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What are your "TOP 5" Atari 5200 games... AND WHY?

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We all have our favorites, it could be because of the quality of the graphics, it could be game play, it could be nostalgia from the arcade version you used to play as a youngster. Heck, there could be 100 reasons or more. But the question is, "What are your "TOP 5" games for the 5200... and why.

 

NOTE: This covers ALL video games, original Atari releases, third party offerings, later hobbyist created games and ports as well.

 

Who knows, you may just turn someone on to a game they never knew about or considered before.

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Back around 1986 I started hanging out with a new friend and he had a 5200 . I had no idea that it existed before that so I was stoked . He had many games but after a while the controllers stopped working … go figure . Sometime after 1987 or so I didn't hang out with him anymore and I never seen or played a 5200 until around 2005 or so . What brought me to Atariage was finding out about Adventure ll on the 5200 before it was for sale . So I quickly bought a system on ebay with games anticipating it's release . And Adventure on the 2600 is my all time favorite game .

 

1 Miner 2049er

2 H.E.R.O.

3 Qix

4 Pitfall 2

5 Megamania

 

Special Mention Adventure ll Homebrew

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Hadn't even considered a 5200 until I attended the 2015 Classic Game Fest in Austin. Al had a few consoles set up and it was a real treat to try them out. I met fellow AA member TrekMD at that show and we started talking about the 5200, and the more we discussed it, the more I wanted one. I don't think either of them know it, but its because of them that I decided to purchase the Big Sexy. :)

 

1. Missile Command - This port is great, and even better when you pair it with a trak-ball

2. Space Dungeon - Twin Stick console exclusive. 'Nuff said

3. Robotron 2084 - Another excellent twin-stick shooter

4. Defender - Excellent port and it plays extremely well with the 5200 standard controllers

5. Qix - This is an excellent port as well. Very well done.

 

Homebrews:

1. Pac-Man Arcade - Blows away the Atari version. :thumbsup:

2. Xari Arena - Amazing graphics, great gameplay, trak-ball support, as well as, two player simultaneous play

3. Tempest - Looks/plays great and also supports the trak-ball

 

post-21941-0-34716600-1559620420.jpg

 

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Super Pacman - Probably my favorite home console version before Bob made the 7800 version.

Adventure II - Amazing homebrew. Very nice addition to the adventure series and with much prettier gfx :)

Frisky Tom - Unique game not found on many other consoles.

Qix - Wasn't on the 2600 or 7800.

Gremlins - Gameplay is fun and I'm a big Gremlins fan.

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We've had other posts like this come up over the years but ehh why not?

 

I'd known of the 5200 when it came out as I sorta remember the commercials for it on TV and there was a kid up the street who had a 5200. But he was older than the rest of us and honestly kinda a jerk so never went to his house to check it out. It was until i found emulation in the late 90s for several systems that I got back into retro gaming. But I happened upon a 5200 at the local flea market for like $20 or something with 2 controllers, power supply, and the required RF switchbox for it. It all worked minus flakey operation with the buttons on the controllers.

 

anyway, because of emulation I discovered the superior version of Star Raiders that was on the 5200 and Rescue on Fractalus. Both of those games made me want a 5200.

 

With that...here is my list:

 

Star Raiders

Rescue on Fractalus

Blaster

The Last Star Fighter

Star Wars: The Arcade Game

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BITD, I played a lot of Joust, Mario Bros, Defender, Pac-man, Berzerk, Jungle Hunt, Q*bert, Frogger, Centipede, and Qix. All are still well worth playing.

 

I also played RS Soccer a lot, but it is slow and sucky. Avoid.

 

Later I discovered Space Dungeon, Star Raiders, Robotron, pole Position, Ms Pac-Man, Gremlins, and Missile Command. All really great games.

 

Some 5200 games I played the A8 versions instead, like all of the Activision games, and Miner 2049er. I especially like River Raid.

