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« Video Games: August 2016 | Main | Video Games: December 2016 »

Video Games

How'd i do? What you were expecting?

It's been said that i don't blog about video games anymore. So here we go:

How can the creators of the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man have been so lazy? Forget all the usual stuff: Pac-Man not turning his body when he goes up and down (so that he eats with the top of his head and his butt), the "dots" being lines, square cherry "vitamin", etc.. Forget the elements that just kill the authenticity: the fact that the ghosts' patterns are complete random garbage compared to the arcade, the fact that they don't turn around when you eat a power pill, etc..

What strikes me now is how the creators didn't take advantage of the freedom that they got by going so far off model. Why not change up the maze shapes? Why not allow two player co-op mode? Add some other weird monsters besides the ghosts? K.C. Munchkin for the Odyssey 2 had moving dots, invisible walls, and a map editor so that your friend could design mazes for you to play. Are you seriously going to let the Odyssey do better than you, Atari?

One thing i do like about the Atari version is that you only get one point for a dot. In the Arcade version it was 10 points. Which is just transparent point inflation; it wasn't like there was anything else that earned you single digit points. I never understood this. Was the idea that if i could get 20,000 points in Pac-Man i'd assume i was better at it than, say, Centipede where i was only able to get 1,000 points? I believe in point standardization. I should be able to hear your high score in Missile Command and immediately know your skill level and be able to compare it to my skill level at Donkey Kong.

Finally, how did the sounds from Atari's Pac-Man become the default video game sounds used in every television show and movie? I can't tell you how many times i've seen kids playing all sorts of video game systems - Nintendos, Gameboys, i think even arcade cabinets - and heard those Atari Pac-Man sounds coming out. Definitely one of my Nerd Rage triggers.


By fnord12 | November 22, 2016, 7:56 AM | Video Games | Link



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