Atari Anthology (PS2)

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Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » April 19th, 2015, 7:10 pm

Battlezone (2600) - Atari pulled it off with this. I wasn't expecting much but it does play very well indeed. It loses that outworldly feel of the arcade game, the rocks are missing so there is no place to hide and I also seem to have an harder time hitting the saucers and missiles in this version. However all said and done another extremely playable and enjoyable arcade port. B+

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Atariboy » April 19th, 2015, 8:34 pm

I love that game :)

And unlike some others, this one is perfect just on the default settings. The difficulty switches do nothing, and the novice difficulty setting (The default game 1) still provides a challenge as far as I'm concerned. It's a rare day when I break 100,000 points, so little reason to up the ante even further.

Battlezone in both its 2600 and arcade form, is one of my favorites games these days. I'm so glad that I finally gave both a real try a few years ago. Always thought an excellent game was there, but never really invested the time necessary to really appreciate either game. I never saw the super tanks, for example, for many years which shows just how little time I really had spent on these.

Too bad that Atari sold off this IP. 2600 and arcade Battlezone are the highlights in this collection and Atari Greatest Hits: Volume 1 for the DS (Which combined with Volume 2, is essentially a handheld version of Atari Anthology).

And its absence was sorely noted with last year's Atari Flashback system, even though AtGames had never correctly emulated Battlezone (The radar is half broken when playing this on the Flashback 3 & 4, along with other bugs and even crashes).

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Atariboy » April 21st, 2015, 12:31 am

Just noticed that the Critic has never reviewed this collection. I think I went looking for a review before and noticed it, but that surprises me for such an Atari nut. Especially with as many classic compilation reviews as there are around here, yet one of the best is missed.

If the Critic sees this, may I recommend the Xbox version of Atari Anthology? I believe I've praised this before, but with its 720p and 1080i capabilities, it's one of the very few original Xbox games with HD support. So this already special collection, is all the more impressive coming out of an era where 480p is typically viewed as the maximum console resolution.

The vector arcade classics in particular look amazing thanks to their incredibly sharp lines, and the arcade borders nicely fill out what otherwise would be empty space on today's widescreen televisions.

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » April 25th, 2015, 7:41 pm

Breakout (2600)
Well after getting the controls down when I was playing the arcade versions of Pong and Super Breakout. I really struggled with this, yep the 'I need a paddle' realisation has hit home with these games. It is addictive but too often I felt I missed the ball because of the controls and not my misjudgment. I also found the 'Steerable' variations heinous.

If I had a paddle controller: B-
Because I haven't: C

Super Breakout (2600)
You can see the marginal improvements over it's predecessor. The game is more balanced and the speed/difficulty spike is not as severe. The variations although fewer are a lot better. Both games are still addictive on Atari Anthology, but the issues with the lack of precision control can make it frustrating.

If I had a paddle controller: B+
Because I haven't: C

@Atariboy. You know I was sure the critic reviewed this but after a search your right nothing :?:
The Xbox version does sound sweet.

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Atariboy » April 29th, 2015, 10:04 pm

Too bad about those two, but can't say as I'm surprised that you couldn't work around the compromised controls.

It's a shame though that two games that fall into the top 20% or so where the 2600 games in this collection are concerned, are rendered essentially unplayable. And they're not the only ones, since you have at least one beloved 2600 paddle game left to go that I haven't seen you discuss (Warlords), and several lesser titles like Night Driver that are solid games.

When you get around to something like Combat, hope you have a friend or family member that wants to jump back in time for an hour or so. Otherwise, you'll never be able to appreciate a game like that since it lacks a single player component.

Sut wrote:I've posted a few times about games from an era I'm not overly familiar with so I thought this compilation would be a good starting point for me..


Since you've gotten into this so much, I hope you consider following up on it one of these days with Activision Anthology for the PS2.

Not only are they often viewed as the top developer/publisher on the system, all except one of their titles utilized the joystick (Kaboom is unplayable, so you'll be left wondering what was so magical about that gem). And unlike a good chunk of Atari Anthology's lineup of VCS games, they're all able to be enjoyed solo (Although with Dragster, you'll be relegating to racing the clock, which is best left for high score competitions online).

