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Here we have Popeye for the Atari 2600. In many respects its a reasonable port. The first stage is closer to the arcade version than the NES version (you can only go down the ladder and not up). It even has most of the music though the Popeye theme seems to repeat too early into the song. All of the sprites are a single color (which can’t be faulted too badly since Popeye on the ColecoVision version was only white, while all the other enemies were multicolored). I have a difficult time recommending this but since it’s all we have for the 2600 I’d suggest getting it, but spend no more han $4 for it.
If you’re looking for an excellent home port of Donkey Kong, this version for the Atari 2600 certainly isn’t it. A lot of people hate on this version and some people accuse Coleco of purposely making sub par. I happen not to believe that though. Sure the game does have alot to be desired (and my photos are terrible – I admit that) but the game does have some resemblence to the arcade version and the concept is the same – it’s just incomplete and the fact that Donkey Kong itself is a pretty complicated game to program (Nintendo actually outsourced the programing of the original arcade game which is why they have never ported an emulated version to any console) makes it difficult to give the complaints on this version any credit. It’s a simple platformer and thats all. Named anything else, and it would probably have better reviews.
One thing that should be considered is the fact that I have never heard a game that had it’s audio so frequently sampled in movies, television shows, and commercials. It seems that the Atari 2600 Donkey Kong sounds are the defacto standard for Hollywood Video Game sound effects.
The Frogger port for Atari 2600 is excellent. It captures the feel of the arcade version very well. The only complaint I would have is the flicker but you don’t notice it much. There are plenty of bright colors and the game is simply fun and this is what matters most. Recommended!
I’ve seen plenty of people hate on Pac-man for Atari 2600. I’ve never understood why, sure the game has only a bare resemblence to the arcade game but who really cares? So many games back then had such a hint of resemblence to the real deal that it didn’t even matter. This version of Pac-man actually has plenty going for it. First of all the flickering “ghosts”. Probably one of the biggest complaints about the game, but do you understand why they flicker? The Atari 2600 was limited to the number of sprites that could be shown on a row – sure some games found ways around it like Space Invaders and Galaxian, but considering the time constraints that were placed on the development of this game its undertandable why the ghosts flicker. But if you must know, no more than one ghost appears on the screen at any given time. As the processor cranks through the program code it draws one ghost, refreshes the screen then draws the next ghost, and so on and so on until each of the four ghosts have their chance on the screen. It’s actually pretty ingenious.
This is what makes these old games so great! It wasn’t the perfect interpretation of the title, but rather the creativity of the programmer that did more with less. And in this case much less! Could you imagine what would have happened if the arcade experience was perfected this early in the life of video games? The market would have crashed alot harder than it did. Everyone waited for better!
There are other things that make this version great. Pacman has eyes and a kooky way of opening and closing his mouth. The sounds are there, even if they are nothing like the arcade version, and the fruit are now square vitamins. For health and pleasure. If you own an Atari, you probably already own this game, and if you don’t you’ll eventually encounter it. It’s not perfect, but its great!
Hot dogs, eggs, and breadsticks? Well its close enough I suppose. Burgertime for Atari 2600 has alot going for it. Its a little on the slow side but requires similar skill to the arcade version. The music is close enough and the fun factor is there but the controls are not polished. I found myself getting aggrevated when climbing ladders and the chef would freeze. You have to push up or down again to get him to continue. That kinda defeats the purpose of needing lightning fast reflexes. Recommended.