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Doublevision (Part 1) Intellivision - Angry Video Game Nerd - Episode 44

(Kyle Justin plays "Double Vision")

The Nerd: We've only touched upon some of the many classic gaming consoles, like the Atari 2600. But now, it's time to introduce you to two of its competitors.

Kyle Justin:Feelin' down and dirty, feelin' kind of mean.

The Nerd: Exhibit A: The Intellivision.

Kyle Justin:I've been from one to another extreme.

The Nerd: Exhibit B: The ColecoVision.

Kyle Justin:This time I had a good time, ain't got time to wait.

The Nerd: Both tried to take down Atari, and both had a similar library of games.

Kyle Justin: ♪ I wanna stick around till I can’t see straight.

The Nerd: It's like today, you got all these games, you don't know which way to look!

Kyle Justin: ♪ Fill my eyes with that double vision. ♪

Kyle Justin:No disguise for that double vision. ♪

Kyle Justin: ♪ Ooh, when it gets through to me, its always new to me. ♪

Kyle Justin: ♪ My double vision's got the best of me. ♪

The Nerd: First, we're gonna talk about the Intellivision. It was test-marketed in 1979 but officially released in 1980. Notice its fine wood texture. Everything back then was made of wood. You know the Stone Age? Well, that was the Wood Age.

The Nerd: The Intellivision came from Mattel Electronics. Now, you know what else they made? The Power Glove. Now, that's a bad sign right there. But, it was a great game system for its time.

The Nerd: Now, I'm gonna whip through a bunch of random games, mostly shitty ones. But, I'm gonna tell you right now, I have three common complaints. Number one: many of the games are very similar to other games and often, they're blatant copies. Number two: without instructions, they're difficult to understand how to play. Number three: The controls suck ass, and in this regard, the main problem is the controllers. Why a numeric keypad? This is a video game controller, not a phone! Then, there's two little buttons on each side, which are usually the fire buttons. It's awkward to handle.

The Nerd: And rather than a joystick or a control pad of some kind, you get this weird disk. Sometimes, in the heat of the game, you can actually jam your fingernail on it. It also acts as a button, so in total, that's seventeen buttons. And for games this complex, you really need that many.

The Nerd: When you pop in a game, the first thing you do is try every button before you figure out which ones do anything. Most of them don't do jackshit and it's different for each game. That's why many of the games come with overlays. You slide it over the keys and now you can see what they do. It helps out, but damn. What a shitload of fuck. And, the games barely fit in the cartridge slot. It's like trying to stick your dick in a Cheerio.

The Nerd: So, this is Space Battle. Sounds promising enough, but okay. What's this? None of the buttons do anything but make fart noises.

The Nerd: And the overlay has a bunch of Triforces. Is this where they came from? All you gotta do is wait for the squadrons to meet the aliens and then it brings up the battle screen where you shoot blueberry pancakes. THIS should be the whole game. Why does this part even exist?

The Nerd: Next, uh, I don't know. Let's try Mission X. More like Mission Ass. It's a 2D shooter, but it's real hard to shoot things. I mean, you have to be at the exact altitude. 2 rises up and 8 goes down. And, the fire buttons are on the side. I mean, that's great, right? Why not spread the buttons out as much as possible?

The Nerd: Alright, what's next? How 'bout Utopia? It's kind of a precursor to SimCity. You're basically the god of an island. You build stuff and storms come by, and, uh, wow! All I can say is that back in 1981, people had a lot more imagination.

The Nerd: Okay, how 'bout He-Man? Aw, man. I thought it was gonna be He-Man. So, you're flyin' around in the Wind Raider, shootin' at stuff. I think on the ground, that's Skeletor. You drop bombs on him and that's it. Wait. Did I just call that white square a bomb? See? That's usin' your imagination.

The Nerd: Vectron. In the 80s, everything was "tron." Megatron, Voltron, Tron the movie, you get the idea. This is a weird, weird game. The first challenge is to figure out which of these indescribable objects you're controlling. So, guess what? I think you're this green V. You can shoot at stuff, but you can't move. And that's just fantastic, because there's a big gleaming box immediately blocking your path. And I'm not gonna lie. I don't get it.

