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Moon Patrol is a ton of fun and always makes me smile. I'm not sure if it's the catchy theme song or the relentless scroll towards the next onslaught, but this is a great game.
This space shooter makes a fairly smooth transition to the 5200. Your moon rover is a bit blocky, but the scrolling background looks impressive -- particularly the futuristic city. Moon Patrol is a challenge because you have to concentrate on the road in front of you while shooting UFOs above. On the 5200 controller the jump and shoot buttons are right next to each other, which I found to be awkward (and sometimes confusing). The gameplay itself is virtually identical to the arcade game. There are two skill levels and a continue option.
I loathed this game in its VCS incarnation. Its flickery graphics and choppy scrolling killed the game. I'm happy to report that the 5200 version comes almost indistinguishably close to the arcade original. In Moon Patrol, you take control of an armored go buggy, tooling across the lunarscape. It's just you against alien spaceships, tanks, and a grueling, pockmarked path. In addition to the vehicle-swallowing pits natural to the landscape, the enemy vessels can blast holes in front of you. 5200 Moon Patrol successfully retains both the wild gameplay and the trademark audiovisual effects that helped to distinguish Moon Patrol in the arcades. The background graphics are gorgeous, and the soundtrack does a terrific job of setting a playful mood -- while incorporating some of the eeriest sound effects found in a classic home videogame. And since the key to conquering this game lies in the precise timing of jumps, the joysticks do not detract from the gameplay one bit. Recommended.
Moon Patrol is still a very challenging action game with a lot of jumping and shooting and to think that this game came before Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. If there were more games like Moon Patrol out there than I'm sure the big video game crash wouldn't had happened to begin with. It's one of the few Atari games that features a complete package of 3D backgrounds, game theme music, and awesome game play too. Sadly, even though this game plays and looks pretty close to the arcade game but I still prefer the Atari 2600 version thanks to the weird button set up on the Atari 5200 controller side buttons. However, despite some control issues Moon Patrol for the 5200 is still well worth picking up for action fans.