Review for "Atari Anniversary Edtion Advance"


New Member
There's a bit of a story behind how I got this game. While at the flea market one day I spotted a hispanic fellow selling a few Playstation games, one of which was “Atari Anniversary Edition Redux”. He sold it to me for five dollars. I took it home to find that it contained twelve arcade perfect emulations of old Atari arcade games: “Asteroids”, “Asteroids Deluxe”, “Battlezone”, “Black Widow”, “Centipede”, “Gravitar”, “Missile Command”, “Pong”, “Space Duel”, “Super Breakout”, “Tempest”, and “Warlords”. At first I thought the old games to be simplistic and dull, but as I played more, I was hopelessly addicted. They were so simple, but so fun, and they kept me coming back for more. The biggest incentive to play was to come back and beat my old high scores until every three-letter space read “BEN” and I could scarcely make the sky-high numbers to get any higher. Later on I heard there was a Gameboy Advance version of the Atari Anniversary Edition made. Being greatly excited by the aspect of being able to take those games with me on the go, I quickly ordered it from EB games for about $20. I will forever remember it as one of the worst purchases I ever made.

My first gripes are about how a few of the games don't work very well on the GBA hardware itself. For the record, the six games included on this miniaturized version are “Asteroids”, “Battlezone”, “Centipede”, “Missile Command”, “Super Breakout”, and “Tempest”.

Missile Command is a missile defense sort of game where you have to blow up oncoming missiles and protect cities. The screen shows a simple, yellow hill with three missle bases and about five cities inbetween. Enemy missiles come from the top of the screen, trailing a highly visible red tail of smoke behind them. Your objective is to move a little cursor around the screen and press one of three buttons to intercept the enemy missiles with one of your three missile bases. Firing from the correct missile base is crucial, because you can't fire missiles from the base on the far right of the screen to intercept a missile coming in from the far left. This is where things don't work well on the GBA: there's only two buttons! You can choose to use the R or L shoulder buttons, but for making split second decisions such as this, it just doesn't work! So Missile Command is basically screwed.

Tempest is a unique, 3D game where you have to control a claw shaped ship on a wireframe half-pipe structure. Evil enemy ships will come down the half pipe, and you have to shoot like mad to prevent them from getting to you and killing you. As the game progresses, there are more enemies, projectiles flying everywhere, and “spikes” that you have to avoid running into, making it a big insane tempest! (hence the name). The one problem with this game is that it relies heavily on 3D scaling, which the Gameboy Advance is capable of, but not quite to this degree of intensity. Because of this, the whole thing goes at a slower pace, significantly messing up the game.

Last but certainly not least, the Gameboy Advance version of Atari Anniversary Edition has no form of saving mechanism whatsoever! This means you can't save your high scores at all! What's the point if you can't save your high scores? The problems in Missile Command and Tempest pale in comparison with the fatal blow that this game inflicts upon itself. I'd probably be playing it all the time if it could save my high scores. But it didn't, and so I sold it for about eight bucks at the same flea market from which I bought the original Playstation game.

Final score: 2 out of 5