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Best third party game company?!? (Atari)

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After further review, I think Imagic is overrated. Yeah I know Demon Attack won an Arkie Award by Electronic Games but in regard to that title there really isn't any depth to the game play. Cosmic Ark and Atlantis are average and with the exception of Dragonfire the rest of their library is forgettable.

 

If I would have to pick 3 I would go with Activision, Sega and Parker Bros. Most of the arcade translations by Sega and Parker Bros. are above average while Activision had more original titles (although of few of them like Megamania were inspired by arcade games).

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One company I see missing is CBS. Where's the love for Solar Fox, Carnival, Wizard of Wor, Gorf and Smurfs.

 

Though it is hard to beat Activision as the best. They just have such a strong library.

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Parker Brothers, then Imagic.

 

Controversial opinion time: Activision was overated. Sure they made some of the best looking games on the 2600, but many of them had extremely shallow gameplay even for the 2600. Barnstorming? Just fly through barns and avoid windmills. Skyjinks? Just slalom between poles, might as well be a skiing game. Freeway? Poor man's Frogger.

 

Yes they made some gems like Pitfall II, but I find 80-90% of their library to be not much fun to play.

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One company I see missing is CBS. Where's the love for Solar Fox, Carnival, Wizard of Wor, Gorf and Smurfs.

 

Though it is hard to beat Activision as the best. They just have such a strong library.

 

Agree about CBS

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One company I see missing is CBS. Where's the love for Solar Fox, Carnival, Wizard of Wor, Gorf and Smurfs.

 

Though it is hard to beat Activision as the best. They just have such a strong library.

 

CBS is OK. I would probably slide them in at #4 in my list.

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The top few Activision games are among the best for the VCS, but the rest of them are pretty meh (but they all look nice). The same with Imagic. I'd probably rank Parker Bros. as the best overall. CBS and Sega are both pretty good. My dark horse pick is Telesys.

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I'm with the Activision, then Parker Brothers opinion. I'd be happy with an Atari/Activision Flashback if someone makes it. :D

 

Imagic was OK but hasn't aged as well -- but if someone is throwing in Imagic games with the Activision catalog (as sometimes happens), I'll take it.

 

I keep thinking about the SEGA ports of Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom and Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator, but as much as I (still) like those two games, the rest of their stuff removes them from consideration in my mind.

 

Parker Brothers, then Imagic.

 

Controversial opinion time: Activision was overated. Sure they made some of the best looking games on the 2600, but many of them had extremely shallow gameplay even for the 2600. Barnstorming? Just fly through barns and avoid windmills. Skyjinks? Just slalom between poles, might as well be a skiing game. Freeway? Poor man's Frogger.

 

Yes they made some gems like Pitfall II, but I find 80-90% of their library to be not much fun to play.

 

I disagree ... Activision got to the essence of VCS games, and looked nice too. No flickering, fresh ideas, unconstrained by having to look like someone else's arcade game. Not shallow, especially compared to the early Atari fare. They had patches (the first "achievements"), developer profiles, colorful packaging, and fun advertising.

 

Were you not around for their heyday? Freeway came out a long time before Frogger on the 2600. It was as close as we got to the arcade game for a while. If you were late to the scene, that would make more sense to me.

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I keep thinking about the SEGA ports of Buck Rogers Planet of Zoom and Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator, but as much as I (still) like those two games, the rest of their stuff removes them from consideration in my mind.

 

Were you not around for their heyday? Freeway came out a long time before Frogger on the 2600. It was as close as we got to the arcade game for a while. If you were late to the scene, that would make more sense to me.

 

Regarding Freeway: I'm guessing the reference is to the arcade game not the home version. When I got Freeway BITD I thought it was a ripoff of Frogger given that I played the arcade game first. Wikipedia says the games were released in the same year (1981).

 

As far as Sega goes: Tac/Scan is also one of my favorites. I know Video Game Critic panned Sub Scan but it is essentially a translation of the UPL arcade smash hit Depthcharge. I happen to like Sub Scan.

