This collection brings back a lot of memories for me… I remember I still had a 286 when I was playing these games, which were some of the first video games I have ever played, and it was from this point on that I became addicted to the world of video games. Playing them once again, I cannot believe how simplistic they are, yet I used to spend so much time with them.
Hmm… now how should I rate the graphics? Well… the games are still displayed using huge pixels and look just as they did two decades ago. Even though everything can be displayed in colour, you can also switch to a black and white mode to simulate further nostalgia. The games come with a neat-looking 3D interface too, where you are inside of an 80’s room with a desk and an old-fashioned, twist-knob TV, and a rack of game cartridges beside it (your catalogue of games that you can play). This way, it looks like you actually travelled back in time armed with a huge collection of video games to play on your old console. The graphics of the games themselves are relatively unchanged from the original versions, so anybody who has played those will recognize them with ease. To make the game more interesting, there are more display modes which can be uncovered by completing different games. These modes include motion blurring and a spinning cube where the game is displayed onto the different faces of the cube. You probably won’t be using these modes much, but it’s nice to know they’re there if you want some more challenge.
Please note that even though I gave a fairly low rating for the graphics, bear in mind that the graphics are bad for a reason, which is to preserve the look and feel of the old classics that we love so much.
As for the sound effects of the games, they are relatively unchanged. There is now the addition of music with 80’s tunes however, to add to the overall mood of the collection. If you are not interested in 80’s music, have no fear, you can import your own playlists if you like. One bad thing about all this is that some of the games already have their own music, so it tends to sound quite bad when playing one of these games without turning down the volume of the added songs. The audio for this game is really not that bad, and will make you believe you are actually back in time.
If you don’t mind the blocky graphics, you can really enjoy this collection of 75 games, especially if you have had the chance to play some of these gems on the original Atari 2600. This large collection contains classics like Pitfall, Chopper Commander, and River Raid, giving you some quality retro gaming. There are even games which were never released and (unfortunately) other, not so great titles like Venetian Blinds, which is just a technology demo. A feature of the collection is the amount of extras and hidden bonuses such as the opportunity to watch old TV commercials of some of the games if you complete them or unlocking different display modes to make the games more challenging. You may also receive patches for playing which, added with the bonuses and the number of games available, means a heck of a lot of replayability. The manuals of the games are also included, which you can read. Also included are the actual pictures of the game cartridges and boxes, if you are interested in those. The only thing I’m disappointed here is the fact that some games like Lunar Lander and Centipede did not manage to make an appearance here, which is a shame.
Games of the 80’s didn’t really have good graphics or audio, so replayability was a key factor in the creation of these games. These games sure have plenty of replay value, and should keep you seated for hours on end as you try to beat a previous high score. Most of these games don’t even have missions or anything like that, and the goal is just to get as much points as you can, in the fastest time you can. It’s the replayability that makes these games so much fun and had you glued to your TV’s years ago. These games here are just as fun as I remembered them to be, and actually challenges you, and so allows to be played over and over again.
With all the fancy 3D polygonal graphics nowadays it’s easy to forget where the games get their origins from. With this collection, you are given the option of going back to a time where games were played because they are fun, not because they have high frame rates or a high level of graphical detail. It seems that most games today are heavily influenced by these classics, so if you are interested in taking a look at the roots to some of your favourite games, then get this. Remember, bad graphics doesn’t mean bad gameplay, and you won’t be disappointed by this collection.