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nosweargamer

Wanted: Feedback For Desert Falcon & Ballblazer

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Thanks for all the feedback on the last two games!


I'm looking for feedback for the next episode of the Atari 7800 Game By Game Podcast (you can find it on iTunes or use this feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/78gbg )



What are your memories and/or thoughts on Desert Falcon & Ballblazer on the 7800?


Also, how would you rate them? I use a system of 4 choices (From Best to Worst):



Hall of Fame Game (Top 5 game on the system)


Solid Game


"Meh" Game


Trash Game (Bottom 5 game on the system)



These games will be covered on Episode 9.


You can also e-mail text or audio to [email protected]


Just keep it family friendly :)


You can also send feedback on previously covered games or the system itself. Thanks!


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Ballblazer: Amazing sound, solid game. It mightbe a little confusing at first, though.
Desert Falcon: Meh.

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Desert Falcon is one of those games that could have been great, the controls with the 7800 stock controller were a pain to deal with, they were ok with the euro controller. The sound fx were ok as good as any TIA supported game could be I guess. Graphics were good I liked how the game looked.

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Desert Falcon was one of those games I enjoyed playing, whether alone, or with my brother, when I got my 7800, several years back. It's just a really fun game to come back and play. For some reason, one of the things I like about it, is the really electronic-sounding noise you hear, when you reach the Sphinx, at the end of each level. I would say it's a "solid game", in my opinion.

 

Ballblazer was really cool, too. I think it's more fun playing that two-player, rather than single player. But I'd say it's a "solid game", too, if anything, for the epic POKEY music. That's also one of the reasons why I like it.

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Desert Falcon is solidly meh for me.

 

Ballblazer is a stealth hall of famer for me. The awesome soundtrack and addicitve gameplay make this an easy top-10 7800 game.

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Ballblazer is a borderline solid/Hall of Fame game for the 7800. Excellent music, fun and addicting game play but preferably better to play as a two player game. Great as well for the 5200.

 

Desert Falcon: Meh. A cheap Zaxxon ripoff in my opinion.

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Ballblazer is a Hall Of Fame game. It is the reason that I got a 7800 in the first place and my absolute favorite game on the system, hands down. I started playing this game on my 800XL in the 1980s and am still playing it regularly on both that system and my 7800 30 years later. The 7800 port is solid and every bit as fun to play as the A8 original.

 

Desert Falcon is soooooo "Meh". It is no the worst game on the system but it can't really hold my interest for more than five minutes. If I never played the game again, I'd never miss it.

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Ballblazer is easily a Hall of Fame title for me. The game play is fantastic, the POKEY audio is fantastic, you name it. Plus there's all the history behind it... the Atari/Lucasfilm partnership that fell apart due to Atari Inc's collapse. I wish the 7800 box looked as good as the 5200 version.

 

Every time I feel the need to crank up the 7800, Ballblazer is my go-to game. And I pity the fool who challenges me at it. I wish I would've known about the ST version that was released later; it too looks good in the YouTube videos. And I really wish the Lynx would've received a port.

 

As for Desert Falcon, it's a solid game. The theme music will get lodged inside your brain just as "Iron Man" and "Mr. Crowley" have done to my noodle previously [and for months]. It truly deserved a POKEY soundtrack although the sister XEGS port is so lazy I can't tell a difference in the audio. What I've also noticed with Desert Falcon is it'll heat up the MARIA chip when the screen is full of sprites. It will truly make you a believer regarding sticking a heat sink on top of the MARIA.

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Desert Falcon: it's easily a Hall of Fame title in my opinion. It's easy to score points in excess in the same desert (i.e., same color) by sit and shoot, specially on Expert Skill; consequently it's easy to break the following rule: "SIT AND SHOOT IS NOT ALLOWED - DON'T SHOOT IN THE SAME PLACE TO EARN POINTS".

 

Ballblazer: "MEH" game

 

Pay special attention in my Desert Falcon Gameplay Video to see my technique used to score points in excess on Expert Skill.

 

Edited by oyamafamily
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I don't understand Ballblazer's appeal. It looks great, sounds great, and plays great- but it's still just a split screen get the ball in the net game. I just don't go for the sportsball games, I guess.

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Ballblazer is my hall of fame pick not just for the 7800 but also for the Atari 8-bit computers. The action is fast and the game is easy to learn with its intuitive controls. I find it to be a very immersive experience.

 

Desert Falcon is a solid game. The graphics are beautiful, but the less-than-ideal controls keep me from playing it more. Every time I play it, I realize I think I like it more than I really do.

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Ballblazer: Hall of Fame game for me. Simply amazing when it came out. It's hard to imagine this game was created on the Atari 8 bits as a 'throw away' game for the Lucasgame people to get experience! The 7800 port is really good. The split screen takes a while to adjust to, but it's a frantic and fast paced future sports game with amazing graphics and sound for the time and still holds up very well today. One of the 'must have' games for the system.

