January 29, 2005
On Armchair Arcade, Bill Loguidice provides detailed reviews of the Atari Flashback and the Commodore 64 30-in-1, comparing these two recent official entries in the “TV games” category. He finds the controllers on the Flashback (mentioned earlier on here) to work very well, although they aren’t compatible with the original 2600/7800 controllers. He writes that “where the Flashback fails is also where other TV games have failed—the quality of the emulation of the original system’s abilities. … these games are markedly different than their original 7800 and 2600 counterparts.” He notes that the C64-in-a-joystick only contains 30 games if you count fairly creatively. On the other hand, “everything looks and sounds almost exactly like the original, certainly better than any other TV game to date.” Unfortunately, to make up for excelling where the Flashback let us down, where Atari’s system worked well, the C64 30-in-1 has problems: the joystick has too much play in it and “does not accurately register directions.”
The C64 30-in-1’s authenticity and its ability to fully enact the C64 in hardware led it to win this TV game shootout. And it the review shows that I’m not the only one who thinks that playing on the original system is worthwhile, even when there are emulators and TV game implementations available.