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Spector

So does everyone hate "Star Ship" then?

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I've looked at the reviews on the net and it seems to be the worst game ever according to them. But it was one of the first attempts at a 3D space shooter and some of the variations aren't that bad. I thought that "Air Sea Battle" was worse with it's awful two-player mode. That driving game around the same time (was it "Street Racer"?) was surely more dire as well. It may be horrifically dated, but I've seen worse. By the way, what's the difference between "Star Ship" and "Outer Space", and was the game ever released in PAL format?

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I don't hate Star Ship. It's not the best game but it's much better then any of the Mythicon games or Karate. pretty much anything is better then Karate.

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Star Ship and Outer Space are the same game... it was just Sears' policy to give the games different titles for its versions in the early days, but the games themselves were the same.

 

Tank Plus = Combat

Target Fun = Air-Sea Battle

Outer Space = Star Ship

Race = Indy 500

Speedway II = Street Racer

Pong Sports = Video Olympics

Chase = Surround

Blackjack = Blackjack

Why didn't they call it "21" just to be different?

Would it get confused with Atari's "21 video olympics" labels?

Math = Basic Math

 

And so on... I'd guess Superman was the first game other than Blackjack where the titles were the same.

 

I doubt if any Sears games were ever released in PAL format. Does Sears have stores in Europe?

 

As for Star Ship... yes, it is the worst game ever. And yes, I am qualified to make that definitive statement. :P

 

Seriously though... I think Star Ship was a good effort for so early in the system's life, but it should have been treated as a programming exercise and never released to the public.

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Yeah, I guess I "hate" Star Ship. I am intrigued by some of the early caveman Atari games though. If you had played only this, you'd be amazed by Combat and Pac-Man. If you were amazed by those two, then something like Solaris would make your head explode! :o

 

Games like Star Ship make Magnavox's claims that Odyssey 2 was "the most sophisticated videogame system ever!" almost ring true. Heck, it WAS true, at least for a little while ... to them ... while they were writing that advertising copy ...

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I dont hate it at all, I did a very lengthy review of it, and im sure if you search the forums you will find my earlier thread defending star ship. I still like it to this day. great game.

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>I don't hate Star Ship. It's not the best game but it's much better then any of the Mythicon games or Karate

 

I hear that a lot, about Mythicon games being terrible. Star Fox isn't too

bad. It was a unique side scrolling Defender clone with some original

aspects. There are many games that are much worse. Maybe if I paid

the suggested retail of $9.99 I wouldn't be so kind. But I remember

paying 99 cents for it at Kay Bee and for I certainly got my money's

worth.

 

Getting back to the subject of the thread, Star Ship/Outer Space.

Maybe not the worst game ever but I would say "worst ever pseudo 3D,

first person, cockpit view space shooter", no doubt. Someone mentioned

Odyssey2. They had a game called Cosmic Conflict that was the same

genre as Star Ship. It blew it away. If you compared Cosmic Conflict

to Star Ship and KC Munchkin to Pac Man you'd think the Odyssey2

was a Cray supercomputer. But I'm always amazed at how most

Odyssey games looked the same throughout the Odyssey's life cycle

but Atari 2600 games kept improving over time.

 

My vote for best 3D space shooter on the 2600 has to go to Phaser Patrol.

Much better than Star Raiders or even Starmaster, in my opinion.

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" But I'm always amazed at how most

Odyssey games looked the same throughout the Odyssey's life cycle

but Atari 2600 games kept improving over time. "

 

The difference is versatility. The Odyssey2 was always stuck in second gear because its graphics were programmed into the unit, and making new ones was a Herculean task. 2600 graphics looked primitive at first, but they gradually improved, because the system had the advantage of flexibility. As designers learned how to use the system more effectively, the graphics got better and better, until 2600 games looked far superior than their Ody2 counterparts.

What really drove me nuts about the Odyssey2 is that, because of the preprogrammed graphics, you could always count on seeing those dorky little robot men in nearly every Ody2 game. It didn't matter if it was Foosball, Pachinko, or Brickout/Breakdown... they'd still be squeezed into the game somehow.