 

I've enjoyed some Homebrews too, I'll mention Pac-Man Arcade, and Tempest is amazing and too bad both hadn't been released BITD! I still enjoy my own 2 5200 Homebrews now and then too. People keep buying Adventure II 5200 so there's still interest in it. And Koffi is special to me, I always join and win when it is the HSC game. :D

 

I cannot think of a top 5 list of games, though.

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#1 Pengo-way better and more playable than the arcade version

#2 Realsports Baseball-the best classic baseball game

#3 Blueprint-another 5200 i feel thats better than the arcade version

#4 Wizard Of Wor-great game

#5 Mountain King-another fun and unique game

wow i guess i really liked CBS games...i also really liked K-razy Shoot Out

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1. Pitfall II: Lost Caverns - Adventurer's Edition

This version of Pitfall II has an exclusive second level that was added by Mike Lorenzen and can only be found on the Atari 5200 and Atari 8-bit computers. This is the sequel to the platform game Pitfall! that greatly expands far beyond it. Adding a gigantic world to venture into, with check points, items to collect and a true ending that was lacking in most games of that era. This game can be a bit challenging, but not without mercy. If you die, you simply go back to your last check point. More than a simple platformer, the game features water sections, a balloon ride section and a good variety of enemies.

2. Dig Dug

This is one of my favorite single screen video games. Bright colorful graphics. An enjoyable game with a good amount of challenge. A catchy tune and a unique way of eliminating enemies make this one of the more memorable early 80's video games.

3. Galaxian

Originally released in 1979 in the arcades, Galaxian is one of the first games to make great use of color graphics. This game greatly exceeds other shooters like Space Invaders, and to me is quite possibly the best space shooter for the 5200.

4. Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator

In Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator, you control the Enterprise as you defend star-bases from attacking enemy ships like Klingon Battle Cruisers. This is a port of the arcade game that had color vector graphics that simply can't be duplicated on a home console or even the Vectrex, but retains the same game-play. I highly recommend this game as it's one of the best space shooters for the Atari 5200. This is actually one of the few Star Trek games that I enjoy, and that's coming from a Trekkie.

5. Montezuma's Revenge

Montezuma's Revenge is a platform game where you have to avoid obstacles and enemies to collect needed items in a maze-like environment. Montezuma's Revenge feels like a 1984 predecessor to games like Metroid that was yet to come. It feels like a condensed version of Pitfall II to me.

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Adveture 2

Frogger 2

Bounty Bob

Space Invaders

Pac Man

 

and many more....this games are a must.

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its difficult for me to pick just 5...

I really like almost the entire library of official released games and most every post release/unreleased prototypes I have played!

 

The 5200 is my favorite Atari system and I favor the 5200 versions of games found on other systems, the only exception being Gorf (maybe Ballblazer and Xevious as I like the 7800 versions but 5200 versions are also enjoyable and good)

 

So it is with regrets that I cannot contribution to this thread as I cannot just pick five favorites as it would be a disservice to myself

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This thread is making me want to get the 5200 back out . . .

 

Despite owning a 5200 for a number of years, I still kinda think of myself as a dabbler. I need to play it more, but here's my 5

 

1) Defender <- great version of the arcade original and the controller helps out a bunch (don't need to go searching for the space bar etc)

2) Koffi Yellow Copter <- giving it the bump over A2 because . . . why not. I like this game

3) Adventure II <- must be experienced

4) Star Wars the Arcade game <- this is the best home version and the analog is a benefit to it

5) Pitfall 2 <- makes my list for the same reasons others have mentioned

 

Honorable mention to Super Breakout. Yeah, I know . . . most disappointing pack-in ever, but I seem to play it every time I get the 5200 out and play around with it for a few days. I can't stay away, so it has to go in somewhere.

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- Qix and Robotron : Both not available for the other systems I own (Colecovision, Mattel INTV, Atari 2600, Schmid TVG=Arcadia)

- Pengo and Ms.PacMan are much better than on other consoles

- Miner and Montezuma play easier than on my favourite console the Colecovision

- Donkey Kong for the XEGS or as a homebrew is a brilliant port, too

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1) GREMLINS!

