Review by The Manx

"Sometimes nostalgia is good"

For all of us, there was a time when the world was sweeter, less complicated, and had better video games. Exactly what the most cherished memory is, that's different for everybody, but with 80's nostalgia getting so popular, it was probably pretty much inevitable that we'd bee seeing the Atari come back to haunt us in this anthology packing upwards of 45 of Activision's oldest hits.

Most of these games were a little before my time, but most perform pretty solidly. The controls are pretty responsive in most games, and the hit dection isn't bad, but I still feel kind of short changed when my toe touches a fish or a bat taps me on the head with his wing and that means I'm instantly dead.

For the time, they were good, and you'll be able to tell what most things are supposed to be anyway--rats, spiders, flower pots, shopping carts, convicts, whatever. Most of the time, anyway. What's that yellow thing below you in the first screen of Pitfall 2?

Much less emphasis was placed on this in the early days of gaming, and perhaps to distract you from how awful the in game sound usually was, Activision threw in a boom box that plays 80's rock while you play the games. Nice touch, but you shouldn't have to listen to other music to forget about a video game's bad sound.

Instruction manual-1/10
Perhaps they couldn't have fit all the manuals of those fifty something games into a booklet that would fit into a PS2 game case, but there are a lot of games on the disc that I really wish they had. Sure, no reading or brains are required for games like say, River Raid, but I still can't figure out how to throw grenades in Commando, and the only reason I have any idea what I'm doing in Private Eye is because I got the original manual off the net. They put all these extras onto the disc, and didn't put in a feature where you could read the games' manuals??!

Replay value-8/10
There's over 40 games on this disc, so if you aren't frustrated by having to completely figure out the game on your own, you can spend a lot of time rediscovering your youth or exploring the cheesy games of yesteryear.

For the gamer longing for simpler times, the Activision Anthology has a lot to offer.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 09/12/05

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