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kamakazi20012

5200 Top Games Question

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As mentioned before I am working on a "How-To" series that is going to attempt to approach the 5200 in a way that might place it in the spotlight and hopefully answer many of the "faults" I've head so much about.  I'd like to know what points or questions that Atari.IO members here might have that I can make a part of the videos.

 

Along with that I would like to know what games other 5200 owners consider must-haves for those interested in getting or have just purchased a 5200.  I don't want to mention homebrewed games.  I'd like to try to stick with games that came out for the 5200 during its production run.

 

Ready? and GO!

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Games I think are must-haves:

  • Realsports Baseball - Speech!  Probably the best baseball game on any classic system.  This one uses the analog stick to great effect for batting. 
  • Berzerk - Speech!  It's really fun.  Best Berzerk game on any home system.
  • Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man.  Great ports of the arcade classics.
  • Star Raiders - RickR's favorite game
  • Ballblazer - great fun, great music
  • Space Dungeon - I think this is the only home version of the arcade game.

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Well obviously the bad controllers would be the main fault.

 

I really like the pacman port on the 5200. Berzerk and centipede are 2 other good ones.

 

The frogger port you can play or pass really. Having to press the fire button everytime to move sucks

Edited by jmjustin6

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Well obviously the bad controllers would be the main fault.

 

I really like the pacman port on the 5200. Berzerk and centipede are 2 other good ones.

 

The frogger port you can play or pass really. Having to press the fire button everytime to move sucks

Have you tried playing Frogger using the keypad?  It might be bit easier to play that way.  

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Games I think are must-haves:

  • Realsports Baseball - Speech!  Probably the best baseball game on any classic system.  This one uses the analog stick to great effect for batting. 
  • Berzerk - Speech!  It's really fun.  Best Berzerk game on any home system.
  • Pac Man, Ms. Pac Man.  Great ports of the arcade classics.
  • Star Raiders - RickR's favorite game
  • Ballblazer - great fun, great music
  • Space Dungeon - I think this is the only home version of the arcade game.

 

Totally agree with Rick's assessment.  I'll also throw my hat in the ring for:

  • Joust (a very good port, and I prefer the 5200's "ceiling" bounce physics to the 7800 version)
  • Mountain King (I know I'm in the minority but I think this game is great fun if you stick around long enough to master the jumping)
  • Zone Ranger (harder to recommend as a "must-own" given its scarcity, but I feel it's a hidden gem for the system)
  • Robotron: 2084 (two sticks + joystick coupler = love)

...and last but not least, the games that make good use of the excellent Trak-Ball: Missile Command, Centipede, and Tempest (not released during its production run, but could have been).

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...and last but not least, the games that make good use of the excellent Trak-Ball: Missile Command, Centipede, and Tempest (not released during its production run, but could have been).

 

Great point.  The 5200 trakball is special.  It makes games more fun to play, and it's designed very well.  Very high quality.  Love that thing. 

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Deleted.  This didn't belong here.  Sorry. 

 I was actually going to quote part of that LOL.  

 

I've been told that the NES is a reverse-engineered 5200 by a friend that I trust very much.  However, I can't mention his name here but if he is reading this and wants to speak up I would hope that they would do so.

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Am I the only one that likes Popeye and Kangaroo? ;)

 

Defender, Qix and PacMan are good too.

Nope.  I had both games back in the early 1980's.  They were the few games my mother and I found still sitting on store shelves.  I have Qix but have not picked up Popeye or Kangaroo yet.    

 

All of you have mentioned the games that separated the 5200 from the 2600 games.  In some ways it almost seems like the 5200 was competing against the 2600 as well.

 

I can't dog the 5200 controllers because those were what I was stuck with.  Then again my system was used daily and the only break it got was when I was sleeping and at school.  Other times I was on it playing my favorite arcade games.  

 

I believe the 5200 has two exclusive titles which one was already mentioned being Space Dungeon.  The other was Countermeasure.  I believe that Countermeasure might have been a way to bring a Combat-style game to the 5200 to help in system sales.  I could be wrong but that is my theory.

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Well, since Tempest was being made for the 5200 during its production run, and knowing that the original author went back and finished it, should I include it as a must-have game in the video?  It does play very well, I just wish as much quality went into the cart shell that Atari did.  The shell is not very good in my opinion and I have had my copy pop-out of my system during game play a time or two.  

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Am I the only one that likes Popeye and Kangaroo? ;)

 

Defender, Qix and PacMan are good too.

 

I like Popeye a lot -- had the stairway controls been *slightly* tighter it'd be a top 10 game for me for sure.  Kangaroo... meh.  :lol:

 

Well, since Tempest was being made for the 5200 during its production run, and knowing that the original author went back and finished it, should I include it as a must-have game in the video?  It does play very well, I just wish as much quality went into the cart shell that Atari did.  The shell is not very good in my opinion and I have had my copy pop-out of my system during game play a time or two.  

 

I haven't had the pop-out problem, but I agree about the lower cart shell quality.  That said -- I vote yes, include it!

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Well...to my surprise Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man have been voted by you guys as must-haves.  That's surprises me considering how many stories of other 5200 owners I've heard complain about the controls combined with those games.  I have them and think that they are good games in my opinion.  OK...so...

