E3 2018: Hands-On at Atari

Atari is back at E3 and I was able to spend some time with several titles that are headed to consoles.


Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3
The next entry in the series includes fifty arcade and console games from the Atari library. Classic arcade games are included but a couple of additions really grabbed my attention. One is the inclusion of some M Network games. Many of the games produced by Mattel were popular additions to the Atari 2600 library and I own a dozen or so myself so I’m excited to have them available on the PS4.

Even more interesting for collectors in general, and me in particular, is the addition of Atari 5200 games, which have been remastered for the first time for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. For any 5200 games which require the keypad, like Countermeasure, the buttons have been mapped to other parts of the DualShock 4 and a key is listed on the side of the screen.

More than thirty of the games have online play enabled like the previously collections.

Complete List of Games

Switch owners in particular have the luxury of having the complete collection in one package along with some nice bonus features. In handheld mode you’ll be able to turn the Switch sideways and use it like a proper arcade screen for the arcade games. You’ll also have the option of a virtual trackball or dial for the games that supported them. They work pretty well and it’s a great addition based on the capabilities of the Switch.

Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 3 is scheduled to release in Q4 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.


RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride
While this isn’t the full RollerCoaster Tycoon with theme parks and such, you’ll be able to build an entire roller coaster within minutes and then experience it either in PlayStation VR or regular non-VR mode. Two environments are available for building, either a canyon or a city.

The canyon environment includes caverns to explore while building and it’s more about horizontal gameplay while the city is more verticality, with putting a roller coaster up the side of a building. There’s a single player mode with ten missions split evenly between the two environments.

Completing the missions will unlock customization elements like skins and headspinners. Headspinners are the more aggressive coasters so it’s better that you work up to them rather than jumping right in.

You choose a place for your starting point station, then pick a track part to begin with. Adding in tracks, boosters, and specialty pieces is really easy and there are forty pieces in total for building. Customizable elements include the track color, car color, and station color.

You have the ability to adjust the angle, length, pitch, and yaw of the tracks to fine tune them to the exact experience you want. You’ll have to eventually bring it all the way back around to the station again and there’s an autocomplete function available to help bring the track back to a perfect connection when you’re close to the end.

When jumping into your completed coaster, targets will be added along the sides of the tracks. These can be ignored entirely or shot at with your controller. There is however no way to remove them from the track, so they’ll always be there, no matter what you build.

The targets are worth one, two, or three hit points and there are multipliers, slow motion mechanics and other power-ups along the way. This is really why the local multiplayer function of the game exists. You can set up a number of players and the game will keep tracks of the scores for each person’s turn.

While it can be played either way, the ideal situation is with PlayStation VR. When i hit the first drop and turn my stomach fell out a bit as if I was on a real roller coaster. The only thing missing was the wind blowing on my face. RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride releases this fall exclusively on PlayStation 4 for $29.99.


TEMPEST 4000
Developer by Llamasoft and designed specifically by Jeff Minter himself, Tempest 4000 is an arcade shooter based on the original Tempest.

Three game modes are available, Classic, Pure, and Survival. Classic starts you off at level one and you’ll be tracked on your score for each level which add up to your score for the game. Pure Mode allows you to jump into any level you’ve already completed and continue on from there. Survival is similar to the arcades but you have eight lives total with no extra lives available.

The levels are designed in sets of eight and as each set is completed, colors and enemies change and power-ups are reset. The gameplay is everything players would expect from Tempest. Along with rotating around the board and destroying everything coming at you, you have one smart bomb per level and the ability to jump, though you won’t be able to score any points when you jump.

The game runs in 4K resolution and it’s absolutely beautiful with everything going on in the background. The sound effects are classic Tempest with a techno soundtrack. It’s pretty awesome for a fan of the series and it’ll be out this summer on PS4 and Xbox One for $29.99 and Steam for $19.99.


RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures for Switch
This title is built off of the mobile game with a mix of the PC simulations built in to create an accessible game with some depth. Built with the Switch in mind, pick up and play is an important part of the experience as well.

Four park environments are available, a wooded forest, a Wild West themed area, a lunar landscape, and a tropical setting. Each comes with its own set of themed decorations but in Sandbox Mode you’ll have access to everything so you can mix and match them.

Like other RollerCoaster Tycoon games, you can build an entire park from scratch, researching new technologies and making money to pay for everything, but you’ll also have something new. The game will have a Scenario Mode with sixteen different parks with preset conditions where you’ll have to make specific choices as you go. These will then branch off into other choices and other choices in a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style of play.

The different scenarios and choices will give passive boosts or decreases along the lines of a particular ride making more money or not being able to use a certain decorations. This story/adventure mode takes about two hours to play but you can continue with that park when the scenarios end. Overall it looks like a good start and it should be a fun game for families with a Switch.

RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures is scheduled to release in Q3 2018 for Nintendo Switch.

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 26 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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