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Atari Asteroids
Written by  :  Kevin Olson (8)
Written on  :  Jul 12, 2000
Platform  :  DOS

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A half-decent game that tends to be more tedious that entertaining.

The Good

I think the best part of the game is that it made it possible for Vance Hill to write a very humourous review on it.

Seriously, though. Unlike the other reviewers here, I have not had the oppurtunity to play either of the first two SC games (yes, GASP!). I bought this game because I've heard good things about its predeccesors, and many computer gaming magazines were very hopeful for a good game.

So, from the point of view to someone new to the series:

The concept of the game is rather good. I like the fact that they blend the different styles of adventure, strategy (to a very limited extent), and combat. Until then, I had never experienced a game that blended these things together.

I thought the back stories to all the races were positively fascinating. Again, I hadn't had any previous experience with the SC universe, so this was all new to me.

The characters voices were fitting with the races, although a few of them tended to get annoying after a while.

Two-player meelee can be loads of fun. For a quick fix that doesn't have to take more than seven minutes.

The Bad

The dialogue. True, I liked the backstory, but everyone kept on TALKING. I enjoy dialogue in a game, but only to a certain extent. At the beginning of the game, it can take a while to get into because (wanting to know the gaming universe) I explored all possible conversational options with every new race I met. And when you're talking to one race for that long of a time, interest is lost no matter WHAT they're saying.

The colony building is minimal. It could have been so much more. The sliders were annoying.

There is no way to prematurely end combat. My biggest problem with combat is when the enemy tries to run away from you. This usually happens when their shields are nearly depleted. They stay as far from you as possible, and you have very little chance to hit them. One time I had to wait for my opponet to plow into the nearest planet. Whoops.

The star map is very annoying. Trying to find the certain solar systems you need to get to can be a pain, but luckily there is a search feature. Similarly, with travel you need gas. Sure this makes sense, and it might control gameplay for the first little while. But it doesn't seem like that great of an idea when you're parked at a planet, waiting ten minutes as your gas tank slowly fills up.

On a final note, some of the events are timed. For example, Universe X might only implode itself on Day 32, or you don't see your first talking Cow until Day 1403. This means that even if you finish a bunch of tasks, you might not be able to progress until these days arrive. I left my computer running while I took my dogs for a walk. Is that what makes a thirlling game? Inspiration to exercise? I think not.

The Bottom Line

It had some good parts, but with so many bad parts, it's hard to reccomend. Try and find Star Control 2 (according to the reviews I've read). And when you find it, can you burn me a copy? :)

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