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Zaineb

21 y/o Preparing For A 26...hundred

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I've been kicking around for a bit making some room in my humble game collection for the classic Atari but I have no idea where to start. There's different systems (heavy sixer, Vader, huh???), different controllers, and my biggest concern, a LOT of crap games just schlocked into the market at the time. Now of course google is free and it's been a couple weeks since I've passively looked up what I'd need, (I was being a little facetious with the confusion on the different systems). I have my good old boob tube with the VCR I refused to let go, got a couple controllers, and I have a short list of what's considered the best games, but what about you old guys' experiences? Any personal stories, recco's, or tips I should be wary of I may not come across? Let me know, I'll be getting mine soon, I think it's a heavy sixer but I'll have to ask him again. Can't wait to play what started it all!

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Well.. In order to get off to a good memorable start you're going to want some good games that play well on hardware that is in working order.

 

If you post a pic we can instantly tell you what model you got.

 

Since you seem to be into real hardware I would perhaps suggest emulation as a way to try out new games before spending time and money hunting them down.

 

In lieu of emulation, get a Harmony cart and stuff it with roms. Particularly the new Scramble, Dintar's 8k Pac-Man, and Stay Frosty 2. Those are but 3 of many many top-flight homebrew games. A harmony cart essentially turns your console into a 1000-in-1 mega-machine featuring every VCS game ever made!

Edited by Keatah

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Well.. In order to get off to a good memorable start you're going to want some good games that play well on hardware that is in working order.

 

If you post a pic we can instantly tell you what model you got.

 

Since you seem to be into real hardware I would perhaps suggest emulation as a way to try out new games before spending time and money hunting them down.

 

In lieu of emulation, get a Harmony cart and stuff it with roms. Particularly the new Scramble, Dintar's 8k Pac-Man, and Stay Frosty 2. Those are but 3 of many many top-flight homebrew games. A harmony cart essentially turns your console into a 1000-in-1 mega-machine featuring every VCS game ever made!

I don't have it yet, I'm trying to bide my time on when I can get it after paying bills, going out with friends, etc., but when I do I'll show you guys! I don't have a computer sadly, I'm not kidding when I say I live on my phone, and even if I did I don't think I'd want to emulate. Part of collecting is I want to see what I can find and where, or from who. I wouldn't be opposed to a homebrew cart but I'll get them for original software, unless it's an ultra rare game I'll never see or is too expensive. Thanks for the homebrew titles, I'll be sure to check them out! Edited by Zaineb

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Don't forget youtube as a way to preview games. I would imagine almost all the VCS games have had videos made of them by now. At least the worthwhile ones.

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It's hard to go wrong with the classic VCS models (the Heavy and Light Sixers and the 4-Switch Woody models), but plenty of people love the all-black Vader as well. :)

 

As for games, there are *MANY* great games; the best transcend the limited graphics and sound to become all about the gameplay. They become the archetypes of "great game." To see what kind of game you might like, watch YouTube vids. It helps to mute the sound on those. Not because the Atari audio is bad (some of them are, but many are excellent!), but because too many videos feature idiots trying to be edgy and clever and repeating internet bullshit ... Just watch the games and see if they look like fun.

 

And definitely before hunting down rarer or unusual cartridges, as Keatah suggests, it's worth it to buy a Harmony Cartridge - you can play the entire published 2600 library and all the homebrews on real hardware and decide if it's worth tracking down a physical cartridge.

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My Atari VCS All-Stars List

 

1. Pitfall II

2. Demon Attack

3. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

4. Keystone Capers

5. Asteroids

6. Kaboom!

7. Defender

8. Vanguard

9. Frogger

10. Berzerk

 

 

Bonus Head-to-Head List

1. Warlords

2. Frogs and Flies

3. Maze Craze

4. Combat

5. Atari Football

 

 

You have to have some imagination to play these. But if you're a 21-year-old taking the plunge into the Atari VCS, then it's quite likely you have some.

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Gotta get Kaboom (paddle), and Enduro.

 

Lots of great games, but tastes differ from person to person. If you can still find it at stores (~$50), a FlashBack Portable is a great way to try out games before you plunk down money for a cart, though many of the really popular and/or best games are still really low cost, especially if you look around. In my area, there are several game stores with quite a selection of 2600 games for a buck or two.

 

Edit: By the way, don't call me "old"; I'm not there yet...

Edited by fiddlepaddle
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Don't forget youtube as a way to preview games. I would imagine almost all the VCS games have had videos made of them by now. At least the worthwhile ones.

I've seen a few, the Pitfall games have piqued my interest, as well as Yars', Asteroids, Adventure, and so on. I remember playing an Atari plug and play, some of my favorites were a couple ports from arcades like space invaders.