 

JR

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Ugh .. Do we have to rehash why Star Ship sucks again?

 

Outer Space was the third game cart we bought in fall 1977 (after Tank Plus and Target Fun). I was fascinated with the manual and anticipated playing Outer Space .. until I played it! What a letdown! So I went through the Game Selections to get to the Lunar Lander game. SUCKS! SUCKS SUCKS! Lunar Lander does not have gravity!

 

Target Fun (Air Sea Battle) is fun with two players battling against eachother.

 

Rob Mitchell, Atlanta, GA

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not this again. anyone who plays the game can clearly see that it is not meant to be the arcade lunar lander. iirc the lunar lander you wish it was didnt even exist when star ship was first made. have you EVER played it two player, either? and of course, make sure you play each game on the max difficulty.

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have you EVER played it two player, either?

You mean the version where one person controls the space ship and the other controls...

 

...THE MOON???

 

:D

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I love Sky Diver, Human Cannonball, and Canyon Bomber!

I would have to say the absolute WORST game overall for the 2600 is Basic Math / Fun With Numbers.

 

I should really work on my sequel to Basic Math: Basic Math 2: A Taste of Blood

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have you EVER played it two player, either?

You mean the version where one person controls the space ship and the other controls...

 

...THE MOON???

 

:D

 

yes, that version :-) It's quite fun. Especially with pink floyd's dark side of the moon playing.

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Especially with pink floyd's dark side of the moon playing.

Ha! Never tried that... is it better than playing it along with "The Wizard of Oz"?

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have you EVER played it two player, either?

You mean the version where one person controls the space ship and the other controls...

 

...THE MOON???

 

:D

Don't joke about THE MOON like that. It's what killed Chewie.

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well I can't find my review on that site anymore, and it was never posted here, so here it 'tis (should I put this in a seperate thread?)

 

(This is the game manual, you can see screen shots and game select info on

all the game modes here:

http://www.atariage.com/manual_thumbs.html...areLabelID=495)

 

Star Ship is a very early 2600 game, so I will warn you ahead of time, if

you can't look past blocky and clunky graphics to the gameplay meat below

the surface, just disregard this review and don't play the game.

 

For the rest of you who are happy to enjoy great gameplay even if it does

look like a donkey's behind, may I heartily recommend Star Ship (AKA Sears

Outer

Space.) Or should I say, Star Ship, Head-to-Head Star Ship, Warp Drive, and

Lunar Lander, because Star Ship is all those things. Thanks to the long

forgotten magic of the select switch, Star Ship actually contains multiple,

distinctly different games, not mere scenery variants.

 

The first game is a single player game with 4 difficulty levels, augmented

by

the added difficulty of the select switch. Anyone who is worth their salt

will not enjoy this game on anything but the hardest setting, so max the

select switch, and play game four. The earlier/easy games are great for

children or the reflex impaired (like my ex-wife,) This game is a timed

contest, and if you are like me, and playing for score isn't a bad thing,

you will really enjoy the proper 'Star Ship' mode in Star Ship. To actually

accumulate a score over 100 requires quite a bit of strategy and skill. The

game is played from a first person perspective, hurtling through space, with

scaling white dots for movement effects, and funky random sounds in the

background. You control movement, airplane style. As you hurtle along,

various 'enemies' (strange geometric shapes,) scale towards you. If they hit

near the center of the screen, where you targeting reticule is, you loose a

point. Once you learn the timing of you lasers' shots, you will realize that

you can avoid collisions with an otherwise unavoidable enemy by leading him

into your target during the moment between when your shot was fired, and

when it hits the center of the screen. Also important is learning when to

take a hit. Certain enemy patterns that you are presented with will hit you,

even if you manage to destroy one. However, if one of the enemies is worth

three, or two points, it is worth taking the one point hit. The enemies and

the patterns are completely random, which keeps the game from monotony. I'm

sure with some experience, you'll develop your own strategies for gaining a

higher score.

