Atari Flashback 1, 2, 3 or 4, Who's Got Which One ???

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AtariGuy
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I went to Ebay and I bought a Atari Flashback 3 for $35 in excellent condition and I am due to get it within the next few days.

Some of my favorite Atari 2600 games are Adventure, Haunted House and I didn't know they made an Adventure II, I can't wait to get it and start playing all of my favorite games on a big screen.

Bill Loguidice
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Systems
TripHamer wrote:

If someone could figure out a way to load roms on the Flashback 4, I'm there. That's what I need to motivate me to buy it.

Super unlikely to ever happen because of the way the system is constructed. Even the Flashback 2, which was a 2600 on a chip, only let you hack in a cartridge port. With that said, yesterday it was $25 at General Dollar, where it's normally $40. Either price seems like a good deal considering the number of games, even if they're not quite perfect. The same pricing was and is for the two Sega systems too.

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TripHamer
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If someone

If someone could figure out a way to load roms on the Flashback 4, I'm there. That's what I need to motivate me to buy it.

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Bill Loguidice
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0.0
Anonymous wrote:

Which Atari Flashback....has the games PacMan or Kaboom???

None of them. It all comes down to what the licensees are willing to license. Neither of those are Atari properties, so there's little chance without a special deal. I also suspect that if Pac-Man ever were included, they'd have to make a special new version like they had to for Space Invaders on the 4.

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Anonymous (not verified)
Which Atari Flashback....has

Which Atari Flashback....has the games PacMan or Kaboom???

davyK
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PAL and NTSC
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Those are great points and something I never considered back in the day. Only in the 90s did I start to understand more about regional power and video differences and things like timing issues.
............
Thank goodness these days we're all using the same stuff more or less, at least as far as enjoying the same exact experience goes...

Hear Hear.

Back in the 80's I didn't know about this issue either and to be honest I didn't know any better and really enjoyed the 2600 but it's shocking when you compare the two versions. There are techniques for speed adjustment - basically it involves moving the sprites a bit further each frame than you would for NTSC that sadly were not used - I guess Europe wasn't considered important enough. With a 2600 there was no real sophisticated animation so a slightly more jerky game really would be imperceptable. Given the different number of lines per frame, borders are probably hard to deal with but early titles like Combat and Air Sea Battle were full screen - but later titles that pushed the hardware probably meant full frame gaming wouldn't have been practical.

Nintendo did speed adjustment on some of the AAA SNES games and later N64 titles had very small borders. The Megadrive PAL games are shocking - treacle slow and squashed - no effort was made at all. The Saturn saw some efforts for the big games like VF2 and Sega Rally while the PS1 only had good PAL versions of games developed in the UK such as Wipeout.

The Dreamcast was the first console to give us the proper experience either via VGA or a PAL60 option - but even then there were a few titles where even this wasn't an option. Even the PS2 has the odd rogue 50Hz only title lurking in its catalogue, the oldBox version of Halo has no optimisation either.

Even this gen - Wii's version of Madworld is 50Hz only though you only get this in games where speed really isn't an issue (e.g. Wii Chess).

Bill Loguidice
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Great points
davyK wrote:

Creating a full speed version of Kaboom! with correct colours on my PAL woody + Harmony cart is what started me on my current quest of creating PAL60 versions of my favourite ROMS. The difference in some games is staggering - making them feel like new games and I find it annoying to think I was paying £30 sterling in the early 80's for in some cases a poor facsimile of the original game.

Those are great points and something I never considered back in the day. Only in the 90s did I start to understand more about regional power and video differences and things like timing issues.

It's actually something I've been thinking a lot about lately since trying to create a more perfect Amiga 1200. I settled on using the PAL version of the 1200, but in the back of my mind I wonder if I should be running a particular game in NTSC mode. What stinks is that there's no real way of knowing unless you can detect sometimes subtle sound or speed issues.

Thank goodness these days we're all using the same stuff more or less, at least as far as enjoying the same exact experience goes...

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davyK
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Kaboom!
Bill Loguidice wrote:

By the way, while I certainly enjoy Kaboom/Avalanche (and heck, almost any paddle/spinner game for that matter), I struggle to see the amazing enthusiasm the game still seems to command. It's extremely simple and the difficult ramps up to the point where it becomes impossible to continue.

Kaboom is a bit of a passion of mine - and it's precisely the boiled down simplicity married with the difficulty that grips me. Back in the day my top score was somewhere north of 300K (albeit at diff B - at diff A I find the game impossible - though Twin Galaxies lists the diff A record at 999,999)but when in recent years I found that the PAL version was not speed optimised I had to try out the NTSC version.

In all the games I have tried in PAL and NTSC there is no game more affected by non PAL optimisation. With most other games it's a question of timing - the extra speed of the NTSC version not necessarily making the game harder - but with Kaboom it cranks the difficulty up. Now it's an achievement to get over 10K on diff B but that is probably a combination of the game being faster and me being slower ( I can hit 100K on the PAL version).

