22 January 2012

2600 vs. NES: Honestly A Tough Call

We had both an Atari 2600 and a Nintendo Entertainment System growing up. We got our Genesis in 1992 after we'd moved to Albuquerque, which was when I really stopped seeing games as toys and instead saw their potential for slightly more complex narrative. For about the first time since maybe Super Mario Bros. 3, I realized that what I was seeing on screen was genuinely what I was meant to see, not mere simplified representations like how the knight in chess looks more like the noble steed than the rider himself.
I don't think I'd ever heard of Pitfall 2 and I certainly know I didn't play it as a kid. On the whole, I'd say we really stopped buying 2600 games by the time we got the NES. Truth be told, though, as far as favoritism, I'd honestly say the 2600 got as much play time as the NES. When I'd heard about the 7800 being backward-compatible with 2600 games, my first thought was, "What a rip-off." as even the best 7800 games couldn't hold a candle graphically to even the worst NES game. Then again, I thought, even considering my first impression of the Genesis, graphics were never what impressed me, certainly not what kept me playing. Like I said, once in a while we'd still break out the 2600 for some Air Sea Battle or Keystone Kapers long after we'd reached what we thought was the peak of NES perfection with Mario 3.
Now, especially looking at Pitfall 2 and Secret Quest, I think if we'd never gotten the NES and maybe gotten a 7800 at best, I probably wouldn't have minded one bit. Sure, maybe I'd have jumped and down eagerly every time I saw a Nintendo commercial, but I'd have probably gotten over it. I did with the Super Nintendo.

Special thanks to Classic Game Room for making these awesome reviews. Without them, I'd never have known what I sometimes missed out on. If that sounds bitter and backhanded, it's not.
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