Everyone knows about this game. E.T is very famous (or infamous, rather) for being the "worst game ever made." I never got around to playing this game because of it's brutally negative reception. But, after reading some articles on this apparent trash heap, I finally got around to playing it. And in my honest opinion, the game isn't terrible.
Now I'm not saying the game is fantastic, because it's not, but it is a very playable game with a lot of interesting elements that are always overlooked in the reviews I have seen and read. First thing is the random nature of the game. The objective of this game is to find all of the parts to a phone so E.T can phone home. To find the parts, you have to search in holes to get them. All of these parts you must acquire are placed randomly every single time you play, giving the game alot of replayability. The graphics are nice, clean, and colorful. They aren't as good as Ms. Pac-Man, but they are still quite nice. E.T also has a nice rendition of the theme song on the title screen, too.
But there is a issue with the holes you must fall in, that isn't exaggerated. When you fall into one, you must levitate back out. The issue is that it's not always easy to, because if you are too close to the edge, you'll slide back in. This happens too much and can burn through your valuable energy. Also there are actions that you can perform, such as eating candy to restore your power, and shake your enemies off of your tail, a FBI agent, and a scientist. But these actions have to be performed in certain areas that seem to be completely random in location. It's usually easy to find these areas, but it's still kinda silly that it seems random when you can restore your energy.
But these are minor gripes! There are too many people that completely rip apart this game because of minor issues. This game........is not bad. But it's still kind of an off title in the 2600 library, not one I would prefer. There are two reasons that people rip this game: It's very complex for a 2600 game, and most people who bash it never played it. Wow, the game actually requires you to read the damn manual! Shocker! The complexity is refreshing for a Atari game, and makes the game a Zelda-like adventure. A lot of people who rag on E.T have never even played it. People probably do this because it's common knowledge in the gaming community and it comes natural for most gamers to say that it's a bad game. I understand this mentality and I actually did the same thing at one point, but then I decided to actually look in the game in-depth, and actually seen a O.K game.
Oh, and the Video Game Crash of '83? E.T had little to do with it.
E.T didn't almost ruin the video game industry. Atari almost ruined the industry.
You see, Atari produced E.T in mass quantities, because most E.T merchandise sold like hotcakes, so Atari had the same idea and made 3.5 million copies ready to ship out in Christmas 1982. E.T only sold 1.5 million.
So, the rumors about the cartridges being buried out in New Mexico, are true. E.T didn't stop selling because it was known as a awful game, it stopped selling because it was already sold to it's target audience. Believe it or not, E.T has sold more copies that Super Metroid.
The whole situation was simply overestimating how well E.T would sell. Atari was simply being a greedy corporation, and tried to milk their consumer base for all it's worth. And that decision ended up swimming up and biting them in the ass.
So if you hear about some moron on the internet complaining his ass off about how much E.T on the Atari 2600 sucks, just laugh, stand up, and say "You have no idea what the hell you're talking about."
(Note: I quote an article I seen a few months back, I don't remember what it is unfortunately.)