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nosweargamer

The No Swear Gamer

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Between the two Commandos (INTV and 2600), which one do you prefer, @nosweargamer? I haven't played the INTV version, but it looks a lot more like the arcade and 7800 ports. I have previously talked about my hatred of the VCS port.

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3 hours ago, HDN said:

Between the two Commandos (INTV and 2600), which one do you prefer, @nosweargamer? I haven't played the INTV version, but it looks a lot more like the arcade and 7800 ports. I have previously talked about my hatred of the VCS port.

Actually I'm planing to revive my Vs series comparing them, so you'll have to wait until then for my answer. 😁

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@nosweargamer, thank you so much for reviewing Popeye on the Magnavox Odyssey 2 (or Phillips VideoPac). I have long wondered about that game, but the only videos I could find were a handful of gameplay clips with no commentary, except for one John Hancock video in which he briefly mentioned it. I'm so happy you were able to review it as I was really curious about how it played.

It's so cool that there was a Nintendo game on the Odyssey 2! Too bad it's not here.

I would love to pick up some foreign Odyssey games from Brazil or something. I heard the third party games are much more common there. If I ever visit Brazil, I'm going hunting, even if I don't have an Odyssey 2 system yet.

You should try Frogger! It looks... interesting, to say the least.

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I have a multi-cart for Odyssey 2 that includes all of the games (even from EU and Brazil).  I highly recommend that for any O2 owner. 

Games like Popeye, Frogger, Demon Attack, and Atlantis really show the limitations of the system.  They tried, but there is no way the O2 had any chance against the VCS or Intellivision.  Still, those games are fun to play if you can forget comparisons and enjoy them for what they are.  At the same time, some games like O2 KC Munchkin are a lot better than any similar game on the VCS.  I think that says more about Atari than anything else. 

I love the O2.  It is a system with limitations...but some of the games are true gems. 

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1 hour ago, RickR said:

Games like Popeye, Frogger, Demon Attack, and Atlantis really show the limitations of the system.  They tried, but there is no way the O2 had any chance against the VCS or Intellivision.  Still, those games are fun to play if you can forget comparisons and enjoy them for what they are.  At the same time, some games like O2 KC Munchkin are a lot better than any similar game on the VCS.  I think that says more about Atari than anything else.

On the surface, to me at least, the Odyssey 2 looks better than the VCS. It seems to have a much higher resolution and whatnot. Just look at the numbers. Literally. Take a look at the numbers used in the score on early VCS games like Air/Sea Battle or Video Olympics. Then compare them to what they were using on the O2 at around the same time. Other graphics in early games on the Odyssey, like Football! for instance, look much better than their VCS counterparts. The default mode in Indy 500 and Spinout! are virtually the same game. Same with Street Racer's first game mode and Speedway!, though on the Odyssey 2 there's no opponent car. Just look for yourself; the Odyssey 2 had much better graphics in the early days.

Speedway! on the Odyssey 2

image.jpeg.b48b462a18c4ef48d08828119d10be11.jpeg

Street Racer on the 2600

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Spinout! on the Odyssey 2

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Indy 500 on the 2600

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But what the O2 lacked was flexibility. It could only draw its in-game characters on the screen. These couldn't be changed. You could combine them to make different shapes, or "sprites", but that would give you that signature blocky look of the Odyssey 2. The 2600, sure, at first it looked much worse. But once developers became well acquainted with it, the machine started producing much better visuals than the Odyssey 2 ever could. It wasn't restricted in the same way. It had its own problems that the Odyssey 2 didn't have to worry about, but as far as visuals were concerned it didn't have to rely on a built-in character set. You could draw basically whatever you wanted on the screen (within reason) and didn't have to construct it out of pre-existing pieces. Such is painfully obvious with the few later third-party releases.

The 2600 also didn't have a frame buffer, which seems like a hindrance, but actually was the key to its long life. Naturally, the 2600 could only display two sprites on screen at a time. I'm pretty sure you all know how the 2600 "raced the CRT beam" in order to get more sprites on screen at once. I'm not sure if the Odyssey 2 had a frame buffer or not, but its initial limitations seem to have lasted its entire lifespan and not worked around like those on the VCS were. I'm not sure if this is because the short life of the system or not. Maybe they just never got around to it during the system's initial life.

My point is, the Odyssey 2 graphics looked better than the VCS at the start of its life, but by 1983 when the O2 was on its way out, its graphics were considerably worse than those on the 2600's versions of the same or similar games. Again, just see for yourself:

Atlantis on the Odyssey 2

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Atlantis on the 2600

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Q*Bert on the Odyssey 2

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Q*Bert on the 2600

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The Odyssey 2 looks like an AWESOME system. My dad had one back in the day, and I would really, REALLY like to get one someday. Graphics don't really matter if the games are good.

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Edited by HDN

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1 minute ago, RickR said:

O2 is awesome!  Get one if you can.  I think you'll love it.

Well, unlike the 7800, won't be getting it! A few months back (pre-COVID), my dad got all nostalgic and got on the list for one at the game store. They said they don't get them in too often. My dad said he'd be calling his brother and cousin over to play some Crypto-Logic! and other games. So it'd sort of be his thing, but I'd use it.

So its pretty interesting to think about. We could get the call that the system came in later tonight, next week, in six months, four years, whenever. We technically could get an Odyssey 2 at any time, though its highly unlikely as they haven't gotten one at the store in the last four years.

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3 hours ago, HDN said:

You should try Frogger! It looks... interesting, to say the least.

The nominations from my Patreon page contained several 3rd party games,  so there's a strong possibility Frogger will show up this month. Currently the only official Parker Brothers game I don't own is Qbert.

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7 minutes ago, HDN said:

@nosweargamer, please, PLEASE make a video of your Voice screaming in agony while playing Frogger!

It would have made a hilarious trailer to the review!

I think they did a really nice job on Frogger.  It's always interesting to see the compromises made to get a game onto a particular system.  It was a wise move to split the game into two separate screens.  Looks like the gameplay is all there. 

I'd love to fire up my O2 to play along with some of these.  But my upstairs game room (which contains access to the attic) has been taken over by son #2 doing on-line college.  To play any stored system, I have to drag it all the way downstairs into the garage and play there.  Sadly, it's COLD out there now.  Ah, the sacrifices of COVID.  It's the same for 5200, 7800, Intellivision, etc. 

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2 minutes ago, RickR said:

I'd love to fire up my O2 to play along with some of these.  But my upstairs game room (which contains access to the attic) has been taken over by son #2 doing on-line college.  To play any stored system, I have to drag it all the way downstairs into the garage and play there.  Sadly, it's COLD out there now.  Ah, the sacrifices of COVID.  It's the same for 5200, 7800, Intellivision, etc. 

What systems do you have up currently?

I'm surprised the 7800 is put away. I'd keep that one out so you could play 2600 and 7800 games on it. Two birds with one stone. But if I remember correctly, you have the 2600 Junior out at the present? That's a good way to save space. Plus, you have a lot more games on the 2600 than the 7800, so you aren't missing too terribly much.

The O2 looks like a lot of fun. The library looks fun. The Voice seems like a nice thing to have. It's a lot cooler than the Intellivoice, that's for sure!

Has anyone made a homebrew of Berzerk for the system yet that uses the voice? That would be awesome. If I ever get an O2, Voice, and that speech synthesis cart (Type and Tell I believe it's called), I'd type in a few of the phrases just to see how they would have sounded on The Voice. "The humanoid must not escape!"

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