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Despite the play, the Atari 2600 version is preferred

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I prefer 2600 Defender over the arcade. There's something I've always liked about the look. Plus it's not so brutally difficult that I can play it for more than a few seconds.

 

I also agree with Lock 'n' Chase being better. Less is more when it comes to that one. Something about the arcade visuals and sounds are very off-putting for me. The 2600 version is one of my favorite maze games.

 

I also think Beamrider plays best on the 2600 versus other ports. I have it for Atari 8-bit and Colecovision but the 2600 version is the one I always go back to. I like it's bleakness and sound effects the best.

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I understand where you're coming from, but I would argue that the numerous game variations Atari included with their early ports gave many of them greater longevity and play value than the original arcade games.

Agreed - Space Invaders on the 2600 is way more fun due to the variations than it is on any other system I've played it on (including arcade). That's why I picked it for the HSC way back when :)

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Forgot to mention that fact as well, that many of the arcade hits on the VCS had many game variations. Space Invaders comes to mind first, of course. Zig-zagging shields, fat laser cannon, invisible invaders, etc. The variety was one of the main reasons I loved it back then and still to this day.

 

Another one with some good variety is Asteroids. Love the shields option on the game, even though it's a different concept from the shields in Asteroids Deluxe. I thought, personally, that holding the shields on for too long would cause your ship to explode was simply brilliant. :)

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I am a huge fan of Berzerk on the 2600. While it was technically inferior to the arcade, I felt that the gameplay was alot faster. I played this game ALOT back in the day. There also is the Hack that includes the voice of the arcade, so I feel that is ultimately the best of both worlds.

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I always reach for 2600 Ms. Pac-Man over other versions as well.

 

Absolutely!

2600 Ms. Pac Man is in my top 5 for the VCS.

I can't play any other Ms. Pac version (I suck that much...).

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Any home version of arcade games would have easier skill levels just so you can get a lot of use of out of the game, compared to arcade gaes that were made get get a lot of coins from being harder to play. In fact they were made so you can practice at home so you can get good at playing on the real thing.

 

As a kid I played 2600 Ms. Pac-Man using only 1 or 2 ghosts on the screen before I got good enough to play the full game. Now in my emulation years, I play the ColecoVision ports at the lower skill levels and when I get good at the game I play it on MAME. :)

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I also think Beamrider plays best on the 2600 versus other ports. I have it for Atari 8-bit and Colecovision but the 2600 version is the one I always go back to. I like it's bleakness and sound effects the best.

 

Have you ever played the Intellivision version? I actually like it best. No seizure inducing effects like the 2600 and the disc-pad control scheme with the second button just feels right on the Intv.

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I understand where you're coming from, but I would argue that the numerous game variations Atari included with their early ports gave many of them greater longevity and play value than the original arcade games.

 

Yeah, I see lots of folks find value in the “game variations” thing but I never did, myself. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I always found them to be a bit of a “thanks, but no thanks” feature, especially with arcade ports. For those classic games, much care went into “tuning” the gameplay to provide a certain ebb and flow and a certain experience; so, when you start throwing in random things like wiggly bullets, invisible mazes, blinking enemies, and invincible robots then it’s easy to disrupt that delicate balance that makes the game great.

 

I do see the value of variations in games like Combat and Video Olympics because those games are so dead basic that a minor variation in number and placement of paddles almost amounts to a whole new game.

 

As personal preference, I don’t even like when games have “skill level” selection, as you see in many Atari 7800 games (novice, intermediate, expert, etc.); I prefer to just turn on a game and fight against it in whatever singular form the designer decides upon. I just want to track a single score, not one for fast bullets, one for invincible robots, one for 5 lives, one for 2 lives, etc.

 

Likewise, I enjoy the fact that there are widely-accepted “standard” dip switch settings on arcade games that I can use on my MAME cabinet, and be reasonably confident that when I talk to others about a game or look up scores on the net that we’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison. It’s annoying when I go to the retro arcade around here and the guy has the settings all randomly jacked up with different speeds, number of lives, etc. because whatever score I’m able to get on that real hardware has no basis of comparison for me, relative to what I’m used to playing in MAME at home.

