Review by Lufia King
"Another Atari complilation, but much better than its PS1 predecessors."
Ah, the famous Atari games of the old days. Silly graphics? Yep. Better than most games now? You bet.
Summary: Activision Anthology brings together the Activision games from the Atari 2600 in a great compilation, although it is missing some of the greatest games of the Atari era, due to the Activision-only library (but hey, with a name like Activision Anthology, what can you expect?). The graphics are nothing compared to the amazing feats that today's technology can accomplish, but it still offers some very addictive gameplay. It's at a bargain price, so even someone living of an allowance (like me) can afford it. I wouldn't recommend a purchase unless you really like older games, but I doubt you'll be able to find at any local rental stores, let alone an electronics store. It took me trips to about 10 stores to finally find the game, and it was buried in an old stockpile, where nobody could hope to ever find it. It is a great game, although after you've tested all of the games out, you'll likely only stick to playing about 4 or 5 of them.
Of course you can't expect much from Atari 2600 games, but after a while of playing you get used to them, and they seem to serve as a well done nostalgic experience. I can't possibly give them a lower rating than this, because it could raise arguments about comparing graphics from then to now, and I'm all for 2D graphics. I seem to always have trouble with the camera in some new 3D games, which seem to be more of a hassle than a technological advantage.
Many of these games get boring after a while of playing, but there are some that will keep you coming back for more of that Atari goodness. My personal favourites are Kaboom! (it is a bit harder than some may remember because you have to use the analog stick instead of the knob), and Pressure Cooker (a good ol' fast food game, which gets very fast paced and confusing near the end).
The sound, once again, is nothing more than you can expect from Atari games the size of a desktop icon, but they get the job done. Activision included some interesting 80's music for us, although the songs (I've heard elsewhere that there are 12 songs, but it only feels like 6 or 7) do get VERY repetitive, and eventually you will get so annoyed that you'll be more interested in the monotone beeps and boops of the game than the music. Thank god you can turn the music off though, instead of being forced to mute the TV.
Replay Value: 6/10
As I said earlier, there won't be an enormous amount of the games that you will want to play over, and over, and over, etc. There will likely be only a few games you'll like out of the 40+ games on the disc. Unless you like to collect everything (I'm one of those people), you probably won't want to keep playing the games until you collect the badges for them, which serve as nothing but eye candy, and recognition for your hard work. The commercials are worth it however (or so I believe), and I'm sure you'll feel that collecting them was worth it. A lot of websites I've been to said that the game allows you to go online and download new games, as well as history of the Atari and Activision. I was really looking forward to this feature, but it was axed just before the release of the game. That really disappointed me, as it seemed really promising, and it is the main reason this category received a low mark.
Well, I realize that the above scores don't add up to an average of 8/10, but I raised the mark just because Activision did a great job putting together a new addition to the usually lack-luster compilation genre.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/17/03
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