LifeisXbox’s Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration review | Atari is a brand that every gamer probably knows. Even without playing one of the classics. Even for non-gamers, the name is recognizable. In Belgium seeing someone with an Atari t-shirt isn’t rare, even if they have no clue what it actually is. I wanted to share this true story as it fits the celebration mood. While I was visiting the Zoo from Antwerp I was admiring butterflies. This Zoo has an enclosed room with thousands of flying beauties. By walking around I notice not one but two girls my age wearing Atari t-shirts. I’m not the kind of person that easily talks with strangers but I couldn’t let this chance pass and started talking that these butterflies are more friendly than the insects in Yars’ Revenge. They looked at me as if I was talking in some kind of weird language so I said, you know that game from Atari… the t-shirts you are wearing. Turns out they had no clue that Atari was something gaming related, they thought it was some kind of clothing brand. That happened a long time ago but to this day I still find that funny.
Anyway, time for the reason why you are reading this. My Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration’s review. I didn’t grow up with Atari consoles but I do know the rich past and accomplishments. Some of the games from Atari are so deeply integrated into society that you still often see them in modern times. For example one of my favorite bars in Ghent (Comic Sans) has a real Pong table and Atari’s logo, based on Mount Fuji is something you regularly see on the streets. Arguably Atari lost a bit of its excellence in modern gaming. They are reimagining some of the classics to nowadays expectations with the recharged series (For example Breakout Recharged) but most of its charm and influence come from past glories. One that is excellently bundled (with a few missing games) in this Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration package.
So after reading this review my next question would be: ‘Have You Played ATARI Today?’
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- This game is like walking into an interactive digital museum | Atari’s history is exceptionally explained in this game with playable games, documentary footage, music, and interesting interviews. All of that is categorized in a beautiful interface with the ups & downs of Atari, the 1990s, and a few more. Educationally this package is wonderful and a joy to read and watch. You could compare it with Rare Replay but Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration takes it many steps further! I really loved the interviews with the hardware developers, it kinda reminded me of Xbox’s excellent six episodes of Power On.
- A collection of the past with six brand-new games! | Six newly created games, inspired by classics are available to play. We have Haunted Houses, a short horror game in a 3D space about avoiding ghosts and collecting keys. One that plays a bit confusing to be honest but enjoyable too. Secondly, we have a sequel that will interest a lot of people. Swordquest: Airworld proceeds the story and gameplay from the past three in the series. Third is Neo Breakout, my personal favorite as I love the typical Breakout gameplay. There’s a versus mode for two players really freshens up the mechanics into something competitive and fun. We also have VCTR-SCTR, a game that mixes up gameplay mechanics from several different Atari games, a really challenging but fun arcade game to reach new high scores. Fifth is Quadratank, where you control tanks to face others. This was the weakest of the bunch for me but you can’t love everything. And finally, we have a name that will ring a bell. Yars’ Revenge: Enhanced, this one brings the classic with modern visuals. A neat feature is that you can switch the old and new graphics with a touch of a button.
- Decades of playable games | Over 90 playable games, this fact alone makes this game an incredible package. A selection of Atari Jaguar and Lynx platforms, 8-bit computers, and 7800, 5200, and 2600 consoles. So while you discover the history of Atari with video footage you can also play almost everything that made a lasting impression in the gaming world. One of my favorites is included too, Atari Karts! But I think the greatest value comes from Tempest 2000. Even for those that aren’t into retro games, I think this game compilation is worth your money. I haven’t played all of them from start to finish but one thing that I noticed was how perfectly they played. In terms of emulation and controller layouts developer, Digital Eclipse really nailed it. I can hardly call it that but my only minor frustration was that some games are repeated, for example, Astroids.
- Where is the worst game in gaming history, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial? | It feels a bit wrong to complain about missing games but a few of them have such a significant impact on Atari. We don’t have to look far for the reasons, things like E.T., Star Wars, and Aliens vs. Predator have costly licenses. this becomes more painful when you see games listed with information but with no play option, you kinda get that excited feeling for nothing.
What we Disliked
- Nothing | Only thing I can warn you about is that if you don’t like to play retro games this might not be for you. That said, just like Rare Replay I believe that this game is something everyone should play. You’ll appreciate and love gaming so much more if you have.
How long to beat the story | Finishing all games will take you A LOT of time.
How long to achieve 1000G | 10 hours
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Gaming is a passion and I wanted to share my Xbox enthusiasm. That’s why I started LifeisXbox, to make sure gamers all around the world know what games they should buy or avoid. I would like to thank you for visiting my website. Your support is very welcome and I hope you stick around!