 

Desert Falcon: Meh game for me. I do like what Atari was trying to do here, make a Zaxxon like game for the system with good graphics and gameplay. However, there are numerous problems with it. The collision detection is suspect at best, it's hard to gauge the hight of your flyer, the controls are difficult, and it's lacking the variety of enemies and gameplay that kept you coming back to Zaxxon. The 2600 version of the game is better, I think, even if that was done on 'inferior' hardware!

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For me, both are Solid games, edging toward Hall of Fame.

Desert Falcon has a super-catchy little tune (that should have used a POKEY!) and surprisingly deep gameplay when you look at all the different hieroglyphs and combinations. The enemy sprites are interesting and the gameplay is challenging without being too hard. Sure it's "Zaxxon-like", but I find myself more likely to plug the Desert Falcon cart into my 7800 than play Zaxxon on any of my systems or MAME. If the game had POKEY audio, it would probably be a Hall of Fame selection. With the impending release of the XM module, perhaps some talented programmer will make a hack of the game with proper sound - that would allow POKEY and/or Yamaha audio. The source code for a surprising number of 7800 games is available on-line. Have it, code monkeys!

 

http://www.atarimuseum.com/videogames/consoles/7800/games/source_code/SPHINX.zip

 

Ballblazer is another Solid game; if I had a regular gaming partner for beer-powered Two Player sessions, this one might be Hall of Fame. The audio is fantastic - easily the best sound and theme music combo in the original catalog of 7800 games. Gameplay is fast and fluid - you really feel like you're rushing across a giant futuristic playing field. But in the end it's "One-On-One Hovercar Soccer" - you have to play with a friend to make it worth plugging in. Sadly, as Atari systems age and inevitable wear out, once-common Ballblazer carts are being sacrificed to salvage the POKEY chips to repair 8-bit computers and 5200 systems, or to provide chips for game hacks like Donkey Kong XM or home-brews like Beef Drop. While those are worthy games, I have a preservationist streak inside me that cringes when old things of value are destroyed, even if it creates something else in the process. It will be a very good thing if and when the HOKEY sound chip becomes available for these newer game projects. "Save the POKEYs" :)

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Ballblazer is my hall of fame pick not just for the 7800 but also for the Atari 8-bit computers. The action is fast and the game is easy to learn with its intuitive controls. I find it to be a very immersive experience.

 

Desert Falcon is a solid game. The graphics are beautiful, but the less-than-ideal controls keep me from playing it more. Every time I play it, I realize I think I like it more than I really do.

 

Keithen Hayenga mentioned yesterday that the Lucasfilm guys had developed the BallBlazer grid first and then built the game and story around it. It was definitely impressive graphics at the time. When the 5200 Atari/Lucasfilm BallBlazer poster was offered up as a freebie after the raffle at the Davis Atari Party, I unfortunately didn't raise my hand fast enough. :(

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Desert Falcon is to Zaxxon what Yars Revenge is to Star Castle.

 

As for POKEY audio in Desert Falcon, it wasn't done properly in the lazy XEGS port.

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Desert Falcon is one of the worst of the original titles. The graphics are muddy, the controls awful, and it's hard to see your height. Not a good title at all. I wish someone would hombrew a solid Zaxxon port to wash the bad taste out of my mouth left by this one. Trash

 

Ballblazer is easily hall of fame. Solid controls, crisp graphics, and the AI is pretty good and gives you a challenge. The music is stellar and is some of the best made by the TIA.

Edited by Inky
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Ballblazer is easily hall of fame. Solid controls, crisp graphics, and the AI is pretty good and gives you a challenge. The music is stellar and is some of the best made by the TIA.

 

Ballblazer uses POKEY audio - one of only two original titles to have POKEY chips on the cart.

Edited by DrVenkman
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Ballblazer uses POKEY audio - one of only two original titles to have POKEY chips on the cart.

D'oh! I totally forgot about that.

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I wouldn't call them trash, but neither are favorites of mine for the 7800.

 

Ballblazer plays really well, I think it's impressive for the system but I got easily bored with it.

 

Desert Falcon seems pretty good but the control of it is so awkward making it no fun to play. I actually enjoy the 2600 version better.

 

"meh"

"meh"

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Ballblazer is a hall of fame game for me. As many have already mentioned, it really shines with two people. With great music, graphics, controls, and gameplay, it's probably my favorite original game for the 7800.

 

I haven't played Desert Falcon much, honestly. The few times I tried it I absolutely hated it (a solid "meh"), but that was pretty much just a first impression. I'd need to give it a more thorough play for a solid review.

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I wouldn't call them trash, but neither are favorites of mine for the 7800.

 

Ballblazer plays really well, I think it's impressive for the system but I got easily bored with it.

 

Desert Falcon seems pretty good but the control of it is so awkward making it no fun to play. I actually enjoy the 2600 version better.

 

"meh"

"meh"

The control on the 7800 version is identical and so is the sound. I grew up with the 2600 one so really thought the 7800 version was rad with the better graphics.

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