Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Intellivision II has arrived

 Recently I received my Intellivision II system and I am very excited to muck around with it!

My story with Intellivision was the first console/computer I ever played with as a kid back in the early 1980's.

As those who still play with retro systems all know, the pull of old systems you played as a child has a special place in your heart, as it links so many memories of your life together with it!

Actually, I originally had a woodgrain Intellivision console, rather than this Intellivision II. Here I am back in the 1980's playing Checkers on the Intellivision, not longer after we bought the Commodore 64 to replace it (also pictured).

I never did get the Intellivision II or many of the cool add-ons released for the Intellivision back then. My parents sold the Intellivision at a garage sale a few years later.

I got a US Intellivision in the 1990's as a freebie, but without a step down transformer it was useless, and NTSC support on TV's was far less common then than it is now. I sold it on.

I bought the FPGA Intellivision Flashback remake a few years ago, which was not sold in Australia so I had to source it from the US. The normal release had 61 games on it, but only a handful of controller overlays included, not the full set for the 61 games. That seemed a bit of a cheapskate move and detracted from the experience of the games since the functions for each game were written on the overlays...

At the time, the makers did a limited run Blue sky rangers signed version where you could buy the full set of controller overlays as an option, and I got that version. And yeah, there is a lot of overlays - this is just the right controller set, with the same number of left controller overlays on top of this:

It is fun to play with this Flashback version, but it only has 61 games on it, and didn't have all my favourite games for Intellivision on it like Burger Time, Atlantis, and others too.

So, I thought now is the time to get another one before they become collector fodder and sell for stupid prices on Ebay like Amigas, Commodore 64's and other more popular systems of the era do now. 

Another reason is because Intellivision is back in 2020, and a new Intellivision system called the Amico is coming out in 2021 and it looks very cool indeed. The new controllers are very very cool. I have already pre-ordered one, the woodgrain version naturally. You can check the Intellivision Amico website out here if you want to learn more.

Yet another reason is because there is a lot of new games now available for the original Intellivision in 2020. Yes, REALLY! Amazing. Development of new titles for Intellivision still - I couldn't believe it! Some of them are here, but plenty more dotted around the web:

This time I decided to get an Intellivision II instead of the Intellivision I. 

Why? Because it was a smaller different design, I never had one, and it has controllers that can be unplugged, unlike the original Intellivision. This means I can swap my Intellivision Flashback controllers into it when/if the controllers fail on it.

I was lucky to source an Intellivision II from an Australian based seller with a rare AV output mod done on it. Intellivision only had RF output, which is a pain on modern TV's. So this was another plus. It also came with a bunch of games to play with right away!

After unpacking, I took a closer look at the Intellivision II itself, with power supply and AV cable supplied:

It is a pretty machine - you can see the AV mod in the front of the case:

Here is the back view:

This is the view of the bottom, with all the labels in tact. I wonder if the free cartridge offer still stands?

As you can see, you can detach the controllers from the main Intellivision II unit, which is a huge improvement on the original Intellivision woodgrain console.

I was excited to get it hooked up. First I tried out a game which I didn't actually get to play as a kid, Reversi:

I was pleased that the system works perfectly. Took a bit to get used to the power/reset being the same button on the Intellivision II, but I worked it out in the end.

Once I received Burger Time a few days later in the post, to get some Burger Time action underway - my very favourite game on the Intellivision:

The memories all come flooding back when you hear that awesome soundtrack. I had it as my mobile phone ringtone for many years!

Some of my favourite games of the Intellivision era - Burger Time, Triple Action (Biplane specifically), Space Armada and Tennis:

Another favourite game of mine on the Intellivision was Atlantis. Like Burger Time, this was not on the Intellivision Flashback. I ordered it from the US and eventually it came. After some serious disinfection it was ready to try out.

Amazingly enough I also received another delivery from the US on the same day - an Intellivoice expansion for the Intellivision, which (for the very few games that supported it) allow voice playback on the Intellivision! It came with two games still in the original shrink-wrap!

Closer view of the Intellivoice expansion out of the box:

Can I still get the $2.50 check? :-)

I connected it up to the Intellivision II. Obviously it was intended to be connected to the woodgrain Intellivision I, as the colours are the same as that. It looks a bit odd on the Intellivision II:

I got a little distracted playing Atlantis. Actually, very distracted. 

I played it for hours actually and forgot all about the Intellivoice. This console hooks you in :-)

I will need to find time to play the Intellivoice games soon and report back on those. I have some new release games on the way which also use it's functionality, so I look forward to trying it out with new release 2020 games too!

My Intellivision collection is quickly getting larger, helped by reasonable pricing on the games still and the fact I have most of the game controller overlays so I don't need to care if the game has the overlays with it. I have brand new ones I can use instead of old damaged or missing ones here and there.

I am really happy to have my Intellivision II and especially looking forward to trying out the new release games which are on the way (hopefully) to me soon.

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