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 Post subject: Laser Blast by Activision (Atari 2600 - PlayStation 2)
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:31 pm 


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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 265
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Well, Imuxcane cut off my almost 3-page streak of shmup reviews, but I'm still in the mood to keep posting another STG review, even if its once another Atari 2600 one.
This time, is Laser Blast by Activision.


Image
It's 1 UFO's against a legion of turrets in the never-ending mountains.

Laser Blast is a very simplistic and basic shmup where your main objective is to destroy the Anti-Air Laser turrets on the ground. To do this you have to aim first and then fire by pressing the red button on your Joystick is used to fire the ship's Laser. The Laser can be aimed by holding the button down and moving the Joystick left or right. But keep in mind, the Laser will not fire until you release the button. If you get shot down, you can move your ship to crash with one of the turrets, taking it down at getting points for doing it.
At first you can drop your ship's altitude up to the half of the screen, but as long as you keep destroying turrets, you'll gradually climb up, reducing the space allowed for vertical movement, at the point of limiting you to only horizontal flight. The game features four variations that increase the difficulty by increasing the game's speed and the firing rate of the enemy turrets. For instance when the game is played on Captain or Commander levels (Game variations 3 and 4), the most difficult attack groups are 32 times harder than the easiest ones.

Outside of the Atari 2600, the game was released on the PlayStation 2 as part of the Activision Anthology compilation, where they included bonus materials as extra visual effects and even licensed songs.

Audiovisually, its one of those Atari shmups that lack of something to offer to the player, just this never-ending green mountain terrain where endless gray turrets are waiting to take your UFO down. While they've bothered to add some animation to the player's sprite, perhaps the best part is the lasers' flashing effect of passing from blue/red to white and fade to black. Like any other Atari game, the game plays with the background colors when its on "Stand by" after losing all of your lives and you don't press the reset button. The sound well, just the laser fire and the enemy explosions are the only things you have. This is when the use of licensed songs in Activision Anthology comes in handy. "Mexican Radio", "Take On Me" and "We're not gonna take it" really help to improve the game when it lacks of music.


LASER CURIOSITIES
- David Crane designed this game
- Activision offered the "Activision Federation of Laser Blasters" patch to anyone who reached 100,000 points. It is an unlockable badge/achievement in Activision Anthology.


In the end, Laser Blast is a shooter that doesn't have too much to offer, just fly, aim and shoot. After three waves of three turrets, it becomes boring and repetitive.
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