When Atari first told us that they and AtGames were planning to release the Atari Flashback Classics - Volume 3 for Xbox One and PS4, including Atari 5200 games for the first time on next gen consoles, I instantly got excited to review it. As a kid, I played many hours of Atari games on the 2600, 2600 Jr., and 7800, but never had the opportunity to play the Atari 5200.
After spending a few weeks playing and reviewing Atari Flashback Classics - Volume 3 on the Xbox One console, there are some things I like, a few that I love, and some that I do not like. There are definitely some arcade games that in my opinion do not transition from the arcade cabinet to the home console very well in this collection. The arcade game that stuck out the most to me for not transitioning to the next gen console well is Firetruck. A disappointing game as far as how much fun it could be is the arcade game Avalanche. This game is similar to the classic Kaboom, and could be extremely fun, but as much as I configured the controls for this game, the Xbox One controller does not do the game justice.
A few arcade classics that not only transitioned well, but were very entertaining to play are Atari Basketball, Dominoes, and Maze Invaders. The title of my favorite Atari Arcade game in this collection is Maze Invaders. I had never played this game in the arcades, but the first time I started playing it on the Xbox One, I instantly got hooked on playing this arcade gem. This arcade game has definitely kept its game play value over the years. Atari Basketball is nothing compared to today's next gen sports games, or even console gens of the past, but the game play is still entertaining for some one on one hoops action to pass the time. Dominoes is what appears to be one of the first Snake or Slither.io games, and though the games is a relic of the classic arcade days, the game is still as much fun to play as the current versions of the same game that many gamer's play on mobile devises and consoles.
The most fun I had while reviewing Atari Flashback Classics - Volume 3 on the Xbox One was exploring the selection of Atari 5200 games that were included. The 5200 version of Asteroids was fun to play on the Xbox One, as well as a few I had never played before on any console. Countermeasure was the one that stuck out the most among the games I had not previously played. Countermeasure is a tank game with similar game play as classics such as Commando and Ikari Warriors.
A game that stood out with potential as a game for the PS4 VR is Star Raiders for the Atari 5200. While playing this game, my son quickly mentioned that it looked 3d, and would be a great game in VR. The game would definitely be a very entertaining Atari title for the Sony Playstation 4 VR headset to compliment the recently released RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride.
Air Raiders for the Atari 2600 is a great early days jet fighter flight simulator by Mattel, who under the M Network name had released some great games for the Atari 2600. Among the Atari 2600 games included, Holey Moley is a game that is also entertaining, but is lacking due to the controls. The original game on the Atari 2600 was played using the Atari number pad keyboard. This makes it a bit harder to play with the Xbox One controller, but not all together impossible to play.
Some games that I found almost impossible to play due to controller issues are Real Sports Basketball, and Super Breakout, both for the Atari 5200. Although Real Sports Basketball appeared unplayable, Real Sports Baseball was playable, and fun to play. While we are on the sports topic, Super Challenge Football is a game that I sat down to play, and though the controls in this game are a playable aspect, the screen tearing and overall game play was very bad.
Though there are some definite issues with game play with a few of the games, overall, I enjoyed playing the Atari Flashback Classics - Volume 3, and making my way through the included Atari 5200 games was certainly entertaining. The user interface appears to use a mashup of several different interfaces, but it is nothing that makes the menus incredibly hard to navigate. With a mix of Atari 2600, 5200, and arcade games, there are certainly some games included that will give an older gamer that instant feel of nostalgia, and newer gamer's something new and entertaining to explore.