These games may feel dated, but they're still fun.

User Rating: 7.1 | Activision Anthology GBA
Game compilations have been all the rage over the last few years with developers. They allow them to cash in on games that are long past their prime, haven't seen the open market in years, yet may still be commercially viable and come cheap to produce. Naturally, sooner or later, someone was bound to put out a collection of games from the fabled Atari Era from the early 1980's, and that's where Activision Anthology comes in. It’s a collection of a few dozen Atari 2600 games from the early 1980s, as well as some brand-new never-released-before fan-made games and a few odds and ends that were discovered lying around at Activision.

As compilations go, Activision Anthology is an incredibly comprehensive collection. It features over fifty different games created by the company in it's time developing for the 2600, among them such classics as Pitfall, and Kaboom!. Not only does the game feature these in their entirety, but it also contains complete reproductions of their original boxart, as well as of their instruction manuals. A few of the fan-made games and prototypes that never made it to market even feature some commentary by the developers responsible for them.

Luckily enough, many of the games hold up in terms of sheer gameplay quality to these days. It's possible to look at some of them as embryonic forms of older games that became more popular as time went on, as games like Pitfall and Enduro bear strong resemblance to modern platformers and racers respectively. Many of them are still incredibly fun to play though. While they're most certainly on the simplistic side due to the limitations of the 2600's technology, a great deal of these games are good enough to hold anyone's attention for a long time. And with the wide selection of games available here, it's almost certain that anyone will find something to like here.

Naturally, the presentation of these games hasn't fared well over the years at all. Most of them look downright primitive by today's standards. Even the menu screens, while creative and entertaining, are a bit on the grainy side. Sound isn't much better, as the beeping and screeching that permeates it almost constantly can become annoying very quickly. But that's to be expected with games as old as this, so that can be easily forgiven. In the meantime, the menu screens come with their own unique 80's style music which on it's own provides welcome relief from the gameplay sounds, but also helps to give the entire package it's own feel.

With as many games available as there are here, this game has a great deal of replay value for anyone who isn't immediately turned off by the game's simplicity or presentation. Any of the fifty games can be quickly learned even on the fly, making it easy to switch from one to another at any time and keep the fun going. The game even awards you patches for completing different achievements in each of the different games, giving players another reason to keep going.

The games in Activision Anthology may clearly be creatures of their own time, but they aren't total relics. Many of them remain fun to play, and that alone is reason enough to pick this game up. The huge amount of additional information that is included, such as the instruction manuals and boxart are no more than an excellent added incentive to play this game. It's highly recommended to both nostalgia enthusiasts and people with an interest in gaming's earlier years.

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