Jump to content
Cobra Kai

Give River Raid some love

Recommended Posts

s_RiverRaid_2.png

 

This game seems to have gotten some more work put into it than other Activision titles that were brought from the 2600 to the 5200. The land has actual detail to it, with the banks of the river and hills in the background. I know the Hot Air Balloons are new, but it's been so long since I spent time with the old 2600 game, off the top of my head the Bridge Tank is new as well?

 

I don't know all the differences, I just know I love playing this way better than I did the original because the graphics are quite a bit better. The sound seems exactly the same though, with no discernable upgrade there. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't played River Raid in a LONG TIME but yes the A8/5200 version really was superior and more challenging than its OG 2600 counterpart was. Shooting helicopters, tanks that fired surface-to-air (?) missiles at your plane, and balloons and more-detailed shorelines make the 5200 version stand out.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose what spurred me to make this topic was that I've always been annoyed at the flippant comment and assumptions that 5200 Activision games were lazy 2600 ports. 

 

River Raid is clearly an example that this isn't the case. This is a topic that probably deserves it's own thread, is Activision's reputation on the 5200, of being lazy ports, is that deserved? I'm not convinced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

River Raid was ported to the 400/800 by Carol Shaw herself, so I think that had a lot to do with it being such a superior port.  (I'm not sure if she did the 400/800 to 5200 conversion, but that was a much smaller programming job by comparison, of course.)  Clearly, she was willing to build on her 2600 work and make a great game even better.  Most of the other porters were probably much more reluctant to change much about another programmer's design.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody yet has mentioned that 5200 River Raid has fully analog left/right movement controls, quite unlike its 2600 predecessor.  It's pretty awesome and makes this version quite distinct from the 2600 version.  At first glance it looks like a lazy, barely-altered port, apart from minor graphical enhancements and such, but there's some pretty cool stuff added to this version, and I think that the analog controls are my favorite change.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I owned a 5200 as a teenager, but never got to try the port of River Raid in those days.   It looked very similar to the 2600 version I'd already known and loved for years, and so my precious video game budget was going to be spent on new games rather than upgrades.  In the collector/adult era, I have found it very difficult to play with the CX-52s, though I am sure I could get used to that with practice and orientation, just like playing Pac-Man became second nature even without a self-centering stick.   All of that said, just a few nights ago I tried River Raid with our new Super 52 controller prototype and had the best game I'd ever played, so I think this is a game I will be going back to on a regular basis with the new controller.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, A Black Falcon said:

Nobody yet has mentioned that 5200 River Raid has fully analog left/right movement controls, quite unlike its 2600 predecessor.  It's pretty awesome and makes this version quite distinct from the 2600 version.  At first glance it looks like a lazy, barely-altered port, apart from minor graphical enhancements and such, but there's some pretty cool stuff added to this version, and I think that the analog controls are my favorite change.

This begs the question of why an analog joystick was never made for the 400/800 line?  There's absolutely nothing stopping it (as paddles prove).  Then we can start back porting from 5200 to 400/800 :)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, A Black Falcon said:

Nobody yet has mentioned that 5200 River Raid has fully analog left/right movement controls, quite unlike its 2600 predecessor.  It's pretty awesome and makes this version quite distinct from the 2600 version.  At first glance it looks like a lazy, barely-altered port, apart from minor graphical enhancements and such, but there's some pretty cool stuff added to this version, and I think that the analog controls are my favorite change.

 

Are there other Activision games on the 5200 that benefit from full analog controls (as oppose to just using a "digital" joystick), I think Dreadnaught Factor & Kaboom come to mind...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, MrMaddog said:

 

Are there other Activision games on the 5200 that benefit from full analog controls (as oppose to just using a "digital" joystick), I think Dreadnaught Factor & Kaboom come to mind...

 

 

Well, Kaboom uses the paddles so it's analog (and I much prefer paddles to joysticks for Breakout / Kaboom style games).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2022 at 9:02 PM, A Black Falcon said:

Nobody yet has mentioned that 5200 River Raid has fully analog left/right movement controls, quite unlike its 2600 predecessor.  It's pretty awesome and makes this version quite distinct from the 2600 version.  At first glance it looks like a lazy, barely-altered port, apart from minor graphical enhancements and such, but there's some pretty cool stuff added to this version, and I think that the analog controls are my favorite change.

The analog controls make all the difference in the world in playability. 5200 River Raid is a gem.  It's why in 2022 my 5200 gets more play than my 8bit. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Stephen said:

Well, Kaboom uses the paddles so it's analog (and I much prefer paddles to joysticks for Breakout / Kaboom style games).

Kaboom and Super Breakout have amazing controls on the analog sticks. It's more precise for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, MrMaddog said:

 

Are there other Activision games on the 5200 that benefit from full analog controls (as oppose to just using a "digital" joystick), I think Dreadnaught Factor & Kaboom come to mind...

 

 

I think Megamania and Beamrider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/3/2022 at 12:52 PM, SoundGammon said:

Nukey Shay did an awesome hack of River Raid for the 2600:

What.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2022 at 11:26 AM, Stephen said:

This begs the question of why an analog joystick was never made for the 400/800 line?  There's absolutely nothing stopping it (as paddles prove).  Then we can start back porting from 5200 to 400/800 :)

@Stephen this was why I was SO caught in between the XEGS or the 5200 as for my 8-bit Atari console of choice was because if we DID back port every game that would've (and should've) included Tempest and all the Mean Hamster titles as well, not having Keithen Hayenga's masterpiece of a port for the XEGS was the difference maker in my choosing Big Sexy over the XEGS, and I still have no regrets, plus,  YOU of all people were SO much against converting from A8-to-5200 or vice versa, now you figure on doing them whoa where was this when I was doing The Atari Report months ago???

Edited by BIGHMW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I've learned something from my little experiment...the non-centering 5200 joysticks are entirely different from what Altirra tries to emulate (Using Relative instead of Absolute).

 

I kept crashing into the walls in River Raid so I just set it back to using the good ol' "one speed & eight direction" method.  This is using an analog thumbstick on an Xbox controler so it still has thast feel...and I'm sorry not not having any working hardware to use instead.

 

To be quite honest, 5200 games are primary Atari 800 ports with the controls needed rework of course.  I'm sure a programmer at Activision would take advantage of the analog nature of the controllers instead of just slapping static coordinates to simulate a 2600 joystick, but that's more of an exception than the rule.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2022 at 9:02 PM, A Black Falcon said:

...and I think that the analog controls are my favorite change.

This. 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there a better version of River Raid than 5200?

Better than Coleco for me & I agree about Megamania & Beamrider

as well as HERO & Keystone Kapers being superior. 

 

Currently doing River Raid longplay, just to see what deep game is like around the 800th bridge.....

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 11.05.09 PM.png

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...