Author Topic: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?  (Read 311 times)

Offline HDN

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Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« on: October 19, 2020, 01:42:11 AM »
So I have decided to talk about one of my favorite Atari games in this post, but not by choice. I decided to get a conversation going about a specific 2600 game so I could get everyone's thoughts on it. Initially, I thought of starting a Tunnel Runner conversation, my favorite 2600 game of all-time, but I decided since I already talked about that game to death on other forums I'd choose a new game. You see, right next to my desk I keep a case of 18 or so of my favorite 2600 games for easy grabbing when I want to play them. I ran my hand along that case and picked a random cart out of it. So here we are now with Exidy's Venture, ported by Coleco to your Atari VCS and Sears Tele-Games systems in 1982.

I never emulated this when I was younger, and I don't think I ever even heard of Venture until last year. I think maybe this February is when I finally tried emulating it on my Wii. I really enjoyed this game! So much so, in fact, that this along with a few other games were the first additional 2600 cartridges that I purchased after I got my initial batch of 2600 stuff from my dad's cousin this March.

Gameplay wise, this game is like a mix of Berzerk and Adventure. I think it's about the best way you can put Adventure in an arcade setting. Your goal is to grab the treasures in all 16 rooms spread across 3 hallways. Shoot enemies and beware the indestructible hall monsters!

I didn't think the 2600 version was all that bad. Sure, it's a bit like Donkey Kong and several other Coleco ports where they didn't include all the content from the arcade, but I feel that's understandable for the system. Coleco gets a bad rap for its 2600 ports, but I feel in a way that they were dealt a bad hand. Many of their games, like Donkey Kong, were simply to complex for the 2600 given the memory limitations and programming knowledge at the time. I feel they did the best they could for the system with many of their games, and I don't think they really had many games that were truly bad. Many of their games are some of my favorites on the system.

Overall, where it definitely isn't a contest between the arcade version (never played) and the 2600 Coleco port, I would call Venture one of my favorite games on the Atari VCS! But that's just my silly opinion, so what do you all think? Never played Venture before? What are you waiting for, go do it now! It's a dirt cheap game and worth picking up in my humble opinion.

Feel free to reply to this thread with your thoughts!

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2020, 11:59:07 AM »
I've always enjoyed Venture.  Even though the 2600 version is limited, it is still a game I enjoy.  Have you seen Venture Reloaded?  It's an improved version of the game for the 2600.  Check out this thread:  https://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=9019.msg105825#msg105825
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Offline HDN

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2020, 16:05:14 PM »
@TrekMD I've never heard of it! Thanks for sharing. I will have to try out the ROM soon. I've always wanted to see what the arcade version was like, and this looks like a faithful enough port!

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2020, 16:38:55 PM »
It sure is!  It is better than the ColecoVision port and that is an excellent one! 
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Offline HDN

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2020, 18:12:54 PM »
Really? I actually was considering maybe saving up for a ColecoVison for that port. This way I'll save some $$$.

I'd still like to get a CV someday. Something about it is just really interesting to me.

Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2020, 18:59:39 PM »
I always liked Venture. Played it quite a bit on the 2600 as a kid.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2020, 19:08:58 PM »
Then you need to make sure you check out Venture Reloaded, @Shadowrunner
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Offline Shadowrunner

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2020, 19:13:06 PM »
Yes I should. :) Looks like a good improvement.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2020, 20:55:46 PM »
Having an extra 28KB helps.  :)
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Offline HDN

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2020, 22:57:33 PM »
Yeah, that's true. What people don't realize is that these ports aren't trash just because they aren't as good as they could be. People are like: "Oh, 2600 Donkey Kong is awful! They were able to do a much better job with DK VCS, why didn't they do that? Blah, blah, Coleco conspiracy..."

What people don't see is that in the 1980's they didn't have the time or budget to make or produce games like this. DK VCS is 64k if I remember correctly? The OG Donkey Kong on 2600 is only 4k. Do you think they could have made DK VCS in that? Plus, time is something to think of as well. DK VCS and this new Venture port are better than the original ports because not only are they bigger in file size than the originals (Coleco didn't want to spend the money to make DK a 8k game, do you think they were going to spring for 64k?),  but the new ports are passion projects, made out of love for the VCS. If you had to pay someone to make them, it'd cost a fortune for how much time they'd put into it.

So when people disown arcade ports because they aren't as good as the later homebrew editions, I feel they oftentimes don't understand what they're talking about.

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2020, 04:07:06 AM »
They did the best they could with what they had at the time in most situations.  Gary did want 8K to make DK better and even have all four levels but that much memory was more expensive back then and Coleco chose not to spend the money.  Can you imagine if they had given Gary the 8K and the 2600 actually had all four levels back then?  That would have been amazing!
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Offline HDN

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2020, 04:19:39 AM »
It would have really been something. And I'm of the opinion that the original version of DK on the 2600 is a great game. Could you imagine if it had all four levels, or maybe even the intermissions?

I know there was a hack that added the missing levels, but it's a bit glitchy in spots. If Garry Kitchen had handled it himself back in the day with 8k, it would have been awesome!

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2020, 12:09:37 PM »
I played it tons when I had it.  The 2600 version is actually better than the Intellivision version. 
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Offline HDN

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2020, 13:28:20 PM »
I’ve heard that before. It looks considerably less laggy and way more responsive. What’s more, the graphics on the VCS port are superior!

Offline TrekMD

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Re: Thoughts on Atari 2600 "Venture"?
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2020, 13:41:30 PM »
Having played both, I agree.  Gary did a pretty good job with the game. 
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