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The top few Activision games are among the best for the VCS, but the rest of them are pretty meh (but they all look nice). The same with Imagic. I'd probably rank Parker Bros. as the best overall. CBS and Sega are both pretty good. My dark horse pick is Telesys.

 

I think the top Activision games beat out the rest by a good margin: HERO/Pitfall/Pitfall II/River Raid beat out Atlantis/DemonAttack/No Escape any day. I don't have the largest 2600 set, but more than half of what I own (excluding homebrew) are Activision, and I don't even own Barnstorming or Skyjinks anymore.

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Regarding Freeway: I'm guessing the reference is to the arcade game not the home version. When I got Freeway BITD I thought it was a ripoff of Frogger given that I played the arcade game first. Wikipedia says the games were released in the same year (1981).

 

As far as Sega goes: Tac/Scan is also one of my favorites. I know Video Game Critic panned Sub Scan but it is essentially a translation of the UPL arcade smash hit Depthcharge. I happen to like Sub Scan.

Love, love, love Tac-Scan. Those sound effects!

 

Best part: I'm getting it in the mail soon, so I'll be playing it for the first time in 30+ years. 🤗

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I disagree ... Activision got to the essence of VCS games, and looked nice too. No flickering, fresh ideas, unconstrained by having to look like someone else's arcade game. Not shallow, especially compared to the early Atari fare. They had patches (the first "achievements"), developer profiles, colorful packaging, and fun advertising.

 

Were you not around for their heyday? Freeway came out a long time before Frogger on the 2600. It was as close as we got to the arcade game for a while. If you were late to the scene, that would make more sense to me.

 

I agree about Activision on the technical merits, but back in the 90s when I got a PC and I excitedly picked up the Activision Atari archive packs they started selling around that time-- That's the point when I realized most of the games were not much fun to play.

 

Yes I was around in their heyday. I remember when my friend got Tennis, and Fishing Derby, Freeway, Grand Prix, Enduro, Kaboom and many others. We played the hell out of all of them. But hell, we played the hell out of everything then, even Nim on the Channel F. They were the only games we had at the time.

 

Anyway, although I played and enjoyed them at the time, I just have no desire to play most of the Activision games now. Then again I don't like many of the early Atari-published games anymore either for the same reason, but this is a thread about 3rd parties.

 

On Freeway vs Frogger- When he got Freeway, my friend said it was like Frogger (the arcade game) which I hadn't seen yet, but presumably existed first.

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Love, love, love Tac-Scan. Those sound effects!

 

 

 

You have to play Tac/Scan in MAME if you haven't (as the arcade game is rare). The arcade game is much better than the 2600 version (which surprises nobody ever).

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You have to play Tac/Scan in MAME if you haven't (as the arcade game is rare). The arcade game is much better than the 2600 version (which surprises nobody ever).

For sure, man, just need someone knowledgeable on the subject to help me with some PSP/arcade stuff, but that's for another time/thread.

(I've got multiple 'hacked' units and plenty of chips, but they were done FOR me years ago and filled with games/films that I wanted at the time....I've since lost touch with the guy that set me up, sadly, and I dunno how to do any of that tech crap for myself. :( )

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Don't be a dummy! LEARN!

Nope. No way. Not gonna do it. They tried to teach me basic computer stuff in school back in the day, and it bored/frustrated me to near tears. Decided to TRY for myself - y'know, "not being a dummy" and all - and found new WAYS to fuck up the simplest of processes, to the point of BRICKING two units, sigh. 😢 (Drag this, drop that, open this folder, firmware that.....screw off!!)

 

PSP diddling, much like with dental work and shaving my stray neck hairs, is something that I pay others to do for me, thanks. Don't really need to know what's going on 'behind the scenes' of a given game, just wanna play it.

