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Who had the better pack-in-- Sears or Atari?

Which game was a better pack-in game for the 2600 system?  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Which company did it better?

    • ATARI | Combat (Tank Plus)
      4
    • SEARS | Target Fun (Air-Sea Battle)
      6


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A battle of the games! We'll only be counting the original two pack-in games for the VCS hardware, Combat and Target Fun. No Space Invaders, Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong here.

Which game do YOU think was a better pack-in? Both had their pros and cons for sure. Please answer the poll to show everyone your side!

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Hey, I have a question for everyone.

My Air-Sea Battle cartridge seems to have passed on to a better place.

Or so I thought. You SEA, the game won’t work on my 2600 woody, as the game seems to constantly turn itself on and off. On the 7800, however, it works flawlessly. I haven’t tried my Vader yet. The woody works with my other carts, so why this one? Does anyone know what might be causing this?

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8 hours ago, RickR said:

Try cleaning the pins of the cartridge with alcohol on a qtip.  Use a little screwdriver to open the flap first.  This is caused by a dirty cartridge connector on the 2600.  

 

Thanks. That worked. I’m not sure why I didn’t try already. 

I have had a similar case with Empire Strikes Back. It worked fine for a while, but then all I got was a green screen with two vertical bars when I turned it on. I tried every method of cleaning I could, like alcohol, baking soda, vinegar, and a few more. Nothing changed. Same thing happens on both 2600s, but it works flawlessly on 7800. I thought that perhaps Air Sea Battle had met the same fate of becoming a 7800 exclusive.

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16 hours ago, RickR said:

Now we need to clean that cartridge slot on your 2600. Contact cleaner and a very soft toothbrush is my method, but there are several effective ways   

One more thing that just came to me.  As you build  your collection, clean any and every cartridge you get before inserting it into your machines.  Even the Atari carts with the dust flap.  

 

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17 hours ago, HDN said:

Thanks. That worked. I’m not sure why I didn’t try already. 

I have had a similar case with Empire Strikes Back. It worked fine for a while, but then all I got was a green screen with two vertical bars when I turned it on. I tried every method of cleaning I could, like alcohol, baking soda, vinegar, and a few more. Nothing changed. Same thing happens on both 2600s, but it works flawlessly on 7800. I thought that perhaps Air Sea Battle had met the same fate of becoming a 7800 exclusive.

Isopropyl alcohol works great on cleaning games. I use 91% solution. You can also use a regular rubber pencil eraser to clean the leads. It's abrasive, so it works to get the corrosion off the leads on the cart. If you want to get fancy, get DeoxIt. You can find that at RadioShack. It polishes the leads to a ultra-high sheen and takes the corrosion away.

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4 hours ago, dauber said:

I can't believe I have to admit, but I've never played Air-Sea Battle! But I'm going to have to say Sears -- because Combat requires two players. If all you have is the console with its packin, you can't rely on always having another person present!

Air Sea Battle is single player in name only.  The computer doesn't move and fires at a steady rate. Not fun. 

Like Combat, it's fun as a 2 player game. 

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28 minutes ago, DegasElite said:

Isopropyl alcohol works great on cleaning games. I use 91% solution. You can also use a regular rubber pencil eraser to clean the leads. It's abrasive, so it works to get the corrosion off the leads on the cart. If you want to get fancy, get DeoxIt. You can find that at RadioShack. It polishes the leads to a ultra-high sheen and takes the corrosion away.

Besides Deoxit, I have tried everything you mentioned on Empire in the past. I have heard of Deoxit before but have never tried it. Perhaps I need to try that.

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1 minute ago, RickR said:

Air Sea Battle is single player in name only.  The computer doesn't move and fires at a steady rate. Not fun. 

Like Combat, it's fun as a 2 player game. 

That is true for the most part. I like to try to get a high score and don’t pay much attention to it. The AI actually kind of works in the Bomber game types. Better than the other variants at least.

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HDN, have you considered that the 2600 you are using has a dirty cartridge port as well? If so, by all means, you may need to clean that, too. I would use a microfiber cloth for a pair of eye glasses, a thin card, and a dab of 91% isopropyl alcohol on the edge of the cloth. It would clean the port like there is no tomorrow. That could also be the problem. Furthermore, never leave your carts in the port of your game systems while they are plugged into an active socket. The electricity can react to the air and oxidize the leads and the cartridge port. No lie, as it has happened to a Jaguar unit of mine once, which now needs to be repaired because of it (I still have a working Jag with CD, though). If you use a power strip, deactivate it if you leave your game stuff plugged in. That way, no electricity can cause the effect of oxidizing the leads. I can't stress that enough! I have learned from pros.

Once it is deactivated, then (and only then) unplug your retro stuff from a power strip. It's safer for your older electronics, and you have less risk of overloading components on your games systems' motherboards. Again, I cannot stress that enough. Just my sage and friendly advice to extend the life of your retro collection. I have been a professional collector of video games for over three (and almost four) decades. Trust me. I am well versed and my collector friends can back me up. You are creating a great collection and I hope you keep it that way so you can enjoy it. Thanks for letting me share. :O)

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@DegasElite thank you for the advice. I hadn’t ever cleaned the ports for either 2600 systems since I first got the systems and cleaned everything up. I have done lots of cleaning with alcohol and stuff, so I am not unfamiliar with the idea of polishing up my games. However, I’ve found with the 2600 I haven’t had to do much cleaning. It’s a very reliable system. Especially with the Atari branded games. I’ve had to clean Activision and other third party games before, but not any Atari branded ones. 7800 is a different story.

I will give cleaning my cartridge port a go tomorrow, though I am not sure if it will help my copy of Empire much. It certainly can’t hurt.

And thanks for the advice for not leaving carts in. I don’t do it anyways, but I didn’t know it could cause any trouble. Sometimes I forget to take the games out of my NES because I can’t see them!

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I voted for Combat. Target Fun/Air Sea Battle is fun and it probably does have the edge as you can play it by yourself, but back in the day, I have so many memories of my dad and me playing the tanks and just having a blast and laughing at all the stuff we did to each other. That is one thing mostly lost today is the Couch Co-op aspect of gaming. 

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