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What Are The 5 Best & 5 Worst 7800 Games? (Not Including Homebrews)


nosweargamer
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I'm looking for feedback for the next episode of the Atari 7800 Game By Game Podcast (you can find it on iTunes, Stitcher, YouTube or use this feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/78gbg )

 

For the FINAL, regular episode, I want to know what the 5 Best "Hall of Fame Games" on the system are as wells as the 5 Worst "Trash Bin Games". This is for the original releases only. (No homebrews or unreleased games)

Please put them in order, as I will weight them accordingly. (For Worst, your #1 will be what you think is the worst game on the system)

 

You can also e-mail text or audio submissions to atari7800podcast@aol.com on your Top 5 & Bottom5 (these submissions will get a little extra weight added for taking the time to send an e-mail) or your thoughts or memories on the system or any of the original games in general.

 

To guarantee your votes counts, please post or send them no later than Friday, November 18th at 11:18 PM EST

 

I will tally up the votes and release the results in next and final regular episode of the podcast.

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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Well...off the top of my head and from what I've actually played on real hardware...

 

Best 5

  1. Asteroids
  2. Galaga
  3. Dark Chambers
  4. Robotron: 2084
  5. Food Fight

Worst 

  1. Meltdown
  2. One-on-One
  3. Sentinel

I don't have enough to give a worst five.  I did get to try Meltdown and Sentinel, both being light guns.  Meltdown I felt could have been done better visually and Sentinel was actually a good game.  What hurt both of these games the most is that XE light gun.  It's not 100% accurate and never has been.  It can make for some frustrating game play.  As for One-On-One Basketball...the 7800 version seems sluggish to me and not much improved visually from the 8-bit version.  

 

As for what I picked as the best on the 7800; I will admit that the 7800 has the best port of Ms. Pac-Man out of any console, period.  It's quick, it's fast, everything is there that's in the arcade.  But it is also a very dominate game and for that reason I choose something else.  Asteroids was my go-to game on the 7800.  I really liked the sounds and visuals of this game.  And I don't know how hard a friend and I laughed playing this game on 2-player co-op mode and just flying haphazardly around the screen.  I believe the 7800 received a more faithful port of Galaga as well as being the only Atari console to get it.  Dark Chambers is as close as one will get to Gauntlet on the 7800.  The game is very fun and I've spent a good amount of time on this game recently trying to make through all rooms which I finally succeeded at.  Robotron: 2084 showcases what the hardware is really capable of.  With everything that is happening on the screen the system doesn't even break a sweat.  Last, but not least, Food Fight.  No other console that I know of got this odd but fun game.  I spent hours on this game during the Christmas vacation I got my 7800 on.  If it wasn't Asteroids it was Food Fight.  

 

The 7800 has other good games as well like Xevious, Mario Bros., Choplifter, and Ballblazer easily come to mind.  And, as I've mentioned, I only picked Sentinel because of the horrible XE Light Gun.  I own three or four of those and not a one of them hit exactly where I'm aiming.  Again, I don't have enough to make a 5 worst list but hopefully what I've suggested can go with others who do have a 5 worst list.  

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Best:

  • Food Fight
  • Xevious
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Centipede
  • Impossible Mission (impossible or not, it looks incredible on the 7800 and is a lot of fun to play)

 

Worst:

  • Karateka (Huge missed opportunity - Decent control would've made this a good game)
  • Tank Command
  • Crack'ed (Huge missed opportunity - Should've been a Light Gun game!)
  • Kung Fu Master
  • Rampage and Double Dragon for a Tie (Huge missed opportunity - Great titles that were cheaply done on 7800 and should've been amazing)

 

Honorable Mention: Ninja Golf. It's such an awesome premise! 

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Best:

 

1) Ballblazer - The LucasFilms Games intro.  The theme song.  The game.  The best!  While I prefer the sound and music generated by the 5200 POKEY chip, the 7800 port keeps pace in every other regard.  A game ahead of its time.
2) Alien Brigade - Could almost be mistaken for an NES title.  Great non-stop action, great animations.  Too bad it's such an uncommon cart.
3) Commando - The sound and music is top-notch, and the gameplay is great as well.  Another one that could be mistaken for an NES title.

4) Food Fight - I loved playing this game in the arcade, and had I known this port existed back in the day I might have pushed really hard for upgrading to a 7800.  Ah well.  This version is solid for sure.
5) Ninja Golf - Huge credit for taking two completely unrelated games and mashing them into one -- and a pretty good one, at that!  (Bonus: hidden joystick testing mode built-in!)

 

Worst:

 

1) Hat Trick - Just awful.  Activision's Ice Hockey (2600) is far more enjoyable.
2) Kareteka - It's a shame that the controls utterly ruin what is a pretty nice game on other systems.
3) Planet Smashers - Pew!  Pew pew pew!  Pewpewpewpewpewpewpewpew!  Yawn.
4) Tank Command - This might be an okay game... on the VCS.

5) Pete Rose Baseball - The unintuitive/broken infield play makes the game unplayable.  There's otherwise not enough good points to make up for the horrendous play limitation.

 

Disclaimer -- Most of these (and 90% of the 7800 library) I've only played via emulation.

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Wow.  Some of the games being mentioned I have never seen.  I'd enjoy getting to at least try Alien Brigade.  I especially like the artwork on the label.  Top notch stuff.  I had Impossible Mission on the NES and never knew it made it to the 7800 until way late.  It's interesting to see how others rank the games.  Hat Trick, while not good, I didn't think was that bad either.  Never played Karateka but it looks like I'm not missing anything.

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I had Impossible Mission on the NES and never knew it made it to the 7800 until way late.  

