Wait you didn't think I was talking about Starfox the SNES classic did you? Or that I was talking about the Joss Whedon, Nathon Fillion classic Sci-Fi show Firefly? Hell no! Becuase those are actually good things.
I'm talking about Star Fox, and Firefly from a forgotten game publisher called Mythicon. Of course lets not forget their third game Socerer either. If you read my last article, "Alamogordo: ET vs Economics" (http://retrovideogamingblog.blogspot.com/2014/05/alamogorgo-et-vs-economics.html?m=1) than you probably know that I refered to third party developers who flooded the market with knock-offs and games that where far from awesome, and who ultimately caused the "Crash of 83'". To me Mythicon is one of these companies.
You see while poor old ET is getting the blame and the shaft, there are far worse games out there. This even prompted Hugues Johnson host of the podcast the The Retro League in a recent episode named The Ninth Circle, to state that he could think of at least 50 games that where far wares then ET, a few of which he went on to mention in the show. Personally, I believe Festers Quest is one of the worst games ever made easily trumping ET. But you don't have to leave Gen 2 to find games far worse than ET.
Keep in mind I don't have an issue with third party developers, in Gen 2 Activision and Imagic made some of that generations best games, in most cases easily beating out Atari's own in house games. In generations to follow up till today third party games seem to be far more common then those made by the console maker. Look at today's popular titles as examples of that: Madden 20 from EA, Grand Theft Auto 5 from Rockstar, and Assasins Creed IV from Ubisoft. With that said though game development today is a lot different then it was in Generation 2. Watching the movie Indie Game you can see how it can take a developer years of grueling work to make a game happen on a modern system. In gen 2 though not so much, especially since Basic didn't take to long to learn, and with Atari's legal guard down red tape was almost non- existent, plus with no real concerns or control over quality a program could be knocked out quickly and on store shelves in a matter of a few months.
Firefly has a definite WTF factor and completely lacks any intuitiveness. The game and plotline can't make up its mind whether it's about insects or spaceships. On that note don't look for the Serenity here or any indication that this piece of crap inspired the TV show. What I can tell you is that this thing is overly simply with the most basic, Basic had to offer. A black screen and simple graphics and gameplay.
Mythicon developers definitely put some imagination into this one, but it still sucked. Once agian overly simple graphics and f*cking awful gameplay
Way to go on originality guys! This game is an overly simple, yet blatant rip off of Empire Strikes Back. I'll admit the Atari 2600 Star Wars games are not spectacular but they are way better then this, well maybe except Jedi Arena. Overall though this game is another piece of crap, and just as in the Firefly example there is to relation to the SNES Starfox released in 1993.
Mythicon released this garbage hoping to cash on the Atari 2600 game craze. Mythicon's intentions where somewhat admirable in the fact that they where selling their games for less then $10 a piece to attract customers who wanted games but not at Atari's $40-$60 price tags. But the fact of the matter is to meet this price point quality was sacrificed.
Low end developers like Mythicon, and games like those I mentioned here where really what was responsible for the "Crash of 83'". With games in the $10-$20 price range consumers could bring home multiple games for what they would have paid for 1 Atari game, but often what consumers got where poor imitations that looked and played extemely bad. Then suddenly a crisis occurred to where these bad games where going down even further in price, ensnaring more gamers and suddenly cuasing the price of good games to drop. But by this time crap like what Mythicon was producing was soaring consumers.
Sadly our old friend ET would take the blame for this, as the game arrived on the scene as the crash started. This forever put the mark of Kane on this game as urban legend attached a myth that "it was so bad it crashed the market, and had to be buried in the desert". Of course if you ever play Mythicon's crap then play ET, you will soon learn that ET isn't that bad. Unlike the Mythicon games Atari developers actually put a lot of imagination and originality into ET, and compared to something like Sorcerer it actually looks a 1000 times better.
Mythicon wasn't the only one out there who put out total crap in those dark days there where others. I don't mean that all third party developers did this and beyond my beloved Activision, and Imagic, M-Network, Parker Brothers, and several others did put out some great games too. So a third party doesn't exactly equal crap all this time, but there does seem to be a one to one ratio out there between good and bad.
In closing before you or anyone else out there has snarky remarks about ET, or Atari you look this way and think about Mythicon.