 

 

Party on, Space Cowboy

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My Atari VCS All-Stars List

 

1. Pitfall II

2. Demon Attack

3. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

4. Keystone Capers

5. Asteroids

6. Kaboom!

7. Defender

8. Vanguard

9. Frogger

10. Berzerk

 

 

Bonus Head-to-Head List

1. Warlords

2. Frogs and Flies

3. Maze Craze

4. Combat

5. Atari Football

 

 

You have to have some imagination to play these. But if you're a 21-year-old taking the plunge into the Atari VCS, then it's quite likely you have some.

I definitely do, and thanks for the list, some of these I haven't heard of, I'll be sure to look them up and let you know!

 

 

Party on, Space Cowboy

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Gotta get Kaboom (paddle), and Enduro.

 

Lots of great games, but tastes differ from person to person. If you can still find it at stores (~$50), a FlashBack Portable is a great way to try out games before you plunk down money for a cart, though many of the really popular and/or best games are still really low cost, especially if you look around. In my area, there are several game stores with quite a selection of 2600 games for a buck or two.

 

Edit: By the way, don't call me "old"; I'm not there yet...

I told my aunt about my Atari query, she said she had some old plug and plays from over a decade ago she's still held onto. If she can find them, I'll be able to play and jot down.

 

And sorry about the old, I just figured since we're all talking video games we're going by how they age lol. My cousin said my GBA games I was playing were "vintage."

 

 

Party on, Space Cowboy

Edited by Zaineb

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Hey guys, I'm really appreciative about the feedback and recommendations! Thanks honestly, it's nice to talk to people who've played them for rec's instead of a salesman. I'll show my list as soon I can look at every one. I asked the guy I'm buying it from what kind he has, says he'll tell me soon when he can check. When I do finally buy it all I'll show you guys!

 

 

Party on, Space Cowboy

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Just saying, if you want to play Pac-Man, go for Ms. Pac-Man instead. The original game was rushed to market to beat the 1981 holiday season and it's partially blamed for the video game crash of '83.

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I've seen, read, and heard ALL about Pac-Man's infamous 2600 port and yeah I'm good. Didn't think they'd make a Ms. Pac-Man after the trauma of the first one. I heard something about a Genesis port of Ms. Pac-man so I thought I'd just use that. I'll check out the 2600 port, too, thanks for the suggestion!

 

 

Party on, Space Cowboy

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Pre Nintendo systems are a different style of gaming focusing on replay-ability. I'd get a wood grain 2600 over a Jr due to being built better. Also, get a Harmony cart to play homebrew.

 

One of the neat things is that on a constrained system like the 2600 one man can still make great games.

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I grew up with the Atari Jr. version. I don't hear many talk about it as their favorite vesion of the 2600 but I like it.

 

I like Pitfall, Star Wars Empire Strikes Back, Adventure, and Dodge Em is some ones I like that haven't been mentioned yet. Activision is fairly solid as are most of the arcade ports.

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Ask 20 people for their 10 best 2600 games and you'll get 20 different lists. Ask for their 10 worst games and you'll get 20 different lists that all have at least 1 game that was on someone else's 10 best list. It all comes down to personal taste. Activision games are generally pretty high quality. Same with Imagic. The later Atari arcade ports (Moon Patrol, Stargate, Joust, Pengo, Road Runner, Gravitar, etc.) are really good (Jr. Pac-Man is even better than Ms. Pac-Man). CBS and Telesys are kind of underrated developers that put out some good stuff. There's a lot of variety out there and actually relatively few true stinkers (as a general rule, stay away from games made by Apollo and Data Age, but even they managed to accidentally make a few good ones).

Edited by KaeruYojimbo
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My personal favourites are

Millipede (be sure to learn what each enemy does and how they behave to enjoy the game fully)

Missile Command

Beamrider (though I much prefer the Atari 800 version)

Omicron (homebrew)

Demon Attack

Robot Tank

Tunnel Runner (kinda rare)

Klax (PAL but I heard there exists an NTSC prototype, though you might want to check out a video of one of the other versions, say the Arcade version, to understand the perspective, and note you could hold multiple blocks on your paddle)

Medieval Mayhem

Kaboom

Juno First

Submarine Commander

Wizard of Wor

 

Other recommends that don't make my top list include the famous Yars' Revenge, Pitfall 1 and 2, Space Invaders, River Raid (Plus).

 

You really only need paddles and a joystick/game pad to enjoy most games. The keyboard controller isn't required for most and the driving controllers are used in even less.

 

Also btw I'm 21 too

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Another game often neglected because it's so common: Combat!

Jets and tanks are loads of fun.

Another fun game is Discs of tron.

 

Hope you enjoy your "new" system!

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