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Thread: Was a descent port of Robotron possible on the NES?

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    Cherry (Level 1) wizardofwor1975's Avatar
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    Default Was a descent port of Robotron possible on the NES?

    Recently, I read article on Games That Should've Been on the NES.

    http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/l...e-nes.html?a=1

    The article really got me thinking was a descent port of Robotron 2084 possible or even practical for the NES? I do agree with the author that the NES's lack of dual joystick controllers would have been an issue. Anyway, I thought I'd just pick peoples brain on whether or not Robotron was practical for the NES? And could it have been as good as the Atari 7800's Robotron?

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    Well, the NES was a more powerful system than the 7800, so anything that the 7800 the NES could do and then run circles around the 7800 just for fun.

    but yeah, Robotron is possible on the NES. The NES got a decent port of Smash TV, another very similar game that's more advanced. It works by using both player 1 and player 2 controllers held sideways, with the two dpads acting as move and shoot. It works pretty well.
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    ServBot (Level 11) davidbrit2's Avatar
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    Smash TV turned out pretty damn good. It's still a pale shadow of the SNES and arcade versions, but it certainly wasn't for lack of moving objects on screen. I think Robotron could have been done. There would definitely be some flicker, but clever use of tile-based backgrounds could have helped with non-moving objects.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Yes and it could have been done two ways. On the NES that was just pointed out you had Smash TV. The control by default wasn't exactly ideal but it worked well for the frantic situation still. Another choice first featured on the Famicom is how they did Crazy Climber. They sold it with a couple snap on micro joysticks that went over the d-pad of the controller, BOTH controllers, so you held them long ways and had a thumb on each stick to climb the buildings. This would work great with Robotron had it been done on NES since you needed no buttons, just one stick to run like hell and the other to shoot anything that moves.

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    Bell (Level 8)
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizardofwor1975 View Post
    Recently, I read article on Games That Should've Been on the NES.

    http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/l...e-nes.html?a=1

    The article really got me thinking was a descent port of Robotron 2084 possible or even practical for the NES? I do agree with the author that the NES's lack of dual joystick controllers would have been an issue. Anyway, I thought I'd just pick peoples brain on whether or not Robotron was practical for the NES? And could it have been as good as the Atari 7800's Robotron?
    Incase you didn't know the NES version of Smash TV had a "Dual-Fisted Action" mode or whatever it said on the box, meaning it allowed you to play the game with two controllers per player (holding them sideways so you could play with one in each hand).

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    Cherry (Level 1) wizardofwor1975's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    Incase you didn't know the NES version of Smash TV had a "Dual-Fisted Action" mode or whatever it said on the box, meaning it allowed you to play the game with two controllers per player (holding them sideways so you could play with one in each hand).
    Interesting. How was the gameplay with the 2 NES controllers? The Atari 7800 also allowed you to use 2 controllers at the same time. One for movement & one for firing. Sorta of a stone age dual controller setup.

    Name:  post-7077-128046366901_thumb.jpg
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    The Atari 5200 had a joystick conjoiner that really improved Robotron's gameplay:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now that we know a descent NES port of Robotron was possible using Smash TV as a guide. Which setup do you guys perfer the dual NES pads or the dual 7800 controllers?

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    Doing dual controllers on NES would have been impossible without a special controller.
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    2 NES Advantage joysticks (a separate one plugged into each port) would probably be nice on Smash TV.
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    Might be a bit confusing as (I'm pretty sure) it was mean to be held sideways, so that Left = move/shoot up or something.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) treismac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizardofwor1975 View Post
    ... was a descent port of Robotron 2084 possible or even practical for the NES? ... Anyway, I thought I'd just pick peoples brain on whether or not Robotron was practical for the NES? And could it have been as good as the Atari 7800's Robotron?
    Why not ask this question over here, but, before you do, let's place bets on how many times the word flicker appears? I'm going to go with 27. Feeling good about that number.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparTonberry View Post
    Might be a bit confusing as (I'm pretty sure) it was mean to be held sideways, so that Left = move/shoot up or something.
    That's exactly how it works and Crazy Climber on famicom did it earlier with those snap on mini joysticks I mentioned. If you hold it that way with the controller wires popping out the side it actually works well.

