Full Review: How intelligent is your TV?
Although I'm a huge fan of the old Intellivision gaming system, I'm not going to lie to you. Like many other kids back in the early 80's I was the owner of an Atari 2600, the archrival of the Intellivision. Being a curious youth I'd always wondered what it would be like to have one of these cool game systems at that age, especially since it was supposed to be the superior machine. Fast-forward to the latest gaming generation where you can now buy a massive collection of 60 plus Intellivision games for only a few bucks. Introducing Intellivision Lives for the Xbox. Let's see if Intellivision Lives can bring back the same magic that millions of gamers once loved and experienced many years ago.
To understand what an Intellivision is, you have to go back in time to the late 1970s and early 1980s (ya, I'm pretty old) when video games were fairly new to the public, and things were far more primitive. Most video game characters only had one shade of colour to them and it didn't help matters that they looked very blocky as well. We were also considered lucky if there was any background music at all to go along with the simple beeps we had for sound effects. The games here may have looked superior to most of the popular Atari 2600 titles, but most of these games didn't play as quickly because of the slower hardware. Intellivision Lives features no new improvements to the original graphics or sound, so be ready for some of the worst visuals ever seen on the Xbox.
Although the games here look the same as they did back then (in other words horrible), at least you have the option to listen to some new Intellivision-based music that was custom made for this collection. Sadly, I liked the quirky music at first but after a few hours of playing, it gets real old, real quick. If I hear that Shark! Shark! Track one more time ?I'm gonna blow my brains out!'
What would a good collection be without a bunch of legendary titles to back it up, eh? In the fictional Hal's Pizza, the place is filled with tons of stylish arcade cabinets where you get to play various Intellivision titles based on several categories. The Space section has classic games like AstroSmash, Star Strike, and Space Armada. The Arcade games feature games like Pinball and Night Stalker. The Strategy area has games like Utopia, one of the first ever real time strategy games I ever played, plus you can't forget about the Sports area since the Intellivsion is famous for having sport titles that were ahead of their time. You can even see a section devoted to some unreleased Intellivision games. Some of these games will even let you save your top score right to the Xbox Hard Drive. I couldn't even save my high scores in the fun but limited Activision Anthology game for the Playstation2.
Not only to you get 60 games in one here, but the producers of this title also decided to throw in some awesome material bonus's to sweeten the deal. Some games may include developer and staff bios --these tell you some of the hectic stories these people had to go through just so they could meet that all important dead line. You can even unlock some of the original television ads that featured side-by-side comparisons of certain games that clearly showed the Intellivision games as the winner. The fighting was fierce and it was the first ever sign of the video games console wars.
One of the Intellivision's more unique features was the built in controllers, with 12 keypads and two side action buttons. I thought the Xbox controller would be able to handle the transitions since it has all these extra buttons as well. I was very wrong. Intellivision Lives biggest problem is its lousy, non user-friendly interface. Using the Back button to open up the old controller was a cool idea but it only ends up getting in the way instead, and certain games just become a chore to play now.