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Activision Anthology
PS2 Staff Review by Mike Weatherup

Trying to do a regular review for classic compilations like these does no justice. We are talking about a collection of games that were played almost 20 years ago. Therefore, to rate them by graphics and so forth is not going to make sense. Therefore, here is a breakdown of what the Activision Anthology is about and what you can expect from these classics.

The anthology is a classic gaming compilation that offers over 40 Activision games for the Atari 2600. It allows players to revisit old favourites like Chopper Command, Stampede and more. Players can play all of the games in classic mode, or for an added challenge, they can be played in 15 different unlockable unusual game play modes. One of these modes is called Whirl, in which the game screen slowly rotates 360 degrees. Talk about seasickness, the rotation becomes faster as the game play progresses. Most fans will play the games the way they were invented in the Classic mode. The front-end of the game looks great since the developers introduce the menu functions of the game via a setting of a teenagers bedroom straight out of the 80s. To play a game, simply select a game from the cartridge rack and insert it into the 2600. Since these classic games did not include much more than beeps and basic looped tunes, the developers included a solid collection of 80s music to be played in the background. Top hits from that decade include Soft Cells Tainted Love, Blondies The Tide Is High, Twisted Sisters Were Not Gonna Take It, A-Has Take On Me, Men Without Hats Safety Dance, Squeezes Pulling Mussels and more. My only complaint is that they should have included even more soundtracks as some get boring after listening to them while playing the over 40 classic games.

Activison Anthology will bring back the many memories of childhood gaming to those who grew up in the 80s. At the same time, it will also invoke feelings of disgust as you look back and see how much crap was infused into the prospective video game market. Let us face it; many of these games are literal trash that would not hold the attention of a monkey. On the other hand, there are a few that will keep you coming back for more just like they did 20 years ago. For the new generation of gamers, they will tire of this collection in less than half an hour. For those of us who grew up with these games, interest will be held much longer when you find out there are a number of neat unlockables like patches you used to get when you would send in a screen shot of your high scores. The more tantalizing unlockables has to be the commercials. Talk about going back in time, some of these has to be seen to be believed! This is true 80s nostalgia in its rawest forms. The kids should be made to watch these and experience the games that transformed into what they are privileged to enjoy today.

Simply put, Activision Anthology is a must buy for the hardcore and casual gamer alike. A classic collection can be played now and then to remind the 90s children of what we enjoyed and had to endure to get where the industry is today. All too often, the 90s generation is clueless and assume that games have always had the high quality production values found today in many games. The anthology makes for a great conversation piece at parties. All of this at the bargain price set by Activision; the anthology is a great buy even if it seems cheesy.

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