Dogfight! (Odyssey, 1972)

Dogfight! (Odyssey, 1972): It’s not actually about dogs fighting!? Sheesh, are the dogs flying the plane, then?Dogfight! (Odyssey, 1972): It’s not actually about dogs fighting!? Sheesh, are the dogs flying the plane, then?Dogfight! is similar to Submarine: one player takes on the role of a vehicle operator trying to pilot their way through a winding path on the screen. The second player tries to shoot the PlayerSpot representing the vehicle. The big difference between this game and Submarine is, of course, Odyssey’s light-gun rifle add-on -- oh, and this time it’s a plane instead of a convoy of ships.

Similar to Shootout! one player pilots the plane through the winding path while the other player tries to shoot the plane using the light-gun. The players keep track of the number of hits and then switch places. The player who scores the most hits, wins.

The “plane” must follow the specific path shown by the green dotted line, starting in the top left and exiting on the bottom right. The light-gun can only hit the plane while it’s in the circular area containing the targeting reticule. This isn’t a “rule” it’s just an impossibility. Like our friend the flying lizard in Prehistoric Safari, the screen doesn’t let through enough light through the green dotted line for the light-gun to detect.

Unlike Shootout! the controller of the target does not have to slow down and say anything while passing through the vulnerable areas. This encourages the pilot to be "creative" when passing through the targeted zones - more on that later. If a plane is actually “hit” the plane’s spot disappears and the shooting player has to reset the spot by using the pump action on the light-gun rifle. Again, one of the coolest things about the Shooting Gallery. is the pump-action, shotgun-look/feel of the controller, but I digress...

It is interesting -- to me, at least -- that the designers of Shooting Gallery take one gameplay mechanic, in this case, the mechanic of “shooting the target blip” and create three different games from it. Regardless of the similarities, there’s a progression in gameplay and needed skill level. In Prehistoric Safari, the target sits still until you take a shot at it. In Shootout! the target sits still for as long as it takes the player to say "You'll never get me Sheriff!". In Dogfight! the target doesn't sit still at all and can be moved quite quickly through the areas in which it can be shot. Trying to time your shot to hit something whose speed is changing all the time isn’t easy, but if you’ve worked your way up from the previous two games, then it’s certainly not impossible.

Okay, now about how pilots get "creative". My son and I played Dogfight! the other night. My son, playing the part of the “plane”, quickly figured out he could take his time during the "I won't get shot here" parts and then zip through the areas of vulnerability as quickly as possible when he got to them. It made hitting a target quite a challenge when compared to Prehistoric Safari, and was significantly more difficult than Shootout! We had some fun playing this, maybe not as much as during Shootout! but we still had about 15-20 minute’s worth of “Curse you, Red Baron!” With the right attitude, any opportunity to yell “Curse you!” can be fun.

(Yelling is not an official part of this game, by the way, but we had so much fun yelling in Shootout! that we added it. At some point, we considered vocalizing the cries of the doomed pilot as his burning wreckage falls out of the sky, but we decided against it as we both agreed it was in bad taste. We decided he’d have a parachute.)

I don't think we would've missed too much of Ultraman for this one, at least not all at once. Dogfight! is fun, but it takes practice. Too much in one sitting can just be frustrating. I think it might be more realistic to say that we might've missed a little bit of Ultraman a couple of times over a period of two or three days were we to have to choose. I’ll give Dogfight! the point, anyway, because I did want to play this games a few times to see if I could get any better at it.

The Score:
Ultraman: 4, Odyssey: 9

Next entry we finish off Shooting Gallery with Shooting Gallery!

Comments

Mark Vergeer
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ah so the game is a little addictive...

Loved it. A good opportunity for cursing at each other playing any game will rev up the score though ;-P

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Calibrator
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Joined: 10/25/2006
Angry Video Game Nerd

The AVGN did a rather ummm special review of the Odyssey and some of it's titles recently. Thought I'd give a link for those who haven't seen it yet.

Warning: This video features, as usual, some strong language...

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/angry-video-screwattack/48329

take care,
Calibrator

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Mark Vergeer
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The AVGN is a cool show. Definitely worth watching...

You either hate him or love him - that's just it. Thanks for the link.
Love his version of the X'mas Poo. He must be a fan of Southpark.

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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Michael McCourt
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Joined: 01/17/2007
AVGN

I like AVGN, in that I think he's a guy who honestly loves and knows videogames who has found an entertaining schtick to run with. I wish he'd cut down on the swearing and the fecal humor since I want to share his reviews with my children, but I can't blame the guy for finding a persona and sticking with it. I guess he knows his audience, and for the most part, I'd bet they aren't 40-somethings with children under 12. :D

I'd like to see him give a positive review though (I haven't yet) because I think a positive review is a lot harder to make entertaining. It's easy to make fun of something. It's not as easy to clearly articulate why you you think something is good, or why you liked it and still make it as entertaining. If "good video games traits" were easy to nail down, then it would be a lot easier to make "good video games". Though, the thought occurs to me: since there are a lot of "bad video games" and it seems easy on the consumer end to identify them as such, one must wonder "what were the developers thinking" ?

With Odyssey, it seems like a few of the games were just put in there to "fill the box and raise the price point". It was my understanding that Ralph Baer had originally wanted to sell his "brown box" for something like $20. But Magnavox and the marketing firm they hired (name escapes me) thought that business needs would be better met with a $100 selling point and more games. I don't think they even play-tested Roulette.

Calibrator
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Joined: 10/25/2006
Positive Reviews

Well, the AVGN lives from sucky games - or rather the elements that make them sucky.
Sometimes he comes across a good game, rather surprised it seems and it is often a sequel to an older or similar to a sucky game. But his intention is to make fun of the latter, not reviewing the good ones.
For that he doesn't use the AVGN persona but a different one - like "Board James" where he reviews board games or he simply uses his real name, James Rolfe.
You'll find those reviews not at Gametrailers but under cinemassacre.com, where he also does movie reviews or shows his short movies.

take care,
Calibrator

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Matt Barton
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I've watched a few of AVGN's

I've watched a few of AVGN's videos. They're mildly entertaining, though seems to rely almost exclusively on profanity for humor and shock value. That's funny in small doses, but you're right--definitely not suitable for family viewing. In any case, he's built a huge fan base for himself, with people going out of their way to post about him everywhere they can.

Meanwhile, so many wonderful projects are all but ignored. $@$@, T^$#@, $#$!! %&*#** %@$ mother$@$@ ! !

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Bill Loguidice
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AVGN

I don't have much interest in that kind of thing myself, but then I'm very picky with non-audio.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Michael McCourt
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Joined: 01/17/2007
Profanity can rock.
Matt Barton wrote:

Meanwhile, so many wonderful projects are all but ignored. $@$@, T^$#@, $#$!! %&*#** %@$ mother$@$@ ! !

LOL!

Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
&@%#&@%#!$@%$@!^%@$± ! Hahahaha LOL I Agree Mezrabad!

Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

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