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5200 games - on the hard side? Or is it the controllers?


Amityville315
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Is it me, or are these games pretty challenging?

 

Granted, the controllers, even though they are Best "Golds" - seem to make the games even harder. The track ball doesn't seem to help much either. I need to lean on the ball unconfortably hard and can't even stay alive for more than a few minutes in a game like Super Breakout.

 

Back in the day, I could play 2600 Asteroids or Missle Command for HOURS. I still actively play Xbox One so I know that my videogame skills haven't degraded that much.

 

I'd imagine I'd gets slightly better results with a decent joystick replacement or having my track ball repaired better than I'm able to do it. But am I wrong in thinking that the 5200 games are in many ways almost as hard as their arcade counterparts?

 

I look forward to the day I could play Defender with a controller that might actually help me rather than hinder.

 

Thoughts?

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Obviously the controllers. The joystick is non self centering and it makes many games like Pac-Man, Ms.Pac-Man, Vanguard, Gorf, and many others to play without great precision. I still enjoy playing the 5200 regardless. And the controllers actually do give it an extra challenge to the table.

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Depends on the game. I was pretty good at Star Raiders on my Atari 800 but when I played it on my friend's 5200 it was easier. But that's because the 5200 version took advantage of the analog joystick. For games that require a digital joystick (direction only, no speed of stick movement considered) like Pac-Man and Wizard Of Wor then the regular 2600-style joystick (self-centering digital) is the way to go. The trak-ball makes all the trak-ball games (Centipede, Missile Command, etc.) better, no question.

 

Don't compare to any 2600 ports of arcade games, compare to the actual arcade games. My view is that the 5200, especially its trak-ball, is very close to the arcade versions. The real versions. And if you get one of those 5200 joysticks converted to a paddle controller, makes games like Kaboom! and Super Breakout even easier. It's a shame that Atari never offered one officially since it's so straightforward to convert the analog joystick (twin POTs) into a paddle (single POT). Castle Crisis is a revelation with the paddles.

 

The only thing that comes close to a substitute for a trak-ball is an analog joystick. But it's easier to stop in place with a trak-ball than it is with an analog stick, even on that doesn't automatically self-center. I sucked at 5200 Missile Command using the analog stick compared to the trak-ball, that's for sure.

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I hear ya on the 2600 stuff. The ports there are much easier - no way could I flip the real Asteroids.

 

Glad to know that the 5200 games are similar in difficulty to the real versions.

 

Still, I look at the high scores posted with the stock 5200 controllers and I'm befuddled how they can be acheived!

 

Man, I wish an Xbox controller could be modded to play 5200 games!

 

Well, hopefully when my Y adapter comes in I have better luck with the Wico. I love the sounds on these games and would love to be able to compete for a high score. I'm thinking Ill have the best luck with Space Dungeon or Qix.

 

It was a bummer, I finally ordered the darn Wico after a year of repairing/replacing the cx-50's and the guy didnt include the Y adapter. So it's a pretty desktop ornament for now. I got one off of ebay so once that arrives perhaps Ill get better results.

 

As far as the track ball goes, I own two of them and one "kinda" works. It's a workout though. I can play a few screens of Centipede or a couple waves at Missile Command but the speed is tough and the accuracy isn't smooth enough. I literally have to lean in on the ball to get any precision shooting, which is the mainstay of both those games. Space Invaders and Super Breakout are impossible with it.

Edited by Amityville315
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I hear ya on the 2600 stuff. The ports there are much easier - no way could I flip the real Asteroids.

 

Glad to know that the 5200 games are similar in difficulty to the real versions.

 

Still, I look at the high scores posted with the stock 5200 controllers and I'm befuddled how they can be acheived!

 

Man, I wish an Xbox controller could be modded to play 5200 games!

 

Well, hopefully when my Y adapter comes in I have better luck with the Wico. I love the sounds on these games and would love to be able to compete for a high score. I'm thinking Ill have the best luck with Space Dungeon or Qix.

 

It was a bummer, I finally ordered the darn Wico after a year of repairing/replacing the cx-50's and the guy didnt include the Y adapter. So it's a pretty desktop ornament for now. I got one off of ebay so once that arrives perhaps Ill get better results.

 

As far as the track ball goes, I own two of them and one "kinda" works. It's a workout though. I can play a few screens of Centipede or a couple waves at Missile Command but the speed is tough and the accuracy isn't smooth enough. I literally have to lean in on the ball to get any precision shooting, which is the mainstay of both those games. Space Invaders and Super Breakout are impossible with it.

