrating first experience with the console, although I suppose most of the launch games are two player games. I guess Atari was marketed for two player experiences because it looks like Starship was the only true one player game in that list and who wanted that? :D

 

I guess black jack and basic math too. Kinda weak one player games at launch.

Edited by AtariLeaf

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If I had to choose one, it would probably be Blackjack. Although none of those titles really appeal to me.

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