More Thoughts From Me: Checking Out Atari 50
I didn’t play much Atari growing up. I was a Nintendo kid. Though, over the years, I have played some and been very aware of the Atari Legacy. I was interested in the Atari 50 collection and really wanted it. Now that I’ve got my hands on the collection, what do I think of it? Here are my thoughts so far on Atari 50 Anniversary Celebration.
When I was a kid, I played a little bit of Atari, but not much. The NES was my first system. So Atari was a little before my time as a gamer. Of course since then, I’ve played some of the classic Atari games like Asteroids. Even so, I do have a little bit of nostalgia for Atari. I know the history. I’m interested in playing the games.
The Atari 50 Anniversary Celebration Collection got my attention because of the history but also because it was being developed by Digital Eclipse! They also did the Cowabunga Collection. And I just had to have the Atari 50 game. Now that I have it, what do I think of it?
Atari 50: Anniversary Celebration is a love letter to the Atari era. While the Cowabunga Collection (which is awesome) had a section for the games and a section for the extras, the Atari collection combines the two. The extras, a timeline from the 70s to the 2000s, takes center stage and has you exploring all the different Atari systems. As you go, you find games that you can play too. Of course, you can just go off to a separate section that just has the games, but the timeline is more fun. There’s so much to find here: from videos to pictures to quotes to of course video games.
The presentation is amazing, the videos look great on the Switch, and for me personally, reading the info and looking through everything feels great in handheld mode. I don’t care about seeing it on the TV. Having the Atari timeline and all those games in the palm of my hands is just perfect!
So what about the games? I keep talking about the presentation and the extras but how do the games play?
Well, of course, some of the earlier games don’t play too well. They haven’t aged well. The controls are a bit weird on the Switch. Still, its neat seeing them presented here and getting to try them out. That said, there are some games like Adventure, Asteroids, Haunted Mansion and later ones like Ninja Golf, the Lynx and Jaguar games that play very well. And they are fun too! Actually there are a lot of games in this collection that are still fun. I’d say there are more fun games in this collection, over a 100 games, than not so fun ones.
There is a bit of disappointment to be had though. Games that I consider Atari classics are not included in this collection. That is, of course, because other companies own them. Pitfall, Pac-man, and Space Invaders do not appear in this collection. Sigh. It feels very strange.
Overall, though, Atari 50 is an excellent celebration of the Atari Legacy. Whether you’ve played Atari games or not, if you love video games at all, you should check this collection out. If it wasn’t for Atari, we wouldn’t have Nintendo or Sega or Playstation or Xbox. Atari started it all. Atari 50 captures that time period and brings it to the Switch. It’s a great addition to the system’s amazing library.
More Thoughts From Me is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed here are mine and mine alone. I can’t wait to see what Digital Eclipse does next!