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M-Network 1982 ‪Atari‬ 2600 Catalog


nosweargamer
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The coolest M-Network thing is how you can play Astroblast with either a joystick OR paddle.   And in paddle mode, the game is fantastic, IMO.  That makes the M-Network version even better than the real Intellivision version.  Sorry Rowsdower.  The rest of the M-Network games are great, but original INTV versions are better.

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When Mattel ported their proprietary titles to the VCS, it was like we had stepped into a better world, an (Atari) Age of Aquarius, a peace-among-men environment, a world where the scientist approaches the invading monsterbeast and does not get ate up or zapped to little-bitty dust (OK, that would never happen).

 

It was almost incredible to us atarians cuz our families couldn't afford both consoles (the 2600 and Intellivision - that was it) but the Tron titles were so futuro-cool and essential, Lock N'Chase was Pac-Man next-gen (just smush pac and Mouse Trap together), and  - yeah Brian - froggy action for everyone!

 

M-Network might've simply been a logical marketing step, but after the Plimpton put-downs, where Mattel's Maserati zoomed past our sweet Volks beetle and shrieked donuts in our coughing face, as all we atari younglings ever wanted was to have fun, it was the 8-bit bullies handing over *their* lunch and everybody realizing the basic components of a successful title can indeed be broken down to simpler, blockier science and still be effective.

 

And - we get to play as Tron on our reliable VCS, get to smash the falling astros just like the rich people do.

 

It was peace and love, man.

Joysticks and discpads in harmony.

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"It's a whole new challenge for your Atari VCS!"

We used to mock that slogan so much because it was a challenge for my VCS to play those games. For whatever reason I found M-Network carts to be unreliable. Seemed like 2 out of 3 never worked, or worked for a while and then stopped.

Ohh I was too young to troubleshoot and clean contacts. Besides, having been reading Omni and Popular Science and other pulp magazines of the era which glorified future tech as being the end-all be-all, I firmly got it my head that electronics were 100% reliable. They either worked forever or did not work at all.

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Hey, I have this catalog! M Network is a really mixed bag in my opinion. They made some really good games on the 2600 (Frogs 'n' Flies, Bump 'n' Jump, Burgertime), but also some terrible games I never want to play again (Like all of the sports games, Space Battle, and Astroblast). I know Astroblast and Astrosmash have their fans, but there is just no appeal to me because you can let the asteroids fall without consequence. Sure, your points drop, but that's really not that big of a deal as the game shows you your peak score as well.

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On Astroblast, the consequence is a dropping score.  Oh higher levels, things fall so quickly, it's hard to make progress if you aren't aggressive.  Also, the 2600 version has no peak score.  I think this version is better than Intellivision Astrosmash.  Astrosmash is slower, and the controls on Astroblast are better (especially with a paddle).  

Space Battle is a very good Star Raiders type game. 

The only thing I don't like about the sports games is that they are 2 players only.  Other than that, they are better than Atari's Realsport versions.

My opinion, of course.  I really think M-Network did a great job on 2600 games. 

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