Tag Archives: arcade conversion

Missile Command

It’s Missile Command time once again, and this time it’s the Atari 5200 version that we’re turning our attention to.

The Atari 5200 is straight port of the Atari 8-bit version, which was also built in to the ROM of the Atari XE Games System computer-console hybrid. If you turned the XEGS on without a cartridge in and without the optional keyboard connected, you could play Missile Command!

This is a great version of a classic game — but one can’t help but wish there were trackball and paddle controllers available for the Switch… Anyway. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Missile Command

It’s time for another one of those games that shows up on Atari Flashback Classics several times! This time around, it’s Missile Command putting in its second appearance.

The 2600 version of Missile Command is actually a really solid port of the game, albeit lacking some of the features like the satellites and planes. Most importantly, though, it plays well, looks authentic and is monstrously addictive.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Millipede

You might wonder what the appeal of having several different versions of the same game in one compilation is. Indeed, dear viewer, I was right there with you until recently.

Then I played the Atari 5200 version of Millipede — an unreleased prototype that was essentially a port of the version for Atari home computers. And I was blown away by quite how enjoyable it was. For me, it’s ended up being an even more appealing way to play the game than the arcade original.

To be fair, any Millipede is good Millipede, but to see what makes this version special check out the video below — and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

OutRun

Ah, OutRun. A true classic of the “vanishing point” racer genre. A fine example of Sega’s “Super Scaler” technology at work. And, apparently, recipient of an absolutely terrible Atari ST port by Probe and US Gold.

I’ve always been a believer in giving things a fair chance on their own merits, though, and I never played the ST version of OutRun back in the day. I played Turbo OutRun, which was terrible, but never the original.

Time to rectify that, then! Check out the video below to see how I got on, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Qix

I love me some Qix, and it’s a game I developed quite an early fondness for thanks to the Atari 8-bit version I grew up with.

There’s an Atari 5200 version that is almost arcade-perfect available, but the Atari 8-bit edition went in a slightly different direction, making itself more distinctive and unique to the 8-bit platform in the process.

Enjoy my rusty Qix skills in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

 

Pole Position

You don’t just play Pole Position — you FEEL it!

Thus ran the back-of-box blurb for the official Atari 8-bit conversion of Namco’s classic “vanishing point” racer — one of the most important, influential video games of all time. Said conversion was extremely solid, and a big hit for my whole family back in the day.

See how I get on with the world’s most explosive Formula 1 cars in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more.

Nibbler

Dot-eating maze games were a staple of both early ’80s arcades and home computers from the same era, as we’ve seen a fair few times on this series already.

Nibbler, originally released into arcades by Rock-Ola, became somewhat notorious for being the first game to allow players to score more than a billion points. There’s even a documentary about various attempts to pursue this milestone over the years.

The Atari 8-bit version was actually a pretty solid conversion of the arcade game. I have no idea if you can score over a billion points in it because I’m not that good… but at least we can have a look at the basics!

Crystal Castles

Back in the ’70s and ’80s, players of home consoles weren’t looking for “arcade perfect” — mostly because the home systems of the time weren’t up to it.

Rather, they were looking for a roughly equivalent or perhaps complementary experience to that which could be had in the arcades. This meant that sometimes games underwent a few changes in the transition from the arcade to the home.

A good example of this is Crystal Castles for the Atari 2600, which provides a surprisingly authentic-feeling approximation of the arcade classic, while working within the constraints of its host hardware.

Circus Atari

Today’s Atari Flashback Classic is Circus Atari, an interesting and challenging twist on the Breakout formula.

The origin story of this one is quite interesting, too; it began life as a third-party spin-off of the Breakout arcade hardware, then was subsequently ported by Atari itself to the 2600 platform. Original developer Exidy, who were struggling to compete with Atari at the time, must have been real pleased about that!

Anyway, if Breakout wasn’t hard enough already for you, Circus Atari challenges you to bounce two little clowns on a see-saw and pop a bunch of balloons. Good luck; you’ll need it!

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!