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Author Topic: LoC 50 - Top Video Games of the '80s (And before!) - Today's High Scores  (Read 36245 times)

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Offline Rattrap007

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So many I had on my big list, but they failed to make the cut..




Russell

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I left a LOT of Arcade games off my list because honestly, I didn't play them nearly as much as NES games that I
had. I thought most of them were probably a tad too simplistic in the gameplay department to be
considered that high on my list.


Offline sarcasm_made_Easy

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My opinion is anything that utilized the track ball was just a bit cooler than anything else. 


Offline Pak-Man

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Getting today's entries up bright and early!

#35 – Dragon's Lair

(45 Points) 4 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #9 - Monty

Dragon's Lair: The fantasy adventure where you become a valiant knight, on a quest to rescue the fair princess from the clutches of an evil dragon. You control the actions of a daring adventurer, finding his way through the castle of a dark wizard, who has enchanted it with treacherous monsters and obstacles. In the mysterious caverns below the castle, your odyssey continues against the awesome forces that oppose your efforts to reach the Dragon's Lair. Lead on, adventurer. Your quest awaits!

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Release Date:  June 19, 1983

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Dragon's Lair is a laserdisc video game published by Cinematronics in 1983. It featured animation created by an ex-Disney animator Don Bluth.
 
At this time, most other games of the era represented the character as a sprite, which consisted of a series of bitmaps displayed in succession. However, due to hardware limitations of the era, artists were greatly restricted in the detail they could achieve using that technique; the resolution, framerate, and number of frames were severely constrained. Dragon's Lair overcame those limitations by tapping into the vast storage potential of the laserdisc, but imposed other limitations on the actual gameplay. The game's enormous contrast with other arcade games of the time created a sensation when it appeared, and was played so heavily that many machines often broke due to the strain of overuse. It was also arguably the most successful game on this medium and is aggressively sought after by collectors.
 
The success of the game sparked numerous home ports, sequels and related games. In the 21st century it has been repackaged in a number of formats (such as for the iPhone) as a "retro" or historic game.
 
It is currently one of only three video games (to include Pong and Pac-Man) on permanent display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

Dragon's Lair features the hero, Dirk the Daring, attempting to rescue Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe, who has locked Princess Daphne in the foul wizard Mordroc's castle. The screen shows animated cutscenes, and the player executes an action by selecting a direction or pressing the sword button with correct timing, requiring the player to memorize each scenario in order to clear each quick time event. The comedy aspects of the game stemmed not only from the bizarre looking creatures and humorous death scenes, but also the fact that while Dirk was a skilled knight, he was somewhat clumsy in his efforts, as well as being a reluctant hero, prone to shrieking and reacting in horror to the various dangers he encounters.

Pak's Thoughts: Dragon's Lair represented what I had always wanted video games to be in my head as a kid. It was a playable cartoon. It might not have been extremely interactive, but the memorization-based play and the awesome animations for both success and failure made sure this game would devour my tokens every time. I actually beat this one when I finally got it for my PC, but the arcade version was harder because it would randomize the scenes, and you'd have a WarioWare-Like moment where you had to quickly remember which one it was and what you were supposed to do.


Offline Pak-Man

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#34 – Q*bert

(46 Points) 3 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #5 - Pak-Man

@!#?@!

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Release Date:  1982

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Q*bert is an arcade video game developed and published by Gottlieb in 1982. It is a platform game that features two-dimensional (2D) graphics. The object is to change the color of every cube in a pyramid by making the on-screen character jump on top of the cube while avoiding obstacles and enemies. Players use a joystick to control the character.
 
The game was conceived by Warren Davis and Jeff Lee. Lee designed the titular character based on childhood influences and gave Q*bert a large nose that shoots projectiles. His original idea involved traversing a pyramid to shoot enemies, but Davis removed the shooting game mechanic to simplify gameplay. Q*bert was developed under the project name Cubes, but was briefly named Snots And Boogers and @!#?@!? during development.
 
Q*bert was well received in arcades and by critics, who praised the graphics, gameplay and main character. The success resulted in sequels and use of the character's likeness in merchandising, such as appearances on lunch boxes, toys, and an animated television show. The game has since been ported to numerous platforms.

Q*bert is an isometric platform game with puzzle elements where the player controls the titular protagonist from a third-person perspective. Q*bert starts each game at the top of a pyramid of cubes, and moves by jumping diagonally from cube to cube. Landing on a cube causes it to change color, and changing every cube to the target color allows the player to progress to the next stage. In later stages, each cube must be hit multiple times to reach the target color. In addition, cubes will change color every time Q*bert lands on them, instead of remaining on the target color once they reach it. Jumping off the pyramid results in the character's death.
 
The player is impeded by several enemies: Coily, a purple snake that chases after Q*bert; Ugg and Wrong-Way, purple creatures that run along the sides of the cubes; and Slick and Sam, green gremlins that revert the color changes that have occurred. A collision with purple enemies is fatal to the character. Colored balls occasionally appear at the top of the pyramid and bounce downward; contact with a red ball is lethal to Q*bert, while contact with a green one will immobilize the on-screen enemies. Upon dying, Q*bert emits a sound likened to swearing. A multi-colored disc on either side of the pyramid serves as an escape device from danger, particularly Coily. The disc returns Q*bert to the top of the pyramid, tricking Coily to jump off the pyramid if the snake was in close pursuit.

