Retro Atari Classic
Retro Atari Classics on the Nintendo DS is an interesting attempt to bring some classic video games into the current age with some fascinating tweaks. Atari picked some of the better games from that era; including Centipede, Missile Command, Asteroids, Pong, Breakout, Sprint, Tempest, Warlords, Gravitar, and Lunar Lander. Not only are the classic versions available, there are also remix versions which have better graphics. These are the classic games where each level gets a little harder than the previous one, and the high score is the goal.
Graphically these ten classic games range, but all of them certainly do show their age. The remix is interesting on most of the games, but does not add much to it in this reviewers opinion. These kinds of games can be fun for a few minutes, but ultimately there is not enough of a remix done to bring this game up to speed with other games on the Nintendo DS. The Gameboy Advance might have been more this titles speed. Some of the graphics on the remix modes were so loud they caused a headache.
The sounds are crisp, and clear; but like the graphics they are very ancient. The Nintendo DS has a lot more capacity for the sounds/music than the old Atari systems did. Sadly Atari did not take advantage of said improvements, and unless the player is really into retro gaming - well they will be disappointed. The sounds never made it to the level of being annoying, just lacking.
The true genius to these older games is they were designed with replay in mind. The player plays for a high score, and works hard through a plethora of levels to beat that high score. Some of these games could be flipped over (score reached as high as it could go and then reset to zero). If you are into retro gaming then you will get your money's worth. If you are not into retro gaming, then passing makes more sense.
The controls for these games work pretty well, although a few of the games take a little getting used to. The touch screen is used nicely for the different menu screens. Aside from that, there is no reason for this game to be on the Nintendo DS. In fact the control scheme leaves a lot of the different controls of the Nintendo DS alone. Most of the games are easy to figure out, but ones like Lunar Lander are down right difficult.
There are very few lessons in a game compilation like this one.
Missile Command has the player using missiles to defend the city from
missiles raining down from enemies. Most of the rest of the games teach
perseverance, concentration, and improving upon past performances. Older
games like this one are generally safe for the entire family, and can
teach young people how to cope with failure. The reason for that is, the
games get tougher and tougher, until eventually it catches up with
almost every player eventually. The down side is people can get addicted
to doing just a little better next time. I really wish that Atari would
work on some improvements to these classic games to bring them closer to
the technology they are being currently played on. They have released
these compilations on so many different machines in recent years, that
just porting these old games is getting old (pun intended).
Family Friendly Factor: 81%
System: Nintendo DS
ESRB Rating: 'E' for Everyone
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