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Obviously, the 2600’s eight-direction, one-button controls are not as fluid as the arcade game’s more robust setup, but considering what Parker Brothers accomplished here that seems like such a petty complaint that it borders on the ungrateful. You must play Star Wars: The Arcade Game.
Despite that, I can't help but be amazed with what Parker Brothers managed to do with Star Wars: The Arcade Game on the Atari 2600. It managed to be more faithful to the incredible original than anyone should've expected from the then-six-year-old hardware. The Force is definitely strong with this one.
Casual gamers may not be impressed, but Star Wars aficionados will certainly appreciate this ambitious cartridge.
Overall, the Atari 2600 does its best to remain as accurate as possible compared to the arcade version. The graphical limitations cannot match the vector graphics of the arcade version, but it is an adequate port. Also, with being among one of the first film-licensed games created, it set a precedence that wouldn’t be met again very often in that console’s lifespan. In order to pick this up, you’re looking at spending about $20 in the secondhand market. It’s a great addition to any Atari collection, and is worth the purchase if you’re looking for a harder to find game. Plus, you get to blow up the Death Star, and that’s worth $20 right there.
Despite it's shortcomings, Star Wars: The Arcade Game is a pretty decent effort on the 2600. Seriously, did you think it was going to match the arcade version? Of course not. It's still a fun game if you give it a chance. And since it was my only way of playing the game at home (before emulation) it almost made me feel like I had brought the arcade cabinet to my house.
During the years when the Atari 2600 reigned, games were ported from the arcade that were just a bit much to be expecting from the Atari's limited hardware. Parker Brothers shouldn't have bothered making Star Wars: The Arcade Game for the 2600. The speed, clarity, and flow of the original vector game was just impossible to properly reproduce on the home systems of the time.