 

The next game uses the same basic screen elements as Star Ship, but with one

primary difference. There is a player controlled space module on screen.

This game is played in two timed sets, with the second set swapping roles

between who is pilot and who controls the module. The higher game numbers in

this variation add asteroids, speed and other space objects. Oh, did I

mention the space module turns invisible while the fire button is held down?

A little tip to the pilot shooting at the module, it will black out your

target cursor when it passes over it :-) This is a great, competitive game,

and is a lot of fun on the hardest setting. You've really got your hands

full trying not to loose points to space objects while trying to tag an

invisible enemy. As the space module, once you get the feel for the speed

and movement, you should be able to have a good idea where you are on the

screen without even seeing yourself, and you can use turning yourself

visible to lure the other player into enemies. Besides, don't we always want

to blast the crap out of each other without getting arrested.

 

Next up is Warp Drive, once again, best enjoyed at the highest difficulty.

In this game, you are trying to hurtle as far as you can through space

within a time limit. Your score is measure in distance traveled (in parsecs,

that's one fast star ship.) The longer you travel at full speed, the more

parsecs you will travel. Every collision subtracts one parsec. Again, this

game is very enjoyable if you try to go for a high score. The patterns you

must dodge through are random, of course, so it's just you and your skill.

As a child who loved his Star Bird toy, and how it made 'speed' noises as

you moved it up and down, I still get some strange base satisfaction from

the rumbling space engine sound that lets you know how fast you are going.

In this game mode, you cannot shoot, and the fire button is instead your

speed control. The longer you hold fire, the faster you go (until you reach

maximum speed,) and the only way to decelerate is to let go of the fire

button and wait until you slow down. Properly managing your speed so that

you are still clocking the parsecs without pitching headfirst into

asteroids you don't have time to avoid is key to this game.

 

And finally, the Lunar Lander game (that bears no resemblance to Atari's

arcade lunar landing game, which actually came out after Star Ship,)

challenges you to maneuver your lunar module through meteor showers of

varying speeds and see how many landings you can manage within a time

limit. Once again, if you are going for the solo landings, make sure to max

the difficulty. See how many landings you can manage before the clock runs

out. It's amazing how the simple things impress us as kids, because I can

distinctly remember being 'wowed' by the flame effect that shoots out from

your lander. I can also remember thinking how hi-res the lander itself

looked. At least it's still fun to chase that 'ol moon down. The two-player

mode of this game does not change a thing, except that player two controls

the moon (I recommend steering the moon into the meteors.) Once again, you

take turns, witch each player having a turn to control the moon and the

lander. This one is great fun, as proper moon piloting can really make life

hell for that poor lander. Make sure you play the two-player version on

maximum difficulty, also.

 

So in conclusion, we have four distinct games, that are a lot of fun solo,

and even more fun when you are talking smack to your defeated opponent. All

in one innocent little, tiny, blocky old Atari cartridge. So if you don't

have it, find it. If you do have it, whip it out and give it a chance. You

may be surprised (or you may hate it, you're entitled to your own opinion.

But now you know mine.)

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I don't like any of the old 70s games... not even arcade. They are too primitive and not the least bit fun. Not until Space Invaders did games finally become fun.

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I don't like any of the old 70s games... not even arcade.  They are too primitive and not the least bit fun.  Not until Space Invaders did games finally become fun.

 

COMBAT NOT FUN?!?!!?!

BREAKOUT NOT FUN?!?!?

CIRCUS ATARI NOT FUN?!?!?!?!

INDY 500 NOT FUN?!?!?!

 

I suggest you try those games again. They are all kick ass games and IMHO better then Space Invaders.

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I don't HATE Star Ship, but it's not a favorite game of mine. It couldn't have been too hot a game as they stopped shipping it in 1978. For an early effort it was OK.

 

I still want to find that Space Mission mock up cart. That would be a holy grail.

 

Tempest

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I like the funky background "space" sounds.

I'll agree that for an early attempt at 3-D at a time when nobody knew what they were doing...Its a valiant attempt.

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