Review by KasketDarkfyre

"More games, more classics..."

Activision Anthology is an attempt to cash in on the old Atari games that most of us grew up with before the days of Super Mario and Sonic. You’ll find that unlike the Classics collection on the Play Station, there are 10 to 15 more games that are available in the way of Thwoker. While the games here are all old classics, they are more of a sentimental journey back down an old memory lane where the games are now all in the next generation and not hanging out in the basement. If you’re into the older style games, then you might want to check these old simply because you’re a fan of the genre and you want to know just where the games of today started out.

You Want To Play?

Activision Classics offers you the ability to play games that are hard to find, or that belong on a system so ancient, that finding an system for them is harder to do than finding Jimmy Hoffa. You have several games, ranging from River Raid {one of the best Activision games around} to the simple bombing game of Ka-Boom! Each game has your general assortment of options, including two players, but adds the effect of ''Switches''. These switches allow you to change the game play just a bit in terms of the difficulty, or the amount of lives you have.

While not exactly the most innovative of options, it does offer you a look into the past! Outside of this, you’ll get plenty of old school gaming rolled up into one disc. Even though the games are severely dated, you’ll also find that a certain amount of addictive qualities can be found throughout the different games, with some of the more impressive games being River Raid and the challenge is nothing more than a switch select away. If you want your game to be extremely hard, and then all you have to do is flip one of those switches, if you want it to be two players, then another switch can be flipped. In all honesty, I’ve never had these types of options before with classic games, at least that I could understand, and now that I do, there is no going back to the old school system just to play a favorite classic!

Most of the games revolve around using the directional pad, and one or two buttons only. Without much effort, you'll find that the game has easy to use control for all ages, and anyone who remembers most of these games when they were top of the line, will find that the controls have stayed faithful, and simple enough to use. Some gamers will find slight problems though with the fact that the games are no longer played with a paddle control, but the directional pad! Some of these games that you play are actually harder to control with the dual shock control pad, and it adds more to the difficulty, not so much with what is coming at you during the game, but more with the way that you’re able to move your character or otherwise around. With enough practice and some serious patience, you should have no problems coming up with a good control set and scheme that you can use and it will help if you really want to get into scoring high in the games.

Return To The Old School…

For a collection of games that pre-date the original 8 bit Nintendo system, Activision Anthology does well to re-create the graphics of old in all of their simplistic glory. Giving 40+ different games to look at, you'll find that the visuals aren't to be dazzling, but to re-create for today's gamer, what it was like back in the old days before 3-Dimensional characters, flashy magic spells, and ultra-fast frame rates. Any gamer from this era will be sucked back into the games of old, because it is re-created just as they were back then. Basic graphics, basic colors basic effects. Even with that being said, you’ll find the familiar details and visuals will transport you back in time to a day in which games were meant to be simple and had nothing that we had today! Basically, you’ll have to remember that games like these were the real deal and that the Play Station 2 is simply recreating these for our enjoyment.

I Laugh…

The audio is so simple and basic, it's sick. However, it does recreate the sounds and ''music'' that these games had to offer way back in the day. After about 15 minutes of listening though, you'll be yearning for some techno-music, or maybe some heavy metal. There isn't a wide variety of sound effects to hear in Activision Anthology, so get ready for some hums, blaring sounds and beeps as well as pre-date explosion effects. When you take a step back and consider what it is that you’re hearing compared to what we have now, you’ll have to take into consideration that the games reproduced here are what started all of the games that we have today, with a couple of minor exceptions! The games don’t carry extensive voice acting or full musical scores that we’ve taken for granted, but simple, generated sounds that act more as a guide instead of a completely different aspect to the games.

Sweet Jesus…

Fans of these games will find this a treat, and anyone with a Play Station 2 that ever wanted to look through the distant past, and see where the Resident Evils, Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehogs started out from, will find it here in this game pack. Offering you 40+ different games from the past, it's worth a look for anyone who grew up with these games. When you take a look at the title we’re seeing now, you’ll find that the game is actually a step twenty years into the past and should be regarded that way! Considering this, you have to be a true fan of games like these in order to appreciate what it represents and how much game play actually came out of these simple, yet fun games from decades past. For anyone else, you may look elsewhere, but overall, Activision Classics gives you the truest insight to the days of old.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 02/23/03, Updated 02/23/03

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