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  Activision Anthology
To do a review that compares the Activision Anthology (which is a compilation of over 40 classic games for the Atari 2600) to the typical 3D first-person shooter or RPG whose cinematics are nothing short of movie-like, would not be fair. The games included in the Activision Anthology could be considered the video game equivalent of 8-tracks compared to the compact discs of today. Their graphics don’t even compare to the graphics of games today, but, if you are looking to play the games that were around 20 years ago, the graphics are perfect. It is almost amazing that these graphics were once considered cutting-edge visuals that put gamers in awe.

Your flashback begins in a teenager’s room straight out of the 80’s. To play one of the 40+ games in the Activision Anthology, simply select one from the cartridge rack and place it into the Atari 2600. For those of you expecting to find the games different from the originals, you will definitely be disappointed. Each game (with everything from River Raid to Pitfall, Stampede to Grand Prix, Atlantis to Chopper Command) has been flawlessly re-created – even their lame blips and beeps that used to pass for sound effects. What is really cool though, is that you have the option to listen to a variety of musical hits from the same decade while playing. With great songs from such artists as Men Without Hats, Twisted Sister, A-Ha, and Blondie (among others), the incredibly inferior sound effects that accompany these games become more bearable. As you beat more and more high-scores, interesting and unique “unlockables” become available to you. These “unlockables” include different gameplay modes, patches and TV commercials. While most people will choose to play the games in their typical “classic” gameplay mode, the more adventurous games might want to try one of the 15 other gameplay modes with names like “Cube”, “Whirl”, “Tilt-o-Vision”, or “Disco”.

People who grew up in the 80’s will definitely love Activision Anthology for it’s nostalgic value, while the children of the 90’s will more than likely find it boring. However, this is a classic collection should be played now and then to remind us of what had to be endured to get where the industry is today. How dare gamers today assume that games have always had the high quality production values found games like Halo and Final Fantasy? Activision Anthology is easily the best old-school game compilation ever produced and a must buy for both hardcore and casual gamers alike. A nice CG intro, a retro style setup, and cool bonuses make the Activision Anthology a must have… even if it only gets used as a conversation piece at parties.

Review ID Number: 485
  Product Details
Review Date: 2003-02-17
Reviewer: Shawn Sardy
Rating: 8 out of 10
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