Thursday, February 12, 2015

Atari 2600 Basketball: Fort Wayne Pistons v Minneapolis Lakers

The cable RF switchbox antenna adapter arrived in the mail today, and since it's only a one-step operation to connect the Atari 2600 power adaptor into the coupling and plug it all into the coaxial slot on a modern television, I excitedly, but somewhat nervously, went through the steps, then flipped the on/off switch on the Atari 2600 light sixer console I had paid $28.00 for on Ebay, and voila...

Atari 2600 Basketball game between the Ft. Wayne Pistons and Minneapolis Lakers

I'd like to say a flood of memories came back when I saw the game flash on the screen, and some did, but more than anything I was just happy it worked, and anxious to see if it was as much fun as we thought it was in 1978. It is. There's a lot that seems comical and antiquated about the programming and appearance, but the fun is still there. I had forgotten how the computer player begins to spazz out when you get a four point lead, and how it does this triple spin when it scores a basket, which seems like a poorer show of sportsmanship than anything you'd see on an NBA floor. I played six or seven times, and quickly realized the game is completely limited in what it can do. There just isn't much variety. Fortunately I have accumulated a shelf full of Atari 2600 games while I was waiting for the console to arrive. The kids are coming over tonight, and I hope they like the Atari. It's possible they will find it completely ridiculous. There's no way to explain how mind-blowing it was in 1977. Hell, it even blows my mind in 2015. I'll review some more of the games here as I start to play them.

The Atari 2600 CX light sixer console



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