 

  1. Pac-Man
  2. Ms. Pac-Man
  3. Joust
  4. Tempest
  5. Qix
  6. Kangaroo
  7. Star Raiders
  8. Space Dungeon
  9. Centipede
  10. Missile Command
  11. Berzerk
  12. Popeye (Don't Have)
  13. Mountain King (Don't Have)
  14. Zone Ranger (Don't Have)
  15. Robotron: 2084 (Don't Have)

OK.  Surprisingly no mentioning of Moon Patrol, Pole Position, or Defender.  I'm surprised.  Maybe I can find one or two of the games I don't have in that list.  I have not played Robotron: 2084 on the 5200 before.  Then again I don't have a controller holder either...yet. Now, using the list above how would you rank these games (10 being least, 1 being most)?

 

Thanks for your help!

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It's been a while since I setup the 5200 (sorry SuperSystem...my XEGS gets most of the 8-bit love) but when I do play it it's usually:

 

Space Dungeon - I'm not sure what it is about this one but this is my favorite game on the system

Adventure II (guess this doesn't count as it is a homebrew but IMO, it was done in a such a professional way that it is worthy in my book)

Star Raiders

BallBlazer

 

I have Berzerk for the Atari XE/XL so haven't sought out a 5200 copy; BallBlazer is kind of the same thing. It's great on the computers but even better on the 7800.

 

I've heard great things about RealSports Baseball but never have come across the 5200 version. 

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Thanks you all for posting your list of favorite 5200 games.  And, I agree, Adventure II on the 5200 is very well done.  OK...so if anyone reading this has had the chance to play some of the homebrew stuff I would now like to hear about them.  

 

Tempest is the only 5200 homebrew I own.  I love this game even with the standard controllers.  I have not had the opportunity to play it with a Trak-Ball controller but hopefully I will get to someday.

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For things that weren't officially released, I rank what I've played like this:

 

1) Tempest - see above!

2) Xari Arena - - like a lot of the greatest games, it's easy to pick up and play but tough to master. Pretty good graphics, and I love the background music.

3) Blaster - the one cart not sold in the AA store that I had Albert custom make for me. That the 5200 could pull this game off at all, let alone do it pretty well, is something to see.

4) Final Legacy - can be a little tough to play right out of the box without knowing what you're doing, but it's really well made and has a lot for the player to do.

5) Super Pac-Man - solid port of what I think is a pretty fun arcade game.

6) Sinistar - lack of the precise control of your ship needed to mine for sini-bombs is my biggest complaint. Could have been great, but I had to leave it out of the top 5 due to the control problems.

 

None of the true homebrews that I've played (Koffi Yellow Kopter, Castle Crisis, Beef Drop) do all that much for me.  It's not that they're bad (they aren't), they just don't have that certain something that makes me want to play them again.

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Well...I just got a message from Lance at V61 saying he wanted to answer this one but couldn't get the website to load on his computer.  So I was asked to say what his favorite 5200 games were.

 

Super Breakout and Popeye.  He could not pick 10 as I know from communicating with him that the 5200 was not one of his favorite Atari consoles.  After the stories he's shared with me about the system I can understand why from his point of view.  Missile Command, I was told, gives Lance nightmares because it was the game he was told to use to repair the controllers.  I leave the rest for him to tell should he decide to but, yea, after what I was told it is understandable.

 

So...with that...I will probably need to find Popeye for the 5200.  I use to have it once when I was a kid (haha...I'm still a kid) but I don't have it now.  I wonder how hard Robotron 2084 for the 5200 is to find?  Outside of eBay that is.  Bare with me...the videos on the 5200 are coming soon.  I just want to make sure I have all my perspectives on the 5200 in order and truthful.  It's easy for me to blab about this console because it was my first console and I spent a LOT of time harnessing the real power the system is capable of from a player's point of view when I was a kid.  

 

Thanks for all of your help.

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I just noticed something...no one has mentioned Pole Position or Moon Patrol, or any of the more common arcade ports.  Interesting.  And I have not given my 10 favorite 5200 games either so here we go.

 

  1. Star Raiders
  2. Pole Position
  3. Moon Patrol
  4. Joust
  5. Space Dungeon
  6. Qix
  7. Ber-erk (that key stopped working on my laptop keyboard...grr!)
  8. Frogger
  9. Tempest
  10. Ms. Pac-Man

This is the system I would really like to collect for the most.  I love the 2600 and everything I have received, and will continue to get, for that iconic console but the 5200 was my childhood.  Waking up to play a game before catching the bus for school in the mornings, coming home to catch a game before dinner, waking up to get a game in before Smurfs came on and then more gaming after the show went off...and the time Mom and I would spend on it are the reasons why the 5200 still holds a special place in my heart and memories.  I hope I can get that across in the videos I am planning.

 

If I had any honorable mentions they would have to be:

 

Popeye

Star Wars Arcade

Centipede

Defender

Countermeasure

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I don't know if I mentioned it already or not...but if you ever get a chance to grab a digital third-party stick for the 5200 -- do it.  Most games come to life with a better stick.  Especially the arcade games like Pac Man, Ms Pac Man, Dig Dug, etc.   OH, and also Berzerk, which is the best game for the system IMO. 

Edited by RickR

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