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Caféman's Atari 5200 Supersystem Features



........................... Last updated ... November 20, 2003
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The Preface ...
Many people have realized that they are quite nostalgic about the Classic Gaming years, and love the Atari 2600 and all its many games. Although I really loved my 2600 in its day, especially Activision's River Raid, Enduro, H.E.R.O, Kaboom, and others, I must admit that my favorite system was always the Atari 5200 Supersystem.

Although the 5200's game library is far smaller than the 2600's, the 5200 had several advantages. It produced far better visuals and sounds and mostly supported 16K games, which was pretty much 4 times the size of your average 4K 2600 game. Thus, although 2600 gamers ended up with arcade ports that barely resembled their beloved coin-op faves, 5200 gamers were getting the goods! Even back then, new games averaged $30 to $40.

The Controllers ...
The 5200's controllers have long been its biggest weakness. Many people felt that the 5200 had the worst controller of any system in existence so far! Although the sticks cause control problems due to that floppy dead-fish, non-centering joystick, I must admit that few games are truly ruined by it. On the other side of the coin, the 5200 offered 2 different firing buttons, which was a big deal when you were used to the 2600's single button stick, which rendered multi-button ports like 2600 Defender into a completely different game. Also, the 5200 had a numerical keypad with 12 buttons available. Although few games use these during gameplay, there are a few that do, such as the 5200 Defender game, and especially 5200 Star Raiders. Also, if you compare the controllers from the 2600, Colecovision and Intellivision with the 5200 -- frankly, they all have their own problems. But the biggest problem with the 5200 controllers is that they break and wear out quickly, and finding replacements is rare and expensive.

The 5200's sticks had very short chords -- you need to have the System sitting by your feet if you played the games from your couch! Also, the 5200 is the largest console I've ever seen, mainly because it has a compartment in the back where you can actually store your 2 controllers! The 5200's Trak-ball controller is the best home roller controller I've ever used, and it transforms Centipede and Missile Command into even more exciting experiences!

Click here to see the 5200 FAQ to repair your Atari 5200 controllers
Click here to see my Atari 5200 Trak-ball Controller Repair Feature


The Games ...
Click on each game's box or picture to see my review and thoughts of each game. I wrote these thoughts starting from the year 2001, so they reflect my thoughts now, not those 15 years ago. Note that the following features contain comments from the developer: Defender; Centipede.



5200 Joust 5200 Defender (with developer's comments!) 5200 Berzerk 5200 Moon Patrol 5200 Star Raiders 5200 Realsports Soccer 5200 Popeye 5200 Jungle Hunt 5200 Kangaroo

5200 Frogger

5200 Space Dungeon 5200 Mario Brothers 5200 Q*bert 5200 Vanguard 5200 Wizard of Wor
5200 Megamania 5200 Centipede (with developer's comments!) 5200 Missile Command 5200 Zaxxon







New 5200 Homebrew Projects!
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