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  • Pac-Man (Atari 5200)

    Pac-Man (Atari 5200)

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/163144287421/pac-man-atari-5200

    When Pac-Man came out for the Atari 2600, it was somewhat of a disappointment. The gameplay was not terrible but the graphics were. More so than even that limited system justified. However, for those that had an Atari 5200, the situation was somewhat reversed. The graphics (and sound) were far better, the same as the Atari 8-bit computers since the Atari 5200 was essentially the same machine underneath. However, the gameplay was another story.

    The Atari 5200 was well known for its horrible controllers which are one of the reasons for the system’s failure commercially. The controllers were analog and did not self center. Analog controllers could be seen as a good thing but not for games that were originally designed with digital controllers in mind like nearly all games were at the time. These controllers make Pac-Man on the Atari 5200 harder and more frustrating to play then it should have been. You actually get a much better gaming experience today using an emulator and a keyboard. Given the choice, you would have been much better off getting this game for the Atari 400/800. It was essentially the same exact game but you could use a standard digital Atari joystick for a much better gaming experience.

    The small plain brown cartridges for the Atari computers is not nearly as satisfying to collect as the large black Atari 5200 cartridges with the colorful labels though. :)





  • CBS Atari 5200 Games (1983)

    1983 Atari 5200 games

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/160220056176/masquejuegos-1983-atari-5200-games

    This is a 1983 ad for five Atari 5200 games by CBS Electronics. The games advertised are GORF, Blue Print, Wizard of Wor, Mountain King and K-Razy Shoot-Out.

    GORF is a port of the arcade game of the same name and is a single screen shooter consisting of multiple stages. It’s kind of like a mash-up of Space Invaders, Galaxian, and others. The Atari 5200 port is a pretty good port. Versions were also available for the VIC-20, ColecoVision, Atari 2600 and Commodore 64.

    Blue Print is also an arcade port and is a maze game. Versions were also available for the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64.

    Wizard of Wor is another arcade port of a maze game. Versions were also available for the Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, Atari 2600 and Bally Astrocade (though it was retitled ‘The Incredible Wizard’ on the Astrocade).

    Mountain King is a platform game and the first on this list that wasn’t an arcade port. Versions were also available for the Atari 2600, ColecoVision, Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64 and VIC-20.

    Finally, K-Razy Shoot-Out, while not a direct arcade port is a clone of Berzerk. It was first developed for the Atari 8-bit family with the Atari 5200 version following later.





  • Gremlins (Atari 5200)

    Gremlins (Atari 5200, 1986)

    http://darth-azrael.tumblr.com/post/160234992351/mastersofthe80s-gremlins-atari-5200-1986

    There have been a number of games based on the Gremlins movie over the years. The first was for the Atari 2600. An Atari 5200 version was developed but it was a substantially different game. This version also appeared on the Commodore 64, Apple II and DOS based computers. All of these were released in 1984, the same year as the movie, except for the Atari 5200 version. At first this seems a bit surprising given that Atari was the one who developed the game, but…

    It turns out that Gremlins for the Atari 5200 was in fact finished in June 1984 and ready for production. However, Jack Tramiel was hired as CEO of Atari around the same time and put a freeze on all new video game related products to concentrate on computer products. By the time Atari decided to continue in the home video game market (largely because of the introduction of the Nintendo Entertainment System) it was 1986 and some old stock, including copies of Gremlins for the Atari 5200, was finally released. Because of the delay, Gremlins was the last official release for the Atari 5200. Incidentally, the Atari 7800 was also ready in 1984 but was delayed for the same reason.

    Screen shots are from atariage.com.