The Nerd: Now, speakin' of "Tron," here we have Tron Deadly Discs. You just run around throwin' shit at people. Seems like it would be a fun little game, but what ruins it for me is how ASS the controls are! Rather than having one simple fire button and aiming with the joypad or disc or whatever, the keypad determines which direction you shoot.

(He plays game for a few seconds, but loses.)


The Nerd: Thin Ice. Okay, you're a penguin ice skatin' around, collecting... torches, or, they could be McDonalds French Fries, who knows? The whole time, there's a seal on your ass which kills you, but the black penguins do absolutely nothing.

The Nerd: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Well, advanced is right. For the time, it's a pretty complicated game. You start out moving some dots around on the map screen. Then you go into caves, you fight monsters, and you find items. What are those? Jacks? Can I pick 'em up? I guess not.

The Nerd: The limited visibility's pretty annoying, and without the overlay or any instructions, I gotta admit, I don't know what the Hell I'm doing. But, this is one of the granddaddies of adventure games.

The Nerd: Alright, what do we got here? Space Spartans? Man, what the Hell does that mean? A spartan in space? Was Marvin the Martian a space spartan? You got this grid screen and you shoot shit, which looks like Tie-Fighters.

The Nerd: Microsurgeon. The picture reminds me of Slim Goodbody. I can't believe I'm makin' that kind of reference. But anyway, you control a barely visible dot on the screen moving around the human body. There's spiders and clouds floating around and I doubt this thing's medically accurate. You just explore all the guts, technically making it the goriest game ever made. But, it only goes so far. I guess the piss and shit zone just didn't do it.

The Nerd: Frog Bog. You're a frog and the goal is to eat as many flies as you can. It's the same thing as Frogs and Flies on the Atari 2600, but the graphics are way better. On Atari, the flies are just flickering dots. However, it's more fun to play because of its fluent control. It's a fine example of better graphics don't make a better game.

The Nerd: Buzz Bombers. Now, this is funny. You kill a bunch of bees with bug spray, but no. You don't use a can of bug spray, you are the can of bug spray. There's also a hummingbird you could shoot at, but it doesn't seem to do anything. You know when bees sting you, their asses break off and they die.

The Nerd: Space Hawk. Man, everything begins with space. So, you're just a guy floatin' around in space shootin' green slime. Uh-oh! Uh-oh! The bubbles are comin'! Gotta find the- UGH! MOTHER OF A FUCK! It would be so much easier to move if you could use the disk. Instead, it's the damn keypad.

Uh, oh! Here comes the Space Hawk! Gotta move! Gotta move! DAMN! I wipe my ASS on this game!

The Nerd: Boxing. Okay. Yeah, boxing. This sucks.

The Nerd: Snafu. You have to keep the line going as long as possible without touching any of the other lines or hitting your own. It's the bare basics of graphics, but surprisingly, it's a pretty fun game.

The Nerd: Okay, we gotta move on, but let me introduce the Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module. What the fuck is that? Well, it makes your games talk. Yeah. Now, at the time, the idea having voices in video games was a new thing. But unfortunately, only a few games were compatible, like B-17 Bomber.

Electronic Voice: Mattel Electronics presents: (hillbilly voice) B-17 Bomber.

The Nerd: (mimics the voice) B-17 BOMBER!

Electronic Hillbilly Voice: B-17 Bomber!

The Nerd: Alright, fuck the game. Let's try Bomb Squad.

Electronic Voice: Mattel Electronics presents: Bomb Squad.

(Alarm buzzes)

Boris: They'll never do it in time!

Frank: The code! The code! Figure out the code!

The Nerd: What? Guess I gotta defuse the bomb.

Boris: It won't be easy!

Frank: Replace this third, this fourth, this second, this first!

The Nerd: Oh, shit! OH, SHIT! OH, GOD! (Exploding)

See also[]