Sleek and Smooth.
When I first got my atari 5200, I was incredibly excited. I remembered
playing it once or twice at a friends house, and I'd always been jealous.
I plugged it in as soon as I got home, but alas, the RF switch didn't
work. The RF switch on the 5200 is a gimmicky old beast- the power for
the entire system plugs into the switchbox, and feeds the power for the
console down the same Dolby Plug as the video uses.
One day I bought a copy of Star Wars: The Arcade Game over
the net, and that provided the impetus for me to get off my kiester and
get it working again. After a few calls to Best Electronics (A
wonderful all Atari store in California), I had all the necessary
parts, and the beautiful graphic flashed up on my screen. However, none of
my controllers seemed to work. Disassembling them and doing a little
cleaning made them as good as new, and I was ready to destroy the
But, details. It's a big sleek black/chrome box, with 4 ports on
the front (2 if you have a later model). No woodgrain in sight. 2
controllers store in a flip up-compartment in the top, and there's a power
switch on the lower right, complete with an LED! The controllers are
analog joysticks, with a lot of buttons. There's a rubberized keypad on
the lower half of it, similar to a phone layout. Above the joystick
there's 3 buttons- start, pause (yes!), and reset. On the side of the
controllers near the top, there's 2 buttons on the left and right side.
i believe that the botom left=bottom right, and top left=top right.
These are you basic fire buttons. The controllers are kinda clunky- a
big rectangle that's in a sort of wedge shape. But, even so, they're not
that daunting, and a heck of a lot more comfortable than an intellivision
- The screen consists of
small strip at the top that shows an evildoer ( a potato?)
your girlfriend, the bottom 1/3rd of the screen shows a start
button, a timer, a blueprint, and a "hole". The rest of the
screen is dedicated to a map, with a bunch of houses on it.
Your task is to move your little character inside of the
houses, and find parts, which you drag back to the blueprint,
and place upon their respective locations. Some houses don't
parts at all, but they contain bombs- ditto for houses
you've already entered and gotten the piece from. If you don't
hurry, the bomb will blow you up- so you have to drag it to
the hole in the bottom, and drop it in. Sometimes, monsters will
crawl out of the hole, and meander over to the start button-
this will knock all the parts you've assembled off the
blueprint, and onto thefloor, wasting valuable time. So you
need to run and
grab the monster, and put him back in the hole. Once the
blueprint is completed, you hit the start button, get
in the contraption, and move across the bottom of the
pushing the button will fire a projectile skyward,
hopefully reducing the evildoer to nothing.
- This is an amazingly addictive game. Move you
character along the bottom, and shoot the advancing centipede.
The centipede splits when you hit it, and the segment you
destroys turns into a
mushroom. Fleas, spiders and ticks make guest appearances.
You're nothing more than a glorified can of raid, but who knew
being a pesticide could be so fun?
- dig dug
- Again, you're ridding the world of baddies. you're walking
in an environmentally protective suit, wielding a big bicycle
pump. Dig in the ground, and release the creatures contained
within. Then you get to stick it to 'em with the pump, and
to smithereens. You can also burrow under rocks, crushing
the unsuspecting baddies under them. Everybody loves this
- San Dimas high school football rules! No, really, it's a
football game, if you're into that, I suppose. But if you're
into football, you'd probably rather have John Madden or Super
Tecmo Bowl XXL. (I'm busily working on porting those two
games to my Coleco
Telstar. results promised soon.)
- I don't think the 5200 version captured the flavor of the game
as well as the 2600 version. I was curious as to how they'd
the game with the analog controls, and now i find out they were
quite crafty about it. Moving the stick controls the
froggy wil hop, but he only hops when you push the fire buttons.
you can also make him hop with the control pad- 2 moves forward,
6 to the right, 4 to the left, and 7 down. The music is
good, but the artwork just doesn't quite look raw enough.
They can't all be the 2600.
- Not a great port of the game, unfortunately. Gorf for the
probably has better gameplay. It looks alright, but
I might be biased, since my favorite game in this genre is
Galaga. (Not to be confused.)
- Pac Man
- Not that different from the 2600 version, except that the maze
looks like the arcade, the ghosts are colored, the tunnels run
horizontally, your character looks round, there's fruit to eat
instead of a wafer of some sort, the sound is good, there's
colorful animations inbetween rounds, and it's fun to play.
Other than that, you might as well be playing your old 2600
- pitfall ][
- You're Pitfall Harry, running through a large cavern
dodging bats, scorpions, frogs, vultures, and electric
eels. Meanwhile, you're also trying to find your
daughter, a diamond ring,
and your pet panther, Quickclaw. If you manage to work
your way through the vast array of death bringing creatures,
a secret door opens... and you're teleported to a special
level that's only on the 5200- and this level is tough.
Rats you have to jump over, insane bats, pirahnas... I'd
the rumors of this level, but i'd never believed them.
Now i'm getting my ass whooped by it.
- a great little classic. the screen is a big box, with a
qix floating around in it. you're a little dot that can draw
lines in the room, and box off areas. if the line you're
drawing gets hit by the qiz, you die. there are also little
sparks chasing after you, on the lines you draw. if they
hit you, you die. if you double back on your line, you die.
if you make a spiral death trap, you die. if you pause
too long while drawing a line, a fuse will start burning
towards you... if it hits you, you die. Box off 65% of the
room, and trap the qix, and you move up to the next level.
how tough could it be?
- space dungeon
- It took me awhile to figure this one out, sans instructions,
but I'm sure glad I did. You're ... something, in a square
You can move around with the left joystick, and shoot a beam
8 directions with the right joystick, a la robotron. (I need
get the controller holder, to make it easier.) At
the top of the screen there's a map of the level, and an empty
box. If you find treasure, pick it up, and it shows up in
the box. The map displays your current position, the
to the next level, and the position of the thief (He hoardes
treasure. Kill him, and he drops it all!).
You go through doors, blast monsters,
pick up treasure, and try to make it to the next level. Each
of the levels has a cool little name. I
think there's around 100 levels, and the treasure location
randomizes each game, so it's fun and different each time!
- star wars: the arcade game
- Admittedly, I'm a Star Wars fan, and this game is the reason
i got my 5200 working. But after playing it, I have to say
it's a very good reason to fix it up. The
sounds are kind of weak, but it still manages to maintain the
gameplay of the original. There's tie fighters you shoot
(Darth's isn't among them) while they shoot at you (hard to
get hit by them), towers that you can shoot that you can
around (i'm still blown away by this) and then the final
scene. I've got a few beefs with it, but my only major one
why don't they utilize the other button to shoot a photon torpedo
down the exhaust port? sure, it would have been a little tougher.
But it's like that in the arcade! It's still fun, though.
Super tip! Fly through the trench without shooting
a single shot, except for the final one down the port, and get a huge
bonus score for 'using the Force'.
- Super Breakout
- You know, I'm surprised atari hasn't put out super breakout
for the Jaguar. It's the same game on the 5200 as it was on
the 2600, gameplay wise, but it takes a little getting used to
without the paddles. But it's got the cool variations, and
the colors are nicer.
- wizard of wor
- Two player game, with the slightly annoying feature that
a one player game, you plug the joystick into port 2, and start
on the right. Player 2 is in port 1, on the left. You're
hunters, armed with futuristic guns, wandering around a maze
with lots of monsters. You shoot the monsters, and more
appear- finally culminating in the Worluck chasing after
This is a really good translation of the arcade, with
music, but I think I'm going to have to say i enjoy playing
the 2600 version more... the analog joysticks make this game