...no matter how hard you try. And my first game system was the Odyssey2, released by Magnavox in 1978. Even for the time, the Odyssey2 wasn't all that great. In fact, with its peculiar hardware and stifling limitations, it was one of the least greatest game consoles of its generation. While the industry-leading Atari 2600 had 128 bytes of RAM, the Odyssey2 had 64... not even enough memory to hold this sentence. While the Atari 2600 could be coaxed into displaying surprisingly sophisticated graphics with a rich color palette, the Odyssey2 was stuck in first gear with a pre-defined character set. Once programmers used up the system's four sprites, they were stuck with blocks, trees, and the square-headed robots that became synonymous with the Odyssey2 experience. Just try to find a game in the system's library without these blocky androids. Unless it's got "K.C." in the title, you'll be looking for a while.
|K.C. Munchkin was promoted on television with|
this animation, which stupid little kids (me)
mistook for the game's actual graphics.
Not even on your best day, Odyssey2.
|K.C.'s Krazy Chase, the closest thing the|
Odyssey2 had to a killer app.
Then there's Alien Invaders- Plus!. Sure, it's no Space Invaders, but that's the beauty of it. Rather than a fleet of mindlessly marching aliens, your primary opponent is the incredibly wily mothership at the top of the screen. It squeezes shots between its already well-armed troops and flies down for a face to face confrontation once all its soldiers are destroyed. If you're hit with a bullet, you'll be left defenseless, and will have to sacrifice a bunker to get your tank back. Run out of bunkers, and you're easy pickins for the Merciless Monstroth and its minions. Kubey was wrong about this one... the battle of wits against the mothership makes this as tense now as it was when I was eight.
|This is Popeye. I... guess?|
Despite its failings, the Odyssey2 still has a persistent attraction which makes me return to it every couple of years. It's what convinced me to revive the machine I had buried in my parents' old barn, and it's why I recently installed an Odyssey2 emulator on both of my PSPs. That emulator, EmuODD, is only slightly less dusty than the system I rescued in 2013... author Consolius released it a decade ago, and the program hasn't seen any updates since its debut. As a result, EmuODD is picky about which firmware you use, and looks pretty crappy on the PSP's Cross Media Bar. Hell, it's not even properly labeled!
I can't do much about the firmware issues (if it doesn't run for you, try switching to 6.60 LME), but the presentation is another matter entirely. I added a couple of images to the EBOOT file, and it makes a big difference. Now you actually know what the program is before you start it! Give it a spin and let me know what you think.