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Jan. 22, 2005
Atari Anthology - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
25/2/2005AtariDigital Eclipse1-2$49.95

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Now this is retro gaming!
October 1977, just over 27 years ago now. The arcade market was booming, the public loved video games. Atari were about to change video games forever by releasing the Atari VCS, or Atari 2600 as it would later become know. At last gamers could have near arcade perfect games in their home and not have to pump money endlessly into a machine. Even 8 years later in 1985 and the system was still sold well over a million units - that was massive numbers during those days. There is little doubt that the Atari 2600 kicked off the home videogame revolution. Now you can play 85 games that started that revolution.

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Asteroids. Classic.
Atari Anthology is without a doubt the largest collection of classic Atari games ever! Take a step back in time to the early days of video arcades with an unmatched compilation of unforgettable and authentic Atari titles. All of the games are faithfully reproduced with the great sights, sounds and fast action that made them so popular. Whether you played these games in their original arcade cabinets or on an Atari 2600 console, you’re sure to find a favorite. For me, some of the highlights will be games such as Pong, Asteroids, Millipede, Steeplechase and Battlezone, but they're just my preferences. No doubt you'll have your own favourites.


There are some interesting stats about the Atari 2600, especially when you look at today's systems:
* Carts had a ROM size of 4k
* System had 128 bytes of RAM
* 6507 CPU ran at 1.19Mhz

So let's now look at the games, and obviously I am not going to detail every single game and what it was about - it would take me a month to do that. Rather I'll provide a list of the games - many of them are so classic they need no explaination. Here's what this package contains:
18 Classic arcade hits include: Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Battlezone, Black Widow, Centipede, Crystal Castles, Gravitar, Liberator, Lunar Lander, Major Havoc, Millipede, Missile Command, Pong, Red Baron, Super Breakout, Space Duel, Tempest, and Warlords.

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Millipede was a favourite of mine.
62 Atari 2600 titles include: 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, A Game of Concentration, Adventure, Air•Sea Battle, Asteroids, Basic Programming, Battlezone, Blackjack, Bowling, Breakout, Canyon Bomber, Casino, Centipede, Circus Atari, Codebreaker, Combat, Crystal Castles, Demons to Diamonds, Desert Falcon, Dodge ’Em, Double Dunk, Flag Capture, Football, Fun With Numbers, Golf, Gravitar, Haunted House, Home Run, Human Cannonball, Math Gran Prix, Maze Craze, Millipede, Miniature Golf, Missile Command, Night Driver, Off the Wall, Outlaw, Quadrun, Radar Lock, Realsports Baseball, Realsports Football, Realsports Tennis, Realsports Volleyball, Sky Diver, Slot Machine, Slot Racers, Space War, Sprintmaster, Star Raiders, Star Ship, Steeplechase, Stellar Track, Street Racer, Submarine Commander, Super Baseball, Super Breakout, Super Football, Surround, Swordquest: Earthworld, Swordquest: Fireworld, Swordquest: Waterworld, Video Checkers, Video Chess, Video Olympics, Video Pinball, Warlords, and finally Yars’ Revenge. Phew... but wait there's more.

Five Bonus Games: Available for the first time since the 1980s — Off the Wall, Blackjack, Steeplechase, Desert Falcon and Sprintmaster.

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An attempt at 3D?
Rather then leave this game was the emulated games Atari are including all new challenge modes. These challenges including timed hot-seat competitions, the psychedelic Trippy Mode, Double Speed games, Time Warp games and Time Challenges that test players' abilities to the extreme. It should certainly prove to be a welcome addition to this monster package.

The reception to this title will be an interesting one. While titles such as Midway Arcade Treasures and Midway Arcade Treasures 2 sold extremely well this may be due to the newer games which were mainly from the 80's and 90's. Atari Anthology focuses on a much older system which may appeal only to the older generation who owned the Atari 2600. Hang on, that includes me... sign me up then.