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VectorGamer

Best Home Version of Defender?

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I really like both the ColecoVision and Atari 5200 versions.

 

That and I was mighty impressed with Defender II o the Atari 2600 (I had to mention that, since it shows what they could have done with the Atari 2600 version of Defender).

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Atari 5200 wins hands down. You've got the smart bomb button readily available and the stick works great in this game.

 

The ColecoVision port is ok but too easy and dull.

 

The C64 port is good.

 

The 2600 port will always be loved and played because I grew up playing it and I was really impressed with its gameplay. Besides, I lasted about 30 seconds max playing it in the arcade so the 2600 version was a port I could play and enjoy.

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Oh man, I love Protector so much. And honestly getting good on that particular version of the game has improved my arcade Defender skills, which I think is really the ultimate praise a port could have.

 

As far as contemporary Defender ports... I'm not a huge fan of any of them to be honest, compared to the arcade. But I have a soft spot for the 5200 and Intellivision.



Honorable mention because I don't count homebrews: Vectrex (Protector) - Amazing game. Everything about this game is great except for two things, and one of those things can't really be helped. First, the vertical screen orientation makes this already difficult game (more on that in a second) even harder by shortening your field of vision; you will rely on radar even more than in other Defender games. Second, where earlier Defender ports from the classic era tended be about as tough as a bag of marshmallows, Protector went completely the other way; this game is HARD. Like, "[email protected]#$ you!" hard. This game will murder your face and shoot you the bird while it does it. So in that respect, it's a lot like the arcade original. :-D Still, for us mere mortals, a slightly less brutal difficulty option would have been nice.

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I grew up on the VCS

 

Defender on the VCS for me

 

Dude, even people who grew up on the VCS know how terrible its Defender was. They know better than anyone.

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Dude, even people who grew up on the VCS know how terrible its Defender was. They know better than anyone.

Oh, it has its defenders

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Defender for the 2600 is not only the best version of Defender, it's also the best 2600 game. Hell, it's probably the best game of all time.

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2600 version for me, but I'm not fond of the insane difficulty of the arcade version.

 

The Arcade Classics Game boy version is interesting in it's own right. It moves at ludicrous speed.

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I played Guardian on the C64 a bit last night. It seems to give the best arcade feel of any port I've ever played, but that doesn't mean it was more fun. It's got hyperspace which so many other ports left out, but I like being able to choose my difficulty levels . . .

 

This one is interesting because you can tell they really thought about the keyboard controls to try and make them play like the arcade cabinet. If you like the intense button mashing of the arcade original then you owe it to yourself to try this version (and play with the keyboard). For those of us using a joystick on our couch with the C64 hooked to a LCD via S-Video, it is a PitA to reach over and push RunStop for the smart bombs.

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I've only seen Youtube videos of "Defender II", but Atari 2600 programmers sure learned some tricks by 1984. It's almost arcade perfect. No system has been pushed harder.

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I've only seen Youtube videos of "Defender II"... It's almost arcade perfect...

That's a bit of a stretch. :P But it is an excellent 2600 game. It's best played with a second player who can act as a co-pilot or gunner (or whatever you want to call the role) since smartbombs, inviso, and hyperspace are all activated with the second joystick. (Playing the game that way is also an interesting exercise in teamwork. :-D )

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That's a bit of a stretch. :P But it is an excellent 2600 game. It's best played with a second player who can act as a co-pilot or gunner (or whatever you want to call the role) since smartbombs, inviso, and hyperspace are all activated with the second joystick. (Playing the game that way is also an interesting exercise in teamwork. :-D )

 

Atari should have included something like the joystick add-on for "Omega Race". That was pretty cool. Except mine broke and then I couldn't play "Omega Race" anymore. For some reason anything Atari 2600 related was so fragile. My paddle controllers also fell apart.

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That's a bit of a stretch. :P But it is an excellent 2600 game. It's best played with a second player who can act as a co-pilot or gunner (or whatever you want to call the role) since smartbombs, inviso, and hyperspace are all activated with the second joystick. (Playing the game that way is also an interesting exercise in teamwork. :-D )

 

It doesn't fool anybody into thinking it is arcade perfect when you play it, but it is a very good 2600 game. I think I only ever really enjoyed the controls when I got to play the game on my MAME cabinet in Stella. Otherwise it is just pushing the 2nd firebutton with my toe for smart bombs :)

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Surprised nobody mentioned the SNES version. And Defender 2 as well, on the NES.

 

Oops, Didn't notice post 21.

Edited by Trinity

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400/800/5200 version. Lots of on-screen clutter and all that!

I remember coming home from the store with that game and being mesmerized with all that clutter. I even put it in demo mode so I could just sit and stare at it. The graphics were extremely impressive at the time.

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Mmm..Hmm.. Not only that, but the controls were normal and not retarded like the arcade cabinet.

 

That the controls used keyboard for hyperspace and smartbomb was no real limitation. And us 10 yr. old budding hardware hackers simply extended two in-parallel-with-keyboard switches and taped them to the joystick effectively eliminated that problem.

 

Soon not much later I did the same thing to Star Raiders, and had me the beginnings of a custom cockpit! A switch, button, or lever for every keyboard function. Hyperspace was best of all. I had rigged my old BMX shifter. It was the Millenium Falcon all over again!

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That's the one reason I preferred the 5200 version, all the controls were at my fingertips. Interesting comments about the clutter, which I call debris -- I also loved that effect. Space Dungeon also had nice pixel debris.

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Interesting comments about the clutter, which I call debris -- I also loved that effect.

 

I don't like it because it makes it difficult to see the mines

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