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Blasteroids (1989)      

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Issue 48 Apr 1989 (Zzap! 64)   3rd Dec 2011 05:08
Strange things have been happening to the atmospheric conditions of some planets, and now the Colonisation Corps think that they have discovered the source. A mysterious shape has been spotted on the deep-space scanners, surrounded by a large number of smaller blips. Without further ado, the Corps sent out probes to investigate the traces. Unfortunately, all the messages sent back were pitifully short and no probes ever returned. The messages have two things in common, though: they all mention asteroids and a large green creature named Mukor.
Meanwhile, the Corps has sent a fleet of drone-controlled ships to the scene aboard huge space troopships. The mission: to destroy the asteroids Mukor has surrounded himself with and then go straight to the jugular for the Mukor kill.
The attack craft consist of three types of ship (see Ships box). Remote control allows you to switch between them at any time; the required ship is just teleported into the fray while the last fighter is returned to the mother ship. If two ships are in combat, they can be joined for extra efficiency. The craft can only withstand a certain amount of pressure and collisions cause their energy supplies to diminish. Lucky for you that shooting a red asteroid releases energy crystals that can be used to refuel.

Just to make things that extra bit more awkward, the system is patrolled by enemy spacecraft. When you've shot some of these, they drop bits of useful equipment which can be added to your attack crafts' weapon systems (see Pick-ups box).
Clear all the sectors in a galaxy, and your crafts are sent in to battle with Mukor, the big slime-ball himself – he only dies once all his tubes have been blasted off (ugh!).
Not that this is necessarily the end of fight, though. Mukor's a pretty weird being and if any of that revolting slime escapes, it may well form itself into another creature for you to destroy. Whoopee!

I thought that Atari's idea of rejuvenating Asteroids was pretty ridiculous when I first heard about it, but when Blasteroids finally appeared I had to concur it was a good idea after all. Now that the arcade game has appeared on home machines, all we could hope for is that they've translated the game properly. Well, I think I can safely say that the Amiga's graphics are just about arcade perfect and the 64's sprite animation fully captures the feel of the original. The only thing that really bothers me, being an Amiga music fan, is the poor sound. The tune's OK – if a little repetitive – but the sound effects are really just tuned 'crunch' noises. Still, who cares when the game's so playable we've been having fights over it all day? Right! I'm off to have another go…

I haven't had much experience of Blasteroids in the arcades, as Gordo always gets to the machine before me, so I hardly get a look in. This time it's different: the Amiga version is just like the arcade game (minus sound), and the 64 captures the feel tremendously. The graphics are extremely good, with well-drawn and smoothly animated sprites moving across atmospheric backdrops: the amount of objects on screen on the Amiga is incredible – and not a flicker in sight. Despite the lack of faith to the arcade sound FX, both versions have some pretty neat musical accompaniment (Well, I liked it). What we're saying is: if you're a fan of the original, check it out!

I love the arcade version of Blasteroids and have shoved my hard-earned tokens in the slot many a time. Now that I can play it at home I can save a considerable amount of money, because the computer versions are very similar to the coin-op… well, the graphics and gameplay are –I'm not too sure about the sound. Some of the effects heard in the arcade version are incredible and were a major selling point of the game. This stops the 8-bit and 16-bit versions of Blasteroids from being absolutely brilliant instead of really good. Still, if you like the arcade game, get yourself off the nearest software dealer and check it out. Now if I can just get Maff off the Amiga for a few minutes…

(Anonymous) (Unknown)   24th Nov 2010 08:52

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This title was first added on 18th December 2006
This title was most recently updated on 3rd December 2011

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