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2600 sports games--Are they still fun today?


HDN
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"2600 sports games" is a broad term to say the least. The system lived for so long, so the difference between early and late sports titles is night and day.

I'm not a big sports guy, so I like it when they keep games simple. I prefer the early games, but some later ones like RS Volleyball are really good. I especially like Video Olympics, Home Run, and Miniature Golf on the system.

What do you think?

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I love sports and sports games.  On the 2600, there are some really good ones:

  • Ice Hockey - simple, good looking, and fun.  There is some good strategy involved.
  • RS Volleyball - surprisingly complex for a 2600 game.  Looks good, plays good
  • Basketball- a very early game that nails it.  Is it the first kind of 3D-esque game?  Maybe.  The graphics are silly, but it plays well.  
  • Pele's Soccer - This one is universally hated, but I love it.  I don't think most really understand how to play.  Pass the ball amongst your 3 players, and use misdirection and diagonals to shoot.  It's very rewarding to put together a scoring run.  Also, the fireworks when you score are so cool!

 

 

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@RickR some good games in there! Ice Hockey was never one I much cared for; I much prefer the version that is part of Video Olympics. RS Volleyball and Basketball are really fun, too. I have played Pele's Soccer before years ago, like 2012 or so, and don't remember it much. If I remember correctly, the players are just squares in a top-down perspective? That one's real cheap; I'll have to pick it up someday.

And to answer your question, yes, to my knowlege that was the first 3D-esque Basketball game. Odyssey 2 Basketball! was the same year, I believe, and it doesn't look very good. 2600 B-Ball is great, and it's one of the few 2600 games my sister will play with me. When I played One-on-One for the first time, I was instantly reminded of this game.

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38 minutes ago, HDN said:

If I remember correctly, the players are just squares in a top-down perspective? That one's real cheap; I'll have to pick it up someday.

That's right, three players per team and they're in a triangle formation.  You can pass to your teammates by kicking side to side or diagonally.  Atari got creative in the manual too and stated that the little lines on the left edge of the screen (which are actually code running before drawing the video pass) are "referees"! 

Edited by RickR
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Oh!  And let's not forget Bowling.  It's another early title that is well done.  I like how quickly you can get a whole game in.  It would be a fun title to update as a homebrew or something.  Add better sounds and graphics, and maybe some animation when a strike/spare is rolled.

One more:  Golf.  For the life of me, I don't understand those who don't quite get the swinging mechanism.   I think it's cleverly done.  Watch the AVGN review sometime!  What was he thinking!!! 

 

Edited by RickR
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1 hour ago, HDN said:

"2600 sports games" is a broad term to say the least. The system lived for so long, so the difference between early and late sports titles is night and day.

I'm not a big sports guy, so I like it when they keep games simple. I prefer the early games, but some later ones like RS Volleyball are really good. I especially like Video Olympics, Home Run, and Miniature Golf on the system.

What do you think?

I like Real Sports Volleyball also. My favorite sports game is and will always be Bolwling. The origional Football is fun to play if you can find someone to play it with. I also like to play golf on occasion.

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I don't understand you two and your love of Golf. I never used to understand the swinging mechanism until my dad and I played it a few months ago (he grew up with Computer Golf! on Odyssey 2 which was completely ripped off by Atari for the 2600 game). Now that I understand it, it's more fun but it's still not great. I much prefer Miniature Golf. You ought to give that game a try. It controls much, much better. Plays a bit like Billiards.

I'd pick OG 2600 Football over Madden any day. Bowling is quite fun as well. I have the former but not the latter. I remember going to bed and my dad and his friends were playing Bowling. Pretty fun.

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I'm not a sports fan...at least not when it comes to video games based on football, baseball, things like that.  Although I love driving games ESPECIALLY Forza, Gran Turismo, and the three truck driving simulators I have on Steam.  So for me to say I enjoy a sports a game on something is saying a LOT.  VS Volleyball is probably one of my personal favorites.  VS Tennis is not bad but also very tough, especially on the 2600 and even more so on the 5200.

