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atari breakout
Written by  :  MAT (234662)
Written on  :  Aug 03, 2000
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars3.71 Stars

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Watch it for the moon in the time of noon!

The Good

Just when all the hopes went away, and we started thinking how platform level-based genre was extinct, we're blasted from the past with another touch of classic. This game can easily be compared to good old rule called Another World, in both story and graphic quality for its time, as well as animation and music quality. Once I started this game, I was like a glued to my computer side of me. It showed me the history, and unraveled longly forgotten part of meback when I enjoyed a perfection under the a name of Blackthorne.

You're playing a waggish li'l boy whose only fear lies in the bottom of the darkness. The scene opens as you're sleeping on the class, and your terror-like creature of a teacher is trying to punish you by closing you in a small closet, but, as the ring went off, you wriggle down below, and run out as fast as the wind carries you. There you find your faithful friend and a dog, start wearing your baseball hat, and you run yelling 'freedom!'. Just as you found a nice spot on the grass to spend your rest-of-a-day vacations, sun eclipse approaches, and with a nice eye-darksun effect, your dog disappears, and you end up only with his hat.

No matter the fears you confront as a young man, your dog is more then a reason to surpass those fears, and free him the darkness. You enter your tree-hut cabin, take your gun and stuff like that, and fly sky to find your dog captured. As you come to some canyons right from the clouds above, you strike some black creature and stuck in some nearest cleft. Thus your adventures begin.

As much as it took the game maybe too long in development for such a shortness of playing, it holds really breathtaking stunning effects and graphics, and the animations are worthy playing. Just if you know how funny they can be... hehe, I'll leave that to you for discovering. Controls and playing skills are more or less all taken from Out of This World and Prince of Persia game types, so it'll be easy to adjust and settle as in home if you've played any kinda platform game of similar style.

Music is clearly enough for you to realize some heavy orchestar compositions are involved, as with that kinda music, it's no such wondering that there is a soundtrack for this game available. Since you'll meet many friend and foes during the game, not all will be clear to understand, but they sure holds the ability for fun and are adjusted to that world's settings, so everything actually comes to the right place. Wether the sound is distance, or is there yelling or begging involved, wether your laser is on, or some mountain creeks, wether you fly or swim, talk or fight, the sound and background and story music are perfectly combined to work as one.

As I noticed here, there were some major efforts in making many different, and highly detailed places, and yet having only one or two of each specific different place. I believe I also noticed that in Another World as well. The thing is, developers usually once they do the level frame, and all the wall and ground and background images, pump that to volume of like at least twenty levels all of the same type and look, but only difference lies in the level net and scheme output. On 'Another World' aka 'Out of This World', and this game, 'Heart of Darkness', levels are really detailed, and the traps and enemies are almost unique on each levels, with different puzzles to cross to, and even though they coud've make ten levels with each graphic elements, they still didn't misuse their quality, and that's the main reason why both games, AW and HoD are actually rather short to play, but unique in every aspect from player's viewpoint.

The Bad

Well, the fact that game is actually short wouldn't be a minus, as that's the way it is. Just imagine if you'll have to spend a year of playing on any game, where would that lead? I'll tell ya. That would lead to the point that you coul play about 80 games in your lifetime... hehe, and we don't wanna live like that, now want we!? :)

Also, both of the games, this one, and Another World have concentraited their main strength on the last level. Why? We all come to the end easily, thinking how the game's short, and then stuck on the last level. It's not impossible, you'll manage to end it once you play it couple of extra times, but think it this way. If they directed the final strength of the level through the whole game, we would automatically play each level longer, getting the feelings as the game's a bit longer then we thought so.

Here's great example of game using that think on us. Whoever played, and finished Eye of the Beholder, he or she will know that the game was hard enough on the every level, and finally, when getting to the end, that Xanathar creature was as easy to kill as every other creature, and you even got plenty of space to do the fight. That way, the game gets longevity a bit extended, and nobody has to try more then once the final fight, and end animation, if there is any :)

The Bottom Line

As good as Out of This World, as fatal as Blackthorne, an adventuristic as Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, funny as Secret of the Monkey Island, and addictive like none of the mentioned. This game will w/o a doubt give you hard time on some places, but reward you decently, and give you some of the best elements you can find in game - easy controls, fine story, nice music, great adventuristic spirit of action, and well done animations. Can you trully ask for more knowing the game crawled from the dust of our 2d memories we were always happy to dealt with :) Except that, this whole mumbo-jumbo about 2d is actually oriented a bit more to 3d then I've spoken during this review, so there's another reason why you should try this game out.

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