Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Jun 09, 2004
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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This IS The '80's.

The Good

There have been a lot of classic game compilations released in the past few years, but this particular title captures the essence of its time period. From the game's layout and interface, truly well-emulated games (MUCH better than the emulation set up on the PSOne), collectibles and bonus videos, and a great soundtrack that is rivaled only by "GTA: Vice City" in the nostalgia department. There are a lot of great titles on this compilation pack, so it's very hard to get bored with this title. If one game doesn't provide some enjoyment, there are 40+ other titles to choose from. And while extremely dated in looks by today's standards, games like "Pitfall!" and "River Raid" never lose their replay value. The strongest feature of this entire compilation is that it proves exactly why Activision produced some of the best games for the Atari 2600. Few companies could match the level of quality in terms of graphics and gameplay.

The Bad

With subsequent releases of this title, there have been more games added to the the compilation. The PC, Macintosh, and Game Boy Advance versions have a handful of more titles to choose from, mostly home-brew games, and technical demos. Even though there is a significant number of titles to choose from, some titles did not stand the test of time, and are now viewed as more of a passing curiosity than an interesting game. The overall control is good, but some titles (such as Kaboom!) simply were designed for a paddle controller.

The Bottom Line

For a compilation package, there are few that can compare. The games are good, the presentation is actually fun and keeps the mood of the era, and the unlockable bonuses are actually worth the time to get, and show off a gamer's skillset. Again, while these games look absolutely prehistoric by today's standards, there is still a certain amount of charm in the graphics, and with the strong emulation, the gameplay remains as addictive and fun as it did 20 years ago. Recommended for Atari 2600 fans, Activision fans, classic gamers, or anyone from the casual to hardcore gamer.