Although some of the games on Sega’s recent Mega Drive retro collection are approaching fifteen years old, a handful – such as Ristar, Comix Zone and Sonic – still look quite alluring. On this 40 plus collection, however, the blocky graphics make Teletext’s pixel art look like the Mona Lisa.
Predictably, you have to do a lot of sorting to separate the wheat from the chaff. Scrolling shooter River Raid, platformer Pitfall, food-based shoot ’em up Plaque Attack and chef-sim Pressure Cooker managed to hold our interest for longer than expected, as did cave navigator platformer H.E.R.O. Most, though, failed to entertain for much longer than thirty seconds, due to either unfair difficulty or general rubbishness. A good example of poorness is Tennis, in which you can’t even dive, or Dragsters – hold down the accelerate button for too long and the engine blows. Game over!
Also as expected, with retro compilation experts Digital Eclipse at the helm, the presentation is pretty swish. The 3D menus have a cel-shaded look, while TV adverts and badges can be unlocked by achieving certain scores. There’s also a licensed soundtrack to cover up the ear-aching beeps and whistles that once passed as sound effects, including the likes of Take On Me by A-Ha and Soft Cell’s Tainted Love. This was also the case for Activision Anthology on PlayStation 2, of which this is an enhanced version.
If you grew up in the â€˜80s and had to save up pocket money for weeks – if not months – to buy a new cartridge for your Atari 2600, then you’ll probably spend a good few hours in a rose-tined nostalgia, playing through every single game available. Everybody else should be reminded that some of games on here were amongst the first to be released. There are plenty of them, and the later ones are slightly more complex, but combined they don’t provide the longevity of a single game released during this day and age.