Have You Played Atari Today?

Takumaji

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Now that the 2600+ is out, let's talk about the system, the "new" Atari company, VCS, the new joysticks, games and everythiiiing ->

I've decided to skip on the 2600+ for now, it's a emu-in-a-box console which does not really bother me, even though I would have preferred something more substantial. However, there seems to be compatibility problems specially with 7800 games which I find weird, haven't they tested that shit before?

What's more, some owners of PAL 2600 systems reported problems with the new game releases Berzerk Enhanced and Mr Run and Jump, they won't run properly or show wrong colours, it's like trying to run a NTSC 2600 title on a PAL console. I don't have this problem on my 7800 and 2600, maybe it only happens with certain hardware revisions.

Another issue is manuals. You may think that one doesn't need a manual for a simple game like Berzerk but it has a mode/game select matrix with no less than 12 variations, with or without Evil Otto, robots shoot/don't shoot, bonus life handling, etc., which of course can be explored one by one but some changes aren't that obvious so a quick look into the manual will help you to save lots of time. Berzerk Enhanced has new features so it would be nice to read about them and not only get a list on Atari's website entitled "adds new features such as", I've paid for it and want the full Monty now.

Manuals will be available on the Atari site, at the moment the corresponding links say "coming soon"... whenever this "soon" will be.

Enough from me, lemme hear your thoughts.
 

AppleiDog

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I played an atari game yesterday, black widow enchanced, on the Steamdeck if that counts.
 

sirlynxalot

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I like the idea that a company calling itself atari still exists. It does ring hollow when modern day atari says its celebrating its 50th year, etc etc... I mean, there's literally no link to the older iterations of the company beyond the brand name and some of the IP, much of which was tossed around in asset sales for over a decade, between multiple companies that had no interest in calling themselves atari (e.g., JTS, Hasbro, Warner, etc.). The current corporate entity did not organically evolve from the older atari corporate entities, and there has been no overlap in officers, directors or employees between 80s/90s atari and later iterations.

The company has been doing weird stuff in the last couple years. Releasing the Atari VCS, that pc in a box thing, without any kind of compelling use case was bizarre, and even more bizarre that it actually came to market. It has been bizarre that the VCS is still sold, but is functionally broken unless you get your hands dirty researching how to mod it. It was bizarre when the atari coin digital currency thing was being marketed. It was bizarre when that atari hotels concept was being promoted. It was bizarre when atari made a press release saying they were going to focus on gambling games and also try to explecitely court the LGBT game players market. The company was like a fish flapping around on the ground doing a bunch of weird stuff that didn't really make sense or appeal to the nostalgia market, which I feel is the only segment of fans that give a shit about anything with the word atari on it.

It seems in the last two years in particular (a new CEO with a new direction?) atari has made some better calculated decisions, spending cash to expand its old IP portfolio, buying companies that are known for putting out quality emulation packages, buying websites that essentially contain the modern day atari nostalgic community, releasing the Atari 50 compilation including more obscure atari stuff... coming out with this HDMI enabled 2600 emu box to make things easier for people that want more of a plug and play experience... Unlike the VCS, these seem like things that will appeal to people who still care about the atari brand and despite the hiccups and glitches with what they're doing, it will be interesting to see how things evolve.
 
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GutsDozer

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That sucks. I mostly wanted it to play 7800 stuff.
 

famicommander

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The 7800 emulation sucks because they're using a god damn 2008 version of an emulator that would still suck if they were using the most recent version.

The 2600 cart dumper they're using also sucks.

And the other emulation boxes they released from MyArcade? They suck, shockingly.

