Title: Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 3 & Atari Flashback Classics
Genre: Action, Compilation
Platform: Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC
Audience: E for Everyone
Release Date: Switch: 13/12/2018, Volume 3: 19/12/2018
Price: $39.99 Switch & $19.99 Volume 3– Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with review codes for both games.
What the Developers say
Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 3 brings more classic arcade, Atari 2600, and 5200 games to the latest generation of consoles and – for the first time – vintage hits from M Network.
The most comprehensive collection of arcade and home console classics comes to the Nintendo Switch™ system. Packed with 150 all-time favorites, rare gems, and unique homebrews, Atari® Flashback Classics is designed to take advantage of the touch screen and Joy-Con™ controllers of the Nintendo Switch system to bring new life to these iconic Atari games. With all-new achievements, leaderboards and social features bringing players together, combined with an amazing archive of classic artwork make Atari Flashback Classics the most complete Atari collection ever!
If you like playing classics, this modern era of gaming has become a great place to play them. From the Namco Museum to the Sega Genesis Classic collections, you have plenty of nostalgia-driven content at your fingertips. While the Switch Virtual Console and PlayStation Network could be better fleshed out and integrated with all types of titles, the promise of playing any Nintendo or PlayStation classic in the near future is very enticing. Going back even further though, the Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 3 and Atari Flashback Classics for Nintendo Switch are great ways to play these stepping stones into what the video games have become. The question is though, are such old classics enjoyable in this day and age or should they be left in a museum to admire from a distance?
Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 3 for PS4 contains 50 Atari titles, while the Atari Flashback Classics for Nintendo Switch features all 150 games from Volumes 1-3. Having to buy three separate collections to experience every title on PS4 or Xbox One is not ideal, but still gives players an option to enjoy these games. On Switch, however, is the best deal featuring all 150 titles brought together in one package. Whether playing on PS4 or Switch though, the games available all play the same and have the same features with an in-game achievement system, leaderboards, and social features, plus the same control layouts.
Looks and Sounds
Volume 3 is the only collection on PS4 to include 5200 titles, while the Switch already has every single game from all three volumes. Multiplayer can be used for some games. However, on a few occasions, I was cut off in the middle of a gameplay session for unknown reasons. I appreciated the time and effort that went into making the menus and the attention to detail with including the original instruction manuals for the 2600 and 5200, where you can scan through and look at the great artwork from that time.
There are a decent amount of options you can tweak for the visual settings and some games provide the option to change up how many lives you can start with as well as other options to make them easier to play. I experienced no issues with how the games played, and they played identically to the way I expected them to. The borders that occupy the sides of each game were well done and had a retro artistic charm to them.
Your main enjoyment with these collections will come down to whether they’re enticing enough to you to be worth the purchase. It would take too long to go through every single game that’s included. However, it will come down to if you have a nostalgic charm to them as many are just not enjoyable to even play. This is a bygone era and is equally important for our love of gaming, though you will immediately be able to tell many of these games have not aged well at all.
Many of the games included are of the generic Sports arcade games, such as Baseball, Basketball, Football, and so on. You can play either the arcade cabinet versions or their 2600/5200 counterparts. However, these are easily the weakest versions, and I would have much rather played the console equivalents. There are bound to be some games you will enjoy to play and reminisce about, and for me, it was Maze Invaders, Adventure, Fire Truck, Centipede, Asteroids, and Monte Carlo. While Volume 3 featured some memorable classic, I think the other volumes may have had the more prominent and better titles overall for our time.
Gameplay and Replayability
What is going to probably be the most interesting part of these collections for those who haven’t been following Atari games for a long time will most likely be the 2600 games. There are some in particular from Volume 3 that were never released initially on the 2600 back in the ’80s. Some of which were made during the ’80s, but then never actually release and other’s which were programmed as sequels many years later. This includes Yar’s Return and Adventure 2 as previously unreleased classics, and other games that I had a good time with that I never heard of before were Holy Moly and Saboteur, with Saboteur being a cool multi-screen 2600 title that would have been excellent way back in the day.
Being able to experience all these classics in one package is excellent, especially when many are so tricky to get a hold of, like many of the 5200 games. Many of the 5200 titles are from the Real Sports series where you have Baseball, Basketball, Football, Tennis, and Volleyball, as well as you also have arcade titles and many others. Many games had a second version from 2600 to 5200, so you do have some overlap with only a few nearly negligible improvements.
Even with some better versions, this does not mean the controls are perfect for the 5200 included games — the main reason why is because that system used the number pad controller system that many of the other classic systems used. Because of this, you get the whole list of commands on the left side of the screen and can go between them. It took me a while to get used to that control system, and I even had to look at the manuals for some games to tell what I was doing.
Overall, Atari Flashback Classics: Volume 3 and Atari Flashback Classics for Nintendo Switch are a retro enthusiast’s nostalgic dream. It was neat revisiting some of the games I grew up playing while my parents were still somewhat interested in video games. To own all 150 titles will cost you $39.99, and while this is the default on Switch, it may be best to pay the extra on PS4 or Xbox One to enjoy the entire collection and not miss out. If I had to recommend one Volume over another, it would probably be Volume 1 due to it including more of the well-known titles, although Volume 3 is the only one that has 5200 games on it. These collections are lovingly crafted and come recommended if you want a blast from the past, warts and all.
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Atari Classics Flashback on the US Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/atari-flashback-classics-switch and on the PlayStation Network on the following link, https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0182-CUSA09458_00-FLASHBACK000VOL3