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April 15 2015

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Pole Position – Atari 2600

Pole Position from the Atari 2600 It is a game that I underestimated in my childhood. I've always played a lot more Enduro. The Pole Position It is a conversion of arcades, while Enduro It is an original game. Pole Position It has better graphics if you look just a screenshot e ver as zebras da pista, for example, but Enduro It has time changes with day, night, title, mist, the changes on the horizon, etc.

Pole Position It is more realistic as a racing simulator, but as the game Enduro does better, in order to overcome 200 or 300 Cars in the day to move to the next phase (day), making it fun and challenging. On Enduro the strategy is to run at a speed fast enough to overcoming the 300 cars during the day, but not faster than your reflexes to dodge the cars, as a beat causes you to be overtaken by many cars and then the counter cars to be overcome increases quite instead of decreasing. Finding the sweet spot is not simple, it all depends on weather conditions. The snow is necessary to have a slower response car, the fog is necessary to have the lack of visibility, and so on. Furthermore, the rate may be higher on the straights, but cornering is good reduce some. And there are times when you need to stop it, and reposition the track, take a fine, or even let the other cars disappear on the horizon and then coming back in an easier configuration overcome. This dynamic makes it all more interesting.

Both games were launched in 1983, the Pole Position by own Atari, and the Enduro by Activision, the company formed by former Atari programmers who became the softwarehouse who made many of the best Atari games 2600. I do not know the month the release of each, then you can not know who launched the first. The Pole Position It is a game of 8 KBytes, while Enduro It is a game of 4 KBytes.

Note that my assessment is somewhat skewed, weighs in favor of the Enduro that he had come along with Atari 2600 I got on Christmas 1987. It was my only game for a while, and was also the only game that had all the time I had the Atari 2600. Unlike some games that get forgotten, I always came back to play Enduro from time to time to try to overcome my personal record. Curiously, in my childhood I arrived no later than the 7th day, but playing again now as an adult I arrived on the 13th day, com hardware original, that savestates or any other modern trick. It's rare my “I adult” overcome my “I child” It had much more time to play.

On the other hand, the Pole Position I remember playing one time or another with cartridge borrowed from a colleague. After just having this game in what was the last cartridge Atari 2600 que tive, already in the early 90. It was a cartridge with 16 games, all very good: Pressure Cooker, Moon Patrol, Phoenix, Hero, Pole Position, Vanguard, Moon Sweeper, Zaxxon, Kangaroo, Kung-Fu Master, Smurfs, Jungle Hunt, Ms. Pac-man, Front Line, Beamrider and Subterranea. With so many good games, the Pole Position It ended up being just another, and I never played it that much. I guess I never quite understood what was the point as a child. Instruction manuals were not common in unlicensed cartridges, and even when present were extremely basic.

Pole Position - Atari 2600

Pole Position – Atari 2600

But playing again Pole Position Now as an adult I see that I underestimated this game. It is a good game, overtaking will become more complicated over time, because the cars change their route and you will trying to close when overtaking. The challenge is also growing and there, de fate, an objective to be reached, that is to finish the race, besides trying to get the highest score possible. Unlike Enduro, the strategy here is to keep your foot down. As the throttle is automatic, you need only know the correct time to make gear changes. Are only two gears, but the change is manual, with the directional pad up or down, similar to Out Run. The brake is on the button, and it can be used to prevent a beating, for time lost in them is crucial. Skidding and touches on the zebra also make you lose speed.

Playing Pole Position in my childhood that I had never noticed that there is a qualifying lap and then, if we pass the qualification, the race begins in earnest. I thought just what had happened when the qualification phase ended. The race has 4 turns. To complete a lap within the time allowed, go along and gaining more time for the next round, again such that the Out Run. Unfortunately there is only one circuit, but it is a nice fit within the constraints of Atari 2600.

And to close, I leave a little video demonstrating the Pole Position, recorded on an Atari 2600, No Emulation:

Some of the items that were used to make the recording gameplay from the Pole Position:

  1. Elgato - Game Capture HD60
  2. Atari 2600 US VCS with S-Video, Composite Video, Stereo Audio and Pause
  3. Framemeister XRGB Mini
  4. Harmony Cartridge
  5. Joystick CX40

About the author

Skooter

Skooter is a computer scientist and the founder of Skooter Blog. He is interested in everything related to technology and he likes to save money by making his purchases directly from abroad.

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