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Atari's Landfill Adventures, I now have the proof it's true.

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21 hours ago, keithbk said:

Let's be 100% HONEST about the evolution of the Atari 2600...

 

1 ) NOVELTY: "It's new, it's different, have you seen it???"

2 ) COOL: "I have an Atari, want to come and play?"

3 ) COLLECTIBLE: "They just released XXXX, I have to have it!"

4 ) COMPATIBILITY: "Our game will play on the Atari!"

5 ) COMPETITION: "Our system is better than the Atari!"

6 ) OVER-SATURATION: "Most of these games are just not worth having."

7 ) LIMITATIONS REALIZED: "Have you seen what my C-64 Computer can do???"

8 ) MARKET SHIFT: "Computers are the future. The Atari is boring."

 

Nintendo would revitalize the game console market by introducing games with additional depth, better graphics, and more long-term value (games that required hours of play to genuinely explore (Zelda), rather than hours of mere repetition (Space Invaders)).

 

Now, we're in the "NOSTALGIA" phase: "I remember loving the Atari as a kid... I wonder if I can program a game for it..."

 

 

This is all true. Also, for a certain demographic, life started to change. I had greater academic demands and other things that pulled me away from games, and, when I did play, it was Zelda or Mario. Depth of gameplay was a factor for sure.

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42 minutes ago, moycon said:

Seems to me, people have taken all available vintage reviews and calculated average based on those ratings and reviews and E.T. wound up just that, an average reviewed game for the time. Based on that it was received just fine. It's didn't get all glowing reviews for sure,  but it certainly didn't get a majority of dismal reviews, much less enough to qualify it as the worst game of all time, all that nonsense came later when people decided to invent the myth. I will agree with you about one thing though, I am super for sure, not unlike the game if a person can grasp the play mechanics.

Yes, I think if you take the averaged vintage reviews and look at the average on MobyGames (which weights reviews from all eras; the reviews on the AtariAge listing are similar, but there are far fewer), you get scoring that indicates a below average game. Again, just because more people don't like the game than do like it, doesn't mean there aren't people who do like it. There obviously are, with you yourself being a perfect example. There's just fewer of them/you.

Edited by Bill Loguidice

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2 minutes ago, moycon said:

 

Maybe because people think their personal beliefs are the only correct beliefs and everyone else should think like them because then the world would be a better place?

I dunno.

It's hard for some people to grasp another person might have their own beliefs about ANY given topic and it be completely the opposite of theirs.

I personally think anyone's beliefs are the right ones for their little world and they shouldn't get mad at others for not thinking like them. That said. E.T. for the Atari 2600 is in fact one of the greatest games ever made, and I would have ditched the wife and grabbed a shovel.

 

Hahah... hey man, I'm not taking sides.

 

I would have grabbed a shovel, but I saw how long it took for them to get some of those Atari 2600 games out, and I already have E.T.

 

 

Can I just say right here, right now... I really miss the 80s. I mean, I really do. In the mid 1980s... I had no responsibilities. I was just a kid. I had a tree house, an Atari 2600, I played soccer and went to Pizza Hut after every game with the team. I had Legos, Gi Joes, a Saturn-V rocket model, and the new Space Shuttle was all the rage. My 8088 KayPro was so awesome, and I spent HOURS AND HOURS playing "Starflight."

 

 

 

There were some super cool cars back then... my parents drove only Volvos, but this was all the rage at the time:

 

 

 

 

 

Shit sucks now... it totally does. Hahaha... I have a mortgage, responsibilities... and I'm getting older. Hahah, it sucks!!!

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1 hour ago, 82-T/A said:

 

Hahah... hey man, I'm not taking sides.

 

I would have grabbed a shovel, but I saw how long it took for them to get some of those Atari 2600 games out, and I already have E.T.

 

Yeah plus I can imagine digging up, smelly, rocky soil in the freaking desert probably isn't an ideal vacation activity! 

 

Quote

look at the average on MobyGames (which weights reviews from all eras)

Why bother with that? Many of the more modern reviews begin with " E.T. The worst game ever made, so bad Atari buried millions of them" Why not just accept the reviews of the day? You know, before the silliness.

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34 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Yes, I think if you take the averaged vintage reviews and look at the average on MobyGames (which weights reviews from all era; the reviews on the AtariAge listing are similar, but there are far fewer), you get scoring that indicates a below average game. Again, just because more people don't like the game than do like it, doesn't mean there aren't people who do like it. There obviously are, with yourself being a perfect example. There's just fewer of them/you.

It's more interesting to look at reviews from the era that haven't been influenced by the "worst game of all time narrative".   So I looked at a couple

 

The 1983 review in Electronic Games magazine is a joke.  Again it sounds like the reviewer didn't spend enough time with the game, making claims that that are flat out wrong:  It says the objective is to rebuild your spaceship from spaceship parts".   wrong.   it claims that you have to follow the directional arrows on top of the screen.   No, that's just for fast travel.  It also says the graphics are crude...   Compared to what?   It's one of the better looking 2600 games of its era. 