Pak's Thoughts: Our local supermarket had a Q*bert machine when I was growing up, and begging for quarters every time my mom went shopping became a ritual. I never know how well I'm going to do in a game of Q*bert. Some days I'll pop in a quarter and get into the zone and make it all the way to where the colors change back when you hop on them a second time. Other days, I'll die before making it out of the first stage. It's always fun, though, and despite my namesake, it's my personal choice for best arcade game of the '80s.


Offline Pak-Man

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#33 – SimCity

(46 Points) 4 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #3 - goflyblind


Box Art:



Release Date:  1989

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

SimCity is a city-building simulation video game, first released in 1989, and designed by Will Wright. SimCity was Maxis's first product, which has since been ported into various personal computers and game consoles, and spawned several sequels including SimCity 2000 in 1994, SimCity 3000 in 1999, SimCity 4 in 2003, SimCity DS, and SimCity Societies in 2007. The original SimCity was later renamed SimCity Classic. Until the release of The Sims in 2000, the SimCity series was the best-selling line of computer games made by Maxis. SimCity spawned a series of Sim games.
 
SimCity was originally developed by game designer Will Wright. The inspiration for SimCity came from a feature of the game Raid on Bungeling Bay that allowed Wright to create his own maps during development. Wright soon found he enjoyed creating maps more than playing the actual game, and SimCity was born.[2] While developing SimCity, Wright cultivated a real love of the intricacies and theories of urban planning and acknowledges the influence of System Dynamics which was developed by Jay Wright Forrester and whose book on the subject laid the foundations for the simulation. In addition, Wright also was inspired by reading "The Seventh Sally", a short story by Stanisław Lem, in which an engineer encounters a deposed tyrant, and creates a miniature city with artificial citizens for the tyrant to oppress.
 
The first version of the game was developed for the Commodore 64 in 1985, but it would not be published for another four years. The original working title of SimCity was Micropolis. The game represented an unusual paradigm in computer gaming, in that it could neither be won nor lost; as a result, game publishers did not believe it was possible to market and sell such a game successfully. Brøderbund declined to publish the title when Wright proposed it, and he pitched it to a range of major game publishers without success. Finally, founder Jeff Braun of then-tiny Maxis agreed to publish SimCity as one of two initial games for the company.
 
Wright and Braun returned to Brøderbund to formally clear the rights to the game in 1988, when SimCity was near completion. Brøderbund executives Gary Carlston and Don Daglow saw that the title was infectious and fun, and signed Maxis to a distribution deal for both of its initial games. With that, four years after initial development, SimCity was released for the Amiga and Macintosh platforms, followed by the IBM PC and Commodore 64 later in 1989.
 
Pak's Thoughts: Ah, there's nothing like a city builder to scratch the ol' god-complex, and the legacy that the game leaves behind encompasses pretty much the whole Tycoon genre. One glorious weekend, me and my dad decided we were going to fill every available scrap of land with city, and we did it too. Fully functional and filled to the brim from all corners of the map. Then we unleashed Godzilla over and over 'til there was nothing left. :^)


Offline Pak-Man

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#32 – Pitfall

(46 Points) 6 of 18 Lists - Highest Ranking - #4 - Monty


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Release Date:  September 1982

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Pitfall! is a video game released by Activision for the Atari 2600 in 1982. It is the second best selling game made for the Atari 2600, with over 4 million copies sold.

The player must maneuver a character known as Pitfall Harry through a maze-like jungle in an attempt to recover 32 treasures in a 20-minute time period. Along the way, he must negotiate numerous hazards, including pits, quicksand, rolling logs, fire, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and crocodiles. Harry may jump over or otherwise avoid these obstacles by climbing, running, or swinging on a vine to avoid them. Treasure includes gold and silver bars, diamond rings, and bags of money. Under the jungle there is a tunnel which Harry can access through ladders found at various places. This is required to get around some surface areas that have no way across otherwise. The tunnels are filled with dead-ends blocked by brick walls, forcing the player return to the surface at one of the ladders, and try to find a way around again. The tunnels also contain treasure and scorpions Harry must jump over.
 
Pitfall! was created by David Crane, a programmer who worked for Activision in the early 1980s. In a November 2003 interview with Edge he described how in 1979 he had developed the technology to display a realistic little running man and in 1982 was searching for a suitable game in which to use it:
 
Quote from: David Crane
I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and drew a stick figure in the center. I said, “Okay, I have a little running man and let's put him on a path [two more lines drawn on the paper]. Where is the path? Let's put it in a jungle (draw some trees). Why is he running (draw treasures to collect, enemies to avoid, etc.)?” And Pitfall! was born. This entire process took about ten minutes. About 1,000 hours of programming later, the game was complete.

Its technical achievements included non-flickering, multicolored, animated sprites on a system with notoriously primitive graphics hardware. Innovative techniques were used to keep the codespace within the 4k limit, including polynomials to create 256 screens within 50 bytes of code. The Atari "bullet" was used to draw the vine in higher resolution than permitted with sprites.

