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Author Topic: LoC 50 - Top Video Games of the '80s (And before!) - Today's High Scores  (Read 37216 times)

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Offline Pak-Man

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#29 – Pong

(51 Points) 4 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #5 - Monty


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Release Date:  November 29, 1972

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Pong (marketed as PONG) is one of the earliest arcade video games, and is a tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. While other arcade video games such as Computer Space came before it, Pong was one of the first video games to reach mainstream popularity. The aim is to defeat the opponent in a simulated table tennis game by earning a higher score. The game was originally manufactured by Atari Incorporated (Atari), who released it in 1972. Allan Alcorn created Pong as a training exercise assigned to him by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell based the idea on an electronic ping-pong game included in the Magnavox Odyssey, which later resulted in a lawsuit against Atari. Surprised by the quality of Alcorn's work, Atari decided to manufacture the game.
 
Pong quickly became a success and is the first commercially successful video game, which led to the start of the video game industry. Soon after its release, several companies began producing games that copied Pong's gameplay, and eventually released new types of games. As a result, Atari encouraged its staff to produce more innovative games. The company released several sequels that built upon the original's gameplay by adding new features. During the 1975 Christmas season, Atari released a home version of Pong exclusively through Sears retail stores. It was also a commercial success and led to numerous copies. The game has been remade on numerous home and portable platforms following its release. Pong has been referenced and parodied in multiple television shows and video games, and has been a part of several video game and cultural exhibitions.

Pong is a two-dimensional sports game that simulates table tennis. The player controls an in-game paddle by moving it vertically across the left side of the screen, and can compete against either a computer controlled opponent or another player controlling a second paddle on the opposing side. Players use the paddles to hit a ball back and forth. The aim is for a player to earn more points than the opponent; points are earned when one fails to return the ball to the other.

Pak's Thoughts: Yes, there were other games before Pong, but Pong's the game that made the world sit up and take notice. Pong directly influenced one of the entries on this list so far (Arkanoid!) and indirectly influenced like- all of them. This is the game that more or less BEGAN Coin-Op arcade games, home consoles, and it was the first video game to make money, so if you enjoy video games, you owe it all to the 1-Pixel-wide stick. (Pixels were BIG back in those days. Not like these little baby pixels they try to pass off today...)


Offline Pak-Man

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#28 – Bubble Bobble

(52 Points) 4 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #4 - gojikranz

Now it is the beginning of a fantastic story! Let us make a journey to the cave of monsters! Good luck!

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Release Date:  1986

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Bubble Bobble is an arcade game by Taito, first released in 1986 and later ported to numerous home computers and game consoles. The game, starring the twin Bubble Dragons Bub and Bob, is an action-platform game in which players travel through one hundred different stages, blowing and bursting bubbles, avoiding enemies and collecting a variety of items. The game became very popular and led to a long series of sequels and spin-offs. The main goal of the game is to rescue Bub and Bob's girlfriends from monsters. It is also notable for being an early example of a game with multiple endings, which depended on the player's skill and discovering secrets.

In the game, each player controls one of the two Bubble Dragons, Bub and Bob. The player can move along platforms, as well as jump to those above and to the side, similar to most platform games.
 
The player can also blow bubbles. These can trap enemies, who are defeated if the bubble is then burst by the player's spiny back. The bubbles also float for a time before bursting, and can be jumped on, allowing access to otherwise inaccessible areas. Players progress to the next level once all enemies on the current level are defeated.
 
Enemies turn "angry" – becoming pink-colored and moving faster – if they are the last enemy remaining, escape from a bubble after being left too long, or a certain amount of time has been spent on the current level. A monster will also become angry if either player collects a skull (the only negative item in the game), and the monster is hit by the resulting comet crossing the screen. However, this is a rare occurrence.
 
After a further time limit expires, an additional invincible enemy appears for each player, actively chasing them using only vertical and horizontal movements. These do not need to be defeated to complete the level, and disappear once a player's life is lost.
 
Contact with enemies and their projectiles (rocks, lasers, fireballs, etc.) is deadly, resulting in the loss of a life.
 
The game's music was written by Japanese team Zuntata. Peter Clarke, Tim Follin and David Whittaker have arranged music for home computer ports (some versions have a new intro music by Whittaker).


Pak's Thoughts: This game is pure video game JOY. The music and graphics are all marinated in a broth of pure happiness for several hours, then kissed by cherubs and baked in the warm glow of love until everything is cooked to perfection, then it's sprinkled with fairy dust and delivered to you on a platter made of glee.