 

2) CENTIPEDE! (Hard level with that back-tracking spider!)

 

3) Realsports BASEBALL! with the 5200 controller! Real analog batting!

 

4) MICRO-GAMMON SB! (Love playing backgammon)

 

5) Castle Crisis! I remember working on the arcade version of WARLORDS and the is a dead on!

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Top 5

1) Dreadnaught Factor 

2) Space Dungeon

3) Pengo

4) Popeye

5) Wizard of Wor

 

Honorable Mentions:

Galaxian with a Trak-Ball

Miner 2049er

Moon Patrol

Qix

Tempest with a Trak-Ball

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Posted (edited)

Hard to enumerate the top 5. I have to say with the nostalgia factor is in the recipe.

 

Star raiders, for its unique space ambience.

Mario Bros, very addictive and nice version of the arcade, specially with two players.

Galaxian, simple and fun to play.

Pitfall 2, for the endless hours, you never die!

Ballblazer, was not out when I was a kid... fast paste, great soundtrack, addictive.

Honorable Mention: Robotron since I suck on it, nevertheless very exciting and stressful game!

There is so much more: Baseball, Pengo, Blue Print, Montezuma's revenge, Moon Patrol, Joust, Popeye, Pole postion, Ms Pacman, Super Breakout etc.

 

Edited by Henry Lee
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I could probably just pick five titles out of a hat and each of them would qualify. :P But immediately off the top of my head, these come to mind:

 

Defender - I'm a big fan of the early Defender home ports, and I think that, all things considered, the Atari 5200 version is the best of them. All the controls are immediately accessible on the controller, and the difficulty is nicely balanced. It's not quite the prettiest--that would probably have to be the Coleco version, although the 5200 game still looks pretty good--but on the whole I think it's the most complete of the '80s Defender ports.

 

Space Dungeon - A twin-stick shooter, and an 5200 exclusive at. Neither of which would amount to much if the game wasn't excellent, which it certainly is. It's a great, unique gameplay experience, and my first line of defense against "Atari 5200 controllers suck" babbling. This game can be cheesed a bit by patient players in earlier, easier levels, though, by finding relatively secure, defensible rooms and picking off the enemies that peter in, ad infinitum, and rack up points and extra ships the cheap way. :P

 

Berzerk - So, this game is hard as balls. :lol: At least it was for me when I got it with my first 5200 system in the early 2000s. But it's also so good that you can't help coming back again and again; I'm way less terrible at this game now than I used to be. :P I'm not particularly familiar with the original arcade version, but the 5200 game seems like a very faithful adaptation. And perhaps the best part--that speech synthesis!

 

Galaxian - This one hooks me every time. I love the look of it (even if the sprites are on the small side), and the variable player speed, thanks to analog support with either the 5200 joystick or the Trak Ball controller, is a subtle but great touch that I find myself missing when I play other versions of Galaxian.  The gameplay is like if the original Galaxian arcade game played a little more like Galaga, which I find to be uniquely satisfying.

 

Centipede - Of course this game, paired with the Trak Ball controller, is widely considered the definitive version of Centipede. And rightly so. It's certainly one of the definitive Atari 5200 titles, at any rate. Even without a Trak Ball, the regular joystick controller works very well with this game.

 

Honorable mention has to go to Adventure II. I remember seeing it for first time at Midwest Gaming Classic '04 (!) and being just blown away by it. It was like an NES game, and to me really gave a glimpse into what the Atari 5200 system could have been had it not been abandoned so early. Adventure II has great graphics, variable and layered gameplay, different worlds to explore, and even easter eggs! The fact that it's still possibly the best and most popular post-mortem unofficial release is an incredible testament to this game (although maybe also an indictment of the 5200 development scene...).

 

(I got a copy of Blaster several months ago that I haven't gotten around to playing yet since I haven't had time to hook up my 5200, but I'm really looking forward to it!)

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Space Dungeon - Man it's just fun, one of the few reasons I still even get out the 5200 and definitely the game I have with the most playtime on it.

