What am I playing at the moment?ATARI ANTHOLOGY
for XBOX: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Anthology
I don't have an Xbox, but luckily this is one of the games which plays on Xbox 360.
Being born in 1976 in USSR, I completely missed the Golden Age of Videogames.
So I only became familiar with Atari classic arcade games through (mostly) unofficial clones on Spectrum in the late 80s. Needless to say that since there were so many better games for Speccy by that time, I wasn't much impressed with these. In fact I couldn't care less about Atari.
Having said that and being much more familiar with the arcade scene in the recent years, I decided to check this one out. In fact I made a point of seriously playing every one of these 85 games which are assembled on this disc. (I am still only half way trhough)
I quite liked the Arcade orginals in this collection. My favourites being MISSILE COMMAND and WARLORDS - these are real decent games and are quite addictive even nowadays. The least favourite would be GRAVITAR - I wonder how people could make themselves put a quarter into this cab?
ATARI 2600 games - there are heaps of those on this disc! I have never seen an Atari 2600 in my childhood so I am missing these rose-tintend glasses altogether! Anyway, I tried to give every one of these games a chance and tried to enjoy them were possible. The only games that I gave a miss were the Baseball and Backgammon games - I hate baseball and I could not get a hang of backgammon.
Anyway, some of these games are not too bad at all. Among the best are naturally the ports of Atari arcade games (especially excellent MISSILE COMMAND). But still why would anyone play these now, when there are far superior originals on the same disc is anyone's guess. I liked ADVENTURE and showed it to my 7 year old daughter to see if she can finish the easy version - she did. Some games are totally unplayable, most of paddle games, such as NIGHT DRIVER and BREAKOUT - I really hope there is a glitch in Emulation here, as I cannot see how can anyone enjoy such poorly implemented controls.
In any case it takes some work to like these games now, but I think where Atari 2600 shines is the two player games - the boredom is removed and the competition is clear. With the games being very simple, you can master them quickly and enjoy a good competition with your friends or family.
VERDICT: A really good value for money Compilation for those who like ATARI arcade classics. When my daughter hears the word "Atari" she goes "Boooring!", but my wife looks out for "mind" games such as ATARI VIDEO CUBE