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I own a full sized mame arcade machine. I agree that most arcade conversions on the 2600 just can't compare with the originals. But, there are a few that are subjectively better without nostalgia goggles. I posted Space Invaders. I actually like the graphics, gameplay, speed, and variations more on the 2600. Now a game like Berzerk, there's no way that the 2600 version beats out the arcade in spite of it still being very good. Then there are games that aren't even close like Defender, Double Dragon, and Rampage.

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Berzerk is a game that I like equally as well as the arcade and after all these years, I'm starting to warm up to Space Invaders too. Oh and Dig Dug. They're all excellent in their own right. Can't say the same for Asteroids, but will admit the 2600 version is damned good for what it is. Same with Stargate, but I can see why some might like the simpler single button control of the joystick better.

 

Lock 'N Chase is one that I'd have to say is better on the 2600. Flows nicer and you don't have to put up with the annoying dot munching sounds. :lol:

 

Mouse Trap is another I like better on the 2600. Single button control, prefer the maze layout and fewer cats to avoid.

 

Prefer Atari's Phoenix to the arcade as well.

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Phoenix is one of my favorites. The arcade game is good, don't get me wrong, but for the simplicity and enjoyment, I prefer the Atari 2600 version over it's arcade bigger brother. Stargate was one in particular that "wowed" me when I got a copy for my VCS. I can't believe how good a job they did, but I'm not overly fond of the two-joystick combo. I usually just play it with one stick.

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I preferred the Atari 2600 over arcades because you got unlimited play, and could get really good at a game without spending a fortune you didn't have.

 

I like Atari 2600 pac-man more than the arcade. It's not really the same game but it's good for what it is.

 

 

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I own a full sized mame arcade machine. I agree that most arcade conversions on the 2600 just can't compare with the originals. But, there are a few that are subjectively better without nostalgia goggles. I posted Space Invaders. I actually like the graphics, gameplay, speed, and variations more on the 2600. Now a game like Berzerk, there's no way that the 2600 version beats out the arcade in spite of it still being very good. Then there are games that aren't even close like Defender, Double Dragon, and Rampage.

 

I think that games on home systems are in many ways better (not graphically, usually) for several reasons. I also have arcade machines and have found that having endless credits has a big impact on whether or not the game is alluring. Arcade ports for home systems then become more challenging. They also offer more levels, refined gameplay, different modes, or are (such as in the case of Pac-man, Asteroids, Defender and many others) often very different games altogether.

 

Standing in an arcade with a pocket full of quarters or begging my mom at the checkout line for change to participate in what would have been minutes per game (until later in life when I was willing to spend five or so dollars to get 'somewhere' in an arcade game) is quite a bit different from having a bucket full of tokens or a credit button as many of these M.A.M.E. cabinets have. I think this sometimes lets skill take a backseat to frantically slapping the credit button.

 

I'll admit that it's very fun to be able to complete those old arcade games that I never had time, patience, money, or the skill to beat back in the day. I find that searching for arcade-perfect home ports at all is a bit naive. SEGA sure knew it was a selling point with their systems, though. They designed their later hardware to play arcade games with half the RAM and therefor had easy ports (The Dreamcast and Saturn were full of arcade ports that used half the RAM of the machines). The Genesis may have had a bit more programming involved with color reduction. Tweaking gameplay and adding more levels, modes, usually made up for this (IMO). I think it obviously helped SEGA greatly to build their systems around the Z80 and the 68000 which were in most of the best arcade games from back then.

 

With the Atari we are looking at a totally different story. They fit what would have been considered relatively large games into tiny ROMs that were feats of programming! Pacman (notoriously different than the arcade) was a tiny game and I believe respect is owed to the programmer who had to jam as much as he could into the smallest of ROMs. I'm sure they had no illusions about it being accepted as some kind of carbon-copy of the arcade game. I think there is an art to minimalizing a game and keeping the necessities intact.

