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SummaryOnly the Japanese could invent something like this
The GoodIn the late Seventies, we were introduced to Breakout, a game from Atari where you had to destroy the bricks on the screen to go to the next level. You have to do this again, and again, and again. Although it was popular at the time, gamers eventually got fed up with it. Then, along came Arkanoid in 1986, a clone with improved graphics, great sound, and better gameplay mechanics.
The most important elements are the wide range power-ups that the player can get if they hit certain blocks, and these power-ups offer former Breakout players something new. Of those that are available, I like the laser power-up. I also like the way that monsters appear and make their way down toward you. This is a challenge, as it makes the ball change course whenever it hits a monster, forcing you to stay on your toes.
Arkanoid for the Amiga was developed by Discovery Software, the same bozos who made the Marauder disk copier. Their logo is seen throughout the game, below the score, and it is animated by a moving gradient. The same effect can be seen in their disk copier, when one or more disk drives are idle.
One thing that makes this version stand out is the level selector that appears when you start the game. Using the mouse, you can select what round you want to start on, from one to twenty. This is a useful feature to anyone, because, let's say, you are on round eleven, but you end up losing all your lives no matter how hard you try. Using the level selector, you can start on round twelve.
The title screen looks excellent, and the demo just shows how good the graphics are when you compare them to the arcade version. The monsters from the future rounds remind me of those health atoms from the first Duke Nukem game. Also, I like how the blocks are laid out in some rounds, taking the shape of a Space Invader, umbrella, and even the Atari logo.
The sound effects are nice to hear, with the most common ones heard when the ball hits both you and the blocks. The music is well composed. You can use the keyboard or mouse to control the bat. Controlling the bat with the mouse is easier to use, as the mouse is designed for Arkanoid and its sequels, then you can use the left mouse button to shoot blocks with your laser.
The BadWhen you fight Doh in the end and are making good progress, I didn't like the way when you lose a life, all your shots are for nothing.
The Bottom LineThis is a very good game that most of the Breakout fans should enjoy. What Taito did with take the game and expand on it by adding an introduction, improved graphics, power-ups, and monsters. I read that because of this, Atari took the company to court. Fortunately, they must have won otherwise there wouldn't be any sequels.
Although all conversions are good, it is the Amiga version that shines. As well as having a round selector, the graphics are so identical to the arcade version. The sound is very good also. If you are a fan of Breakout, then give this game a go.