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Thread: Is "Captain Power" Considered a video game?

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Default Is "Captain Power" Considered a video game?

    Does anyone else here remember the "Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future" show from the late 80's? It was "interactive" where you can shoot lightgun equipped toy jets at the screen to score points.

    Action Max is in the rarity guide and this is similar (It's more like a cross between Action Max and Lasertag)

    It's like lasertag in that you can also fire at other toy ships. Hitting them will make their cockpits eject. I also seem to remember bases for the figures to stand on that would explode when you shoot them.

    Does anyone here collect these toys and videos...or even remember it. Would this be consider a video game in the same vein as Action Max?

    Me and my brothers had the ships growing up...but being stupid kids we eventually took them apart, broke, and/or lost them

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    Starman (Level 23) Phosphor Dot Fossils's Avatar
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    I remember the show well, but for an entirely different reason - the people who made it later went on to make Babylon 5. In fact, the first time the words "Babylon 5" were ever spoken on television was on Captain Power - one of the characters said it was his birthplace (!).

    I've actually read an interview or three about CPATSOTF and from what I gleaned from those, I'm not sure you could even charitably call that show a video game. For one thing, for the vast majority of "players", the light gun ship gadgets never even worked. The producers would call Mattel's people in to show them how it seldom worked, and the Mattel people would show them that it worked just fine - if you maxed out the brightness, contrast and color on the TV you were using to play it.

    And unless you were playing ship-against-ship instead of shooting at stuff on the TV, there really was very little in the way of actual interaction with the video. So I'd really hesitate to call that a video game. In a similar vein, I've got a couple of remote-control Daleks that can fire infrared beams at each other, trying to hit a specific target, all while screeching "exterminate". While that's great for scaring the bejeezus out of my cats, it's no video game.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Here's a video of the shows intro...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M678PVOf5F0

    Yeah...I do remember it not working that great. Shooting at each others ships could be fun though. The main reason I asked was becasue Action Max is in the rarity guide and it's just barely a video game as well. With it, you have to make sure your TV's brightness and contrast is set just right too. But both are "games" involving "video" so I guess it depends on how liberal you are with the definition.

    I don't remember the adult story lines and innuendo it mentions here...but I was just a kid and was more interested in the ships and all that.
    Last edited by jb143; 04-21-2008 at 06:26 PM. Reason: left out a word

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    In my opinion, Captain Power isn't a videogame. It's a toy. You don't really have any choice in what happens, the toy simply reacts to what's happening on the screen.
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    If its the VHS thing, I consider it to be plug and play.
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    I had one of the captain power toys, and one of the VHS tapes. But where I lived, the show never aired. So I got burnt out on it really quick. It's probably sitting in my parents attic, somewhere...

    I do remember that if you aimed he sensor at a regular lamp, it would count as a hit, and you could just sit there and rack up points.

    And no, I wouldn't count it as a video game.....

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    I remember captain power somewhat fondly, but even as a child I don't remember it being very engaging. Less so than say Duck Hunt anyway. I still have one of the vhs tapes of this, but I sadly don't have either of the ships anymore. It was pretty funny to watch the little gi-joe guys fly out of the cockpit every once in a while, but that was about the extent of the interactivity. There was also some means of telling you how much health you had before the inevitable ejection, but I don't remember it working very well. The ships were pretty neat, but if Captain Power is a video game, then Furby's an rpg...
    Last edited by outofkeyslightly; 04-21-2008 at 01:37 PM.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    I would definatly call it a toy long before a video game as well. I'm just asking becasue of Action Max. Is that considered a video game? It's more of a console than a toy but the concept is the same.

    The most fun I remember having with the Captain Power ships was tying a string to one and spinning it around in the front yard to make it fly. Our cat started chassing it around in circles so when I noticed a cardboard box in the yard on it's side I let the string out so the ship would go in the box and yanked it back right before it did. The cat ran in the box causing it to flip in few times. After a few moments the cat stuck it's head out then hopped out and walked away acting like nothing happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by outofkeyslightly View Post
    if Captain Power is a video game, then Furby's an rpg...
    Quote of the year nominee right there!

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    i remember from that "interactive" VHS at the end when you won that head bad guy would come on and say something like "you've had your fun today but next time i won't be so forgiveing"

    that because a reoccurring line with me and my friends up untill this day whenever we would lose to one anouther in anything.
    Last edited by Soviet Conscript; 04-21-2008 at 03:32 PM.

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    i have most of the line myself, at one point I encoded the 3 tapes and put them online for peoples viewing pleasure/displeasure.

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    Video game or not (I say "not"), I'd just like to point out that Corporal "Pilot" Chase is still one smokin' hot babe (Link SFW).

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    So is Action Max considered a video game? The Online Rarity Guide calls the VHS tapes games. The only real difference seems to be that one worked more reliably than the other. That's the only reason I'm bringing any of this up. Seems that if Action Max is, then Captain Power would be too. I'm not too sure I'd technically call any of it a video game though but I'm unsure what I'd consider Dragon's Lair as well.

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    Alex (Level 15) boatofcar's Avatar
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    Wow, I'd forgotten about this show. I don't remember what time it originally aired, but later in its life it came on Sunday mornings around 9. I remember because it always came on as we were leaving for church in the morning and I was mad I couldn't watch it

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    I mention both Captain Power and Action Max in Phoenix
    Leonard Herman
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    Phoenix 4 coming in 2014

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phosphor Dot Fossils View Post
    Quote of the year nominee right there!
    Hah! I didn't even notice it until you quoted it! That's a good one!

    -Rob
    The moral is, don't **** with Uncle Tim when he's been drinking!

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    I loved the CP series. Never really played with the light sensors on the toys, bu I had them to try had I figured it out.

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