2nd Generation Video Game Notes

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Scramble, [1981] |Vectrex, 1982| (x/Arcade)

https://i1.wp.com/www.arcade-museum.com/images/118/1181242158126.jpgArcade machine awning

Let me tell you, it’s quite a treat to be able to see the shmup growing up before my eyes. Although I don’t have children, I’m sure that this must be akin to seeing them grow up and moving out before you know what happened. That may be one of the reasons it has been suggested that I never procreate, but I don’t like to conjecture. Let’s take a look at Konami’s foray into the genre and see just how it’s maturing.

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Kaboom! [1981] |Atari VCS|

I discussed in my review of the 1970s that Activision was the first third-party developer in video gaming. They took advantage of their new-found license to make games by producing a slew of titles for the Atari VCS, some of which were even good. OK, that’s a little harsh. Compared to the standard fair Activision’s games were better than average–well, most of them. Some games were still shovelware–I’m looking at you, Barnstorming!

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Galaga [1981] |Arcade|

In cinema it is held that sequels are not as good as the original. A few notable exceptions, such as “The Godfather, Part II” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” prove that that doesn’t always have to be the case. With video games, sequels are almost always better than their predecessors. Sometimes, certain exceptions (mirror) apply but the trend is that developers will refine gameplay, improve graphics, add features, and just generally add a layer of spit and polish. Galaga is a great example of this.
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Frogger, [1981] |Arcade|

It’s not easy being green. Or yellow, for that matter. Frogger centers around the titular tree frog who needs to get to his home on the other side of the river. Seemingly the only part of Frogger anyone remembers is the first half of the screen with the cars, even though that’s only the first hurdle. Guess how much time I spent editing this article before posting. Just guess. I kid you not, this journalistic gem required over three minutes of fine-tuning. That’s why it flows this well.
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