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Is Pac-Man (Atari 2600) really that bad?

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Keeping with the theme of my last two articles, it’s time to tackle another poorly rated game. The arcade Pac-Man is probably one of my favorite Coin-Op games. But, the 2600 home port is something to be desired. As I’ve found with both ET 2600, and Sonic ’06, bad games aren’t really as bad as many say they are. But, we’re only half way through the bad game list. Here is my “review worst games thingy”, with the game Pac-Man: on the Atari 2600!

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The gameplay is very similar to the arcade game. But, if you’ve lived under a rock for at least 30 years, here is a recap: you eat pellets, travel around a maze and avoid ghosts. There are bigger pellets, that turn you super. This means you can eat ghosts.

But, porting an arcade game to an inferior system never ends well. In this game, Pac-Man eats wafers, the game only displays one ghost at one time so the ghosts flicker, and a poorly designed maze. But, we all expected modified graphics and level layouts. But the ghost flickering is not excusable.

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But, I can’t really complain about the game as much as other games (say ET, or the next game that I will review next week). The reason is that there is another Pac-Man game on the Atari 2600. This game is Ms Pac-Man. If you really wanted a Pac-Man game on the 2600, just go for Ms Pac-Man.

However, this is a review of Pac-Man 2600, and not Ms Pac-Man. Is this game fun? The result is similar to Sonic ’06, and ET: the games are fun, but only when reviewing, Let’s Playing, or with a friend. You wouldn’t go back to play this game, as there are better games. But, it’s still …

Atari Jaguar

Underrated Systems – The Atari Jaguar

The Atari Jaguar; a commercial failure, and Atari’s final video game system. Despite this, though, the Jaguar has a dedicated fan base and many homebrew games exclusive to the system.

The Atari Jaguar had a multi-processor CPU. The “Tom” and  “Jerry” chips were both 26.59 MHz. A Motorola 68000 was used “as a manager”, at 13.295 MHz. It had 2MB of RAM, and the ROM cartridges could hold up to 6MB of space.

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Back in 1994, the Atari Jaguar was struggling to sell. In 1993, Atari reported they had sold a mere 17,000 systems. By the end of 1994, they reduced the price of the system as they had sold approximately 100,000 systems.

However, the system did earn some praise with games like: Tempest 2000, Doom, and Wolfenstein 3D. The small library caused the Jaguar to appeal to a small gaming audience.

Old Atari Ad
Old Atari Ad

Atari was bought out by Hasbro Interactive in the late 1990s. They declared that the system was an open platform. This meant small indie developers could develop games for the system.

In the UK (back in 2001), a deal was struck between Telegames and Game. This meant the Atari Jaguar was being sold for £29.99.

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The Atari Jaguar’s controller

I believe this video game system is very underrated. The Atari Jaguar is home to some of the most revolutionary games ever made – but it is also home to some terrible games.

Tempest 2000 is one of these hidden gems. This game is a remake of the classic arcade game, Tempest. This was originally an exclusive, but ports were then made, 2 years after the Jaguar version.

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The objective of this game is to survive as long as possible and score as many points as the player can possibly get. This game is known for being …