Atari Anthology review

Have you ever played a game that made you want to kill someone? Would you like to, asks Xbox World

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We open our eyes, cold and broken, our minds a maelstrom of painful hazy, half-remembered thoughts. We reach up to check for eyelids - we remember opening our eyes but all we can see is a brainwashing fusion of flashing primary colours and we collectively scream.

Is this the aftermath of one of the most horrendous drinking sessions ever? No. Just the result of blinking while playing Atari Anthology.

This game should not be released. Simple as that. Playing through its repetitive selection of mono-feature games, all we can picture is that poor, confused middle aged man in the games shop, torn between a copy of that 'Hello 2' game all the kids are talking about, and the game that conjures up happy memories of his childhood.

So, when we say Atari Anthology should not be released, we mean it - if for no other reason than every one of its 80+ games are rancid, two button affairs which involve either no skill or a misjudged difficulty level that makes you sick. Its target audience can only be those with fond memories of the games, yet all this experience can possibly do for them is shatter them.

It's not that we're trying to disrespect these old games for existing. They need to be celebrated as a wonderful reminder of just how far the industry has come in so little time. But their place is on a coveted museum shelf, not on a disc countless generations down the line, trying to earn a few more quid like some kind of haggard prostitute.

One day we'll look at Burnout 3, for instance, and remember it for what it is - just a very fun step on the long road to the day when games reach that mythical graphical pinnacle and can finally start being celebrated alongside other entertainment mediums as equals. What we won't do is force it on a new generation, deluding ourselves that the next-gen offerings aren't better. Increased technical prowess is the key to unlocking the true visions of artists and their ideas - the remakes of games like Doom are evidence enough of this. The way forward is to embrace the future, and let the games of old contained on this disc finally Rest In Peace.

Atari Anthology is out now for Xbox and will be out for PS2 on 4 February

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