Cuteness aside, it's a fun game too. The mechanic is neat, and the ability to bounce off your own bubbles (If you're good) is neat and occasionally necessary. That's when the game gets frustrating. There are some later levels that have the enemies waaay up at the top of the screen and you're waaaay at the bottom, and the only way to get up is to bounce on a series of your own unpredictable bubbles. Also the enemies can bomb you. Good luck!


Offline Pak-Man

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#27 – Frogger

(55 Points) 5 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #8 - gojikranz


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Release Date:  1981

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Frogger is an arcade game introduced in 1981. It was developed by Konami, and licensed for worldwide distribution by Sega/Gremlin. The object of the game is to direct frogs to their homes one by one. To do this, each frog must avoid cars while crossing a busy road and navigate a river full of hazards. Skillful players may obtain some bonuses along the way. The game is regarded as a classic from the golden age of video arcade games and was noted for its novel gameplay and theme. It was also an early example of a game using more than one CPU, using two Z80 processors. Frogger is still popular and versions can be found on many Internet game sites.

The player starts with three, five, or seven frogs (lives). The player guides a frog which starts at the bottom of the screen. The lower half of the screen contains a road with motor vehicles, which in various versions include cars, trucks, buses, dune buggies, bulldozers, vans, taxis, bicyclists, and/or motorcycles, speeding along it horizontally. The upper half of the screen consists of a river with logs, crocodiles, and turtles, all moving horizontally across the screen. The very top of the screen contains five "frog homes" which are the destinations for each frog. Every level is timed; the player must act quickly to finish each level before the time expires.
 
The only player control is the joystick used to navigate the frog; each push in a direction causes the frog to hop once in that direction. On the bottom half of the screen, the player must successfully guide the frog between opposing lanes of trucks, cars, and other vehicles, to avoid becoming roadkill.
 
The middle of the screen, after the road, contains a median where the player must prepare to navigate the river.
 
By jumping on swiftly moving logs and the backs of turtles, the player can guide his or her frog safely to one of the empty lilypads. The player must avoid crocodiles, snakes, and otters in the river, but may catch bugs or escort a lady frog for bonuses. When all five frogs are directed home, the game progresses to the next, harder level. After five levels, the game gets briefly easier yet again gets progressively harder to the next fifth level.

The game's opening tune is the first verse of a Japanese children's song called Inu No Omawarisan (The Dog Policeman). The song remained intact in the US release. Other Japanese tunes that are played during gameplay include the themes to the anime Hana no Ko Lunlun and Araiguma Rascal.

Pak's Thoughts: Now Frogger is a game I can rock. It's been a while, so it may not be true today, but once upon a time, 25 cents was enough to get me through 5 stages easy. I've always admired how this game took a pretty simple concept (Cross the street) and made it into a viable arcade game. Plus it actually takes an old cartoon gag (That's not a log! It's an aligator!) and works it into the game mechanics. I always thought that was cool.


Offline Pak-Man

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#26 – Tron

(61 Points) 4 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #6 - Rattrap007


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Release Date:  1982

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Tron is a coin-operated arcade video game manufactured and distributed by Bally Midway in 1982. It is based on the Walt Disney Productions motion picture Tron released in the same year. The game consists of four subgames inspired by the events of the science fiction film. It features some characters and equipment seen in the film, e.g. the Light Cycles, battle tanks, the Input/Output Tower. The game earned more than the film's initial release.
 
In the 2010 film Tron: Legacy, the arcade game makes a brief appearance, but is displayed as being manufactured and distributed by the in-universe company ENCOM International instead of Bally Midway. It is also displayed as such on the "ENCOM International" promotional website for the film.

Tron was distributed in four types of cabinets: the standard upright, the mini upright, the cocktail (table) version and a sit down enclosed cabinet. The upright cabinet is designed as movie tie-in. It has, as a special feature, two blacklights and fluorescent lines painted on, resembling the blue, red etc. circuit lines from the film Tron. In a darkened room or arcade the lines glow. The sit down enclosed cabinet is the rarest of all the cabinet types. The sit down plays a part in the 2010 Tron: Legacy movie. Walt Disney Pictures searched for 3 years with no luck until they found a video game collector in Slayton, Minnesota who rented his sit down game to Walt Disney Pictures.
 
All cabinets feature an 8-way joystick for moving, with one button for firing or speed control, and a rotary dial for controlling the direction of the fire (a setup also used in Kozmik Krooz'r, another Midway game). The game can be played by one player or by two alternating players as the controls are made for only one player at a time.

The player in the role of Tron has to beat four subgames, each at 12 increasingly difficult levels, with each level named after a computer programming language, such as "BASIC", "RPG", "COBOL", etc. All four segments of one level must be completed before continuing on to the next level.
 
I/O Tower
 
This segment of the game mimics Tron's quest to enter the Input/Output tower from the motion picture. In the arcade game, the player must destroy large numbers of Grid Bugs with Tron's disc and clear a path to the flashing circle, which must be entered before a timer runs out to complete the section.
 
