I really like Atari 5200 controllers

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ptdebate1
Posts: 909
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby ptdebate1 » May 22nd, 2012, 11:57 pm

I think that the few bad attributes of 5200 controllers have been WAY over-exaggerated. I suspect that too many gamers trust what people say on the Internet (or what the AVGN says) and never even allow themselves the opportunity to actually try out Atari 5200 games. I do not doubt the Video Game Critic's gaming knowledge and experience, but I think his 5200 console review too is far too harsh on the controllers. I really respect Atari for trying something new with this console rather than simply aping the enormously successful VCS with its shallow digital controls. The result of their efforts was a very interesting and nuanced albeit flawed input device.

My only real quibble with the 5200 controller is that the buttons are prone to malfunction. If you have a Phillips-head screwdriver and a steady hand, however, they are not difficult to repair.

I do not find the analog stick to be more fragile or prone to breakage than those of other 1st-party controllers of the time. Nor am I at all perturbed by the fact that the joystick does not self-center. In my experience, it has no real impact upon gameplay at all.

I find that the controllers provide a great degree of precision for games which lend themselves to analog controls, such as Missile Command and Defender, making them much more fun to play than their VCS counterparts. Admittedly, I only own 7 5200 games as of now, but I look forward to trying more. Games that lend themselves more to digital controls (such as Berzerk or Pac-Man) aren't really as laborious to play as most people claim. They are certainly easier to play with the 5200 controller than almost any 7800 game using the 7800 controller. The 7800 controller is probably my least favorite controller of all time simply because there is no good way to hold it. The same really applies to the Intellivision controller as well, although I have to appreciate Mattel's innovative implementation of a 16-way digital pad. I have come up with many comfortable ways of holding the 5200 controller. I rarely experience strain (as I always do with the 7800 controller), even when playing intense games like Defender.


Astrosmasher1
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby Astrosmasher1 » May 23rd, 2012, 1:38 pm

you are lucky they never released the 5200 in the UK so I never had a chance to try it....

ptdebate1
Posts: 909
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby ptdebate1 » May 23rd, 2012, 4:37 pm

That is too bad... I really like the 5200, but unfortunately it came at a time ('82-'83) that was really bad for videogames in general. 

In the UK, however, you guys did get an awesome 7800 controller (designed very similar to an NES controller) that is vastly superior to the US one. I'm a bit envious of that one. Also you guys have TVs with SCART inputs--so convenient!


Rev1
Posts: 1777
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby Rev1 » May 23rd, 2012, 11:44 pm

Honestly, I have stayed away from the 5200 because of the bad wrap the controllers have given the system. Good to hear not everyone despises the controllers. Might give it a second look.

Shouldn't this be in one of the other forums? Reviews seems like a bad spot for this topic.

Teddybear1
Posts: 130
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby Teddybear1 » May 28th, 2012, 8:08 am

Man, I have been overdosing on the 5200 this 3-day weekend......and have to say that these contollers are as bad as advertised.

Miner 2049er, Pitfall II, Q-Bert, H.E.R.O. and Frogger are virtually unplayable with the 5200 stick.  And these are ports that many consider amongst the best released for the system.  If you don't have a Command Pro joystick you are cheating yourself.  The Wico joystick really isn't much of an improvement since getting the X & Y settings "just right" seems impossible.

I will say this - the 5200 sticks work exceptionally well for Robotron, Space Dungeon, Defender and RealSports Baseball.  But these are the exceptions and not the norm.  A very small (but awesome) group of games where a non-centering stick doesn't muck up the experience.

I would strongly disagree with them being "not difficult to repair".  It's not an easy task taking these things apart to glue tin foil on the button contacts (or to use a pencil eraser to clean them).

I know trashing the joysticks is beating a dead horse.  It's just maddening because this system is great.  I still don't understand why Atari Age or anyone with the know-how can't produce and market a new and improved 5200 joystick.  While it's not a labor of love like producing a home brew game there has to be several thousand of us 5200 lovers that would pay $$$ for a new enhanced joystick.  Or at least one that self-centers!!!!!

Until that day comes, The Atari 5200 can be a heartbreaker at times.

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VideoGameCritic
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I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 28th, 2012, 10:28 am

I have to disagree with the original post.

The Atari 5200 controllers are the only ones that seem to break on their own.

Whenever I pull them out I hold my breath to see if they will actually work.  Not only do the red buttons tend to stop working, but the joystick range will sometimes not be wide enough.  This is problematic for games like Realsports Baseball which require full range to take a full swing.  I've also had controllers that wouldn't let me throw to the first baseman.

And repairing them is a nightmare.  You need to take them apart a certain way so you don't damage them.  And then putting them back together is extremely difficult because so many pieces need to fall into place when you close the casing.

The benefits of the analog control are far offset by the drawbacks.  Few games use the analog effectively anyway.

Gentleman_loser1
Posts: 8
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby Gentleman_loser1 » May 28th, 2012, 8:37 pm

I will add my vote to the list of people who kind of like them....I think I play more time playing my 5200 than any of my other consoles, with the possible exception of my Gamecube.  I find them pretty comfortable, and they work pretty well, at least for the games I've been playing lately (Robotron, Space Dungeon, Pac Man (takes a bit of getting used to, but now Im doing pretty well at it), Realsports baseball, Space Invaders...)

The opening/cleaning is a pain in the ass, but I've only had to do that once in the past year (lucky , I guess, and I have four controllers).

The one weird thing is I find sometimes a controller will stop partially working....like, it will all of a sudden not move to the left, or down, or something (physically move, yes, provide the game characters movement, no). Then, I have to reset the game, or turn the console on and off..and it works again...Does this happen to anyone else?

Agreed they are fussy ...but I still don't think they are as bad as some say.


Gentleman_loser1
Posts: 8
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby Gentleman_loser1 » May 28th, 2012, 8:40 pm

I also really love love LOVE the trackball for Missile Command and Centipede.

It is also true that putting the controllers back together can be tricky..I thought I broke one by slightly creasing the flex circuit...but fortunately it survived.


soporj1
Posts: 556
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby soporj1 » May 28th, 2012, 11:50 pm

Worst controllers ever. Worse than the Intellivision, worse than those Colecovision sports controllers with 30 buttons, worse than the Power Glove.



mbd361
Posts: 68
Joined: December 31st, 1969, 7:00 pm

I really like Atari 5200 controllers

Postby mbd361 » May 30th, 2012, 8:48 pm

[QUOTE=soporj]Worst controllers ever. Worse than the Intellivision, worse than those Colecovision sports controllers with 30 buttons, worse than the Power Glove.


[/QUOTE]

Worse than the SMS sports pad that made the Critic give an F- to "Great Ice Hockey"?



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