Velveeta (4/25/04)

Intellivison Lives! (PS2)

Crave Entertainment

Ahhh Intellivision......this magical system just sparks of nostalgia for me since this was the first console to introduce me to the fun world of videogames.  I have many great memories of playing against or with  my brother and my dad.  Some old favorites include Microsurgeon, Beauty and the Beast, Pitfall, Frogger, Dracula, Shark! Shark!, Burger Time, Carnival and Pinball.    Yeah I know some of the games I mentioned can also be found on the Atari, but I did not have an Atari,  so there!  

When I saw that they made a collection of Intellivison games for all of the modern consoles I was pretty psyched because up until now I can only play my old favorites on emulator and that sucks big time!  A keyboard just is not a good substitute for that.  the original controller had a ten key pad that you can insert plastic overlays that tell you what each key does and at the bottom of the controller is a disc that acts as a directional pad.  


On the computer you had to memorize or figure out what goes with each number of the ten key and if you have not played that particular game before, trying to figure all that stuff out sucks super big time.

Now you know why I was excited to play these old games again on some of the modern consoles with (hopefully) better controls than what the keyboard provided me.  All that remained in question when this game came out was what games would be included in this compilation.  In this, I was sort of happy and disappointed at the same time because even though this collection had many of my favorites, it did not include Microsurgeon which is my absolute favorite or the Dungeons and Dragons game which used to scare the crap out me because of the scary noises when I was little.   Oh come on! When I was little, that sounded like a real dragon......

The collection of games include:  Astrosmash, Utopia, Sub Hunt, Frog Bog, Nightstalker, Skiing, Snafu, Space Armada, Baseball,   Armor Battle, Bowling, Pinball, Hockey and B-17 bomber just to name a few.  There are about 60 games in all, including some previously unreleased games!

Intellivision Lives! also has some extras that are pretty entertaining such as interviews with the "Blue Sky Rangers" or the creators of Intellivision, commercials for the various games and of course a small collection of previously unreleased games such as Brickout and Deep Pockets:  Pool& Billiards.

Game Layout

This game opens into a menu that looks like a pizza place, which it is... it's called "Hal's Pizza".  There are tables, chairs, a jukebox that allows you to change the menu music which might I say is very nice and all that games you would like to play are divided into categories and can be found in various arcade machines around the pizza joint.  

the game genres are as follows:

SPACE:  This has all of the space games such as Space Armada.

ARCADE:  This category includes various action games like Nightstalker and Vectron.

GAMING & STRATEGY:  Here are games that you can play against the computer or with a buddy like Checkers and Reversi.

SPORTS:  Well duh, all of the sports games are here like Baseball and Hockey.

COMBAT  & SORCERY:  This selection has all of the war type games both realistic (now don't laugh! Smart Asses!) and sci-fi fantasy like Armor Battle and Tower of Doom.

CHILDREN'S:  Ahhhh all of the educational gems are in this one like Factor Fun or Word rockets.

UNRELEASED:  This is by far the most odd collection...I can see why some of these were not previously released......either ahead of its time or just plain weird games are in here.  I really liked Hard Hat.

One thing I should mention here is that on some games the creators give you goals of high scores to beat etc.


Navigation and Controls

I found it very easy to navigate to the appropriate arcade machine with whatever game I wanted to play.  In fact the navigation controls, even the controls that bring up a side menu that has the original game controller (which is select on the PS2) are easy and if you get lost or want to see the instructions to a game, all you have to do is press start.  When you are still in the controls menu it always gives you the option of quitting a game etc.

The only serious problems to this game is the fact that you have to press select and then select what command you want from the keypad.  For some games like Shark! Shark! and Nightstalker this is no problem because you really do not need the ten key command pad but for games like Sub Hunt and Utopia it is a real pain in the bee-hind because as you switch back and forth, the game keeps playing and you could wind up dead, like I did many times.  Luckily for a good deal of the games this is not an issue, like with many of the shooters but if you enjoy the more complicated games like Utopia, then this is barely a step above the crappy key board on an emulator game. 


What am I supposed to say here?  These are freakin games from the eighties and during the time when these games came out they were considered great.  If you compare with games of today, of course they are going to be crap. 


 See my notes on graphics above and substitute "Audio".


I give this a 6.5 with an asterisk because Intellivision Lives!  is a really worthwhile game but if you never had any love for all of these oldies then I would not recommend this as being a game for everyone.  The controls are either really good or really bad depending on the game and because of that I find myself gravitating to the easier to control games.