Review by Kan_Yozakura
"A great collection of three great games for a great price!"
ONE LINE SUMMARY:
Spot on emulation, a decent user interface and an solid collection of classic games make this a compilation to own on the GBA.
This GBA cartridge has two classic Atari arcade games and one 2600 game: Asteroids, Pong, and Yar's Revenge respectively. All of their gameplay styles are perfectly suited for on-the-go action.
The graphics are SPOT ON. This isn't that fuzzy, anti aliased crud that you see in other compilations. The graphics are perfect, pixel for pixel, and the sound is superb. Asteroids retains its original, vector graphics presentation, and Pong + Yar's look even better than they did back in the day due to the high resolution of the GBA screen. The only changes in any of the games is the explosion animation for your ship in Asteroids and a cleaner score/remaining lives display for Yar's. The graphics do get a little smushed on a GBA Micro (worst case is Pong), but look excellent on an SP.
The control is a little less perfect, but is still excellent. Asteroids is the best controlling of the three, with the directional pad for movement, A for firing, and B for hyperspace. Yar's uses the directional pad for movement and A for firing, and behaves exactly like its 2600 ancestor. Pong got the biggest change of the three, changing movement from an analog paddle to a directional pad. Up is up and down is down; simple stuff. Putting english on the ball never seems quite right, but once you get used to the controls it's fine.
All three games offer multiplayer using the same GBA for both people. Asteroids and Yar's have you switch off between lives, which works great. Pong, on the other hand, has Player 1 use the directional pad and Player 2 use the A and B buttons (Up and Down respectively). This doesn't work quite so well, as it's hard to get the precision timing you need when the other person is yanking the controller away.
The GUI for this game is unremarkable but functional. After the obligatory credits crawl, you're greeted to a title screen and some semiannoying music. By pressing Start, you access the game select screen, which consists of three "arcade cabinets" and more annoying music. Unfortunately, the arcade cabinets bear no resemblance to their real life counterparts, and look pretty tacky. The options within the game are well designed, allowing you to select the difficulty, number of players, and so on. Better yet, you can quit back to the game select screen at any time during gameplay in case you change your mind.
None. Nada. Zip. Everything you see initially is everything you will get. While this is somewhat of a letdown, the biggest disappointment is the lack of any high score saving. This severely limits the replayability of the games and takes out much of the competitiveness that made the original games so much fun.
The Pong/Asteroids/Yar's Revenge compilation is a must for classic-minded gamers on the GBA. Spot-on emulation and a great collection of titles shine despite the inexcusable lack of high score saving. If you loved the original games and own a GBA, then by all means get this now!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 03/12/07
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