 

I'm pretty sure only a small number of console games (excluding the Neo Geo) could be considered arcade perfect (or near). Even if they are they lack something that all M.A.M.E systems and multicarts have...ENDLESS CREDITS!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! :-D :twisted:

Edited by Papa
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Standing in an arcade with a pocket full of quarters or begging my mom at the checkout line for change to participate in what would have been minutes per game (until later in life when I was willing to spend five or so dollars to get 'somewhere' in an arcade game) is quite a bit different from having a bucket full of tokens or a credit button as many of these M.A.M.E. cabinets have. I think this sometimes lets skill take a backseat to frantically slapping the credit button.

 

This is exactly why I choose to keep skill in the front seat by primarily playing the older games.

 

On my MAME cabinet -- and at real arcades when I'm able to find them -- I rarely ever play the games that I lusted over when I was frequenting arcades as a kid in the late 80s and early 90s. Games like TMNT, Simpsons, Final Fight -- they're just no fun anymore. When you can just endlessly tap a credit button to stay alive, it becomes very dull very quickly. I skip over those games in favor of the games I did not have the privilege to enjoy when they were current--the golden age stuff--because it's so much more focused on skill, score, and gradual progression rather than brainless quarter pumping and button mashing.

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These are all repeats but,

 

Asteroids - I always liked the raster graphics better than the vector graphics in the arcade. I also always felt like the home version had much more intuitive controls than the arcade version of the game. Game variations (hyperspace/shield/flip) made a big difference to me too.

 

Defender - Yeah, I know people like to turn up their noses at the 2600 version of this game but I liked it better than the arcade game for some of the same reasons as Asteroids. And again, the controls! The buttons on the arcade machine seemed like part of the plan to eat my quarters.

 

Space Invaders - Game variations and tons of them. Yeah, it would have been nice to have more colors on the screen but otherwise it's hard to complain about this one.

Edited by marlowe221

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I say this about Beamrider. I think the 2600 version is the best one. I can't stand the borders on newer versions and i like the vertical dots instead of lines as it makes it feel like your ship is moving forward.

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I'm typing under the influence of Crown Royal but I can't think of any 2600 game that I liked better than the arcade counterpart. As a 12 year old in 1982 what I did like was the fact that I could play all day long without feeding quarters into the machines at Aladdin's Castle in Eastdale Mall. The games were not quite as good but they were free! My parents typically paid for them though:)

I dig that. Before I owned my Atari I used to daydream of having two or three arcade machines in my bedroom :) The VCS really was that to me.

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The arcade version of Pole Position is fun, but the Atari 2600 version is a real technological marvel in my opinion. The sense of speed is impressive in comparison to Enduro.

 

Also I prefer the VCS version of Ms. Pac-Man definitely, along with Asteroids, Missile Command, Kung-Fu Master(!) and Bump 'n' Jump, just to name a few.

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Not really a direct comparison, but Centipede, Millipede, and Moon Patrol are great on the VCS. Of course we now have trackball hacks for the 'pede titles which ramps the awesome factor a hundredfold.

 

I don't have a direct comparison to Moon Patrol but mechanically it plays a lot like Blaster Master on NES. The VCS port is better because I never know where the hell to go in Blaster Master, and don't particularly care for the top down areas.

 

Millipede on NES just feels neutered even if the graphics are better than the VCS port, the VCS version has better gameplay. 7800 Centipede is the best though, same gameplay as VCS but with arcade quality graphics.

 

Also once you've played homebrew conversions of various arcade games on the VCS, it is hard to ever touch the originals again. Like the "New" 8k Pacman. :cool:

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I tend to stick with whatever version of whatever game I played first. This means a mix of Arcade and Home systems. Having said that - there are a few games I unquestionably enjoy on the VCS more than the arcade. Missile Command and Space Invaders.

 

I liked Space Invaders for the colors, VCS version so much easier on the eyes. And it also had a better kill ratio for want of a better term. Firing shots felt better and the kills had a wider scope of acceptance, you didn't need to constantly aim as precisely. Crap like that gets fatiguing. Now while Missile Command is simpler on the VCS, I like to see how hard I can push the game and see how hard it pushes back. Phoenix is another. The enemy birds are smoother scrolling, not "tile-based" like the arcade.

