...It's not supposed to be subtle. It's just the truth. I have no trouble enjoying good Atari games, but their graphics play no part in that for me.
Nothing wrong with using ultra lo-fi graphics, but if I was going to do it, I'd put almost all my effort into the game itself, and wouldn't agonize too much over the particulars of how my game looked. If I played Pitfall tomorrow and the player sprite was slightly different, I don't think I'd notice, do you?
But yes, you're right. My original post was extremely blunt. Sorry, GodFather. I stand by the advice in my original post (move to a more detailed style, or don't worry about the particulars of your art), but regret the wording.
Also, thanks for bringing my incredibly creative spelling of "choice" to my attention, ninety, haha.
I would make a mix of both, I would use the first one, but I would make the chin a little bit less "square" and erase some pixels on bottom right part of the chin, and would use the shades effects on the shirt from picture number 2. Good art, though !
Personally I like the second one. The slimmer shape mixed with a little more detail works better then the first, which I see as clunky and a little flat. The right shoulder looks a bit off but otherwise it is a good design.