Company: Atari 2600
Platform: Atari 2600
Controller: One-button Joystick.
The company Atari, even if it has a strong footprint in the home-console videogames during late 70s and early 80s, had a notorious weakness wher it got more critics than applauses: sports videogames.
With the Realsports line, it tries to revert that situation, getting mixed results in titles advertised as improvements over already existing sports videogames.
But the line included titles about sports appearing for the first time in this console. This was the case of their entry of Volleyball.
However the title image of the cart looks like an indoor match, the videogame is clearly about beach volleyball. I don’t know if this can be write down as fraudulent marketing.
Actually, the game’s atmosphere is really good, you can see the beach, the sky (even with sun) and the sand. The virtual volleyball players are really well defined and the ball casts a shadow which allows the gamer to position rightly to receive the ball.
Controlling the action is quite simple: with the joystick the gamer can move the virtual volleyball players, and with the button can hit the ball. The videogame offers two modes where the gamer can choose from needing to hit 3 times the ball before returning over the net to the rival, or only needing 1 hit. In the first mode, it really depends when the button is pressed to try to set up the ball for a returning spike, or just returning it over the net.
A wonderful feature of the game, is that as the time goes by, the sun is setting in the horizon, it eventually disappears and in the waters appears a shark’s fin. But as the sun disappear from the screen, it also the shadow casted by the ball, so it’s more difficult to position accordingly to receive the ball and the difficulty rams up. This raises up the challenge and between two human players can be quite chaotic.
As the rules of the sport goes by the time, a team only adds up to its score if wins over its rival after serving, so this is the main reason the game can go day and night. Also this can happen when the serving team takes a lot of time to serve.
Also when the ball goes out of the court a buzz it heard. At the time, we found it funny and thought the ball hit a fat guy resting in the beach.
Really fun videogame, specially between two human players. The Artificial Intelligence of the video game presents a really good challenge, and in my opinion, this title was the best of the Realsports line.
Highly recommended the mode of three hits before returning the ball to the rival.
Console Icon taken from Retroarch.