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 Post subject: Beamrider (Atari 2600 - PlayStation 2)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:52 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 334
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Still more Atari 2600 shootouts. This time is Beamrider.

Hey Hey! It's OK, I've never felt that way!
Hey Hey! It's alright. Dancin' in the Laser Light!

Beamrider is what can best be described as an isometrical shooter (think about Axelay), a very early example of one. The plot of this game is about freeing the Earth from the Restrictor Shield, a force field that surrounds the planet and its your mission to clear the 99 sectors.

The controls are the same of Space Invaders as you can only move to the sides. Pressing Up will fire the Torpedo, the long range weapon which is the "Missile" of this game, you can only fire 3 of them and there's no way to replenish them until you either die or clear a stage. While some enemies can only be destroyed by them, the best idea is to keep them for the Sentinel Ship which is the "Boss" of the stage. The main objective of the game is to destroy 15 enemy ships, but unlike Space Invaders where you can shoot on any place your ship is, in Beamrider you can only fire on the designated points, indicated by five dotted vertical lines. Keep in mind, your regular weapon, the Laser Lariat is a short ranged Ripple Laser and it requires your enemies to be quite close to your ship. But also, enemy ships are the least of your problems, dodging asteroids will become another priority forcing you to change from an offensive stance to an evasive one. During a sector, the game will send a "Yellow Rejuvenator" that grants you an extra life. Unfortunately, this item can be destroyed with your own shots, if its destroyed it will become burning debris that will kill you if you pick it. Once you're in the Sentinel Ship battle, you only have one chance to destroy it before it leaves the screen, but you have three Torpedos to achieve your goal. So you've gotta find the right moment to fire since the Sentinel Ship will drop "mines" to stop your projectiles.

The game was later re-released on the PlayStation 2 as part of the Activision Anthology compilation along with Chopper Attack, Megamania, Plaque Attack and River Raid.

Audiovisually, the game is space-based, so, you'll be all the time in a black screen where the most innovating thing is the "grid scrolling" to give the impression of moving in cyberspace. As for the sounds you'll be hearing a "Blp-blp-blp-blp" noise throughout your gameplay. As part of Activision Anthology you'll be allowed to play the game with unlockable additional graphical effects like the "Cube Mode", "Warp" and even disco, along with the inclusion of licensed 80's songs like A-ha's "Take on me" or Twisted Sister's "We're not gonna take it".

- David Rolfe was the designer of this game.
- Activision offered a patch for those who've reached Sector 14 with 40,000 points. It becomes an unlockable medal/achievement in Activision Anthology.

Beamrider is one of those short-lasting vintage shooters that you'll play while you wait for the pizza to arrive, unless you're willing to reach Sector 99.
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