It's highly doubtful creator Eugene Jarvis knew what he was creating when the concept for Robotron 2084 popped into his mind. The simple "try and stay alive" concept is an idea that would spawn numerous sequels and spin-offs (Smash TV owes everything to Robotron). As such, we've seen the game on multiple incarnations of hardware, and the Live Arcade seems as good a place as any to yet again resurrect this unsung classic.
For all that it does right, Robotron is one of those games that never gets into the spotlight. It's overlooked in the sea of Pac-Mans and Space Invaders, yet 2084 offers the highest level of intensity of any early 80s video game. The sheer amount of sprites being moved at once is stunning, especially when given the year of release (1982) and the limitations of the hardware at the time. You're the lone gunmen left on Earth, blasting away robots gone mad, and attempting to rescue the few remaining humans.
The thing with Robotron is that you're going to die. It may not be level 1, and it may not be level 100, but you will die. It's inevitable, and that's always sitting in the back of your mind as you play through yet another intense Xbox Live Arcade dual-analog shooter. Things become so crowded, your sprite is barely noticeable. The fact that is stays entertaining, even when the player is plopped into a desperate situation, is what makes this a worthy download.
Beyond the rather ridiculous 13 MB download size (the ROM for MAME is a meager 36 kb), Robotron comes in intact. The audio, graphics, and speed are perfect. There would be no excuse of they weren't.
That's assuming you play with the classic options. This release has two levels of slightly upgraded graphics, to go along with HD and widescreen (!) support. While the first level adds minor detail to the sprites, the second goes a little overboard. It's visual noise, adding too much background detail to a game that didn't need any of it. Stick with the classic mode and you'll do fine. Plus, filling a widescreen makes it difficult to see the entire play field, so keeping the game screen small is an advantage.