Pitfall! was a massive success for the 2600. Several ports were made for computer systems (such as the Commodore 64, Atari 800, and TRS-80 Color Computer), as well as for home consoles (such as the ColecoVision and the Intellivision).

When Pitfall! was originally sold, anyone who scored above 20,000 points could send Activision a picture of his or her television screen to receive a Pitfall! Harry Explorer Club patch. The television commercial for Pitfall featured then child actor Jack Black at age 13 in his first TV role.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/CKduyaz6ddY?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/CKduyaz6ddY?version=3&amp;amp;hl=en_US</a>


Pak's Thoughts: There's something about Pitfall that makes it feel more like a complete game than a lot of Atari games did. It’s just really well-planned and it all comes together very nicely. I suppose I should mention here that I actually had the chance to meet David Crane himself at last year's Classic Gaming Expo. I shook his hand and he signed my copy of "A Boy and his Blob". It was a thrill. :^)


Offline Pak-Man

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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. :^)


Offline Johnny Unusual

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Dragon's Lair is great, but it was Dragon's Lair 2 that was at my arcade.

I like how the Q*Bert ad is really transparent about wanting your money.

I played the 90's Sim City for SNES, but not the original.

Never played Pitfall or Pole Position.  "He stops fun things from happening" Must have been the guy who created any Superman game ever.  THANK YOU, GOOD NIGHT!


Offline Pak-Man

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I like how the Q*Bert ad is really transparent about wanting your money.

Yeah most of the arcade game ads I'm scrounging up are aimed more at the owners of arcades than the arcade gamers. I'm going through a hierarchy where I try to include TV Ads first, then comic book/magazine ads aimed at consumers, then arcade game flyers for arcade owners, then box art.


Offline Scribblesense

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Holy crap, Jack Black hasn't changed one bit in over thirty years.

He's just gotten fatter.
"Hey, you kids! Those boxes are for shipping! Not for creating a world of pure imagination!"


Offline Rattrap007

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Got three of mine today...

Q*Bert
Pitfall
Simcity


Both Dragon's Lair and Pole Position were on my list before having to cut it to 25..

My picks are arcade, atari and NES. I kind of did a mix of my faves and ones that were kinda ground breaking for their time.




Offline Asbestos Bill

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#39 - Psychic 5


Pak's Thoughts And that's about all the info I can scrounge. Before this list is over, I'll try to find a means by which to experience this game and I'll report on my findings. For right now, maybe one of the two voters can elaborate on this one. :^)


Here's a MAME rom download. You'll need MAME, of course.


Offline Asbestos Bill

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


Offline Pak-Man

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I can't after over 8600 posts.

But I digress. Let's get this show back on the road!

#30 – Paperboy

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

Paperboy... stopping at nothing in his valiant effort to save this land from TV journalism,

Commercial:

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


Release Date:  1984

Just the facts/Stuff I wiki'd:

Paperboy is a 1984 arcade game by Atari Games. The players take the role of a paperboy who delivers newspapers along a suburban street on his bicycle. This game was innovative for its theme and novel controls.

The player controls a paperboy on a bicycle delivering newspapers along a suburban street which is displayed in a cabinet perspective view. The player attempts to deliver a week of daily newspapers to subscribing customers, attempts to vandalize non-subscribers' homes and must avoid hazards along the street. Subscribers are lost by missing a delivery or damaging a subscriber's house.
 
The game begins with a choice of difficulty levels: Easy Street, Middle Road and Hard Way. The object of the game is to perfectly deliver papers to subscribers for an entire week and avoid crashing (which counts as one of the player's lives) before the week ends. The game lasts for seven in-game days, Monday through Sunday.
 
Controlling the paperboy with the handlebar controls, the player attempts to deliver newspapers to subscribers. Each day begins by showing an overview of the street indicating subscribers and non-subscribers. Subscribers and non-subscribers' homes are also easy to discern in the level itself, with subscribers living in brightly colored houses, and non-subscribers living in dark houses.

The cabinet of this game is a standard upright but with custom controls. The controls consist of a bicycle handlebar with one button on each side, used to throw papers. The handlebars can be pushed forward to accelerate, and pulled back to brake.

The character and world of Paperboy was featured prominently in an episode of Captain N: The Game Master. This portrayed a more thought-out world. The paperboy was named Julio from a Hispanic family, and had to deal with the people of his community being brainwashed through subliminal messaging by Mother Brain into attacking the N-Team. When questioned why Julio was immune to this brainwashing, he admitted to Captain N and his friends that he was illiterate due to neglecting his reading lessons to devote all his efforts to his paper route to earn money for his family in light of his father being laid off from work. This later proves no longer necessary, when his father finds another job and both his parents homeschool Julio in order for him to gain proficient reading skills.

Pak's Thoughts: Paperboy is one of those games that keeps daring you to do better. The way the neighborhood changes based on whether you wrecked or delivered to certain houses adds a surprising level of interactivity for the day. I could never get the hang of the handle-bar controls, but I spent a lot of time mastering this game on the NES.