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Thread: 5200 Pac-Man roundup

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Default 5200 Pac-Man roundup

    Ok, now I have all 4 Pac-Man games for the 5200, and I've had time this weekend to get alot of playtime in on the Repros of Jr.PacMan, and Super PacMan, I thought I would give my two cents on the games.

    -PacMan: Compared to all the other PacMan games, this one is the smoothest running, and it has the nicest graphics. You can tell ATARI really took the time to polish this game so as to attone for their 2600 effort. PacMan seems to glide right over the dots without any of the jerkiness that you encounter in Ms.PacMan. The control is also right on, even with the analog controller I have no problems guiding PM thru the maze. Alot of people dis on the controls but I have no problem, although I can definetely sympathize with those who can't get use to the standard 5200 stick. Great game, one of the best for the 5200. Only con to this game is its the same maze over and over again. That tends to get boring. I find myself always starting at the KEY level just because I know the game will be challenging and won't be too long winded. PacMan can become monotonous.

    -Ms.PacMan: This is pretty good, and the only complaint I can muster on this version is that it seems like when you eat dots Ms.PacMan seems to exhibit jerkiness, she doesn't just smoothly roll over the dots. Again, no problems using the standard 5200 stick to play this game. I think the AI gives a great challenge on this one, giving some of the close encounters I remember from the arcade. I love getting out of a tight jam by wiggling my way to a power pellet and exacting some revenge.

    -Jr.PacMan: MY GOD THIS IS HARD! The Ghosts seem to be able to anticipate every move you make. They can read your mind. I am having a bear of a time getting away from the ghosts. I wind up spending most of my Energizer time just rounding up dots, because it seems like a waste to eat ghosts. Eating Energizers gives you a brief repreive from those coked-up ghosts, so I almost always just eat dots unless one is in my way. The graphics are absolutely the best, and the control is tight as well. I'm very impressed with the smoothness with which the screen scrolls from left to right/right to left. This game is a winner thru and thru, but I just can't seem to be able to anticipate ghost movement like I can in the other PacMan games. I've caught the prize bug quite a few times already, its a real pisser too when you've struggled to make it to the 3rd round and it happens. Nothing really debilitating though, I can easily live with that flaw.

    -Super Pac-Man: WOW! The Sound f/x are spot on, and the graphics are really alot better than I would have anticipated for this game on the 5200. It could use some color tweaks, but other than that its pretty much as good as you can get on this machine I would imagine. Now this game I am having major control problems using the standard 5200 stick. I seem to be consistently turning in the wrong direction, or turning prematurely thanks to the non-centering sticks. I don't like to complain about these sticks, because frankly I love the 5200 controller, but this time I am seeing a definite problem. This game is why I could use a masterplay interface. I can't imagine my performance if I could use a digital stick for this game. Someday it will happen. Gameplay is faithful to the arcade, complete with bonus stages(I love those). The ghosts are pretty stupid in this one. They seem to hover around the most populated areas of objects. Like if there is one corner I haven't cleared out yet, thats where the ghosts will seemingly run a route or pattern. I can stay in another corner thats been cleared out, and the ghosts won't come after me. Thats kind of a serious AI flaw if you ask me. Because I can't lure the ghosts away from an area by sitting somewhere else. Sometimes I need to lure the ghosts away! In this game they just hover close by that last uncleared area. Doesn't make that much of a problem, because this game is still the funnest PacMan game on the 5200 IMHO. I still manage to fair quite well even with the poor control of the standard stick.

  2. #2
    Great Puma (Level 12) NE146's Avatar
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    One thing about 5200 Pacman is the sound that pacman makes when eating dots is a little off. Now normally this would be forgiveable.. but there are Atari 8-bit versions of the same game where the dot-eating sound is much closer to the arcade! So the question is why didn't they use the same sound in the 5200 version as well? But then again, the 5200 version had the intermissions wheras the 8-bit version didn't.

    Check it out, download this and try playing it in Atari800Win

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    Bell (Level 8) Cafeman's Avatar
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    Funny timing here, I just hooked up my 5200 to my gaming TV, and I *finally* hooked up my still-boxed Masterplay Interface and a Wico 2600 control stick, and tried out a bunch of games. I mostly have no trouble with the 5200 sticks either, but it was nice to have that tight digital feel for the first time on some 5200 games!

    Anyway ... Pac-Man is overall my favorite. It's very smooth, I like the intermissions and sounds very much. It gets manic fast too. I played this so, so much over the years (including the gameplay-identical Atari 8bit computer version). I particularly enjoy that extra-loud "Ghost Eaten" sound effect in this version.

    Ms.Pac-Man is a great effort, and I like how the ghosts now have filled-in eyes using the 5200's missile sprites, even though there is a wee bit of subtle flickering now (none in Pac-Man, but then again the fruit didn't bounce around either). Ms.Pac is a bit jittery with the movement and control, and the first levels are excrutiatingly slow!

    Never played 5200 Jr Pac, but I find the 2600 Jr Pac to also be very hard.

    Super Pac-Man -- I agree, the sounds are perfect! Graphics are good, yes control is sometimes iffy but not unplayable by any means. This game could use a good dose of more unique colors though. Oh, well. Plus, I've never really liked the Pac sequels as much as the original Pac and Ms. Pac anyway, but that's just me.

    Overall, all 3 of the ones I own are must-owns for a 5200 owner, IMHO.

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    Ladd Spencer (Level 17) Captain Wrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NE146
    One thing about 5200 Pacman is the sound that pacman makes when eating dots is a little off. Now normally this would be forgiveable.. but there are Atari 8-bit versions of the same game where the dot-eating sound is much closer to the arcade! So the question is why didn't they use the same sound in the 5200 version as well? But then again, the 5200 version had the intermissions wheras the 8-bit version didn't.

    Check it out, download this and try playing it in Atari800Win
    Hmm...I didn't catch that. I grew up with the Atari 400 version (everyone else I knew had the 2600, suckers!!!) and I got the 5200 version about a year ago. Haven't played the 400 version in years, maybe I need to check it out again.

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