Written by  :  Guy Chapman (2001)
Written on  :  Feb 08, 2006
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars

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It Has It's Moments, Yet There's Some Things Missing....

The Good

I do like these classic gaming compilations. It's a nice way to preserve video gaming history for today's crowd. And this compilation has a lot of classics on it: Astrosmash, Night Stalker, Thunder Castle, Snafu.... There's a wide selection of games to choose from, with a handful of secrets to unlock.

The games hold up to what they originally were as far as sound and graphics go, and they play at the right speed, so there's not a lot of changes to gameplay as far as the emulation is concerned.

In addition to the gameplay, there's a lot of history that goes behind the scenes for Intellivision, Mattel, and discusses all the way from the '80's gaming craze, the big crash, and the rebirth of gaming into today's modern titles. It's good to see that a lot of the original developers are keeping the legacy of their baby alive and well. And they should. The Intellivision was an important piece of gaming history.

The Bad

That said, a lot of these games were simply meant for Intellivision's controller. It's an admirable attempt to try and make the control configuration of the Intellivision pads work, but there were just too many buttons on the original, and in an attempt to emulate the original, it just feels clunky. Not for all games, but there are some titles that just feel virtually unplayable.

Due to licensing issues, some of Intellivision's best didn't see the light of day. The Dungeons & Dragons and TRON series are sorely missed, and even moreso are the brilliant Imagic titles. I'd give just about anything to play Dracula, or Beauty and the Beast, or Microsurgeon again. If they ever brave another compilation, I hope they license the rights to bring these titles to the next set.

Also of note is the music in the arcade. Most of it are remixes of Intellivision game music. Other selections are just ghastly. I wish they had taken the Activision Anthology route and tossed in a few '80's classics to bring the nostalgia home with the pizza parlor theme.

The Bottom Line

If you love classic games, the title is cheap enough to warrant a look. The simpler games still hold up well and are fun to play, and the game prototypes and demos are interesting to take a stroll through. I wish there was a better way to recreate the Intellivision controller experience, but current controllers just can't do it. The biggest thing missing are some of the third-party and licensed titles, which really showed off how unique Intellivision could be.

Worth a look for retro gaming fans who need a quick fix. It's just too bad they couldn't have brought the full experience home.