[stella] Matt's Top 48

Subject: [stella] Matt's Top 48
From: jvmatthe@xxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Sat, 26 Oct 1996 12:07:01 -0400 (EDT)
The following is a post I made as soon as the list started up again at
the new address. My friend Ruffin (Rufbo@xxxxxxx) said he didn't see it,
so I thought maybe the rest of y'all didn't get it.  I had hoped it would
spark some discussion... so here goes.  

If you got this before and didn't care, hit 'q' now.  :^)
Hi all!

Well, it looks like the list has died again.  In the hope of stirring up
a little discussion, I thought I would post my "Top 48" list.  This is the
list of Atari 2600 games that I couldn't do without.  Sure, there are others
that I might include, but these are the bare essentials.  I have tried to
rank games primarily on gameplay, graphics, and sound;  I hope I left out
the "sentimental" factor.  Keep in mind: replay value and the ability to
keep me coming back were big factors in choosing my favorite games.

I included a description/reason for each of the Top 15.  If you want me
to comment on my choices for 16-48, just ask.  

I  know that there are some omissions below that many of you might find
galling.  For example, Adventure does not make my list.  Neither does 
Yars' Revenge.  And I suspect that my #1 will be no one else's.  But
here goes:

              Matt's Top 48 Atari 2600 Game of All Time
                  (of the ones he's actually played)

 1. Pressure Cooker - Just an all around excellent game.  The graphics are
       very well done for the Atari 2600.  The gameplay (especially on the
       higher levels) is very challenging, both in physical demands and
       mental skills.  Also, the tune is kind of catchy! 
 2. Jr. Pac-Man  -  Again, a winner in both graphics (fantastic scrolling
       maze) and gameplay.  Despite a little flicker in the ghosts, this
       game is second only to 7800 Ms. Pac-man in great maze zipping fun
       on an Atari home console.
 3. Frogger (Parker Bros.) - This game, despite being graphically inferior
       to its Supercharger version, is fantastic in gameplay.  The music,
       some of the best on the 2600, is pleasant and catchy.  The gameplay
       is also very frantic and challenging, especially on the higher levels.
 4. Kaboom - Though I have yet to break 4,000 on this game, it keeps me
       coming back again and again.  This game alone makes the paddles a
       necessary accessory for the Atari 2600.  
 5. H.E.R.O. - Activision was just pumpin' out the hits apparently.  This
       game seems BIG for a 2600 game.  Granted, many of the rooms are a
       variation of previous rooms, but they are all different enough to
       keep you coming back.  The graphics are colorful and catchy for the
       2600.  Too bad they didn't have some cool music for this one.
 6. Laser Gates - A recent aquisition for me, I couldn't stop playing it
       when I first got it.  The graphics are fairly simple, but the action
       is pretty hot and the side scrolling is pretty smooth for teh 2600.
       It's main drawback is that the sound effects are pretty annoying.
       Has some of the most impressive explosions for the 2600.
 7. California Games - Incredible game.  Just freaking awesome.  Though I
       can't say I really care for the Footbag event, I can school anyone
       in the other events.  (Rufbo can school anyone else in the Footbag,
       just ask him.)  The BMX and Surfing are *very* impressive for the 
       2600.  If they had combined the gameplay of BMX Airmaster with the
       half-pipe event in California Games this game would have probably been
       number 3 or 4.
 8. BMX Airmaster - Speaking of BMX Airmaster...this game has one really
       cool musical track and some great graphics.  The control is dead
       on and it has some really nice touches like, like the whistle when
       you score over 3000 on one "stunt".  Does anyone know if you can break
       10000 on one jump?  I once got 9988!  
 9. Circus Atari - Probably the most primitive of the Top 10 graphically,
       but almost one of the most fun in gameplay.  When your men get flying
       around the screen at near light speed, this game just can't be beat!
       And who can say they don't enjoy the feeling of clearing out the whole
       top row of balloons on one jump?
10.  Indy 500 - The only game (so far) that uses the driving controllers, but
       that means nothing.  Even in the one player timed events, this game can
       eat up my time like nothing else.  The graphics are fairly basic, but
       it just goes to show what you can achieve with good gameplay.
11.  Ms. Pac-Man - Along with Jr., we can almost excuse Atari for the 
       abomination which is Pac-man.  This game captures the fun of the arcade,
       even if it doesn't have the same mazes or intermissions.  A must
       have for any 2600 owner.
12.  KLAX - I know this one is known in PAL form only (right?) and is fairly
       difficult to come by, but let me assure you: If you can ever get it
       for a decent price...DO IT!  Believe it or not, I actually started
       to feel some of the feelings I used to get playing the arcade version.
       Any time the 2600 version can help you get that arcade feeling, you
       know they did right well!
13.  Super Breakout - An improvement on Breakout, this game is a great way
       to pass time, or get some kicks late at night when you and your friend(s)
       have really tired reflexes.  
14.  Midnight Magic - A great improvement on Video Pinball, this game brings
       a realistic pinball game to the 2600 with good graphics and pretty 
       decent music.  But am I the only one that misses the ability to tilt
       the machine that you could do in Video Pinball?
15.  Solar Fox - A great game with fast gameplay and a very simple goal.  Now
       if I could only get all the pieces of the hidden message!  (I already
       know what it is, but I want to get them all for myself.  Rosebud.)
16.  Millipede                          
17.  Frogger (SuperCharger)
18.  Warlords                           
19.  Robot Tank                         
20.  Montezuma's Revenge: Starring Panama Joe
21.  Pitfall II: Lost Caverns           
22.  Escape From the Mindmaster         
23.  Dragonstomper                      
24.  Gyruss                             
25.  Road Runner                        
26.  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle
27.  Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 
28.  Subterranea                        
29.  Enduro                             
30.  Joust                              
31.  Pole Position
32.  Rampage                            
33.  Ghostbusters                       
34.  Snoopy and the Red Baron           
35.  Pitfall                            
36.  Spy Hunter                         
37.  Dolphin                            
38.  Defender II                        
39.  Demon Attack                       
40.  Bridge                             
41.  Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulation
42.  Centipede                          
43.  Star Raiders                       
44.  Battlezone                         
45.  Defender                           
46.  Video Pinball                      
47.  Combat                             
48.  Missile Command                    

That's all for now.  Happy gamin'!


 |||  John V. Matthews, III                             | PO Box 50355
 |||  NCSU Mathematics Graduate Student                 | Raleigh, NC 27650 
/ | \ http://www4.ncsu.edu/~jvmatthe/www/               | (919) 515 7324

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