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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Wed Jul 28, 2021 11:01 am

I also just added my longer writeup of Pitfall as well.
It's probably about 100 words longer than I was looking for, but unsure what I should cut.

Edit: I was on a roll and wrapped up Yars Revenge as well. I'm happy with the length on that one but up for suggestions.
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Golgo 14
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by Golgo 14 Fri Jul 30, 2021 10:58 pm

racketboy wrote:Was it safe to say that Pitfall was a major turning point in presentation and gameplay styles in video games?

I don't know that I'd say Pitfall was a major turning point in terms of presentation. I'd agree that it's a major milestone in the development of platformers.

racketboy wrote:Was there any Atari 2600 games released before Pitfall that even had quite the visual presentation? (I'm thinking about more realistic backgrounds/settings in addition to the scrolling screens)

It's hard to pin down, but I believe Barnstorming came out before Pitfall! and those two games were in the same league visually. I'd probably even give the edge to Barnstorming there because it had the first appearance of the Activision sunrise (or sunset). And Barnstorming scrolled like butter, while Pitfall goes screen to screen, though Pitfall! is much, much larger.

However, in terms of gameplay, Barnstorming can't hold a candle to Pitfall! and it didn't lay the groundwork for future games like Pitfall! either.

racketboy wrote:Were there any arcade games that had any similar visual or gameplay experiences in the same league as Pitfall before?

Pitfall! looks great for a 2600 game, and its clean aesthetic meant that even when it was ported to more powerful systems of the day, the visual changes were slight and they often hold up less well than the simplicity of the 2600 game's design.

That said, I can't imagine that anyone in 1982 thought Pitfall! looked better than what was available in the arcades. This would have been seen as an insane opinion among by circle of friends back then, though the game was loved by all.

Looking back, Jungle King (Jungle Hunt) is similar in content and theme to Pitfall! and appears to have been released slightly earlier. In 2021, I actually think the 2600 Pitfall! holds up better and looks superior to it, but I don't think I felt this way at the time.

tl:dr The 2600 version of Pitfall had a nice clean style typical of Activision games of its era, but its popularity and importance to video game history is due to its gameplay.
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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:01 am

Excellent! Thank you!

I did also get a recommendation of Jungle King on Twitter :) Been cool to check that one out.

I also will spend more time looking at Barnstoming and will adjust my notes accordingly.
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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Sun Aug 08, 2021 7:38 pm

I also added more thorough write-ups for Dragster, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man if anybody wants to give them a look on the Google Doc.
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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:03 pm

We're getting so close to finishing this thing up!

Anybody want to write just a few sentences about any of these honorable mentions?

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Demon Attack
H.E.R.O.
Atlantis
Enduro
Turmoil
Crystal Castles
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by o.pwuaioc Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:19 pm

racketboy wrote:We're getting so close to finishing this thing up!

Anybody want to write just a few sentences about any of these honorable mentions?

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Demon Attack
H.E.R.O.
Atlantis
Enduro
Turmoil
Crystal Castles


I probably have a few sentences floating around that I could contribute to HERO.
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racketboy
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Re: Atari Enthusiasts: Help us bulk up Defining 2600 Games

by racketboy Fri Sep 03, 2021 8:29 am

I'm hoping to finish up this guide in the next few days, so if anybody has anything to add, please let me know soon :)
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