 

The "Electronic Fun with Computers and Games" 1983 review is much better.  Clearly this reviewer has played the game for more than a few minutes.  But they seem baffled by the "zone" system.    The icon on the top of the screen tells you what zone you are in and the book tells you what the zone icons means.   I thought this was easy enough to understand as a 10-year old, but this reviewer found it confusing.   As far as graphics go, this review says "Atari has rarely done anything better!"

 

If these people found ET confusing, how did they get through Raiders or Swordquest?  Electronic Fun gave ET  62%,  but gave both Swordquest games perfect scores!?!   This is why it's hard to trust paid reviewers...

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How to understand the environment of E.T. ...

 

Think of a cube (or a Rubik's Cube)...

 

The top side is the field where the ship lands and takes off...

The bottom is the house and government buildings...

The other 4 sides are the fields with pits...

 

It really is that simple.

 

 

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On 10/22/2021 at 1:44 PM, zzip said:

It's more interesting to look at reviews from the era that haven't been influenced by the "worst game of all time narrative".   So I looked at a couple

 

The 1983 review in Electronic Games magazine is a joke.  Again it sounds like the reviewer didn't spend enough time with the game, making claims that that are flat out wrong:  It says the objective is to rebuild your spaceship from spaceship parts".   wrong.   it claims that you have to follow the directional arrows on top of the screen.   No, that's just for fast travel.  It also says the graphics are crude...   Compared to what?   It's one of the better looking 2600 games of its era. 

 

The "Electronic Fun with Computers and Games" 1983 review is much better.  Clearly this reviewer has played the game for more than a few minutes.  But they seem baffled by the "zone" system.    The icon on the top of the screen tells you what zone you are in and the book tells you what the zone icons means.   I thought this was easy enough to understand as a 10-year old, but this reviewer found it confusing.   As far as graphics go, this review says "Atari has rarely done anything better!"

 

If these people found ET confusing, how did they get through Raiders or Swordquest?  Electronic Fun gave ET  62%,  but gave both Swordquest games perfect scores!?!   This is why it's hard to trust paid reviewers...

How many reviewers back then didn't receive the manuals, or else received confused/hastily written pre-production instructions, for their review copy?

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I wanted to like Swordquest so bad as a kid. That was a million times worse than ET. The Swordquests are just awful. I don't think they even finished the competition. They were my Atari kiss of death. 

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21 minutes ago, hizzy said:

I wanted to like Swordquest so bad as a kid. That was a million times worse than ET. The Swordquests are just awful. I don't think they even finished the competition. They were my Atari kiss of death. 

I'm with you there. I was crushed by how bad the first SwordQuest was. I think my biggest Atari 2600 disappointment was probably Sneak'n Peak of all things. I was captivated by the visuals on the box, but obviously that didn't match in-game, nor was the gameplay of any interest.

In retrospect, the Atari 2600 probably has the biggest divide between good games and bad games. Like the good games are really good - simple to complex - and the bad games are really bad - simple to complex. The "simple" architecture and modest audio-visuals are probably both a blessing and a curse. We can also point to the single button joystick, but certainly many games worked around that with either alternate controllers, making use of the switches, or use of a second joystick. So yeah, it's this weird mashup of simple games that bore and overly complex games that aren't designed well, with simple games that have consistent appeal and complex games that work better than they have any right to.

I compare a game like Secret Quest to SwordQuest. I get that Secret Quest had several "unfair" advantages over SwordQuest, but it's basically the type of game that SwordQuest should have always been versus what we ended up getting.

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34 minutes ago, hizzy said:

I wanted to like Swordquest so bad as a kid. That was a million times worse than ET. The Swordquests are just awful. I don't think they even finished the competition. They were my Atari kiss of death. 

I liked the concept of EarthWorld and the zodiac at first..  but it soon wore out its welcome.   Now I'm someone who discovered the Adventure Easter Egg by accident...   I didn't even know there was an Easter Egg at the time!   But I didn't have enough patience for Earthworld.   None of my ideas got me very far.  I didn't have the patience to try dropping random objects into random rooms until something clicked.   There were no payoffs to keep you going.   Or maybe I just needed to go back and read the comic again..  IDK

 

But given my experience, I'm not even sure why we bought Fireworld.  I think it was my brother's idea.   I got tired of that one even quicker 😝

 

12 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I think my biggest Atari 2600 disappointment was probably Sneak'n Peak of all things. I was captivated by the visuals on the box, but obviously that didn't match in-game, nor was the gameplay of any interest.

Sneak N Peak is the only 2600 game I ever returned,  even though I bought it as a bargain bin title!   I don't even think the visuals were that bad for a 2600.  It was just that there was no "game" there.   Or maybe it was because I as a 12 year old thought I was too mature to own a "Hide and Seek" videogame :)

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