MCP Cone
 
This area imitates Tron's final battle against the MCP. The game's interpretation has the player destroying a multicolored wall in front of the MCP cone and getting by the wall, into the cone. A 1000 point bonus is awarded for completing the level, and an additional 1000 points is given for destroying all blocks of the wall.
 
Battle Tanks
 
The Battle Tanks subgame is not strictly based on film events, but the tanks are taken from there. The player must guide Tron's red tank through a maze and destroy several blue tanks or red recognizers controlled by the computer. This must be done without taking any hits from enemies. If the player drives into the purple diamond in the center of the maze, the tank is warped to a random area of the maze. A bug in the game results in a cheat option. When the player's tank is not touching the white line in the corridors, it can not be hit by the enemy's fire, but it can still be rammed by enemy tanks.
 
Light Cycles
 
This game is well known and associated with the Tron franchise. The player must guide a blue Light Cycle in an arena against an opponent, while avoiding the walls and trails (walls of light) left behind by both Light Cycles. The player must maneuver quickly and precisely in order to force opponents to run into walls. The enemy cycles have a fixed behavior pattern for each level: if the player can find it, the opponent can be defeated every time on this level. The Light Cycles were supposed to look like motor cycles with your head merging into it but in the movie they could not due to a low budget.

The video game's story was based on an early draft of the script for TRON. In the game, the light cycle the player controls is blue and the enemy light cycles are yellow whereas in the movie the colors of the opposing players are reversed. The Grid Bugs played a major part as an enemy TRON has to fight whereas in the movie they are briefly mentioned and run away. The MCP cone was rewritten as the MCP's tower in the film but remained in the game with the same premise for the player to breach it. The tank level is based on the tanks in the movie. Sometimes the enemy tanks are replaced by faster, non-shooting recognizers through a trick in the game.

Pak's Thoughts: Oh, how I loved playing Tron. The ability to pick the order in which you played the games was the coolest thing ever at the time, and most of the games were pretty good. I could never get into the tank game, and the Spider game was just OK, but I loved doing the light cycles and going up against the MCP.


And that's that for today's 5. We're taking a break for the weekend and starting the top 25 Monday Morning! Discuss!


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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*sigh*  Shouldn't I, after 700 posts, be allowed to post a link without it being flagged as spam?

nope :) Our money is greatly desired by the business community.  there are people who play a role for years before they start spamming.  Im still not convinved RVR isnt really a sophisticated spam bot. 


Offline RVR II

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  Im still not convinved RVR isnt really a sophisticated spam bot. 
Yeah me neither.. Oh wait :o


Johnny Unusual

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Never played Tron and I don't have much to say about Bubble Bobble or Forgger.  Pong is a classic, but there isn't much more to say than that.  I'm curious, what is the first video game?

Paperboy!  I forgot about that.  It's a friggin fantastic game that is tremendous fun.


Offline goflyblind

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frogger?! memory, what is wrong with you? brain fail. ):
dF = 0
d*F = J


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#31 – Pole Position

(48 Points) 3 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #7 - goflyblind

It'll bust your crank and leave skid marks on your soul!

Commercial (You guys HAVE to watch this one if you've never seen it!):

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/kiEj4RNpYME?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/kiEj4RNpYME?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>

Release Date:  September 1982

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Pole Position is a racing video game released in 1982 by Namco. It was published by Namco in Japan and by Atari, Inc. in the United States. The game popularized the use of sprite-based, pseudo-3D graphics with its "rear-view racer format"—where the player’s view is behind and above the vehicle, looking forward along the road with the horizon in sight—which would remain in use even after true 3D computer graphics became standard for racing games.

In this game, the player controls a Formula One race car. The player completes a time trial lap within a certain amount of time to qualify for an F1 race at the Fuji Racetrack. After qualifying, the player races against other cars in a championship race.
 
Pole Position was the leading game in arcades worldwide due to its relatively realistic graphics for the time. While it wasn't the first game to use the "rear-view racer format" (the first was Turbo (1981) by Sega), it pioneered the format which is used in many games today. It also led to contemporary imitators of the format, most notably Sega's Out Run in 1986.
 
Pole Position set the template for future racing games, featuring a rear-view format, AI cars to race against, a time limit pushing the player to go faster, and a track based on a real racing circuit. It also featured crashes caused by collisions with other vehicles and roadside signs, and was the first game to feature a qualifying lap, where the player needs to complete a time trial before they can compete in Grand Prix races. The game's publisher Atari publicized the game for its "unbelievable driving realism" in providing a Formula 1 experience behind a racing wheel at the time, for which it is considered the first attempt at a driving simulation. The game's graphics featured full-colour landscapes with scaling sprites, including race cars and other signs, and a perspective view of the track, with its vanishing point swaying side to side as the player approaches corners, accurately simulating forward movement into the distance.

