04 Mar, 2007

Activision Hits Remixed Review

PSP Review | 1980s games. 2007 presentation.
A few years ago, Activision released Activision Anthology, a budget-priced compilation title for the PlayStation 2 that paid homage to some of the games that one of gaming’s first third-party publishers released. Activision Hits Remixed contains nearly the same content as Anthology, but the games included on this collection are far better suited to handheld gaming. Even though Activision Hits Remixed is essentially an upgraded port, the great selection of games makes the title a great package for those who either want a quick nostalgia fix, or remember the days of the Atari 2600.

Activision Hits Remixed contains more than forty games from the Atari 2600 era. The full collection of games includes: Atlantis, Barnstorming, Beamrider, Boxing, Bridge, Checkers, Chopper Command, Cosmic Commuter, Crackpots, Decathlon, Demon Attack, Dolphin, Dragster, Enduro, Fishing Derby, Freeway, Frostbite, Grand Prix, H.E.R.O, Ice Hockey, Kabobber, Kaboom, Keystone Kapers, Laser Blast, Moonsweeper, Megamania, Oink, Pitfall, Pitfall II, Plaque Attack, Pressure Cooker, Private Eye, River Raid, River Raid 2, Robot tank, Sea Quest, Skiing, Sky Jinks, Space Shuttle, Spider Fighter, Stampede, Star Master, Tennis and Thwocker. Because Activision Hits Remixed is available at a budget price point, you're essentially only paying about a dollar a title - pretty good value. There have been a bundle of retro compilations released lately, but this game has one of the largest collections.

A lazy day out fishing, what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

A lazy day out fishing, what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?
It's worth noting that Activision Hits Remixed will mainly cater to those who used to play the original titles on the Atari 2600. If you’re new to Atari 2600 software, then it may be a little difficult to adjust to the primitive visuals of these games, yet the gameplay in most cases still holds up really well. In any compilation there are some good, some average and some bad titles, but Activision released a lot of good quality games during the Atari 2600 era, and many of the titles are quite enjoyable. Pitfall, for example, is still an incredibly fun side-scroller.

And while Activision Hits Remixed may be a budget title, the budget mentality hasn't been applied to the presentation of the game. When you first load it up, every retro title here is pre-loaded, meaning you can jump from Pitfall to Ice Hockey without any loading at all. The game also keeps track of your progress in a game, so you can play Moonsweeper, switch to Pressure Cooker and come back to Moonsweeper without losing any of your progress. Handily, you can also save your game progress through the memory stick if you want to turn the PSP off for an extended period.

The emulation for the game has been handled by Digital Eclipse, who are extremely busy lately emulating anything and everything. The PSP doesn't have any issues emulating any of the Atari 2600 titles, which is to be expected; in fact, we didn't encounter any emulation problems at all, and all of the games appeared to run how they did more than two decades ago. You can choose to play the games in the original resolution or you can stretch the screen. If you stretch the screen the games don’t look nearly as good though, so you’ll want to keep the games playing at the default resolution, where the border is surrounded by control tips.

Checkers: the game that never ages.

Checkers: the game that never ages.
Activision Hits Remixed also supports the game sharing capabilities of the PSP. Every single game included on the compilation can be sent to a PSP, even if the receiver doesn't own a copy of the game. If the titles don't support multiplayer, then you can view the host's gameplay screen. All games that originally supported multiplayer on the Atari 2600 still support multiplayer.

Activision Hits Remixed also includes an '80s soundtrack from bands such as Blondie, Naked Eyes, A-Ha, Talk Talk, Twisted Sister and Missing Persons. You can skip through the tracks by using the shoulder buttons on the PSP, and the tracks can be heard in the background as you’re playing the games. It’s very rare for a retro compilation title to feature a soundtrack, let alone a decent one. All of the original sounds can still be heard on all of the games, but they only serve as a novelty.

Activision has also included a whole avalanche of extras. These aren't available immediately, and you'll need to keep playing for a while to unlock them. If you reach a predetermined score on the games, then you'll be awarded extras which range from classic commercials through to virtual patches. For every title you can also view the original box, cartridge artwork and instructions.

There is something going on here..

There is something going on here..
Whilst some of the games included in Activision Hits Remixed have dated, it's remarkable that more than twenty years later some of the games still stand up incredibly well. The most impressive aspect of Activision Hits Remixed is the presentation - with its '80s soundtrack and plenty of extras, it doesn’t feel like the game is a budget title at all. If you used to come home to an Atari 2600 or just fancy a bit of nostalgia, then Activision Hits Remixed comes highly recommended.
The Score
Activision Hits Remixed is one of the best compilations ever - with slick presentation and plenty of nostalgia, you won't find a much better retro compilation than Activision Hits Remixed. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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7 years ago
great review, i will pick this up 2mrw!
7 years ago
The inclusion of Pitfall makes me want this. Damn that game was great.
7 years ago
This is the best ever, justed picked it up. OMG ITS AWESOME!!!
I highly recommend it!
7 years ago
I'm glad you like it icon_smile.gif
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