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Thread: 2nd generation console discussion(Intellivision, Colecovision, 2600, Odyssey 2)

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    Smith's Minister of War Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    but the console's sound seems even more primitive than the Atari 2600.
    AFAIK it uses an AY chip, same one used in the Intellivision, MSX, ZX Spectrum 128k and Amstrad CPC. It's a pretty decent chip (better than the master system's) so if the game sounds lame, it's on the developers/audio people.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamevet View Post
    I don't know if it can. It can do a pretty decent port of Star Castle though, but the console's sound seems even more primitive than the Atari 2600.

    This guy isn't very good at Star Castle, but you can see how close the game is to the arcade. The rings move a bit slower than the arcade game though.

    That is very close, I would not be surprised if it's running a lot of the same code considering the CPUs are the same. Seems to flicker more but it's hard to tell with the vector games since a lot of people film them off the screen. I'm just curious is there any other big difference between the arcade and home port, does the arcade have more RAM or maybe a bigger ROM for the game? The fact that it's a bit slower could be intentionally lower difficulty for the home port, maybe it speeds up a higher levels?

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    Master of Shinobi Thenewguy's Avatar
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    That's cool, so the Vectrex could feasibly do fairly up to date games in its specific early 3D niche.

    Black and White isn't really acceptable for other types of games at the time though, but then Vectrex has the portability element too so maybe that should factor into measuring its capabilities. Whilst obviously not a true portable console like the Game Boy (needs to be plugged in) your kid could at least chuck it in his rucksack and take it with him to play when you're visiting relatives or something.

    In the late 80s I used to have one of these which got some play in that way -

    cave.jpg

    Far more limited than the Vectrex obviously (though far cheaper as well).

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    Quote Originally Posted by axel View Post
    That is very close, I would not be surprised if it's running a lot of the same code considering the CPUs are the same. Seems to flicker more but it's hard to tell with the vector games since a lot of people film them off the screen. I'm just curious is there any other big difference between the arcade and home port, does the arcade have more RAM or maybe a bigger ROM for the game? The fact that it's a bit slower could be intentionally lower difficulty for the home port, maybe it speeds up a higher levels?
    It's missing the star field and some of the sound effects. I was a big fan of the arcade game and was a fairly decent player, after spending tons of quarters on the game. This was probably one of the hardest arcade games ever.

    Last edited by gamevet; 01-21-2020 at 01:02 AM.
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    Raging in the Streets Yharnamresident's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    Here is a direct capture of his Castlevania port that I recorded from real hardware:


    Insanely impressive. Its amazing how close they got it to the NES version, albeit cut down in a lot of ways.

    The Intellivision seems to be very good at hardware scrolling, I'd say thats its biggest strength.


    Someone should also port Castlevania to the ColecoVision, seems like it would be a good match with the sprites rarely being on the same scanline.
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    Death Bringer Raging in the Streets Black_Tiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yharnamresident View Post
    Insanely impressive. Its amazing how close they got it to the NES version, albeit cut down in a lot of ways.

    The Intellivision seems to be very good at hardware scrolling, I'd say thats its biggest strength.


    Someone should also port Castlevania to the ColecoVision, seems like it would be a good match with the sprites rarely being on the same scanline.
    Opcode Games sort of is, depending on what you consider a real Colecovision. They were debating whether to go with a screen-by-screen or choppy scrolling version for the Colecovision + Super Game Module. Apparently they gave up on that and are now making it for their new FPGA console, the hardware of which is in their new Super Game Module 2 which has a cart port.

    This is pretty much what their Intellipxander was going to be and the footage below of their SGM2 game shows why I was relieved that they cancelled the Intellixpander:







    Scrolling aside, Castlevania still isn't friendly to the actual Colecovision hardware. Colecovision (meta/)sprites would pretty much have to be built using 16 x 16 sprites. So to do the NES version player sprite in a single color and a single hallway zombie in a single color would require 2 sprites each, which has already hit the hardware's horizontal limit. The higher resolution means that you must use more sprites to give them size.

    Intellivision sprites are the same vertical resolution as Colecovision, but they can be scaled vertically up to 8 times and horizontally to double width. So you can get much more mileage out of the fewer overall sprites and they can all appear horizontally at once. At full scaling, the 8 sprites can cover 2/3 the height of the screen and 4/5 of the width.

    A good example of how scaling also saves you cards/tiles, turning the SMB base player sprite into the super sized sprite can be done completely with scaling and requires no additional assets.
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    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Re: scrolling, there's already precedent on MSX2



    But yeah, I can't see how to work around the sprite issue, other than making it choppy and have most objects drawn into the background. Though you can still make it "decent" if you know what you're doing:


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    There is already a "Castlevania" for the "ColecoVision".... sort of:



    And Valley of Rains has to be the most graphically impressive ZX Spectrum game ever made, not counting the Nirvana Engine games (those are just nuts).

    This is what people are figuring out how to do on the Spectrum, it's insane:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    There is already a "Castlevania" for the "ColecoVision".... sort of:


    The Cure is the kind of MSX port I really like. The original developer put in the extra work to make it run on a stock Colecovision, instead of relying on the SGM.
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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    Screen flipping seems a bit more apropos anyway. I still think it's a little anachronistic to put too much emphasis on hardware scrolling as making the difference between these systems. As of 1982, it's easy to look at the gaming landscape and notice that hardware scrolling been around for years yet still wasn't really being utilized that much. Defender is a big exception, but most of the most popular games weren't side-scrollers, even on the Intellivision itself. We're talking about a time when the biggest home game was Pitfall and the biggest arcade game was Ms. Pac-Man. This is despite the hardware scrolling issue not really being a constraint on arcade games or on multiple established platforms. The Atari 800 and Intellivision were both three years old and both still very focused on non-scrolling games. In 1982-84, the Colecovision was perceived as graphically superior to not only the Intellivision but also the Atari 5200. The scrolling seems like a bigger deal now because the industry went strongly in that direction from 1987 on. So, I don't fault the Colecovision's engineers too much for overlooking scrolling, because they didn't predict Super Mario Bros and its outsized impact. Defender was one of the biggest games of its time but two years later it still hadn't resulted in a glut of side-scrolling "Defender clones".

