I love classic game compilations, but you don’t see them as much anymore since most of the time you just pay for each game to download on your hard drive nowadays. So when I saw that there were two physical disc volumes of Atari games for the PS4 and Xbox One, I made sure to snag them when I got my PS4. So for fun, I thought I’d go over the games on these collections. We’ll split this into two parts. First I’ll go over the Atari arcade games, as well as the Atari 2600 ports of those arcade titles. And in the next part, I’ll go over the rest of the 2600 offerings. And we’ll repeat the process with Vol. 2 as well.
I’ve always kind of liked this vector shooter. It’s kind of like Robotron, but with spiders and bugs. I didn’t see it as much in arcades back in the day, but when I did, I made sure to put a quarter in.
When I see this game, I always think of my dad. When I was a kid and we’d go to arcades as a family, I’d go straight for the Pac-Man machines, my mom would hop toward Frogger, and my dad would make a beeline for Centipede. He loved that game. I think it’s also interesting that this game attracted more female players, or at least that’s what I’ve read.
You know, even though they replaced most of the graphics of mushrooms and such with just blocks, if you just look at the core gameplay, Centipede for the 2600 was a fairly decent arcade port for the time. I liked how a lot of these 2600 games had “Children’s Mode” which made the game a little easier for younger players. You could tell if it was Children’s Mode if you saw a teddy bear graphic somewhere on the screen.
This was one of the first times I remember seeing a sequel to an arcade game. It’s pretty much just like Centipede but harder, faster, and with more kinds of bugs to shoot. My dad liked this game, too, but probably not as much as the original. I remember when they made a NES version of this game, I got it for my dad as a present, and it was one of the few NES games I could get him to play regularly (that and Rad Racer).
Again, aside from the blocky graphics, I think this was a fairly decent arcade port. And I can do better at this version than the arcade game!
So this is basically just Missile Command, except the missile come from the middle of the screen outward from a planet graphic, and your guns to shoot them down are on each of the four corners of the screen. Also, I don’t ever remember seeing this in an arcade when I was little.
You have to land a spacecraft by using your thrusters to land without crashing. But you must also watch out and not run out of fuel. I’ve never been able to do this game right. I also don’t remember seeing this in arcades much either.
So this is basically just two-player Asteroids. It has some interesting co-op modes, like one where your ships are tethered together. I also don’t ever remember seeing it in arcades either.
Now this one was huge in arcades! I never liked it as much, though, but only because I wasn’t very good at it. I hear the arcade cabinet is worth a lot of money, but it’s also hard to maintain. I also find it interesting that Tempest 2000 was one of the only games worth getting on the Atari Jaguar.
Some of the Atari 2600 games in this collection are just prototypes that actually never came out. And I’m glad that was the case with this one because I was getting annoyed that I was getting killed for no apparent reason and the only stage you could play looked like a pair of blue underwear. If the game actually came out like this, it would’ve been worse than 2600 E.T. and Pac-Man combined. But since it’s a prototype I guess it’s OK.
I actually like this game. I’m not good at it, but I like it. I’ve also downloaded a couple of the Warlords remakes on the PSP and 360 and enjoyed those as well. It’s basically just a cross between four player Pong and Breakout.
Again, a fairly decent port of the arcade game, but I don’t think you can do four players on it.
Well it’s Pong. I really don’t have anything to say about it except I’m not very good at it. I do find it interesting that you can control games that use a paddleball or trackball with the PS4 touch pad on the controller!
So the home version of Pong has some variations that are supposed to resemble sports. Wasn’t that also the same game as Video Olympics? I don’t know. At least the home version offered more than the arcade did.
And that’s all the arcade games on vol. 1. Next time I’ll go over the rest of the 2600 titles on vol. 1. I only put the 2600 arcade ports here so I wouldn’t have to repeat myself as much. Thanks for reading! –Cary