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Defender


MattyP
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Just booted this up again in MAME. How is this game 40 years old this year. HOW! :)

 

It still plays as fresh as ever... Absolute stone cold classic! :) Why can't I get this on my Switch...Why.... 

 

This has all been inspired by a recent visit to a local arcade that has recently opened up and has a Roboton and Defender arcade machine in there.... Shame the Defender machine started a vertical roll on the screen 5 minutes into playing.... Be back there when he gets this sorted out! :)

 

Any Defender fans out there?

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I'm a fan. Much like several early Williams games, the sound design really adds to the game, especially the deep bass synth when your ship spawns. The ship's laser really feels like it has proper firepower and you really feel like a god when you rescue a humanoid and then catch him, especially if you can carry a few before returning to land.

 

It was a joy to play again on original hardware last summer but I don't think I could score more than 30,000 if I played it for the rest of my life.

 

It's one of those rare games that doesn't translate well to the home because of the buttons, even with any kind of MAME set up. Back in the day the Atari VCS version appeared in my mums mail order catalogue so she ordered it on one of those £2 per week arrangements. It must have been a full six months before it was officially released and when it finally came it was inevitably a disappointment. Not only because the resemblance to the arcade original was slight, but it was just too easy.

 

Fast forward forty or so years and the only vaguely related game that I think comes close as a spiritual successor is Resogun. 

 

 

 

 

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Williams had a real purple patch in the early to mid ‘80s and produced some all time classic shooters. Games such as Defender, Robotron 2084, Stargate (Defender 2) and Sinistar all had wonderful booming sounds effects (that Sinistar voice!!) and retina burning graphics. 
I miss games like these...

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1 hour ago, SpookyMulder said:

Williams had a real purple patch in the early to mid ‘80s and produced some all time classic shooters. Games such as Defender, Robotron 2084, Stargate (Defender 2) and Sinistar all had wonderful booming sounds effects (that Sinistar voice!!) and retina burning graphics. 
I miss games like these...

 

What platforms do you have access to? Odds on there's a version of Defender to suit your needs.

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3 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

Odds on there's a version of Defender to suit your needs

 

'versions' of any sort can't replicate the dexterity needed to master the cabinet's button layout. And inevitably the game is simplified with any joystick that offers more than the original's restricted up and down movement. Having separate buttons for thrust and reverse seems crazy on just about any other game. 

 

Just look at it! 

Screenshot_20200122_141824.jpg

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22 minutes ago, MagicalDrop said:

 

'versions' of any sort can't replicate the dexterity needed to master the cabinet's button layout. And inevitably the game is simplified with any joystick that offers more than the original's restricted up and down movement. Having separate buttons for thrust and reverse seems crazy on just about any other game. 

 

Just look at it! 

Screenshot_20200122_141824.jpg

 

It is a bit mental... However given the main objective of arcade games is to keep people pushing coins into the slot guess this might have been an influence on the design?! :) 

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2 hours ago, MagicalDrop said:

 

'versions' of any sort can't replicate the dexterity needed to master the cabinet's button layout. And inevitably the game is simplified with any joystick that offers more than the original's restricted up and down movement. Having separate buttons for thrust and reverse seems crazy on just about any other game. 

 

Just look at it! 

Screenshot_20200122_141824.jpg

I started playing Defender at my local seaside town waaaaay back in the early ‘80s. It took me weeks to master the complicated (compared to other coin ops) control system, but once I did.... everything just clicked! 

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A while back, I toyed with the idea of making a custom Defender controller for Retropie. I got as far as pricing up the buttons and a Picade X-Hat from Pimoroni and bought some MDF, and I redrew the layout from http://www.arcadecontrols.com/images/defendcp.gif in Illustrator, but never got round to building it. Might go back to it at some point.

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There was a whole bank of Defender machines (maybe 8 - 10) in the arcade that I spent much of my childhood in - for a game so brutal it was clearly very popular - nothing else ever had that many cabs when I was there (Pac Man, Bank Panic and Pacland probably had maybe 6 machines at their peak, but nothing else came close). I used to watch the few folk who were good at it and be amazed. One of those games I love dearly but can't really play very well. But the audio is so magnificent. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Williams' games are the true sound of an arcade to me. Just wonderful. The Williams' games also are amazingly timeless - I still think they look amazing - Defender, Joust, Robotron - it would be really hard to remake them and not make them look worse. 

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