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Game Over Online ~ Asteroids

GameOver Game Reviews - Asteroids (c) Activision, Reviewed by - cyrus / m0tion /

Game & Publisher Asteroids (c) Activision
System Requirements P200 32mb RAM
Overall Rating 78%
Date Published Monday, November 16th, 1998 at 07:45 PM


Divider Left By: cyrus Divider Right

Asteroids was one of the first arcade and computer games ever. With simple vector graphics and incredibly addictive gameplay, it became an instant hit among gamers. One of the first ever computer games that I've played was an MS-DOS port of Asteroids and I can say that I loved it. It was almost as good as Space Invaders and Galaga. When I heard that Activision was publishing a new version of Asteroids I was quite anxious to play the update. Activision did a wonderful job on Battlezone in updating it and here they've done a great job on Asteroids as well.

In Asteroids you control a space ship that must blow up asteroids, space debris and attacking alien ships. You are in deep space and therefore you cannot fly like a normal plane. You must turn around and fire your jet in order to slow down and change direction. It takes some getting used to but it becomes addictive very easily.

Graphics: Graphics in the new version are very well done. The asteroids and space debris look quite natural and when they break apart the explosions are smooth and not overdone. Pieces of the asteroid debris have transparent fire trails that appear, after you initially break apart the asteroid, and then slowly fade away. Your ships jet has the same effect but it fades from blue to orange, very cool looking. Alien ships are very well rendered and appear to shake and turn as they fly around. The first level's background consists of a planet rotating on a space background while the second is a lightning storm. Both levels backgrounds display smoothly and look good but do not take away from your concentration. The game runs impressively smooth in Direct3d mode on my 3dfx card. The game exhibits no slowdown even with several large asteroid models on the screen. The movies between levels are nice and add a little to the level transition but not much. As a quick side note, some of the effects on the third zone are very cool. Overall eye candy was very tastefully incorporated into a game that depends on good gameplay and not good graphics to sell.

Sound: Unfortunately the sound in Asteroids is slightly annoying, although not nearly as bad as the original. The most annoying sound is the gun sound. It is absolutely terrible. In itself it is a good sound but due to the fact that you are always firing your gun it gets old very, very fast. The asteroid break up sounds were nice and deep but I had a real problem ignoring that infernal gun noise. The alien ships are also somewhat bothersome in that they make an odd warbling noise as they fly around. My recommendation for this game would be to turn on your stereo, turn the computer bass up all the way and just blow the asteroids to bits. The deep rumbling is very satisfying.

Multiplayer: Multiplayer is done on the same computer. You and a partner cooperate to blow up the asteroids and other space debris. It's not very fun due to having to use the same keyboard. Over a network though it could be a lot of fun especially since it would allow for quicker progression through the levels. Thankfully in multiplayer it is impossible to shoot your partner.

Gameplay: The gameplay in the new Asteroids is almost exactly like that in the old version. New features include various powerups and the ability to pick different ships. There are unique powerups for each zone and some of them are really cool. My favorites are the plasma drill and the plasma torch but the best looking is the smart bomb. The control is very smooth and the game plays at a good speed. My problem with the original Asteroids was that I would often fly out of control because the frame rate was too fast. This is not the case in the revised version. Another nice addition is the ability to use a shield. It was instrumental in saving me many a time. The backgrounds also play a part in the gameplay and can destroy you as easily as the asteroids. The new additions incorporate quite well with this game and it was nice to see that the designers didn't go overboard in adding new features. The best bonus however was the ability to play Classic Asteroids after I completed the first zone. It really helped to show how far the game had progressed. The game has three difficulty levels which allow the novice to have a good time but lets the old veterans still be challenged. The physics stay true to the original Asteroids in that your ship carries inertia in space and slides. Asteroids and space debris can be deflected by your shots and when a asteroid blows up the pieces fly in separate directions. Alien ships appear from time to time and attack you. I found it much harder to avoid the aliens then the asteroids. Then again, the asteroids didn't shoot at me.

Fun Factor: Asteroids is not fun, it is addicting. I was sucked in to playing and before I realized it I had been playing for a few hours. The difficulty levels coincide well with their titles. I am not very good at this game so I played at the easy difficulty level. My friend, on the other hand, was able to go to expert level and still have a good time. The small size of this game encourages me to keep it around as a handy time waster.

Overall Impression: The new Asteroids stays faithful to the original but adds several new features. The graphics are nice and the control excellent. I am going to hang onto this one for a bit. I would recommend picking it up if you're an old arcade buff and want to see what's been done to a truly classic game.

 

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Rating
75%
 

 

 
 

 

 

Divider Left By: m0tion Divider Right

Your favorite 1980s arcade blockbuster is back again for the PC. This time however its sporting new graphics, sound, and features. This version of the classic Asteroids is very similar to the arcade version gameplay wise. In fact, its almost completely identical aside from the MAJOR graphics improvements that have been made to the game. Its the same old addictive fun your used to packed with beautifully pre-rendered video and graphics that make the original look oh-so bland.

Graphics: 18/20

The graphics in Asteroids don't get much better than this folks. We're talking Direct 3D support for all you hardware accelerator owners out there, which makes the game look outstanding! The whole game seems to have a real 3D feel to it. The asteroids, background, and even your ship look 3D modeled and almost pop out of the screen as you fly through level upon level of action packed rock crushing. Even in software mode the game is stunning, so if you haven't run out and spent your hard earned cash on a 3D accelerator yet, your not out of luck.

Sound: 11/15

The background noises and music really seem to put you into a spacey mood. What can I say? You've got your laser's blasting, your asteroid's crumbling, and you black hole's sucking. What more can you expect from your classic game of Asteroids?

Gameplay: 25/30

Here is where all the new spins they've put on Asteroids come in. In single player they have several different "zones" each containing sub-levels with advancing difficulty and also containing they're own bonus worlds and bosses. You now have 3 classes of ships to choose from instead of just one and all have ranging levels of rotation, thrust, shield, and firepower. They've also added options to change the level of difficulty at which you play Asteroids which should keep all you hardcore Asteroid freaks blasting for a long time to come. The play controls have also changed from your favorite classic. Now during the game you can put on a shield to keep from running into asteroids (this lasts for a limited period of time), you can also hyperwarp to a random place on the map, and they've also added an option to have your ship do a quick 180 (push the button and you ship turns completely around).

Fun Factor: 16/20

This is by far the best version of Asteroids I've ever played, but after a certain point you do get tired of playing Asteroids. I'll probably have this game sitting around for about a month or so, but about six months from now I'll probably find it laying around and play it all over again. Classic arcade games like this have that kind of quality to them, you can play them for a while and pick them up six months later and its like a brand new game.

Multiplayer: 4/5

This game has implemented multiplayer. You and a friend can sit down (its limited to both of you playing on one computer unfortunately) and compete against each other in any one of the 4 zones. Basically its a competition to see who can destroy the most asteroids and rack up the most points. This is surprisingly addictive! I played with a friend for almost an hour and we got REALLY into it. This game is a lot of fun to play multiplayer but, again, it is Asteroids and you get sick of it after a while.

Overall Impression: 7/10

I really enjoyed playing this game and I would suggest it to anyone who enjoyed playing the original Asteroids (or even if you didn't, this game is great fun). I'd definitely toss out some dough to own this one because it will keep you coming back for arcade action for months to come.

 

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Rating
75%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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