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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2005
This compilation of classic Atari games includes Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede, Gravitar, Lunar Lander, Pong, Missile Command, Sprint, Tempest, and Warlords. This is a great buy for fans of classic arcade games, offering the additional lure of dual screen action and optional stylus control. Warlords even provides multiplayer action. Each version has both a classic version and a "remix" with new graphics, although in general I found that the remixed versions left me cold.

For the most part, the games work well with stylus control, and a few really shine. Missile Command is particularly impressive, and is the first home version I've seen that really captures the excitement of the trackball controlled coin-op original. Both screens are used. Incoming missiles are first visible on the upper screen, although satellites and bombers fly across the top of the lower screen. Antimissiles are fired simply by tapping the target point. Although stylus control must be done on the lower touch sensitive screen, you can hold down L, and your stylus clicks are transmitted to the corresponding location of the upper screen. However, this is a bit tricky, and by later levels I found myself working on the lower screen entirely. Graphics are a bit simplified compared to the arcade original, but work well on the small screen. The one thing I really miss is huge, expanding Game Over fireball, which has been dropped for some reason. Still, it is not a full recreation of the coin-op. As in most home versions, you do not have independent control of your 3 missile bases, eliminating a strategy element that was present in the arcade. Also, the "smart" missiles are much less smart than in the original version.

Tempest also works quite well with the pad, although it takes a bit more practice to get used to this input method than with Missile Command. You move your man by scratching left or right on the trackscreen. The lower display depicts a one-dimensional roller controller. Perhaps memory fades, but I remember the original having a spinner knob. I wish there was an option to control it by drawing circles, instead of scratching back and forth. Still, the control of your man works very well, with a bit of momentum that lets you recreate the sensation of spinning the controller.

Centipede (which originally had a trackball) also worked pretty well with the pad, but I couldn't get as enthusiastic about it. I'm not sure if it was the control scheme or if I'm just not that enthusiastic about the game anymore. A nice feature is that the two screens does a good job of simulating the sideways monitor of the coin-op.

Breakout works perfectly with the pad, providing impeccable control of the paddle. The two screens again simulate a sideways monitor, although there is a small problem (also evident on Missile Command) in that the screens behave "as if" they were contiguous, when there is actually a small gap between them. This creates a refractive effect that makes it hard to correctly extrapolate diagonal movement of the ball (or missile tracks) crossing from the top screen to the bottom one. But Breakout is just too simple a game to have much appeal. I found myself wishing for Arkanoid, or at least Super Breakout.

Asteroids doesn't really need a trackpad--it was a button control game in the arcades. Still, Atari has provided a pad control mechanism that actually works quite well, although you can also use the buttons. I was never much of an Asteroids fan, but it seemed to work well. All of the games include "Remix" versions with updated graphics. For most of the games, I did not find the remix graphics appealing. Asteroids was an exception, with a novel geometric theme.

Gravitar was ruinously difficult in the arcades. That is preserved here, and made more so by the small DS display. I'm glad to have it, but it really needs a big monitor.

For the price, I'd consider the package to be a bargain. Two of the games, Missile Command and Tempest, are topnotch adaptations that benefit from the touchpad, and retain their addictive appeal.

Some of the other choices are a bit odd. Why Breakout and not SuperBreakout? Why not Millipede instead of Centipede? Why no Crystal Castles? I'm hoping this means that Atari is contemplating a sequel, perhaps one that would rectify the greatest omission: Quantum. Quantum was a brilliantly original Atari coin-op that was never widely distributed, probably because it was released just before the great arcade crash of '83. You used a trackball to draw circles around "particles." It would seem tailor made for the touchpad. Perhaps next time.