 

And of course the home versions were available 24/7. A huge plus then, and a huge-er plus now; what with so few arcades these days, so few quality and in-repair machines, and too many general annoyances and travel hassles to and fro. I suppose now with MAME the point could be moot because the arcade has essentially come home. You can set the difficulty and options with most arcade games by dip switches which are conveniently present in MAME games. And it's great to see that so many people have MAME rigs going. Just this coming spring I am scheduled to help two neighbors with their builds. Show'em the lay of the land and all that..

 

I believe everyone should have a MAME console in addition to their standard classic consoles. It should be a small set-top-box, VCS sized, and be packed with all the classics and your own personal favorites. When you consider how many cool games you can have on one of these you could even have a VCR sized box going! This was something we could only dream about as kids. And today, babies drool and spit on handheld devices with 100x power of what's needed to make such a box.

 

Well I suppose the VCS in conjunction with all my other gaming stuff and computers was really an arcade at home in a sense. While none had the audio-visual fidelity of the commercial amusement machines they all had their charms and pluses that added up to be better than the arcades.

 

Once real 486-class PC gaming entered my lair I was pretty much done with the arcades. Doom, Quake, Raptor, Duke3D, and many others took center stage. I only went there to play a few select games like Discs of Tron, Assault, Gyruss, Blasteroids, Tempest, and RoadBlasters. Blasteroids and RoadBlasters were the last games I battled against and played to completion - at Galaxy World in Carol Stream.

 

I felt a sense of relief. A weight being lifted. I no longer had to go to the arcades. And besides they were closing down anyways. For fun I spent a weekend scouting what was left, there wasn't much.

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I felt a sense of relief. A weight being lifted. I no longer had to go to the arcades. And besides they were closing down anyways. For fun I spent a weekend scouting what was left, there wasn't much.

A combination of powerful 5th generation hardware pushing arcade quality polygons into the home was all that was needed to kill the arcades. When I was in high school, one of my buddies was about to stuff quarters into a Cruisin' World arcade. Another buddy stopped him, declaring, "Don't waste your quarters on that. You can play Cruisin' World for free on the '64 over at my place."

 

Arcades needed a "gimmick" to revive sales and stay in business. That "gimmick" was the use of ticket redemption machines for worthless prizes. Spend $20 in tokens and win enough tickets to redeem a dollar store worth prize. I was wise enough to see through the facade. Sadly, the arcade scene has never recovered... :_(

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It certainly was a sad state of affairs as I watched the arcades "die", but perhaps it was the natural progression of the video game industry for all of us to be able to enjoy that quality in our homes. There are a few machines scattered about in various locations...an occasional Pac-man here, pinball machine there, but few and far between. Even if someone tried to bring them back to a locale, I doubt they would survive very long around these parts.

 

Watching one of my favorite arcades, More Fun, first move from one location to the next in an effort to stay afloat, then fade into obscurity, was heart-wrenching. Next thing I knew it was gone, empty, and all the old machines vanished into the wind. :(

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It certainly was a sad state of affairs as I watched the arcades "die", but perhaps it was the natural progression of the video game industry for all of us to be able to enjoy that quality in our homes. There are a few machines scattered about in various locations...an occasional Pac-man here, pinball machine there, but few and far between. Even if someone tried to bring them back to a locale, I doubt they would survive very long around these parts.

 

Watching one of my favorite arcades, More Fun, first move from one location to the next in an effort to stay afloat, then fade into obscurity, was heart-wrenching. Next thing I knew it was gone, empty, and all the old machines vanished into the wind. :(

Yip, the only arcade games around my area are in a Pizza buffet and marketed toward children. A racing game and one where you shoot baskets. Just simple stuff that gives tickets :( I think most really casual gamers that used to drop a few quarters just play Android and IPhone games nowadays.

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One thing that has always intrigued me with good 2600 arcade ports, even to this day it the technical restraints developers had to face. Later games like Pole Position, Dig Dug or Gravitar would never seem possible with hardware designed for such limited shelf life in 1977, yet it's pulled it off very well. I play 2600 games always with that in mind.

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I just want to know how they pulled off Defender II/Stargate so well. It's a phenomenal Atari 2600 game with all the effects and it seems nary a flicker.

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