Asteroids
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  • Atari
  • Atari
  • Action - Arcade Port (example - Asteroids)
  • 1987
  • 2
  • high score save
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9  |  Keep on rocking
Darryl B. , 5/3/2005 2:41:42 PM
Asteroids was one of the earliest ever smash hits in the arcades, created by the once-mighty Atari...and due to having several home systems with the Atari name on them, naturally the game came home to several of them (not to mention other third-party video game companies' consoles as well (mostly in regards to handhelds), along with personal computers too).

However, the game looked radically different once it hit the home market, as it was originally presented to the public in the black and white vector, straight outlined graphics, which home systems didn't have the power to reproduce that kind of look at the time, so Asteroids went to raster scan then; this made quite a few idiotic young gamers reject it just based on looks alone, as I recall a friend of a friend stating that the 2600 version of Asteroids (the first home version) sucked because some of the asteroids were pink. (Even though we were in junior high at the time, that was still pretty asinine, as you could just flip the game onto Difficulty A [which would make the asteroids move at diagonals and have the U. F. O.s come out much earlier in the game] and it would still play pretty much the same as the arcade original. Going by appearances only to judge a game by; sheesh! [I think the kid that said that nonsense is now a plastic surgeon.])

In this severe classic, you would shoot a large asteroid, it would break off into two smaller ones, and those would also split into two more. A U. F. O. would also appear and start firing off shots as well, adding to the already onscreen chaos, but those were worth big points (300 for the big one, and 1000 for the small one, although the latter's aim was a lot more accurate than the big one's).

Graphics-wise, at least this port looked better than the 2600 version, as the asteroids have craters, plus they rotate, giving them a three dimensional look. Unfortunately the player's ship didn't look a whole lot better than the 2600 version's did (why the hell couldn't they improve this?), but the U. F. O.s looked pretty excellent in blue.

The game also has a couple of minor changes, as it would start with only three large asteroids (as opposed to four on the original), but the difficulty was ramped up a notch, as, at times, one of those three asteroids were already moving quickly, as NONE of the large asteroids in the arcade original moved fast (several of the medium- or small-sized ones moved quickly, though), they were more along the shade of slow-moving blobs of pesky a. m. tv weatherperson Willard Scott.

Other than that, 7800 Asteroids pretty much plays the same, with only a few difficulty levels, but Atari also created THE ultimate version of the game (not counting the revamped Asteroids-like Blasteroids arcade game in the late 80s, perhaps) by having two players onscreen at once, which is a freakin' blast, even though the players are restricted to only two onscreen shots at once, rather than four on the original one player (or two player alternating) version of the game. This is one of my all-time favorite co-op games EVER.

Unfortunately Atari decided to throw in some silly sound effects that sound like they were taken from a 1950s cheesy sci-fi movie that would pop up at random during a wave (which is kind of distracting), which my guess is that they're communication frequencies from the U. F. O.s, trying to get revenge on us evil earthlings from producing the icky singing duo Captain and Tennille, bell bottoms and sci-fi movies where the aliens are always stereotyped as to being the bad guys. However, the sounds other than that were pretty decent (especially when you shot an asteroid) and the controls handled almost as well.

Other than those minor gripes, this should be in every 7800 gamer's library, but it probably already is, due to it being an easy to find, popular game for the system.

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