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Blasteroids by BMan2
Game:BlasteroidsCompany:Atari
Type:ShooterPlayers:1-2

A funny thing happened on my way around MAME today - because just as you thought you'd seen every Asteroids clone available - up pops another one - Blasteroids in this instance. And lo and behold - it's actually quite a decent game - despite an atrociously unoriginal title - giving you the arcade addictiveness of the original - with some novel new twists to freshen it for what was the late 80's gaming market.
Blasteroids is obviously a direct rip off of Asteroids - and I could suppose even be classed as it's sequel. The object of the game is as simple as ever - you have a rotating spaceship and you must progressively destroy the asteroids hurtling towards your ship. As you shoot each asteroid - it splits into two smaller pieces - making you plan your attack upon the rocky horrors carefully - not a game for the trigger-happy.
What seperates Blasteroids out is the addition of energy balls - that help keep your ship alive - different weapons - shields to protect your ship - and the ability to change the type of ship you use mid game. Add in a boss at the end of every "galaxy" - and Blasteroids has enough of a hook to make you interested on the surface.
Graphically, Blasteroids could only improve upon the vector monochrome graphic experience that Asteroids was - and it does it very well. The ship is drawn colourfully - the playfield looks real and the rocks are well drawn - and animate smoothly. Sound is, well, again an improvement although this is not a major feature of the game. All of the relevant explosions and blips and blops are well accounted for - making sound a more functional feature - rather than one that is aurally pleasing.
Suprisingly, it is the gameplay of Blasteroids that STILL makes it stand out as a game that isn't just an arcade sequel. The action comes thick and fast - and the asteroids and the bullets fly in all directions before you have time to think. Because of the multi-level control system (i.e. the joystick rotates rather than moves) - it forces you to think about your momentum and your patterns in the middle of the mayhem. Add in the extra challenge the bosses and the extra weapons give you - and Blasteroids might just make you come back to finish that "extra" hard level.
Blasteroids is a clone that could be a sequel to a classic arcade game - and one that handles itself quite admirably. Not everyone's cup of tea granted - but it is an admirable follow up - to a concept that is well and truly covered in the gaming market.
Graphics
7
4
Sound
Play Control
7
7
Challenge
Replay Value
6
6
Performance
1999 EmuViews