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  Arcade to Atari Page II





Part Two of the Atari 2600 look into arcade games that were converted for home play. Would it be worth the money to buy the cart or just sulk into the local arcade and spend less and have more fun. Is this irrelevant due to we can download these games for free on the internet? Sigh...

Previous Atari Conversions....

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The rating below consider the overall likeness to its arcade parent, including graphics and sound

Donkey Kong
Arcade original :Nintendo - Atari conversion :Coleco 

Arcade platform game fun from Nintendo when they used to make just games. Donkey Kong is the first showing of Mario. Lots of fun involved jumping and running across the four screens. A genuine arcade classic.

Did they get it right?
Atari players wanted this so badly. The arcade game was received by players as a feast of gameplay. Coleco handled the conversion who were at the time promoting the Colecovision, a mighty new console which had arcade quality graphics and sound that made the VCS owners look on with envy. The Coleco version of Kong was very good but when the 2600 version was released it looked like it was doctored to be that unplayable (in fact, rumor has it it was to make the Coleco look good compared, yeah right, and I have a landfill of ET games in my backyard). Only two screens appear in the game and these are dire. The graphics are feeble and the sound terrible. Shame as it could have much better (See Kangaroo below)  2

Arcade original :Atari- Atari conversion :Atari 

Vector graphics shoot-em-up that hold a special place in the history of video games. Lots of time could be spent blasting Asteroids and shooting spaceships and even more time could be spent Lurking, a name given to players who left one piece of Asteroid and waiting for the high priced small spaceship to appear. Huge scores amassed.

Did they get it right?
Chuck away the Vectors and replace with blocky sprites that flicker away and you could say that 2600 Asteroids is pretty crap. No, it plays a nerve-wracking exciting game. Using Joystick instead of buttons does take a while to amend to, but with the variations available on the cart (akin to Space Invaders 2600). Asteroids is a rewarding conversion. 9

Arcade original :Sun Elec. - Atari conversion :Atari

Nice colourful game taking ideas from the Nintendo arcade game, Donkey Kong. Save your Kangaroo mum from those nasty monkeys.

Did they get it right?
Donkey Kong just did not work, but surprisingly Kangaroo does and is amusing, entertaining and varied game. The levels are not faithful to its big brother, and even the messy arcade graphics seem better on the VCS. It even has a outstanding attract mode containing some of the levels (like Centipede). Impressive and very playable arcade romp 9

PeeknPoke Arcade tidbits - You could convert the Star Wars coin op into the Empire Strikes back using a conversion kit. That explains why confused kids did not know how the game had changed the next time they went in the arcades.

Arcade original :Atari - Atari conversion :Atari 

A massive arcade beast of a machine using vectors. The action is thick and fast with some great touches. The duel controls of the original arcade coin op was simple to use although looked overwhelming to a young 7 year old such as myself. There is a rumor that you could finally get to those hills and the volcano flicking its ash in the distance. No one got there of course.

Did they get it right?
Its funny but the 2600 re image of the coin op looks like an update. Gone are the vectors as they could never work on the Atari for such a game and replaced by alarmingly colorful sprites and backdrops. The joysticks have been placed into one, making it easier to pick up on first go. It is also very playable too. Bonus points go to the death scene crash. A prime example of 2600 programming skill of thought.  9

Arcade original :Nintendo - Atari conversion :Parker Bros.

That spinach munching hero of the cartoons punches his way on this Nintendo coin op. A frankly limited game but what is there is fun. And who could resist the lovely Olive throwing hearts at us? First seen by myself on a Blackpool (A UK holiday place full of arcades) night out and then neatly placed at a Fish and Chip shop in Swinton near where I lived. Needless to say Brians Fry in did more business from me.

Did they get it right?
Stripped of its cartoon colourful glory, the first thing that you notice about Popeye is that what colours the programmers used. They are dull. The game is all neatly packed here, losing little touches that were not needed (we wish they could of put the barrel in on the first screen, oh well). At least the three screens are in place which is a bonus 6

PeeknPoke Arcade tidbits - There is a bug in Robotron that can make the game crash when you shoot into the corners. This is said to be avoidable by turning the fancy attract mode of the game off. Source -KLOV

Ms. Pacman
Arcade original :Namco - Atari conversion :Atari 

(The ladies version of) Maze munching arcade hit. Enough Said

Did they get it right?
Get that checklist out. Arcade screens here (although fitted for the screen). Check. Sounds. Check. Music. Check. Attract mode Check. Millions of times more playable than the Pacman conversion Double Check.

Ms.Pacman is one of the best conversions ever. You have got to admire the Programmers skill of getting the best out of the little code on offer. It is something special to have played this when it was first released and even now, it is pretty wonderful. 10


Dig Dug
Arcade original :Atari - Atari conversion :Atari 

Dig dug is a one screen battle of dust and dirt. think Pacman but in self dug holes. Has characters named Pooka and Fygar. Nice.

Did they get it right?
The arcade game is simple enough so the 2600 version has again a top notch arcade hit on its carts. Even the music seems right this time. Is it me or does again the Atari cart seem to be more tidy than the coin op? 8


Road Runner
Arcade original :Atari - Atari conversion :Atari 

Large arcade game featuring the funny Warner Bros. team. Loads of set pieces, lots of levels and lots of action.

Did they get it right?
Although the Atari fans like this one, I am not convinced. The coin op, although seamless against the cartoon lacks after a few plays. The 2600 shows these bare bones and interest wanes. But if you liked the arcade game..waffle..waffle...5

PeeknPoke Arcade titbits (opps whats a Titbit?) - on Pacman it is possible to hide forever in one place on the screen. Here is how: where Pac-Man starts there is a "T"-like wall above him. If you go up to the right-most part of the "T" from the bottom without any ghosts seeing you go in, they will never enter that spot. Also, do not move; stay still, facing up. Source-KLOV

Arcade original :Atari - Atari conversion :Parker

The essential shoot em up. One of the first down scroller shooters that was very challenging and joyful. The music could be always heard in the background of many arcades (along with Moon Cresta)

Did they get it right?
What is this? The nice screens of the game have been reduced to flickery mess. It looks like the cart has had to much frying done to it as all I can say about this is, it does not feel like Xevious so it isn't. Is that the ship? Unfinished pap 2

Pole Position
Arcade original :Namco - Atari conversion :Atari

An early car racing game but knocked Indy 500 into a cocked hat as Pole Position had some mean graphics to show off and a Lady announcer. Like it.

Did they get it right?
This is a nice game although looking rather like it has been in the wash a few times. The road effect seems to work rather well here as do the sprites. There is a lot of love contained in this version as the programmers have done well. Should satisfy the racers in all of us 7

Oh no, I have run out of Credits. Look out for more coin ops to the Atari at PeeknPoke Soon






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