Missile Command - It's not the arcade but it's still really fun - I finally got a trackball controller and that made it so much better.

Star Raiders - I still don't even know how to play it properly, should probably look at the manual, but it definitely looks cool and I love most of the old space games.

Moon Patrol - One of my favorite games on a ton of systems and even one of my favorite arcades, no clue why but it's just cool.

Jungle Hunt - I couldn't think of a fifth but I do break this out a bunch so I guess it goes up there.

 

If this tells me anything it's that I should probably look more into the library, maybe check out some homebrews, so I don't just go slapping Jungle Hunt on random lists.

 

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10 hours ago, BurritoBeans said:

Moon Patrol - One of my favorite games on a ton of systems and even one of my favorite arcades, no clue why but it's just cool.

Moon Patrol is an awesome game, but you always risk that tune circling in your head for hours after game play!

 

🎼 Bum Bum Bum De Bum De Bum Bum Bum.... 🎵

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Not in any special order:

 

Miner 2049

Hero

Space Dungeon

Robotron 2084

Berzerk

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Posted (edited)

In no particular order

 

- The Dreadnaught Factor - Out of all the 5200 games, IMHO, this works the best with the stock controller.
- Berzerk - Extremely faithful and has the voice

- Space Dungeon - Smooth playing dual joystick game

- Space INvaders - Just a great, fun version of the game, even if it's not faithful

- Moon Patrol. Moon buggy graphics aside, very faithful to the arcade, so much so that it's a good training tool for the arcade machine.

Edited by Inky
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Posted (edited)

Berzerk

Buck Rogers

Defender

Missile Command

Qix

 

Now I wanna break out the 5200 tonight...

Edited by VectorGamer
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Posted (edited)

1. Pole Position  (it plays very, very much like the arcade, and has lots of color and runs very smooth).
2. Star Wars Arcade (despite some less-than-optimal crash-detection on objects to blast, it retains the overall arcade feel, and both the later guntower-shooting sections with lots of towers to blast and dodge and the trench-runs (wave 10 and 11) with many variations of bridges and walls to dodge are awesome to play).
3. Pengo (see my review).
4. Buck Rogers (lots of speed, lots of bullets firing continually, gates to run through, tons of enemies on-screen, Big Boss-ship to take out at every out-in-space level, awesome arcade-action).
5. Mario Bros. (Plays well, cute enemies, 2P simultanously - yes we get to see Luigi at an Atari machine back in 1983/84 -, its Mario)


Its a really difficult question, and I could easily have ended up swapping one of them for others titles.
Mr Dos Castle is another favorite, which I in periods play more than Mario Bros, and... I havn´t had this Retro-console up-and-running that long... since I had to, - as an european- , get like ... the (American-only) console, a ntsc CRT TV (PAL is what is commonly used by European retro-gamers), a transformator, and many bits and pieces and controllers that would make it all work...

Edited by Giles N
more to add
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Super Pac-Man: this one kind of springboarded me into homebrew/repro me also one of the first games I bought from the AA store. Plus, I was always mesmerized by the arcade game. Having this on 5200 is a dream. My favorite 5200 game and most played.

 

Beef Drop: Accurate Burgertime with secret bonus levels? I get a little giddy just writing about it right now. Kenfused rocked!

 

River Raid: My favorite genre is the shmup. This game is amazing. I like how you can play at a pace you prefer with the thrust adjustment. The 5200 game with more detail and more enemies is icing on the cake.

 

Ms. Pac-Man: Sometimes I fall in love with a 5200 game because it does so much to show why the upgrade from VCS was worth it. Because, there's a lot of games that are barely upgrades at all.

 

Millipede: Another repro, and not nearly as polished as Centipede. But, it's easier. This is a time where I wimp out. I tend to dig all the variety with Millipede as well, there's many more enemies in this, plus a battlefield weapon in DDT.

 

EDIT: Adventure II. I have to have Adventure II on my list. A magnificent game in its own right, along with being one of the most well produced products of the AA store, at least for the initial run of CIB that was offered. Bravo to Caveman and Albert for this one!

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