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Why are Atari 2600 Paddle Games so hard to emulate? And what the heck happend to padd

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Please answer me this? Why is it so hard to properly emulate Atari 2600 paddle games?

Think about it, have you ever played an Atari 2600 paddle game that was any good on anything but the Atari. No. Only the Atari 2600 with its factory attached paddles work. For example, take the Jakks Pacific All-In-On Atari 2600 paddle games unit. I was so excited to play it this weekend on our RV but when I fired it up I soon discovered it didn't even come close to giving me a better experience than playing these games on the Atari itself. The controls were awful and showed considerable lag between the time I spun the controller to the time that reaction caught up with the on screen paddle. It was horrible. Only Night Driver seemed to come close to working correctly. As far as Circus Atari, Breakout and pong, it was near impossible to play.

Then we have the re-releases like Kaboom as part of Activision's various retro compilations. They expect you to play Kaboom without a paddle controller - Impossible! Now I know it was the only paddle controlled game in their compilation but why even include it. It just teases me every time I try playing it on my Nintendo DS. God how I would love a portable Kaboom with a paddle device. At least Taito did it right when they released Arkanoid DS. They included their paddle device within the game packaging. Oh, wait - I had to import that because they TOOK IT OUT OF THE U.S. versions of the game. Do they think we Americans are super slick with a D-pad or something? Arkanoid is not even playable with a D-pad. Unbelievable.

It got me thinking why a similar controller, which in my opinion was one of the best controllers of its time, was tossed so soon after the Atari disappeared. Why don't we have paddle controllers to this day? I guess the types of games that used these types of controllers have gone by the wayside as well. But am I the only one who would rather play Burnout with some sort of paddle device over a standard PS3 controller? I think not. And no, I really don't want to have a huge dashboard / steering wheel contraption sitting in my living room all the time. Give me small paddle controller for the driving games and I would be a happy camper.

I think someone needs to bring the paddle controller back and some cool new games to properly use its features. It was so precise, even back in the day, and for some reason no one seems to come close to matching its precision. And "precision" is not something you normally think about when talking about the Atari 2600.

What do you guys think about this? Was the Atari paddle controller as good as I remember? Do you want to see a newer version of a paddle controller released and some cool games to go with it?

- So Cal Mike

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  1. Dhalamar's Avatar
    I have that Jakk's Pacific Atari 2600 paddle game controller thing (both the single player version and the two player version) and I've never really had a problem with it. I play Breakout and Warlords on it all the time.

    But then again, when I was a kid I didn't HAVE a paddle controller ... even though I had shitloads of the games that USED it. Go figure on that one. I've only ever used a paddle controller on a real 2600 a handful of times. So maybe that has something to do with it.

    Either way, I picked up one of those Jakk's Pacific things at a pawn shop for 4 bucks, and the other at Goodwill for a dollar. lol
  2. Dhalamar's Avatar
    Actually, something to add to this ... I don't think the games on that are emulated so much as they re-programmed remakes. But I could be worng?
  3. BydoEmpire73's Avatar
    A friend of mine swore by his NgCon on PS1 for racing games. Not exactly a paddle, but similar concept.

    I always liked the paddle games, too. Circus Atari is one of best. Warlords, of course. I thought Demons to Diamonds was pretty cool in a weird way.

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