I don't have it now but I use to have Video Olympics many moons ago and loved it.  Yea, I know...it's Pong but it was fun.  One title I would consider a sports game, albeit not of the general sports games, would be Star Wars Jedi Arena.  Why?  Because it's like a fancy Pong style game.  I mean, it's played with Paddles and it is like Pong just turned on its side.  It's somewhat of a sports game.  At least in my eyes it is.  

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7 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

One title I would consider a sports game, albeit not of the general sports games, would be Star Wars Jedi Arena.  Why?  Because it's like a fancy Pong style game.  I mean, it's played with Paddles and it is like Pong just turned on its side.  It's somewhat of a sports game.  At least in my eyes it is.  

It's a sports game in the same way BallBlazer is a sports game. It's not a real Earth sport, but I would still consider it sports game. 

I think the sports games are good, but watching any sport other than Baseball is painful for me. I don't follow sports, but if a Baseball  game is on I might watch it. My grandfather, my sister and I used to go to a lot of the minor league games the last few years before COVID. I miss that.

Shame you don't have Video Olympics. It's a really fun game, and one you can't emulate well because of the lack of paddle controllers. My text label copy gets a lot of use for multiplayer gaming. Or at least it got a lot of use. I really miss my :atari_2600:.

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I haven’t played many sports games on the 2600. One title that I’ve put some time on not mentioned yet is Activision Decathlon. With simple control mechanics and no on-screen opponent, it might be closer to Golf or Bowling in playing experience. It’s a game that my friends and I had fun playing as kids (Summer Games by Epyx was another game in similar mold that we enjoyed on the C64).

I recently picked up Konami Track & Field for the 2600. I’ve played it a bunch in the arcade but never on the 2600. I’d imagine that it’ll be very similar to Decathlon. 

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I like both tennis games and Football and Ice Hockey but Enduro is my favorite sporting game by far!

 

ATARI FLASHBACK BASIC! Make games for the AFP with awesome  graphics, animation and a built in tracker/sequencer! Compatible with all Atari consoles! The IDE is already installed on your PC! Atari Flashback BASIC is cross compatible with the SuperCharger too! :)

AFB games can be recompiled with no changes using the SuperCharger BASIC compiler, available at Relationalframework.com/vwBASIC

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12 hours ago, HDN said:

I don't understand you two and your love of Golf. I much prefer Miniature Golf.

Both games are fun, and everyone's got their favorite between these two.  IMO, Golf is more like the real game.  It's got both a long and short game and the strategy of playing it safe or being more bold. 

 

7 hours ago, socrates63 said:

One title that I’ve put some time on not mentioned yet is Activision Decathlon.

I recently picked up Konami Track & Field for the 2600.

These are two really good ones I had forgotten about.  I loved Decathlon back when it was new just because it had all 10 events!  Spectacular on the 2600.  But oh boy, that last long running event is sure tough on your arm and joystick! 

Track and Field is really good.  Let us know what you think when you try it.  It doesn't have as many events as Decathlon, but it's a lot more fun to play with the button controller.  I wonder if that controller would work on Decathlon?

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5 minutes ago, RickR said:

Track and Field is really good.  Let us know what you think when you try it.  It doesn't have as many events as Decathlon, but it's a lot more fun to play with the button controller.  I wonder if that controller would work on Decathlon?

Yeah, we probably broke a joystick or two playing Decathlon. Those bubble contacts took a beating.

I'm banking on that controller working on Decathlon 🙂  I had been using my all-button Asteroids controller with Decathlon, but the position of the fire/jump button isn't optimal for Decathlon, specifically the hurdles event. The T&F controller should be much better in that regard, and I should finally be able to get gold on Decathlon.

Edited by socrates63
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Yeah, I forgot about racing games as sports. Indy 500 and Night Driver are my favorites on the system, and I prefer ND to Indy.

Dragster is pretty fun too, and Pole Position is also great (if not eclipsed by the sequel). I also enjoy Activision Grand Prix though that's mostly nostalgia.

I haven't played much Enduro but I remember enjoying it.

Street Racer is fun, but not for the street racing part of it. I much prefer the other variations, like Number Cruncher.

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