Basically, never, ever buy any hardware from modern Atari. Everything they put out is a broken mess and it's only for collectards who only care about the Atari logo on the box.
 

skate323k137

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I've been meaning to play my 65XE because I have an atari max cart for it. I had set it aside waiting for controller extensions, which I now have.
 

famicommander

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That sucks. I mostly wanted it to play 7800 stuff.
You have 3 decent options if you want to play 7800 games:
1. Download the A7800 emulator on whatever device you want
2. Just use preexisting emulation compilations like Atari 50 on Xbox/Switch/Playstation/Steam or the Atari Collections on Evercade. You won't get the full library but the emulators are preconfigured and they actually work.
3. Buy an actual Atari 7800

Do not, under any circumstances, buy a 2600+ or an Atari Gamestation Pro. And don't use the bullshit ProSystem emulator, that's what these shitty devices use.
 

sirlynxalot

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These days I mainly find myself returning to the 2600 from time to time. The games are primitive but I enjoy the immediate action and can appreciate some of them that really seem to be pushing the system. My frequent flyers for 2600 are Laser Gates and Megamania, Most of the stuff from Imagic and Activision is quite good.

5200 is hard to enjoy b/c of the controller, but the system itself looks cool and the game library is pretty good. I just play it through emulation though.

I liked 7800 when I was a kid, but as an adult I never touch it. The games aren't as interesting as 2600 games imo, there is less to the imagination, many of the game concepts are pretty generic, and the games are still more primitive than an NES. The sound chip didn't facilitate catchy music so there's little nostalgia I have on the audio side of things, and for the arcade ports, I'd just rather play them on mame.

Lynx was good but I played it to death and don't enjoy it anymore from over exposure.

Jaguar is cool to explore as you try to see if any of the games in the library live up to the 64 bit hype. You can squint your eyes at something like Sky Hammer and imagine just maybe, that it could almost barely hold a candle to an early PS1 or Saturn game... In my case, I got burned out on it and sold it on, it was a neat system but largely a disappointment from a gameplay perspective. Many of the best games (T2K, Doom, Rayman, etc.) can all be found on PC and other consoles, and many of the exclusives that have never been ported are just incredible from the standpoint of "how could anyone release this and sell it for $50 with a straight face".
 

NeoSneth

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i couldn't tell you the last time I tried to play an OG Atari game. I did check out some of the 7800 homebrews, but even that was many years ago.
 
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Burning Fight!!

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Jaguar is actually a very frustrating system because if Atari had their shit together it could have humiliated the 3D0 by being an affordable 3D machine with similar capabilities and much lower cost. So it's not a completely useless system (like the Virtual Goob or Philgoobs CDi) but still, it's more of a curiosity piece than anything. It had half-baked hardware, it shipped with poor design decisions, Atari had no real war chest to compete and really shitty greed practices, most of the few games that came out were crap and the homebrew scene that formed had to come to terms that Jagwire is only really good for 2D. There's really no argument here.
 

radiantsvgun

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The only home Atari console I ever enjoyed was the 5200; they let someone design the controller while high as a fucking kite. Great port of berserk.
 

daytonausa

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I think the only Atari console I have found to be fun was the XEGS, and that’s because it opened up their computer software.

2600 was a bit before my time and too primitive, jaguar was a joke with most of its games running games you’d see equivalents of on the Genesis, and while I like some games on the Lynx I simply could never use it as a portable due to its size and thirst for batteries.

For the juggernaut it was in the arcade it’s a shame they didn’t have a system for home id feel more compelled to collect for and play.
 

Takumaji

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Unlike the VCS, these seem like things that will appeal to people who still care about the atari brand and despite the hiccups and glitches with what they're doing, it will be interesting to see how things evolve.
On one hand, I was quite enthusiastic at first when Atari 50 had just come out. I still think it's the best game compilation released in recent years, you can tell that a lot of time, effort and dedication went into it. It created a momentum which made the stories about the new Atari and how they would cherish "their" past a bit more believeable.

On the other hand, the new VCS, 2600+ and some of the other new cart releases look kinda half-assed to me. Take Berzerk Enhanced and Mr Run and Jump for example and compare t[he releases to homebrew Champ Games titles like RoboWar or Galagon that you could buy at Atariage before the takeover. The official releases come in simple boxes with the game cart and no manual while the Champ Games releases come in glossy cardboard boxes with flashy artwork, a high-quality printed manual and very nice cart stickers. Why can't the real thing be that nice?

