Arkanoid
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  • Taito
  • Taito
  • Action - General, Other
  • August 1987
  • 1
  • ?
  • 3
  • $12.00
  • ?
8  |  Arkanoid Review (NES)
larsoncc , 6/8/2003 1:06:12 PM

Banging BlocksArkanoid adds a story to Breakout.  Why?  I don't know - it certainly doesn't seem necessary.  At any rate, the great minds of Taito have assigned you a mission:  take out an entire alien armada, armed with nothing but a tennis ball.  Have fun with that one, chump.  

During the early days of the NES, idiotic little stories were attached to every game that came out.  Arkanoid was no exception to this rule, but I assure you - you won't play Arkanoid for it's "compelling" story, and that's OK.  

Collectors, take note:  Arkanoid came with a special controller - a paddle, which makes the game play much more smooth and true to the arcade.  It's much more common to find the game separate from the controller, so if you see the controller/game combo, snatch it up.  Either way you find the game, it's worth a look.  Arkanoid is a unique piece of gaming history - it bridges classic game play with "up to date" graphics.  It should have gotten more attention when it was released, and in my opinion, it's quite relevant now.  Perhaps it wouldn't be a stretch to compare Arkanoid to a "modern classic" like Metroid Fusion or Prime.  It's always interesting to see a newer interpretation of a classic theme.

Game play in Arkanoid should be immediately familiar to a gamer that is familiar with the classics.  You control a paddle-like ship (hey - the story calls it a ship, so I suppose that's what it is!).  Your ship is capable of moving left and right, and the object of the game is to bounce a ball against a wall until the screen is cleared.  The game is quite uncomplicated - however, the game play can get quite intense and complex.  People that enjoy billiards will have an immediate appreciation for the need to shoot at specific angles, and people that have an appreciation for fast paced, multiple focus arcade games will find something to love here, too.  

The First LevelArkanoid brings something new to the table, of course.  As you blast through the walls of the level, you'll acquire power-ups that give you some neat, and sometimes frustrating, additions to your ship.  Here are some examples of the power-ups you can get in Arkanoid:

  • Lengthen the paddle
  • Multi-ball
  • Laser, enabling you to cut through walls like butter
  • Sticky, which allows you to catch the ball, and release with a button push
  • Metal - this makes the ball invincible, able to cut through several layers at once
  • Shorten the paddle (absolutely maddening)

The game can get fairly intense at times - several items will be dropping at a time, along with multi-ball, and lasers.  Man, you can easily lose track of what you're doing.  I suggest concentrating on one ball, and firing the lasers only when it doesn't interfere with saving your ball.

While Arkanoid does fit the bill as a collectible, and as a classic, it misses the mark in a few areas.  As with most classic games, Arkanoid becomes very repetitive.  That, I suppose, is to be expected in a game like this.  I said this earlier - Arkanoid is a Breakout clone.  So, that begs the question - if you've played one, have you played them all?

That question outstanding, I'll close by simply saying "I liked this game."  I give Arkanoid an 8/10.

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