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6  |  Been There, Blasted That
Darryl B. , 1/26/2005 6:48:12 PM
I remember playing this game at an arcade down the street, which you could tell they had to cut corners for, due to having lesser known games such as this and something called Space Firebird (which never worked...another way they cut corners, since they didn't ever have someone come in to fix the blasted game, I guess!), along with actually big arcade hits, but they were pirated, due to being housed in cabinets without the original artwork, company logos and all (like Scramble and Missile Command, which read _____ [some company that supposedly made *ALL* the games] presents _____ [game name]).

It's just as well that this was the only arcade I ever saw this in my life -- if the game never made it into that arcade and someone told me about this game later, I never would have believed it existed -- since Atari would have sued this company out of existance.

This is just a total, blatant rip-off of Asteroids, although the graphics are in raster, rather than vector. You shoot colorful meteoroids rather than asteroids (oh yeah, big difference!), which a big one, when hit, will split into two smaller ones, and shooting one of them will split into two more that are even smaller than that. A flying saucer will appear occasionally for big bonus points, etc., etc.; you know how it is, we've all been there before.

If this game were to have come out before Asteroids (yeah, fat chance there!), the graphics might have seemed a bit better, but since we're used to the vector...nah, they don't really work here. The controls do, as they respond well, but no biggie, since we've already played the original anyway.

This game would rank a big fat zero, or maybe a 2 at the most if you're comparing it with the original, but in itself, it's fine, it's just that we've been in this sector of space before, and the graphics are a turn-off when we're used to the clear, crisp vector lines, so I deducted a couple of more points there.

If you're ever thinking of getting your own arcade game -- as I'm sure this one is very, very rare nowadays -- that doesn't mean that you should have it if you were to ever run across it anywhere (again, fat chance...), as you'd do much better with a much more common, better original than Tempest.

Oh well, it's an interesting footnote in arcade game history, albeit a very, very small footnote.

Now, what in tarnation was Space Firebird about?!

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