;)

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Nope. No way. Not gonna do it. They tried to teach me basic computer stuff in school back in the day, and it bored/frustrated me to near tears. Decided to TRY for myself - y'know, "not being a dummy" and all - and found new WAYS to fuck up the simplest of processes, to the point of BRICKING two units, sigh. (Drag this, drop that, open this folder, firmware that.....screw off!!)

 

PSP diddling, much like with dental work and shaving my stray neck hairs, is something that I pay others to do for me, thanks. Don't really need to know what's going on 'behind the scenes' of a given game, just wanna play it.

icon_wink.gif

 

I'm actually kinda the same way. I'd like to learn how to fix arcade and pinball machines but I figure in the time I'm learning that I'm better off studying for IT certifications where the real money is.

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I think Activision is my favorite.

 

River Raid and Enduro are two of my favorite 2600 titles. I might even like Enduro more than River Raid.

Enduro isn't just a great game for the 2600, it's a better racing game than most of the offerings in the NES / GB era.

 

For instance, one of the Game Boy's launch titles was F1 Race which is very similar to Enduro - but far worse.

 

The only NES/GB era racing game I like more than Enduro is Super R.C. Pro Am on the GB.

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No love for Rad Racer?

 

What I remember the most about Enduro is how much imagination went into it while playing. I was playing it on a black and white TV at the time while literally filling in the colors in my mind, and by extension the scenery and everything else. In many ways it was and still is more real to me than the stuff released today with insane graphics that I would not have thought would be possible back then.

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To me what sets Enduro apart is that it's all about reflexes. It's exciting to be weaving in and out of traffic at breakneck speeds, hitting the breaks and accelerating to pass traffic snarls, flying past dozens, hundreds of cars at seemingly supersonic speeds.

In Rad Racer the challenge isn't so much avoiding cars, it's handling the turns and not flying off the track. You're passing cars at a more sedate pace, at least in the early stages. You're not flying past them like you have a rocket strapped to your car.

In Enduro you can't fly off the track, but hitting the edge of the track does seem to slow you down, so you don't want to do it. I prefer that penalty. In Rad Racer if you fly off the track even 2 times you very likely ruined your chances of winning. In Enduro, you can run into cars 5 times, and if you have the reflexes of a genetically engineered superman, you can still survive to the next day.

I love it when the timer starts beeping at you, and you still have 50 or more cars to pass, so you throw caution to the wind and accelerate like an insane rocketman and still somehow beat the countdown and make it to the next day of game play. Love it.

In Rad Racer I think there's a certain optimal speed for taking every turn in the game. In Enduro, the 'optimal speed' for the clear weather areas, the foggy areas, and the ice areas, is as fast as you can possibly react to the oncoming cars.

Rad Racer is a fine game but I find Enduro much more exciting.

However that's not to say I prefer a reaction based game like Enduro all the time. Mach Rider (NES) is almost entirely reaction time based, and it's 100% impossible. It's too fast. You don't have time to react to all the things flying at you from ahead and behind. I have yet to meet someone who's actually good at Mach Rider. It seems like such a cool game but it requires reflexes humans just don't have. Enduro, on the other hand, is challenging but I find that on a good day i can reach Day 5 and get the little trophy that appears on the display. Never made it to Day 6, but I'm getting better and better at the game.

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My top 3 have already been mentioned plenty of times. So what about M Network? Astroblast, Adventures of Tron, Dark Carvern, all great games.

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Activision, followed by Parker Bros.

Activision had no licenses to arcade titles, so they created their own superior games, and many of the games are just as fun to play today. Pitfall, Pitfall 2, River RAID, Enduro, Kaboom!, and HERO are my faves.

 

Parker Bros. *did* have licenses and didn't botch the ports. Q*BERT, TESB, Reactor, Frogged, Spider Man are my faves.

 

I magic games had great graphics and some interesting themes, but I grew bored of all them years ago. My fave is Dragonfire.

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Starmaster is my favorite third party game. To have your own spaceship, flying through the stars, shooting bad guys (just like Luke Skywalker) was incredible back in the day.

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