Atari 50 review: An incredible walkthrough of video game history



One of the biggest challenges in preserving video games is figuring out how to actually render old games. In 2022, there are more ways than ever to play the classics, be it mini consoles, upgraded hardware, subscription services, old collections or modern releases. While they can make old games playable for new audiences, they don’t always put them in an appropriate context—which is especially important. really Old games like Conspiracy On the Atari 2600.

But a new enhanced edition created by Digital Eclipse to celebrate Atari’s 50th anniversary is the best attempt at a retro set I’ve ever had. It’s available on every console currently available, as well as on PC, allowing me to use my PS5 for its intended purpose: gaming. the asteroid. The collection is huge, detailed and does a great job of explaining why these games are so important

First thing to know Atari 50: Anniversary Celebration It’s too big. There are over 90 games spanning decades of history. Mostly from the 2600 and arcade, but also PC games, 7800 updates, and a few titles from hapless hardware like Jaguar and Linux. The package is rounded out by several unreleased prototypes, viz B. A sequel In the rush of the Yaris and updated or redesigned versions of the game eg Spookhouse And continue. Outside of the games, the collection is filled with things like short documentaries with the original developers; old photos, magazine articles and photo books; and high quality versions of classic Atari box art. For some games you can even see the original code.

It seems like a huge amount of stuff, but the Digital Eclipse team has cleverly organized it into a timeline. It’s divided into five distinct eras, starting with Atari’s arcade origins before moving to home consoles and PCs, and ending with Jaguar’s bad days. The timeline is peppered with games as well as supplemental materials so you can understand the context of the title before playing. You don’t have to check the schedule in any particular order. You can choose what you see, find out what’s most interesting, and skip things you already know This is an interactive exhibition at the museum, only on your TV.

This context is especially important because many of these games do not age well. Even as someone who loves vintage games, I’m totally blown away when I play something like this. the sword. But after watching some videos of the designer explaining his work and diving into the comics that illustrate the backstory, I’ve come to appreciate the series a lot more. I still can’t say I enjoyed playing it, but the context helped me realize that these very confusing mazes were actually a turning point in video game history and pioneered action-adventure games as we know them. (Atari 50 It even includes a remastered version of the previously unreleased fourth game in the series.)

I really liked being able to compare different versions of the game. For example, I really found myself on this topic dark roomFormer dungeon crawler. I started playing the Atari 7800 version and was impressed by its detailed characters and dungeons. I then played port 2600, which was very low, and was able to gauge how intact the game was despite the much weaker hardware. the game scrap dogin earlier times super mario-style platformer, had a similar experience. First I ran the bright and colorful console version, then Link’s surprisingly portable version.

All this has been simplified with some modern touches. Everything is quick and fast, making it easy to switch between titles and Atari 50 It has saved states so you won’t lose your progress if you do this You can also view the original controls and instruction manuals at the touch of a button, which is especially important because controls can vary from game to game and platform to platform. I should also mention that you don’t need to test Atari 50 As a timeline: if you want, you can just play games from a list like most old combos.

Interactive schedule.
Photo: Atari

But this timeline is what makes this group so special. Without them, you’d probably play most of these games for a few minutes and then move on; With that in mind, I’m more interested in understanding what it is and how it fits into the gaming story, and I know what to look for when going into it. However, there are a few notable omissions. where Atari 50 It only includes a few third-party titles and major releases like Infamous ET Atari 2600 and dear Alien vs Predator Not available on Jaguar. And while not blaming the Digital Eclipse team, I have to say again that many of these games aren’t very fun in 2022. As a kid, I always fancied a 3D Jaguar Fighter Fight for survival She looked great in the magazine photos, and three decades later I found out how awful it really was.

This does not diminish what has been achieved Atari 50 She. It’s so detailed and comprehensive that it feels like a history lesson that’s perfectly suited for video games The biggest compliment I can give is that I now want it for every retro collection. Imagine Nintendo, Sega or PlayStation getting similar treatment. It’s a fake dream, but it is Atari 50 It makes me want to get real so bad.

Atari 50: Anniversary Celebration It will launch on November 11th on Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and Steam


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