 

 

I thought it was really impressive the way the Secret Agent would basically do gymnastics and flip around the levels on screen. The 7800 handled that so well He wasn't a short pudgy sprite. It was so fluid. I was immediately drawn to Impossible Mission when I saw it on the back of the Atari 7800's box.

 

When I first began retro collecting in 1993, Impossible Mission was somewhat of a holy grail as far as first-party Atari 7800 games goes. They were no longer available from Atari or Video 61. Without the internet it took me years to get my hands on a copy. It's still my favorite Atari 7800 game, even though it's not necessarily the best.

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I have played very little 7800, not enough to determine a worst game for sure.   I can definitely say the 7800 had some of the best arcade ports I've ever seen.

My top 5 would be:
Dig Dug
Joust
Ms. Pac-Man

Asteroids
Galaga

I'd bet Food Fight would get in the top 5 if I ever played it.   It looks awesome.

"For you - Rowsdower from the 70 - have been appointed Omnivisioner of the Game Grid."  ~ Atari Adventure Square

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I have played very little 7800, not enough to determine a worst game for sure.   I can definitely say the 7800 had some of the best arcade ports I've ever seen.

 

My top 5 would be:

Dig Dug

Joust

Ms. Pac-Man

Asteroids

Galaga

 

I'd bet Food Fight would get in the top 5 if I ever played it.   It looks awesome.

 

Best:

  • Food Fight
  • Xevious
  • Ms. Pac-Man
  • Centipede
  • Impossible Mission (impossible or not, it looks incredible on the 7800 and is a lot of fun to play)

 

Worst:

  • Karateka (Huge missed opportunity - Decent control would've made this a good game)
  • Tank Command
  • Crack'ed (Huge missed opportunity - Should've been a Light Gun game!)
  • Kung Fu Master
  • Rampage and Double Dragon for a Tie (Huge missed opportunity - Great titles that were cheaply done on 7800 and should've been amazing)

 

Honorable Mention: Ninja Golf. It's such an awesome premise! 

 

Do you guys have a specific order for those? If you don't, that's ok, but it will affect how I score them for the final vote.

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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This list is out of my collection and what I've played on real hardware:

 

1. Food Fight - This game is unique to Atari, and really fun to play.

2. Ms. Pac Man - I can't fire up my 7800 without playing it.

3. Centipede - Very close to the arcade, and the two player modes add to the fun and excitement!

4. Dig Dug - I have a million ways to play this game, from the Famicom version to the Namco collections on just about every console, but the 7800 version is my favorite.

5. Joust - This is really a three way tie for me, because I feel like I could put Asteroids or Robotron here too. This is another game that I can play a million ways, but I find myself enjoying the 7800 version the most. Great controls, graphics, and even sound.

 

5 worst (1 is the worst of the worst, etc)

 

1. Impossible Mission - I can't tolerate a bugged game that is literally impossible to beat. It just sits on my shelf.

2. Tower Toppler - To quote Classic Game Room: "There are two types of people who play Tower Toppler: People who hate fun, and people who hate themselves."

3. Crack'ed - I hate games that should use a light gun but don't.

4. Karateka - The controls and pace are terrible.

5. Jinks - I never play this game, and if I did I would fire up Super Breakout instead.

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You know, I see Dark Chambers getting a ton of love, but I played it last weekend making it to level N or something like that, on standard difficulty, and it was soooo slow... We were playing 2 players, and it felt like there wasn't enough stuff to kill, and not enough food lying around to replenish health. I found myself wishing we would have fired up the NES and played Gauntlet II instead.

 

What am I missing with this game? I have the 2600 version as well, and that one impresses me more because that's about as good as you can do a Gauntlet type game on the 2600. The 7800 version though, while it looks good, just feels too slow for what the system can do.

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I have Dark Chambers on the 7800 and thought it was alright.  Could have been better, could have been worse.  I agree that it's slow but when a break from the tired arcade ports come along Dark Chambers on the 7800 works.  I don't have to rush so the slow game play works well for me.  I do wish that it had a bit more to offer.  I made it all the way through on the standard setting and it does get a bit more difficult in the later levels.  But that controller...I believe it was best said...it is a hand torture device.  Out of all of the controllers I have held the 7800, while cool to look at, simply is not comfortable to use for any length of time.

 

I've never tried Ace of Aces so I can't comment on that game.  I do feel that the 7800 got the very best port of Ms. Pac-Man out of all consoles.  The speed, graphics, sounds, are spot-on in my book.  I recently picked up a copy of Donkey Kong Junior and, while I'm not a huge fan of the Donkey Kong games, this one is fun to play.  The 7800 was my first encounter with Ballblazer and I really enjoyed that game.  Hat Trick I didn't mind, thought it was fun, but was a short game and could have been more.  I would have given the 7800 Commando number one in best on the system but those controllers cause hand cramps and keep most games requiring endurance from being enjoyed to their full potential.  

 

As it is, the 7800 is a remarkable console.  I wish more would have been done with it and I curse Atari for not going with the joypad route for everyone.  I know keeping it old-school is not a bad thing but the 7800 didn't need the joysticks.  They could have done well with the joypads as pack-in controls and made a NES Advantage-style arcade joystick as an extra accessory.  The 7800 does have the graphic power that it could have done some amazing things we never got to see.  While a fun game I think Pole Position II would not have been my choice for a pack-in.  But at least it did come with a game.

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Reminder: To guarantee your votes get counted, please submit them here or send them to atari7800podcast@aol.com by Friday 11:18 PM EST. I will fit in late entries if I can, but no guarantees.  If you order your lists, they will be weighted accordingly, if you don't all the game will receive the same weight. Also, please remember homebrews will not count, since this is for original releases only.

Edited by nosweargamer

The No Swear Gamer on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChtJuo040EOCTVziObIgVcg

Host of The Atari 7800 Game by Game Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher and YouTube

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