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atari breakout
Written by  :  John Crius (15)
Written on  :  Jan 12, 2014
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.

The Good

This game is almost entirely based on making references to classic games, so, naturally, I love it. Any game that references NES classics immediately gets a thumbs up in my book. The level design is, for the most part, superb, the references are wonderfully implemented and the music is taken from the best of the NES library, so it's perfect. As loading takes about a second if it's being slow, the gameplay never comes to a stop. Unless, of course, you decide to rage quit.

Yeah, the other half of the game is the difficulty, which is where people will become divided. Speaking on a personal level, I feel that most of the difficulty is done unfairly in a way that feels fair. You will die once because you don't know what's coming, and after that you'll be able to avoid it. This makes up the entire premise of the game, so if you can't deal with the constant dying and/or the need for precise memorisation, you aren't going to enjoy the game at all. I found it fine, mainly because I was so desperate to discover what reference would be next I ignored my own pain and progressed.

The game's humour is another aspect I enjoyed. The reveal of the final boss made me laugh out loud, as well as several of the more surprising deaths, such as the Mario Paint aeroplane and Ryu. I went into this game expecting to scream out loud, and I did, but I also found myself laughing out loud, which just made me more enthusiastic to play on.

The Bad

There are problems with this game, one of which was probably deliberate and that is the controls. The Kid, whom you play as, has a very complicated jumping style and too often I found myself jumping in ways I didn't want to and dying unnecessarily. Furthermore, The Kid runs faster than makes sense for the screen size, which leads to deaths you might not have been expecting to encounter because you assumed the danger would have passed by the time you got there. I know that these two things were probably deliberate, or maybe I'm just terrible at platforming, but there you go. That was my experience.

The other significant problem is that the game keeps crashing at seemingly the most inconvenient times. This was perhaps what made me angriest. Though I find it likely that there was nothing the developer could do, as he even made one particularly shocking death that outright parodies the constant crashing of the game, so it's obvious that he knew that it was happening. Still, even if it isn't the game's fault, it's still a significant problem that I found more annoying than challenging.

The last problem I had with the game was the tunnel of death in the Ghosts'n Goblins section. Anyone that has played this game knows what I'm talking about. Anyone that hasn't... I'll leave you to discover the horror for yourself. That is, if you make it that far.

The Bottom Line

This is a game for those who don't get angry quickly and love their NES with all their hearts. If you don't fall into those two categories, don't play this game. If you do, the game will inexplicably keep you playing, despite the rage it may induce. That's perhaps the most surprising thing about this game - the fact that I kept playing, all the way to the end.

And then I died. I've never eaten an apple ever again since that day. Although, they're more like giant cherries...

atari asteroids