 

Sounds like the Trak-Ball should be cleaned because it's very precise.

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Man, I wish an Xbox controller could be modded to play 5200 games!

 

It takes three adapters to accomplish it, but it works. 1st you need a Masterplay Interface Clone which can convert Genesis controllers to 5200. These can be obtained off Ebay. Then get a Tototek Playstation controller to Genesis controller adapter which you'll find on their website. Then get a really hard-to-find adapter which is called the XP Joybox which converts Xbox controllers to Playstation. If you cannot find that last one, just use a PS1 or PS2 controller that's similar to an Xbox controller- I would suggest a Radica Phoenix Revolution (though you will have to disable the rumble capability by clipping the wire inside the controller because otherwise the controller constantly rumbles when plugged into the adapters)...

 

This controller allows for putting the d-pad and analog stick and buttons wherever you wish them to be on the front of the controller. Lots of choices. :)

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I got the track ball running great. I had to swipe a roller from another one I had and I just tested on Missile Command, Space Invaders, and Centipede. Wow, Centipede flies! That game is fast! Missile Command I was able to get to the white wave on first try and Space Invaders is so much easier to be able to glide across the bottom as fast as you want.

 

Super Breakout was better, but still seemed wobbly.

 

On to Tempest...

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Some of the 5200 games are on the harder end of the spectrum, especially when compared to their 2600 counterparts.

 

And some 5200 games are harder to play with the non-self-centering joystick than with a self-centering one.

 

And some 5200 games are better with the stock joystick than with a self-centering one, IMO. But many of those are better still with the trak-ball. I prefer the stock joystick for Star Raiders and trak-ball for Pole Position, for example.

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Some of the 5200 games are on the harder end of the spectrum, especially when compared to their 2600 counterparts.

 

And some 5200 games are harder to play with the non-self-centering joystick than with a self-centering one.

 

And some 5200 games are better with the stock joystick than with a self-centering one, IMO. But many of those are better still with the trak-ball. I prefer the stock joystick for Star Raiders and trak-ball for Pole Position, for example.

 

I'd say a lot of games are improved if you have a 5200 joystick converted to a Paddle Controller.

 

Kaboom, Pole Position, Super Breakout, and Castle Crisis all come to mind.

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Is it me, or are these games pretty challenging?

 

Granted, the controllers, even though they are Best "Golds" - seem to make the games even harder. The track ball doesn't seem to help much either. I need to lean on the ball unconfortably hard and can't even stay alive for more than a few minutes in a game like Super Breakout.

 

Back in the day, I could play 2600 Asteroids or Missle Command for HOURS. I still actively play Xbox One so I know that my videogame skills haven't degraded that much.

 

I'd imagine I'd gets slightly better results with a decent joystick replacement or having my track ball repaired better than I'm able to do it. But am I wrong in thinking that the 5200 games are in many ways almost as hard as their arcade counterparts?

 

I look forward to the day I could play Defender with a controller that might actually help me rather than hinder.

 

Thoughts?

 

 

I'm in the camp of "not the controller". In some cases yes, but certain games are much better with the free-roaming controller, and for most of the rest, a little practice goes a long way. Defender I think is perfectly suited for the 5200 controller. You never stop or otherwise sit still, so the controller not centering isn't an issue. Some games that require a lot of firing (button mashing) become tiresome when the buttons wear out, but a piece of tin foil on the contact(s) and you're good to go for a LOOOONG time (no need to waste money on pricey upgrades/gold contacts). As was mentioned Pac-Man is often cited as some kind of problem with the controllers...I never knew or heard about that until the late 90's when I got back into collecting. I honestly don't remember having any sort of problem. Truth be known I prefer the 5200 sticks to the 2600 for games like Pac-Man where you are moving 90% of the time. Playing a marathon game of half an hour or more is murder on the hands with a still non-centering controller imo.

The trak-ball is possibly the best designed and workable controller of its type. Missile Command is a little weak, but Centipede is phenomenal on the 5200 with the trak-ball. Even Space Invaders and Galaxian are great with the trak-ball.

Edited by jetset
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I actually played Beamrider quite a bit last night and the 5200 controller seemed OK for that. I gave Defender another shot and did a little better.

 

Montezuma's Revenge was needlessly hard with the controller. Going down ladders and nailing the jumps requires accuracy and I wasn't getting far without battling the controller.

 

I wish more of the games were track ball friendly!

 

Megamania and Beamrider would be great with it.

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