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Today's Adventures

Atari 5200 Guy

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I spent some time with some old friends today; Dig Dug, Centipede, Joust, Pole Position, and Frogger.  Also present was Pac and Ms Pac, Space Invaders, Moon Patrol, and Vanguard.  A little time was also spent with RS Tennis, RS Soccer, and Football.  All on the 5200 which, quite frankly, is getting along in years.  About like me; both beaten, battered, and bruised but still holding our own doing the best we can to hang in there.  We take a fall and dust ourselves off to try again another day.  At the end of the day my 5200 and me still hold a strong bond.  Only my maker would be the only one to separate that.  

If it sounds like I've done gone crazy you'd be right.  But, in all honesty, the 5200 is my go to system when things in life are bugging me to the point I have to find an outlet.  So I brought the 5200 into the main room of the home and played some games.  I was only going to grab a few games but I couldn't decide on a few so I brought all of them along for some fun.  It was then when I realized that If I had a working 5200 and TV for every 5200 game I owned I'd have one hell of an arcade room.

Today's Adventure with the 5200 took a different approach.  You see, I have this book that could be one of the first books of its kind.  It's about how to beat video games...in the arcades that is.  It's title is The Complete Video Warrior: How To Beat The Video Games.  Yep...inside are tips on how to beat the most popular arcade games...from the 1980's that is...before the game crash.  Asteroids, Battlezone, Berzerk, Centipede, Defender, Frogger, Galaxian, Gorf, Missile Command, Pac-Man, Phoenix, Red Baron, Scramble, Space Invaders, and Star Castle; tips for these games ready to be read to help improve a player's scores to those games.

And so it began; the time to discover if those tips could be used in any manner on the 5200 ports of those games.  I made a list: which games did the 2600, 5200, and 7800 get individually?  The 2600 and 5200 almost always got the same games during 1983.  It was very common for Atari to do their game ads with both 2600 and 5200 game boxes in the ads.  That's when the 2600 got its silver and red boxes which was exact by design to the 5200's boxes...just in red instead of blue.  Out of all of those games in the book nine of those made it to the 5200, eight of those I have. 

And I learned one thing; the 5200 plays by its own rules.  Some of the pointers are with the general mechanics of those games but when it comes to patterns the 5200 has its own for players to discover.  In some ways the 5200 plays a bit tougher than those arcade machines.  It can be brutal at times just as much as it can be gentle.  And that book, while cool to read, doesn't hold a torch to the 5200.  I think I'll just stick with the strategies I use to play the 5200 games.  Works best for me.


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