I have read of one other game that suffers the same drop in difficulty - the N64 version of Waverace is also crippled in the same way - the speed actually affecting the difficulty of the game - I have avoided that game because of these reports. One day maybe when I get the NTSC N64 I'm mulling over.

Creating a full speed version of Kaboom! with correct colours on my PAL woody + Harmony cart is what started me on my current quest of creating PAL60 versions of my favourite ROMS. The difference in some games is staggering - making them feel like new games and I find it annoying to think I was paying £30 sterling in the early 80's for in some cases a poor facsimile of the original game.

Bill Loguidice
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Agreed
clok1966 wrote:

I love the old games but I must admit even at that price I have a hard time... not becuase i think it to much.. the PRICE is great.. but my interst in playing them old games is very low. and its is a good point its almost a throw away price.. movie theater for 2 is more money, heck with pop and popcorn its 2X the amount. But I must admit there is a pull.. I have mentioned before i can sit and play a game of Astrosmash or Tempest 2K for hours and hours and never feel like im playing some "old game".. And I must admit the addictive nature of beating scores is a draw.. Activison was king of that.. Riveer raid, Kaboom as you mentioned.. and one i have always played to long if i fire it up.. Stampede no idea why.. Im no cowboy by any stretch...

all this flashback and genisis/sms stuff has me yearing for an Intelvision version.. as I abstain from apple I see i may never get one.. I see the ipad/phone and DS have intelvision packages.. I also saw they are redoing a few old intelvision greats for the PS3 store.. NightStalker was personal favorite of mine and they are doong that. Imust say im intregued..

I've never been a huge fan of Intellivision emulation, be it official or otherwise (the last Intellivision package I got was for the DS - even that left me cold). It all comes down to those unique controllers.

One nice way around the Intellivision thing is with the newest batch of USB adapters that allow you to use the old controllers on your PC and emulation. That's really the missing piece with the Intellivision stuff. There's even one adapter that I have that allows you to use the ECS keyboard and music synthesizer!

It's a shame the Cuttle Cart 3 is no longer being made. That's an awesome, versatile multi-cart for the Intellivision. I have a composite mod for the Intellivision II that I have to install, then I'll be all set with the Intellivision stuff.

I also agree that at this point many old games and old software is leaving me cold. There's SO MUCH amazing new stuff that it's hard to put up with the old flaws. Still, as you say, some of the classics are undeniable, so there's always those to go back to...

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clok1966
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I love the old games but I

I love the old games but I must admit even at that price I have a hard time... not becuase i think it to much.. the PRICE is great.. but my interst in playing them old games is very low. and its is a good point its almost a throw away price.. movie theater for 2 is more money, heck with pop and popcorn its 2X the amount. But I must admit there is a pull.. I have mentioned before i can sit and play a game of Astrosmash or Tempest 2K for hours and hours and never feel like im playing some "old game".. And I must admit the addictive nature of beating scores is a draw.. Activison was king of that.. Riveer raid, Kaboom as you mentioned.. and one i have always played to long if i fire it up.. Stampede no idea why.. Im no cowboy by any stretch...

all this flashback and genisis/sms stuff has me yearing for an Intelvision version.. as I abstain from apple I see i may never get one.. I see the ipad/phone and DS have intelvision packages.. I also saw they are redoing a few old intelvision greats for the PS3 store.. NightStalker was personal favorite of mine and they are doong that. Imust say im intregued..

Bill Loguidice
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Flashback goes Kaboom
TripHamer wrote:

I have not bought any of the Flashbacks....they just need a little something more. Now if they would allow you to plug an SD card in and load images, you could then play all atari games. Not just the few they put in. That would be nice. I already got emulators. I do have the atari Paddle controller that connects to the tv but no way to play Kaboom on it. :) Kaboom needs to be included....somehow....in some package....with proper paddles.

Well, the Sega handheld allows SD cards, but Atari seems to purposely shy away from that. If that's what one wants, then the Flashbacks will probably never be a good deal. You're better off investing in a composite modded 2600 or 7800 and a flash cart. It's considerably more expensive (probably about $150 versus $30), but it's the only authentic way to have your cake and eat it too.

I'm still happy at the very least we have new joysticks and paddles in circulation for fair prices. Also, regardless of the other factors, for $30, I'd say the Atari Flashback 4 basic package is still a great deal regardless of other factors, especially with the 75 included games. It's practically a disposable purchase at that price.

By the way, while I certainly enjoy Kaboom/Avalanche (and heck, almost any paddle/spinner game for that matter), I struggle to see the amazing enthusiasm the game still seems to command. It's extremely simple and the difficult ramps up to the point where it becomes impossible to continue.

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