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 Post subject: Astroblast (Atari 2600)
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:19 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 299
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Time for another Old-school injection, this time is Astroblast for the Atari 2600 and XBOX One as part of the Atari Flashback Classics Vol.3

If this review was written by the Daily Mail or Express it would say "ASTROBLAST: Most kids would CRY if you told them to play with THIS".

At first it looks like a clone of Space Invaders since your ship moves only horizontally, well, your ship is actually a cannon and your objective is to shoot down asteroids and keep the highest score possible. Yeah, this is one of the first games where failing on destroy something makes you lose precious points, Losing points happen when an asteroid touches the ground. While the small asteroids causes a 10 point loss, while ironically, the large asteroids (Big Rocks) take only 5 points, but the worst part is the destruction of your cannon which takes 100 points out.

So, the key of this game is to reach a large score while staying out of danger, to do that you have to destroy the largest number of Big Rocks and the small rocks that become as they split. Also, the game's pace increases as you climb on the thousands and that means faster and more objects on screen. My best strategy to survive is to keep in mind that not all times you'll be able to take everything down, so you'll be facing moments where do you have no choice but to let a rock hit the ground regardless of the size. Better to lose a few points than a cannon.

Later in the game you'll face new dangers like the Pulsar and the Spinner. The Pulsar is the Guided Missile that will try to hit your cannon, this is basically the enemy's homing weapon, and the Spinner, which is the major threat in the game because if it touches the ground you'll lose a life. The Spinner is a strategy-changer factor as it forces the player to change the strategy from reaching a high score, to concentrate on destroying the Spinner, even if that means to get hit by a Big Rock.
There's an UFO that appears once you reach 20,000 points, destroying it worths the equivalent of 10 Big Rocks.

Despite the limited graphics of the Atari 2600, most objects are recognizable like the cannon, the large asteroids and the Spinners, only the Pulsar (the Guided Missile) looks like a little star or a dot, there's also a simplistic mountain range in the background and the black sky changes color as you climb up on the score, that's right, the sky is the indicator of your progress in the game.

Since this is Atari 2600, don't expect too much sounds, just the basic laser and explosion sounds. That's all what i have to say since we can't talk negative about the Atari.

- Astroblast is an adaptation of the Mattel Intellivision hit game Astro Smash.
- There was a bug in the Atari 2600 Astroblast that causes erratic visuals when two controllers are plugged in and moved simultaneously. This can lock up control until the game is reset. Fortunately this bug was fixed in later releases of the game.

In conclusion we've got another back to old school trip for those shmuppers who want some vintage shooting.
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