small, sleek, and sexy.

while thrifting, i found a 7800 with a $26 price tag on it (ask to see accessories). i asked to see what came with it, and they brought out the original box. (unfortunately covered in duct tape- but removed without too much of a problem). the box contained all the original packing, two joysticks, the power supply (still in its box) and 10-15 games. there were 4 7800 games, and some really good 2600 games- moon patrol, porkys, haunted house, etc. I tried to contain my enthusiasm, look disinterested, and play hardball. 'i'll give you $20 for it.' the clerk looked at the price tag, looked at me, then looked at the price tag again. was she going to take it?

'it's marked half off. it's only $13.'
'oh. well. i guess i'll take it then.' needless to say, i felt very sheepish, but pretty damn excited, too.

it's a mini 5200. it's small, rectangular, has a sleek shiny metal strip running horizontally across the middle, and a cartridge port just above that. it doesn't have the controller holder, but has a nice compact size. the controllers are rectangular, with the stick at one of the ends, and a fire button on each side of that. holding the rectangle in your left hand allows you to move the stick with your right hand, and get the fire buttons with the left hand quite easily. good design, and not overloaded with buttons. and they'll work every time you plug them in, unlike a certain 16 buttoned, analog stick that comes to mind. the big feature of this system is the fact that it plays super 7800 games, but it also plays most regular 2600 games! i'll have an imcompatibility list as they come up, but everything has worked for me so far.

this is my favorite version of the game so far. the graphics are excellent, the controllers are good, and the options on it are great. you're an elf in a gun, shooting insects and mushrooms. we're all fairly familiar with it. but, you can play this game one player, two player alternating, two player competition (simultaneous, you can shoot each other), and two player cooperative (simultaneous, you can't hurt each other). makes for some fun interpretations of a great classic.
this is much, much better than the 2600 version. you're flying an ostrich, hitting other riders with your lance. in this version, hitting them results in an egg, which will actually come to rest, as opposed to the 2600 version, which used the same flight algorythm for the eggs as the fliers- the eggs just wouldn't damage you. also, the bridge over the lava pit burns nicely, and ... the graphics are great. amazingly fun game.
ms. pacman
you're a pacman with a bow on, and you're going through a maze. this doesn't represent any massive achievements over the 2600 ms pacman (which was great), but some of the colors and music are a bit better. and it shows the progression of fruits at the bottom.
pole position
this is a really good car racing game, for the time. multi-colored cars, explosions that weren't just an orange burst, and you can choose from 4 different tracks. this was the pack-in game with the system.