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Jun 182014

I have now reached my 700th post, which is about something really nostalgic. I can remember the first video game console I ever played was the Atari 2600 and I admit that the graphics and game play were a lot different compared to the video games we have today. However, if you still long for this kind of nostalgia, many of the old classic titles return all on one game called Atari Anthology for the Playstation 2.

To make this Atari set more interesting, the menu screens are up to date graphics of outer space. With each game you go to a different planet. It’s appropriate because if you think about it, many of the old Atari games were different types of space shooters. Sometimes though, the quick transition from new graphics to the old ones does take some getting used to.

There are 85 different games featured. Some I remember more than others. The ones I remember best include the classic space shooter Asteroids. The cute mind game Hangman.

Video Pinball that I still find particularly fun. Demons and Diamonds the quirky laser shooter game.

Casino a simple card game with interesting sound effects but was difficult to understand back in the day. And Atari Air-Sea Battle where you blast different vehicles in a continuous loop. I always loved the explosions.

I also remember Surround, but it’s hard to play without a second player. Why does this game not have a one-player mode like other games?

Many of the other games on this one disk set are ones I never heard of before. Whether they were quest games like the Sword Quest trilogy, first person shooters like Gravitar, sport games like Double Dunk, old arcade titles like Centipede, etc.; they all had something in common. I either don’t understand it, or the control is awkward. Sure the joystick control was tough before, but even now with this modern PS2 controller, it’s still difficult if not worse and there’s no need for that.

If you think Atari Anthology features every Atari game ever made, it doesn’t. I know because there are games I remember playing back in the day that aren’t included. It’s a real letdown, especially because some of the games this set of Atari titles does not include are Space Invaders and the original PAC-Man. Now those games were classics. Now I can understand not including titles that are based on movie and TV franchises like Star Wars, Superman, Spiderman, Indiana Jones, GI Joe, and E.T., but come on. Why leave out the true Atari classics?

The only other Atari game I remember that also wasn’t featured is Cosmic Ark, where you block meteors from different angles to protect your ship and collect an endless number of specimens. The control was a bit awkward when I played it years ago, but I liked the effects of the ship getting blown up.

Overall, Atari Anthology does have both good points and bad points. What I admire most about this title is how it provides the ability to ditch your old media and not have to lose your favorite old material. It’s like having old movies and TV shows on DVD or Blu-ray instead of VHS.