Pak's Thoughts: If you had the quarters and could actually find an open machine, playing the sit-down version of Pole Position was a real treat. It was the closest most of us would get to driving as kids, and usually a pretty good indicator of why we shouldn't.

And those are the 5 for today. We'll be hitting the halfway point tomorrow, so if this list dies after then, it should be able to respawn at #25. :^)

I had Poll Position 2 was on my list,that was the one I played as a kid.  I played it on the Atari 7800 and in the arcade.


Offline Asbestos Bill

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#29 – Pong

This is the game that more or less BEGAN Coin-Op arcade games, home consoles, and it was the first video game to make money, so if you enjoy video games, you owe it all to the 1-Pixel-wide stick. (Pixels were BIG back in those days. Not like these little baby pixels they try to pass off today...)

Not true. Read on...

Never played Tron and I don't have much to say about Bubble Bobble or Forgger.  Pong is a classic, but there isn't much more to say than that.  I'm curious, what is the first video game?

Spacewar! is the first digital video game, programmed on the PDP-1 in 1961. It was like a more complicated asteroids, but played 2-player, 1v1. You had to try to shoot the other person's ship while also avoiding falling into the star you both orbited, and you had limited fuel and ammo.

Galaxy Game came after that  in 1971 (essentially the same game, but a bit further towards Asteroids) and it was the first digital game with its own hardware. Then came Computer Space only a month later; again, the same game, but this one was the first coin operated and publicly distributed game (Galaxy Game was kept at Stanford University, where it was made). Computer Space was featured in Soylent Green, which shows about 10 seconds of gameplay. It was made by the founders of Atari before they became Atari. Once they did, they took a step backward in terms of game complexity and made Pong, and for some reason it was more popular than its predecessor. Pong wasn't even original, being based on the home console version included with the Maxnavox Odyssey and it's prototype, the "Brown Box," which was made in 1966.

Before any of these, there was a version of Tic-Tac-Toe on the EDSAC, which was programmed with punch cards and used a rotary telephone dial for input (boxes 1-9). The display is not technically video, but this is in the 50s, so it's pretty impressive.



And then there was the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device, also from the 50s, which had an overlaid transparent sheet with graphics of planes on it. Players used the controls to move a single dot of light projected by the CRT screen until it was under a plane, then pressed a button. If the light was within the programmed coordinates of a plane, the dot would blur, which was supposed to look like an explosion.

There's one other really awesome example, but it's going to show up later in the list, I think, so I'll leave it a surprise...


I got a lot of this information from this history, as well as Wikipedia.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 12:10:45 PM by Asbestos Bill »


Offline Tyrant

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Pak's Thoughts: This game is pure video game JOY. The music and graphics are all marinated in a broth of pure happiness for several hours, then kissed by cherubs and baked in the warm glow of love until everything is cooked to perfection, then it's sprinkled with fairy dust and delivered to you on a platter made of glee.

Too bad this wasn't used as Bubble Bobble's official advertisement hook. I think you missed your calling, Pak.



Offline Rattrap007

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Tron and Paperboy were both on my list..




Offline gojikranz

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bubble bobble was pretty big game for me back in the day.  i downloaded it on wii too and it is still great.

i think i may have actually cut my teeth on paperboy 2 on the genesis but its the same idea anyways.
MICROPHONE MANIAC COMING SOON!!
Promo Featurette: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vzYR6_-UqE


Offline D.B. Barnes

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#31 – Pole Position

(48 Points) 3 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #7 - goflyblind

Had it at #10. Great driving game and yeah, it was kind of a struggle. I always to go too fast, but that only got you into a world of hurt, and then of course I would try to go even faster to make up for it. I think I lacked the patience to play this very well. Jesus, you'd think that commercial was made in Japan!

#30 – Paperboy

(48 Points) 4 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #7 - gojikranz

Had it at #17. This was a fun game. I remember it being a tad monotonous but still pretty enjoyable. Always had trouble with the skateboarder.

#27 – Frogger

(55 Points) 5 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #8 - gojikranz

Had it at #14. Frogger is the first video game I ever played. Incredibly simple, but still a classic.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/fVX4eYIFepE?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/fVX4eYIFepE?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>


Seven from my list so far. Not too shabby.


VIVA IL ESORDIO DEL DIABETE ADULTO DUCE!!!


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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Just so you know PAK i am eagerly awaiting the next entries.  The sooner the better because this is almost as good as a cup of coffee to me first thing in the morning.