Atari Flashback Classics: A Deeper Look at Vol. 1 & 2

Atari Flashback Classics: A Deeper Look at Vol. 1 & 2

Retro returns... again

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Features on

After playing 100 classic Atari games over the past few days, I figured just writing two reviews wasn't enough. So, I decided to highlight a few aspects of these collections that I missed out. Enjoy!

Major Havoc [Arcade] screenshot
They call him Major Havoc for a reason

It's all in the control

Atari 2600 sure had a lot of different controllers. Trying to map all of those devices to one modern controller must be tough. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised how well they were implemented. For example, when you play a game that requires paddles; you can use the digital pad to move in a linear manner while the position of the stick immediately moves you to that point on the screen. However, my favourite way to control these games is with the PlayStation 4's touchpad. Doing so is incredibly responsive and simply feels natural. It really took me back to playing with an Atari 2600 paddle controller. Too bad my actual paddle controllers are broken... Anyway, another nifty game to control is Sentinel. As a light gun game, it's pretty cool to move the cursor with the touchpad.

Missile Command [Arcade] screenshot
Missile Command makes chain reactions an explosive gameplay mechanic

Atari goes online

One thing that I did for far too long while playing the arcade games is try to climb the leaderboards. You can only do so with default settings so it's awesome to see where you stack up against other Atari fans. The 2600 games don't have rankings which is understandable. As if that's not enough, you can join a lobby in order to play games with folks online. Unfortunately, I didn't find anyone the few times that I checked but I'll be sure to try again down the road. Maybe I'll find someone one of these days...

Where the heck is Battlezone?

A game that's absent in these collections is Battlezone. Previous Atari compilations featured both the arcade and 2600 versions so it's odd that you can't play it here, too. I would guess that this is due to the newly released Battlezone VR. I miss the first-person vector visuals and classic tank combat. I could always boot up almost any other Atari collection whenever I want my Battlezone fix, though.

Combat (Tank Plus) [Atari 2600] screenshot
When it comes to simple multiplayer fun, Combat is where it's at

I had a great time playing through both volumes of Atari Flashback Classics. I hope you enjoyed reading my reviews and this extra coverage. Have you played these compilations yet? What are your favourite Atari games? Let's talk in the comments section below!

Gameplay video playlist for Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1 & 2 16:20

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