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donjn

Worth owning Atari 2600 when you have an 800xl and C64?

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3 hours ago, MrFish said:

Enduro is just a cut-down version of the Great American Cross-Country Road Race, which is awesome on the 8-bits.

 

The way they're getting around the limitations these days -- in the case of these so-called "amazing" conversions -- is by leveraging onboard processing from the cartridge. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it; but it needs to be put into proper perspective; the same way on-cartridge processing/features for NES games need to be looked at.

 

are you talking about buss stuffing from the 2600 titles? There isn't much of on board cart processing in the 8 bit line but there is a bit in the 2600 line...

the capability to stuff the bus or have add on through the various ports is a time honored tradition.  

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7 hours ago, MrFish said:
8 hours ago, AtariSphinx said:

 

Enduro is just a cut-down version of the Great American Cross-Country Road Race, which is awesome on the 8-bits.

I will need to check that out.  Sounds interesting 

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Enduro is a great game. I think a 2600 justifies because of a bunch of extraordinary games. I agree that Activision brought many good games. Beside Activision games I really enjoyed defender, yars, invaders, indy, warlords, pole position, ms pacman, adventure, mario bros two players, among others. 

 

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10 hours ago, MrFish said:

Enduro is just a cut-down version of the Great American Cross-Country Road Race, which is awesome on the 8-bits.

It is the other way around. Road Race was supposed to be Enduro on Atari 8-bit.

Enduro: 1983, Road Race: 1985. Look about this here for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enduro_(video_game) and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_American_Cross-Country_Road_Race

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Sikor said:

It is the other way around. Road Race was supposed to be Enduro on Atari 8-bit.

Enduro: 1983, Road Race: 1985. Look about this here for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enduro_(video_game) and here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_American_Cross-Country_Road_Race

Yeah, I'd forgotten it was the other way around. However you want to look at it, though, the point being that the 8-bits have 2600 Enduro covered on the platform, and in great style; the 2600 game being simplistic by comparison.

 

Edit: It was actually one good example of Activision doing things right when bringing a 2600 game over to the 8-bits -- as opposed to some other games which only brought minor improvements.

 

Edited by MrFish
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Posted (edited)

The thing that put me off the most with the 2600 was the awful sound in most games that I found irritating.  I'll never understand why they didn't build POKEY into the 7800 design.  

 

I did have a 5200 as a kid.  I wouldn't mind having a 2600 adapter for it but I couldn't see myself going out of my way to have a 2600 collection.  

 

There were some ok games for it but very few that didn't have better A8/5200 ports.  I just have no nostalgia really for the 2600, some people do.

 

I was just a spoiled brat I guess. 

Edited by kogden
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52 minutes ago, kogden said:

The thing that put me off the most with the 2600 was the awful sound in most games that I found irritating.  I'll never understand why they didn't build POKEY into the 7800 design.  

 

I did have a 5200 as a kid.  I wouldn't mind having a 2600 adapter for it but I couldn't see myself going out of my way to have a 2600 collection.  

 

There were some ok games for it but very few that didn't have better A8/5200 ports.  I just have no nostalgia really for the 2600, some people do.

 

I was just a spoiled brat I guess. 

For me, the sound of the 2600 is what brings the memories flooding back - They were great days. I remember my mate won a 2600 in some competition at McDolands, we played that thing for hours and hours as kids.

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On 3/12/2021 at 12:17 AM, donjn said:

 

Should I ditch the 2600?

 

Have you checked out any of the newer games for the 2600 in the Atari Age store?   There's some real gems in there IMO, including Star Castle, Mappy, PacMan 8K, Super Cobra, Scramble and many more.

 

I was 100% with you on the 2600.  Didn't see any value in it as I had the Atari 8-bit computer, and a C64 as well as some other home computers.  But I got a 7800 in the end as my son is into console gaming, and it gave me something Atari to do at PRGE and SRGE.  The 7800 has some good games, albeit with often terrible sound, but some of the newer 2600 games have proven to be pretty cool too.

 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, oracle_jedi said:

 

Have you checked out any of the newer games for the 2600 in the Atari Age store?   There's some real gems in there IMO, including Star Castle, Mappy, PacMan 8K, Super Cobra, Scramble and many more.

 

I was 100% with you on the 2600.  Didn't see any value in it as I had the Atari 8-bit computer, and a C64 as well as some other home computers.  But I got a 7800 in the end as my son is into console gaming, and it gave me something Atari to do at PRGE and SRGE.  The 7800 has some good games, albeit with often terrible sound, but some of the newer 2600 games have proven to be pretty cool too.

 

 

 

I've decided to keep my Atari 2600. The s-video out to Chroma Luma on my Commodore 1702 looks insanely too good to ever give up.

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The thing with the VCS is that it does so much with so little. The console hardware is simplistic. A cut-down 6502/6507, 128bytes RAM, no ROM, and limited signals to the cartridge port. It's basically the ROM interacting with the processor and scratch-pad-sized memory. Nothing else to get in the way.

 

Many challenges in VCS games come from speed and reaction times. The VCS'es bare-metal programming style is good at enforcing a solid 30 or 60 FPS. Everything is based around the CRT's electron beam scanning left to right. No slowdowns like framebuffer based computers - where programmers always push the limit of what the processor can do at expense of smoothness in gameplay. This extends to ARM games too.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Keatah said:

The thing with the VCS is that it does so much with so little. The console hardware is simplistic. A cut-down 6502/6507, 128bytes RAM, no ROM, and limited signals to the cartridge port. It's basically the ROM interacting with the processor and scratch-pad-sized memory. Nothing else to get in the way.

 

Many challenges in VCS games come from speed and reaction times. The VCS'es bare-metal programming style is good at enforcing a solid 30 or 60 FPS. Everything is based around the CRT's electron beam scanning left to right. No slowdowns like framebuffer based computers - where programmers always push the limit of what the processor can do at expense of smoothness in gameplay. This extends to ARM games too.

 

Does this explain why the Atari 2600 Asteroids feels as smooth as butter and the Atari 400/800 Asteroids just feels...off...to me..? Or was that just bad programming?

Edited by donjn

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Yes it feels, looks, and sounds sticky & tacky. Slow even.

 

Lax programming encouraged by the extra functionality of custom chips. A custom chip feature can't be optimal for every use case, but a custom written program routine can be. Chip features set in silicon and can't be adapted to the moment, whereas a program can. And I don't believe the programmer(s) put in the necessary effort from the ground up. Relied on those inbuilt features too much.

 

I would guess that a buttery-smooth Asteroids version could be made for the 8-bit machines.. It was done on the Apple II several times and it doesn't even have a graphics chip to begin with.

 

And there's the Asteroids emulator for the 8-bit. It struggles to play fast and smooth. But it's somewhat better. And it uses the arcade roms. Such an emulator on a 6502 is a technical achievement if nothing else.

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