I hope that other manufacturers of classic coin-ops follow Atari's example and take another look at their classic games with an eye toward the DS and its touch pad, especially for games with trackballs or other non-joystick controls. I'd love to see a DS version of Reactor, for example.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2005
I'm a retro games fan and have most of the originals of these games somewhere in the basement, and all the emulators on my N-Gage. For the classics you could just stick with the GBA version or an emulator on any other system, but frankly the DS is some of the best portable hardware and makes the classics more enjoyable. A few of the "remix" versions I actually like, including Centipede and Warlords. If you buy it for Tempest be advised that this is by far the weakest game on the title.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Despite the much higher technology of the DS to the 2600, these travesties are far worse than the 2600 versions of these games from the 80s. The use of the split screen is extremely badly implemented, the games are both difficult to play and dull, the sounds are horrendous, and the "graffiti" style "remakes" seem like a miserably failed attempt to make these games more "kewl" for younger players. All it does is make older players who remember the originals want to throw this cartridge across the room, and it is my bet younger players will STILL not be interested in these games.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2005
I gotta agree with the other reviewer, this game is difficult to play. While the stylus works well with certain games, i.e. Zookeeper, it doesn't work out well on this game. Further, the games are not really arcade-like (not as finely detailed at all), and the remix versions are even worse. But there are 10 games, making it less than $3 each, and I guess that gives you some bang for your buck. Just don't expect too much.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2007
This game brings back all the good ole memories I had as a kid playing my pong!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2005
I wouldn't say this is the worst game ever. But out of my personal experience I found only 1 game was impossible to control. Also the worst part is that you and a friend need retro atari classics game card to play something like pong.

But on the good side many of the games such as asteroids and missle command were much easier to controll than using the control pad to play.

I would recommend this game to those who love boosting their high scores and to those who miss the days of the simple games of the 80's. It will have good replay value for those.

If your not that type of gamer stay away.

Thanks for reading :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2010
It's hard to imagine that this is how video games got started compared to how things are today. But, these are so much fun!! They are classic 80's arcade games and I love them. (Might be from the 70's - not sure! But, still loads of fun!)

Would definitely recommend this if you like old classics!
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Retro Atari Classics is simple and to the point - It's a compilation of 10 arcade games made by Atari (Who else?). The majority of the games are fun and they hold up pretty well this day and age. However, there are a few clunkers. I've played each game, and here are my statements about them.

Asteroids: This space shooter is so darn addicting!
Missle Command: Honestly, I used to really hate this one. Fortunately, the touch screen really helps make the game playable/fun.
Centipede: Just as great of a classic as Asteroids!
Pong: Can I really criticize Pong? It is a classic, and it always will be (Although, I will admit - It was a bit weird seeing the game in a vertical view)
Warlords: It's like a hugely modified twist on Pong. You hit the ball against other people's castles to destroy bits and pieces of them. It's a remarkably fun twist, actually.
Breakout: The game has aged horribly. The block busting isn't really that fun since there's...like...a hundred blocks on just one screen, and there's nothing that can help you destroy all that except if you have enough patience (which I highly doubt). Plus, the ball physics are sometimes screwy.
Sprint: I wanted to like this one. I really mean it. However, the problem with this early racer is that if you slip on oil or collide with a car, you instantly head straight into a wall. Lots of frustration here.
Gravitar: A really interesting one here, actually. It's like an adventure version of Asteroids in a way. Not bad, not bad.
Lunar Lander: I just don't like this one...
Tempest: Another great shooter! The pseudo-3D gimmick is pretty impressive, considering its age, and it's very addicting!

Overall, I give this collection a thumbs up. However, let me simply say I hate the collection's "Remix" editions. They're just like the originals, but with crappier sprites. Play the originals, and you'll have a great time with this DS cartridge!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2010
I purchased Retro Atari Classics for my grandson so he could see what kind of games his dad played as a kid. It was funny but seeing my grandson play the games was like our son 35 years ago. great!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2005
Allright folks,I was hoping they would make a classic series like this. I wish they did it with Namco instead. Here it is in order

Asteroids 4/5
This game is great! But what's up with the touch screen on it? I like this game because of the gameplay. I don't know if I'm seeing things,but the graphics are not good in this. I wish they would just copy off the original,but thier not allowed unforntuntley.

Asteroids Remix 4/5
Why did they make this?! It's crazy! There was no reason to make
another copy of Asteroids. It's just better graphics,and that's it!

Breakout 5/5
I love this game! It works great with your finger and stylus. There's a ball and you have to get all of the bricks to dissapear. It's very challenging and fun!

Breakout Remix 5/5
Hey,this is different!!! Cool! There's a picture of these monster guys and when you hit a block,a bunny comes out of a hat. It's really cool!

Centipede 4/5
I was really disapointed in this game. The touch screen dos'nt work well on this. The game is still fun though.

Centipede Remix 4.5/5
Once again,it's just a copy with different graphics. But I think the control works better in this version
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