It will be interesting for me to see whether they're going to push through with what they have planned and actually finish their projects.

sirlynxalot said:
I liked 7800 when I was a kid, but as an adult I never touch it. The games aren't as interesting as 2600 games imo, there is less to the imagination, many of the game concepts are pretty generic, and the games are still more primitive than an NES. The sound chip didn't facilitate catchy music so there's little nostalgia I have on the audio side of things, and for the arcade ports, I'd just rather play them on mame.

My ratio of 2600 vs 7800 games played is about 10:1 but I dig some 7800 titles a lot, like Commando, Dark Chambers, Jr. Pac-Man, Centipede, Food Fight, etc. The console itself is nicely designed and sturdy enough to last a lifetime with a bit of TLC every now and then. Mine has been UAV modded with S-Video output, I also got me a fitting HDMI interface to use the system on a big flatty should the need arise. I mostly connect it to an old 4:3 Dell monitor via S-Vid, picture quality is very good. Sadly, none of my CRTs seem to like the 7800, it only runs in b/w on them.

Anyway, the machine has a certain charme for me that not a lot of other systems have and it also plays all my 2600 games so for me, it's the real 2600+ but does actually run all that stuff perfectly. Most games may not be as good as NES or SMS games but some are quite unique (for ex. Dark Chambers), actually better than on NES (Commando) or are hilariously quirky and fun (like Motorpsycho). Just good fun with a touch of craziness that I miss in today's world of video games.
 

prof

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Jaguar is cool to explore as you try to see if any of the games in the library live up to the 64 bit hype. You can squint your eyes at something like Sky Hammer and imagine just maybe, that it could almost barely hold a candle to an early PS1 or Saturn game... In my case, I got burned out on it and sold it on, it was a neat system but largely a disappointment from a gameplay perspective. Many of the best games (T2K, Doom, Rayman, etc.) can all be found on PC and other consoles, and many of the exclusives that have never been ported are just incredible from the standpoint of "how could anyone release this and sell it for $50 with a straight face".
giphy.webp
 

famicommander

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It's really fucked up that a company calling itself Atari is literally selling the worst possible ways to play Atari games in 2023.

A PC emulator for free
Atari 50 or the Atari Flashback collections on modern consoles or PC
An Evercade with the Atari cartridges
Actual hardware

Any of these options is a good option.

Or you could pay more money for broken ass emulation on a collectard device with laggy controllers just because they put an Atari logo on the box.
 

Ralfakick

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I never had Atari anything growing up.

I play Food Fight for the 7800 on my Analogue Pocket.

I’d like to get that Atari 50 collection one of these days but it’s not first on my list
 

famicommander

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I never had Atari anything growing up.

I play Food Fight for the 7800 on my Analogue Pocket.

I’d like to get that Atari 50 collection one of these days but it’s not first on my list
I can't recommend Atari 50 enough. It's a super interesting documentary with 103 Atari games, all emulated well.
 

FAT$TACKS

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I am thinking about picking up the new paddles.

Other than that I have no interest in the new Atari stuff.

It all feels way over priced to me. I guess they got to milk it for all it's worth while they can though before the Atari generation is all in rest homes.
 

sirlynxalot

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I noticed the vcs is in a big discount right now for black Friday. If I hadn't already made a hyperspin rig years ago, I'd be tempted to use this as an emulation focused system due to it's pseudo console design.
 

Neo Alec

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I didn't realize they were selling new cartridges. That's wild.
 

Tron

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I bought a sears telegames 2600 a few years ago from a friend so i'm good currently.I've look at the 2600+ it seems rather neat but there are plenty of ways to play 2600 be it compilations etc.I may buy the paddle bundle though in recent years finding ones in working condition,can be rather annoying.Beside the compatibility for 2600+ isn't 100% be it official or homebrew some games will work while others won't.
 
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