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The grandaddy of them all -- Pong -- is set to make a comeback, and boy, is it looking good. Given that the game made its first appearance in the arcades in 1972, the game might be a bit too old for most casual classic gamers to remember, but its significance to gaming's history is unrivaled. Without Pong, the gaming landscape might be vastly different than it is today. And Atari might have been a mere afterthought in videogame lore. The point of this game is to hit a ball back and forth across the playfield (with another paddle on the other side) by controlling a cursor from side-to-side across the screen. You score a point by getting the ball past your opponent's paddle. It sounds simple, and it is. But as is the trademark with Atari's finer arcade efforts, it was immensely enjoyable to play and difficult to master.

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The new owners of Atari (Hasbro) is now preparing a new version of the classic for the new millenium. As expected, the game has been given the 3D treatement, but the gameplay has been enhanced as well. There are numerous playfields available and each one offers something different. One level has penguins (!) on the screen. Each time one got hit by the ball, it would lay an egg and it becomes another ball. There's also a jungle level that is wicked cool (I won't ruin it for you by explaining how awesome it is...)

The control is smooth, though not quite as precise as the original. We'd really like to see the game packed in with a paddle controller, but that's probably admittedly a pipe dream. As it stands, it's a terrific update that does the original justice... except when it comes to control.

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