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8-bit games that were the best "upgrades" to their 2600 version

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Just wanted community input here on what people feel are the best 8 bit "upgrades" of games that were provided on the both the 2600 and 8 bit computer lines. I have some in mind but wanted to hear from others.

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A better question might have been to ask for ones that were worse also.

 

Most common titles share no common codebase that I can see. The exceptions are generally Activision and Imagic titles - some of their games look very similar on both systems and in some cases forego using playfield in favour of PMGs for some objects.

 

The obvious better titles I suppose start with the classics:

- Defender. I got it with my 2600 in the day. Wore thin very quickly and in retrospect a pretty piss-poor game. The computer version was somewhat amazing in comparison. And in both cases improvements in the form of homebrew and Stargate on the computer.

 

- Asteroids. In both cases a bit of a miss compared to the arcade but the 2600 version somewhat lacking in that the asteroid movement is constrained in order to meet the technical limitations.

 

- Missile Command. Another game I bought in the day, and somewhat disappointing in comparison on the 2600 though still a good effort considering the limitations of the machine.

 

- Donkey Kong. In many regards the A8 version is the best of them all including the arcade. The 2600 version, annoying sound effects and not very good gameplay but still commendable effort on a limited system.

 

- * Space Invaders * - this is where my alternate topic suggestion comes in. In both cases they deviated somewhat from the original but the 2600 made 3rd base, the computer version barely makes 1st base. Would have been better done in bland old hires monochrome with 2 animation frames.

 

- * Pitfall 2 * - I've not played it much at all on 2600 but it's a game that meets or exceeds expectations on the 2600 but falls short on the computer.

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Just recently playing Laser Gates on both I have to say that i really enjoy the 8 bit version.

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The 8-bit version of Gyrus was unbelievably better than the 2600. Not to mention PacMan!

Edited by Stephen
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A bunch of Activision games were direct ports from 2600 codebase to the 8-bits, and enhanced in minor ways. Ie River Raid, Megamania, Kaboom!, Pitfall, H.E.R.O., Pitfall II.

 

Unfortunately, it also means that they didn't take full advantage of the additional hardware capabilities of the A8 computers.

 

In the case if Pitfall II, since the port was so quick, the programmer used the extra time to add the 2nd level, not present on the C64 version since that was a rewritten workalike.

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You already know a bunch of my favs, but some of the titles I really enjoy over their 2600 versions:

 

While both prototypes, the 8-bit version of Sinistar is vastly better than the 2600 proto.

 

The new 8-bit time pilot is a lot better than the old Coleco-branded VCS one by a mile. Joust is another one. Donkey Kong, as mentioned above, is arguably better than the arcade, and my favorite version ever. The VCS one is garbage in comparison.

 

Crystal Castles is another 8-bit port (specifically the later XEGS one) is a lot better than the VCS port. So is Mario Bros.

 

Star Raiders is way better on the 8 bit than on the VCS, particularly in terms of the galaxy map, number of fleets, and general complexity.

 

Lastly, and these are both homebrews, the new 8-bit Bosconian is better than the VCS Draconian -which is not to say the latter is bad, it's outstanding. That's just how good the 8-bit port is. It's arcade perfection.

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The 8-bit version of Gyrus was unbelievably better than the 2600. Not to mention PacMan!

 

Coincidentally, both games were both programmed by Joe Hellesen - as I learnt this morning listening to Kevin Savetz interview him on the Antic Atari Podcast for 12 July.

 

https://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/antic-interview-352-joe-hellesen-deluxe-invaders-pac-man-pq-the-party-quiz-game

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Almost all arcade conversion are better an the A8....

 

Two games that come to mind that were better on the 2600 IMHO were Atlantis and Demon Attack.

Demon Attack is almost identical on the A8 except for the sound. And on a PAL system, it played slower than the PAL version on 2600 so that's what bothered me BITD.

 

But it's mostly the sound. The TIA sound of the appearing aliens is simply awesome and not matched by POKEY :D

 

Atlantis, despite the minor graphics update just feels better on the 2600.

 

All in all I think the Imagic guys never understood the potential of the A8...but Activision were on the same train...

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- Enduro < TGACCRR

- Battlezone > Battlezone Proto

- Mr Do < Mr Do

- Joust < Joust

- Centipede < Centipede 5200

- Jungle Hunt = Jungle Hunt

- Pole Position < Pole Position

...

Edited by Heaven/TQA

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Almost all arcade conversion are better an the A8....

Pretty much, the only arcade conversion that comes to mind that I like better on the 2600 is Battlezone.

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Almost all arcade conversion are better an the A8....

 

Two games that come to mind that were better on the 2600 IMHO were Atlantis and Demon Attack.

Demon Attack is almost identical on the A8 except for the sound. And on a PAL system, it played slower than the PAL version on 2600 so that's what bothered me BITD.

 

But it's mostly the sound. The TIA sound of the appearing aliens is simply awesome and not matched by POKEY :D

 

Atlantis, despite the minor graphics update just feels better on the 2600.

 

All in all I think the Imagic guys never understood the potential of the A8...but Activision were on the same train...

 

I wonder if a demake/remake using gtia sound could be fashioned on the good ole 8 bit...? A challenge for someone... could they do it?

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All in all I think the Imagic guys never understood the potential of the A8...

 

Maybe it was more that they were less experienced with A8 hardware and hadn't the knowledge to bring out it's potential.

 

The other factor was probably time investment to dollars returned, where quick ports often rule (and in tough times, no port).

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