As a result, it translates better to the PS2 than the Atari's unlicensed 1st party lineup frequently does in AA.

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » May 4th, 2015, 7:02 pm

Video Pinball
I can't agree with the Critic on this one, it's certainly not a bad game but I found it tremendously frustrating the longer I played. The nudge mechanic is neat but the ball seems to spend more time travelling horizontally than vertically and a lot of the time I felt the ball homed in on going out or just it was just trying to piss me off more than anything else.
Initially enjoyable but eventually frustrating is how I would sum this one up. C

@Atariboy
I'm planning on Activision Anthology once I've played through Atari Anthology. Regarding the two player only games I tend to drag either my brother or daughter into the fray so I can have a blast with those, how long for depends on their mood at the time and tolerance of old games on said day.
I'll play Warlords next and try and get the paddle games played. I tend to get some sort of rhythm with them, but if I then move on to another game with a different control method I struggle to get it back. Hopefully there isn't many more paddle games, I've played Breakout and Super Breakout, Warlords is up next, think Circus is paddle, anything else ?

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Atariboy » May 7th, 2015, 7:51 am

Sut wrote:Hopefully there isn't many more paddle games, I've played Breakout and Super Breakout, Warlords is up next, think Circus is paddle, anything else ?


Quite a few others, since this includes every 1st party paddle game for the system.

Steeplechase uses it, but that works just fine without it. Atari essentially supported the paddles in this one just to enable 4 player multiplayer. In fact, I've played this on my 2600 before just with the stock joysticks, a workaround that I suspect was deliberate. Ditto for Backgammon, Blackjack, and Casino (Unsure if the joystick trick worked for these three, though).

The other 2600 titles besides Warlords and Circus Atari that utilized the paddles in this collection are Canyon Bomber, Street Racer, Demons to Diamonds, Night Driver, and Video Olympics (2600's Pong). Video Olympics will likely suffer the most for you, and I didn't think Night Driver was anywhere close to playable with the analog stick of the Xbox controller (But I also never messed around with sensitivity settings).

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » May 8th, 2015, 8:37 am

Atariboy wrote:I didn't think Night Driver was anywhere close to playable with the analog stick of the Xbox controller


I was looking forward to Night Driver as well, shame I will see how I get on with it when I eventually get round to it.

I don't like Video Pinball much, in fact it irritates me immensely. However it keeps pulling me back, wanting another go. I'm desperately trying to get 100,000+ score and best I've managed is 57,000 (and that was on my first go!). The only other game that makes me feel like this is Virtua Fighter 2 on Saturn.

Warlords
This is great fun in multiplayer. Played it with 2 players but I bet it's a riot with 4. The single player option is no fun as there is no AI on your opponents rendering it effectively multi-player only.
Edit: The first single player variation has no AI but subsequent ones do.
With friends A, by yourself C

Thanks for all the information as I'm wading through Atari Anthology Atariboy (previously known as Leo I'm presuming ?) it is definitely enhancing my play through.

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Atariboy
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Atariboy » May 9th, 2015, 2:05 am

Sut wrote:Thanks for all the information as I'm wading through Atari Anthology Atariboy (previously known as Leo I'm presuming ?) it is definitely enhancing my play through.


That's me :)

And thanks for keeping us updated on your impressions. I've enjoyed reading your thoughts as a newcomer to most of these classics.

Sut
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Re: Atari Anthology (PS2)

Postby Sut » May 17th, 2015, 7:16 pm

Missile Command (2600 version)

After finally pulling myself away from Warlords on the 2600 I find myself with another brilliant arcade port by Atari. I've got to say thus far I've been really impressed by how Atari 'brought the arcade home'.
I actually prefer this version over the arcade original. I think the concessions made in porting it to the 2600 actually helped it. Only having one missile base felt liberating rather than restrictive and the controls certainly feel more tuned to a joypad. Another great arcade port.
A


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