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    Cherry (Level 1) wizardofwor1975's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treismac View Post
    Why not ask this question over here, but, before you do, let's place bets on how many times the word flicker appears? I'm going to go with 27. Feeling good about that number.
    Your absolutely right about the word "flicker" appearing a time or two. Check it out:

    http://atariage.com/forums/topic/121299-nes-vs-7800/

    I've always found it very interesting how people's opinion on Robotron on the Atari 7800 varies from one the best home conversions to just a fair adaption. I guess to each his own

    http://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/?page=atari7800opqr

    http://videogamecritic.com/7800mr.htm#Robotron_2084

    BTW, my bet is for "flicker" 28 times....
    Last edited by wizardofwor1975; 07-29-2014 at 11:12 PM.

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    Banana (Level 7) Atarileaf's Avatar
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    I wouldn't rely too heavily on Video Game Critic. He's wildly off base on a lot of games and seems overly harsh by his own admission.

    BTW, trying to not use the word flicker when talking about the NES is like trying not to use the word terrorist when talking about Al Qaeda.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Ozzy_98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satoshi_Matrix View Post
    Well, the NES was a more powerful system than the 7800, so anything that the 7800 the NES could do and then run circles around the 7800 just for fun.
    Well on paper and with mappers taken out, the 7800 does have some advantages over the nes. It had higher res, twice the ram, better number of colors and up to 12 per "sprite" (Nes and Atari could both overlap sprites; but nes had to worry about flicker), unlimited number of sprites, and none of this "8 sprites per scan line else one turns invisible so you have to reorder the sprites to cause flickering rather than invisible sprite" bs.

    But because the sprites were software based vs hardware on some sort of ASIC, it really ate into the GPU, and it looks like it could hardly handle the high res mode as-is, let alone with a bunch of sprites. But since it's not tile based, scrolling games aren't too easy to make, and Atari didn't exactly have great programmers. So games like commando had no flicker and were more playable, but had less detail on the 7800. And in high-res mode, the 7800 had nasty color issues. And the GPU actually halts the CPU on the 7800 when it does it work, so while they both have the same speed CPU, the nes has a lot more available CPU usage. So when it boils down to it the only thing the 7800 could really do right seems to be "not flicker", and even then, late in life nes games were able to get around this pretty well.

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    Ghostbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickstilwell1 View Post
    2 NES Advantage joysticks (a separate one plugged into each port) would probably be nice on Smash TV.
    Would that even work? I thought the Advantage required both controller slots just to work.
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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Nah you can use one, I never plug the second port in as I never use it.

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    Pear (Level 6) Gentlegamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg2600 View Post
    Would that even work? I thought the Advantage required both controller slots just to work.
    That's just so you can play two player games like SMB and pass the Advantage back and forth easily.

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    Key (Level 9) Satoshi_Matrix's Avatar
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    The NES version of Smash TV is also compatible with the Four Score, meaning you can plug in up to four NES Advantages and play the game two player co-op where each player gets two NES Advantages.
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    Kirby (Level 13) Leo_A's Avatar
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    In defense of the 7800, it never had the opportunity to grow like Nintendo's platform did. There was just a single generation of serious development for it, mostly by the experts at GCC, and then just lukewarm support. Nobody ever got really skilled at programming for it, it never got pushed to its limits, it never had the opportunity to evolve and grow, etc.

    Judging by what folks like PacManPlus have managed in their spare time as a hobby, I bet the 1st wave release of Robotron 2084 could be blown away today on the 7800. NES with everything tossed at it very well might be superior, but I bet the 7800 could put up a strong fight.

    These non scrolling arcade classics are what the 7800 did best.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) treismac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atarileaf View Post
    BTW, trying to not use the word flicker when talking about the NES is like trying not to use the word terrorist when talking about Al Qaeda.
    One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter just like one system's flicker is another system's shimmer, baby.

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