Tag Archives: Atari 5200

Atari A to Z Flashback: Centipede

It’s that time again! Yes, Centipede is back for a third time — this time in the form of the speedy and challenging Atari 5200 version.

Technically speaking, this version is probably closest to the arcade version, but it’s also one of the most difficult — particularly if you dare to play it with the original Atari 5200 controller, one of the most notoriously awkward pieces of technology ever created.

In other words, if you really reckon yourself at Centipede… then the Atari 5200 version is the one you should be challenging yourself with!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z: Kangaroo

The ’80s were a strange time, particularly for Atari, who, it seems, were never quite sure how to release or market things properly.

One of their well-received arcade games received an official port to the Atari 2600 and 5200, and the latter version then ended up on the 8-bit Atari computers. Unusually, however, this was published via the Atari Program Exchange or APX, which more commonly published consumer-submitted games rather than licensed ports.

That game was Kangaroo, and it’s an enjoyable single-screen platformer with lots of monkey-punching and fruit-grabbing. It also used to terrify me as a kid and I can’t remember why…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z Flashback: Asteroids (5200)

Hey look everybody, it’s Asteroids! Again. You’ll be pleased to hear that this is the last time Asteroids appears in the Atari Flashback Classics compilation, at least.

Today we’re looking at the Atari 5200 version of the game, which didn’t actually see a commercial release despite originally being intended as a launch title for the platform. It’s based closely on the version released for Atari 8-bit computers, and is a solid adaptation of the formula for 1-4 players simultaneously.

I didn’t like this all that much when I was kid (primarily because I was bobbins at it) but nowadays I find its chunky shooting action rather satisfying!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Atari A to Z: Xevious

“Are you devious enough to play Xevious”? Well yes, yes, I am, particularly if it’s an apparently unreleased prototype of indeterminate origin for my favourite 8-bit home computer system.

Namco’s Xevious is a defining influence in the shoot ’em up genre, so of course there were plenty of home ports for a variety of systems. One that never quite made it to market, however, was the Atari 5200 version, which was subsequently ported by some helpful soul to play on standard Atari 8-bit computers. (This was not a huge leap, really, because the 5200 was basically an Atari 8-bit with a horrible controller and no keyboard.)

While questionable as to whether or not it’s “finished”, it’s certainly a competent enough port that I had a good time with, so take a look!

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Atari Flashback Classics: Know Your Roots

Atari may be a shadow of a shadow of a shadow of its former self considering the number of hands the brand has passed through since the ’90s… but it’s fair to say that it still has a hold of my heart.

The Atari 2600 was just slightly before my time — I grew up with the Atari 8-bit home computers before moving on to the ST — but I’ve always been interested in and respected the deep roots video gaming laid down in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Consequently, I’ve jumped on board with most Atari 2600 compilations that have been available for platforms over the years… and had a great time with them.

The latest to appear is Atari Flashback Classics for Nintendo Switch. Boasting 150 games that were originally distributed across three separate releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, it certainly seems to offer astounding value for money on paper. But how is it in execution?

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