    I'm inclined to think Atari basically agreed with Coleco's thinking in this area too, as despite the hardware difference, Atari never highlighted the 5200 for its scrolling specifically. Atari themselves made hardly any scrolling games at all. It seems that the expectation was a transition from mostly fixed-screen games to mostly "into the screen" games. More along the lines of Space Harrier than Super Mario Bros. The design of the 7800 and the way Atari initially presented it in 1984 is consistent with this vision. Of the 13 announced games, 3 were 2D scrolling games, 3 were viewed from behind, and the remaining 7 were fixed screen arcade games. [Incidentally, the 2D scrolling games were 1 for each direction (1 horizontal, 1 vertical, 1 diagonal) but that's probably a coincidence.] Atari's May 1984 press release boasts that it will have the "best versions of the recently announced ATARI/LUCASFILM titles", i.e. Ballblazer and Fractulus, and also touts having Pole Position II as a pack-in. Track & Field, Xevious, and Desert Falcon are merely names on a list of "other games available".


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    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Yeah, for the most part, that is true. Atari, however, did port Vangaurd to the 2600 and 5200 consoles, and Zaxxon was one of the earliest titles for the CV.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j_factor View Post
    Screen flipping seems a bit more apropos anyway. I still think it's a little anachronistic to put too much emphasis on hardware scrolling as making the difference between these systems. As of 1982, it's easy to look at the gaming landscape and notice that hardware scrolling been around for years yet still wasn't really being utilized that much. Defender is a big exception, but most of the most popular games weren't side-scrollers, even on the Intellivision itself. We're talking about a time when the biggest home game was Pitfall and the biggest arcade game was Ms. Pac-Man. This is despite the hardware scrolling issue not really being a constraint on arcade games or on multiple established platforms. The Atari 800 and Intellivision were both three years old and both still very focused on non-scrolling games.
    Most of the popular Intellivision games aren't arcade ports or ports at all.

    The Intellivision stood out at the time and the library has aged well because from the initial planning stages the intention was the opposite of Coleco's: to provide unique gaming experiences and to avoid ports and "Atari" type arcade games. Even though Mattel Electronics would later decide to license properties to bring to Intellivision, the design of the console still lead first party and unofficial publishers to create innovative and unique game experiences. Scrolling played a big part in that, but features like sprite scaling also lead to unique games with 3D effects and 16-directional control was a huge influence.

    In the end the features that made Intellivision unique, even after Coleco aped so much from it, did play a major role on in the kind of library it received as well as made it stand out from "pre-crash" consoles. More importantly, if the crash hadn't happened, you would have seen more games for all of these consoles struggle to keep up with the popularization of scrolling in games. Especially if the NES and SMS in North America wound been delayed due to the market strength of existing consoles.

    The Intellivision hardware held up so well that INTV Corp changed the name of the Intellivision version of Monster Truck Rally so that it wouldn't detract from the NES version.


    Regardless there were a lot of scrolling Intellivision games:


    <1982 scrolling Intellivision games:

    The Electric Company: Math Fun
    NFL Football
    NASL Soccer
    Auto Racing
    Horse Racing
    U.S. Ski Team Skiing
    Triple Action
    Stampede
    Demon Attack: scrolling is used for arcade quality cinematic transitions.
    Microsurgeon
    Swords & Serpents
    Tropical Trouble
    Space Hawk
    Space Spartans
    B-17 Bomber
    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Cloudy Mountain
    Tron: Maze-a-Tron


    Roughly 1/3 of all <1982 Intellivision games.


    Many more games were complete before 1983, but had their release delayed because of Mattel Electronics politics. Many complete Mattel games never wound up being officially released at all.



    19 more scrolling games were released in 1983 alone. That's roughly half of all releases that year. An indication of what the new state of gaming was:

    Bump 'n' Jump
    Kool-Aid Man
    Masters of the Universe: The Power of He-Man
    Mission X
    Motocross
    Pinball: used for bump/tilt effect
    River Raid
    The Dreadnaught Factor
    Defender
    Dracula
    Fathom
    Ice Trek
    Nova Blast
    Safecracker
    White Water!
    Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
    Super Cobra
    Tutankham
    The Jetsons' Ways With Words



    More non-homebrew scrolling games that followed:

    World Cup Soccer
    Hover Force
    Super Pro Football
    Thin Ice
    Diner: used for transition effect. The full He-Man game would have featured scrolling segments.
    Commando
    Body Slam: Super Pro Wrestling
    Mountain Madness: Super Pro Skiing
    Super Pro Decathlon
    Stadium Mud Buggies
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  13. #238
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Uh....the Intellivision version of River Raid was the choppiest version on consoles. The sound effects are the worst of the bunch as well. The explosions are the generic sound you'd get in most games for the console. Hell, even the 2600 had better explosion sounds in this game.







    Last edited by gamevet; 01-24-2020 at 02:06 AM.
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    ESWAT Veteran Team Andromeda's Avatar
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    The Intellivision had the best version of Super Cobra IMO
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    Well to be fair the 2600 is really good at explosion sounds. I don't think any chip besides the POKEY can do better (without PCM)
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