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Thread: BlueSky Software and the Atari 7800

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    Raging in the Streets Yharnamresident's Avatar
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    Default BlueSky Software and the Atari 7800

    So it seems BlueSky Software was one of the few 3rd party developers that wasn't clamped into the NES 3rd party monopoly. They made games for the Atari 7800, and they all look pretty good.






    This is my favourite. It shows the 7800 had at least one of those 3rd gen platformers:




    These games also show the 7800 is quite comparable to the NES and Master System in terms of specs. If only Atari was creating games like these and not 2600 remakes. So my question is, did anyone know these games existed? I was looking through the BlueSky Software Wikipedia page and it says they never made a game for a Nintendo platform, so that might have something to do with it.
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    Outrunner Greg2600's Avatar
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    They're well known games, though none are particularly good.

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    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    I haven't played Ninja Golf, but the other two are alright. Scrap Yard Dog is about as close as you'll get to a proper scrolling platformer for the machine, but the art design doesn't really inspire the imagination. Not sure who developed it, but for my money Alien Brigade is probably the most impressive 7800 title within the original library in terms of competing with the MS and NES (arcade ports aside, since there's a couple that are reportedly superior on the Atari). Tons of animations, varied levels, and solid playability even with the pad. Once I saw it at my mate's place, I had to have it - it was a level above anything released by that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yharnamresident View Post
    These games also show the 7800 is quite comparable to the NES and Master System in terms of specs.
    If Atari loosened up on the cart sizes earlier on the 7800 may have been on a better footing, but with that course pixel size used for the majority of graphics in a lot of games - something that the recent Ricky and Vicky circumvented using the hi-res mode - and the awful Tia audio, I can't see the machine matching it's contemparies with the sorts of games that were becoming popular at the time (read: not single screen arcade ports, which the machine is actually well suited to).

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    VA1LT CHIP ENABLED Master of Shinobi OverDrone's Avatar
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    According to Wikipedia BlueSky also made Mean 18, which was a great looking and superbly playable golfing sim for the time. The 7800 seemed to handle the screen redraw quite quickly IIRC.

    EDIT: in reference to my previous post, Sculptured Software handled Alien Brigade apparently.

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    Raging in the Streets Yharnamresident's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverDrone View Post
    If Atari loosened up on the cart sizes earlier on the 7800 may have been on a better footing, but with that course pixel size used for the majority of graphics in a lot of games - something that the recent Ricky and Vicky circumvented using the hi-res mode - and the awful Tia audio, I can't see the machine matching it's contemparies with the sorts of games that were becoming popular at the time (read: not single screen arcade ports, which the machine is actually well suited to).
    Yes the audio is crap, but the Master System also has crappy audio.

    The main thing I notice about the 7800, is the colour palette is phenomenal and you can easily notice it with most games.

    Although I was looking through spec sheets, it turns out the 7800 has less RAM than the 5200. The 7800 has 16 KB while the 7800 has 4 KB(same as NES). Really bizarre.
    Certified F-Zero GX fanboy

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    WCPO Agent CrossBow's Avatar
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    The main thing the 7800 had going for it in its design that was very forward thinking, was the fact that the Maria chip was really designed as a sprite pusher able to maintain about 100 sprites at once on the screen without flicker. That was something that many consoles were not able to lay claim to during that day. So the 7800 really was designed as an arcade at home console. Of the titles mentioned above, I actually find Xenophobe is one of my favorites on the system. Sure you are stuck being the bald alien dude and the sounds are still very TIA like, it plays better than most of the other home releases back then did and wasn't bested until the Lynx conversion came out. Ninja Golf is...well at least it plays well enough and is a VERY original concept.

    What is most important to remember is that the 7800 hardware was designed in the early 80s for an original release in 1984. Had that happened, it would have been quite a forward step in hardware (Minus the TIA) compared to every other system at the time. Also, the TIA essentially had to remain to keep the backward compatibility of the 2600 games in place. As Rikki & Vikki, Commando, and Ball Blazer have all shown, better audio is possible using the external audio input line from the cartridge port and was to have been used more back in the day had Atari not been so strict with the development costs.

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    Raging in the Streets Yharnamresident's Avatar
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    I've heard a lot about the 7800 sprite capabilities, can someone post a video showing those capabilities in action?

    I've also heard a ton about they were planning to put sound hardware in the cartridges, that wasn't the best design but they still should've stuck to doing it
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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossBow View Post
    The main thing the 7800 had going for it in its design that was very forward thinking, was the fact that the Maria chip was really designed as a sprite pusher able to maintain about 100 sprites at once on the screen without flicker. That was something that many consoles were not able to lay claim to during that day. So the 7800 really was designed as an arcade at home console. Of the titles mentioned above, I actually find Xenophobe is one of my favorites on the system. Sure you are stuck being the bald alien dude and the sounds are still very TIA like, it plays better than most of the other home releases back then did and wasn't bested until the Lynx conversion came out. Ninja Golf is...well at least it plays well enough and is a VERY original concept.
    The 7800 version of Xenophobe is definitely better than the shoddy NES port, but I don't think that it is better than the C64 version and the Amiga version in near arcade perfect.

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    HNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNG Raging in the Streets Moirai's Avatar
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    The 7800 could've had awesome shmups

    Imagine if naxat soft developed for the machine

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