Robotron: 2084
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8  |  Saving Mankind (AGAIN) From A Dismal Future (AGAIN)
Darryl B. , 12/24/2005 5:32:26 PM
Williams proved to be one of my favorite coin-op companies ever, especially when they created several big to very huge hits in a row (that were all different as well), which consisted of Defender, Stargate (it's sequel, known as Defender 2 in most home compilations years later), Joust and Sinistar.

Not to mention Robotron: 2084 as well: lets especially not forget THAT one!

SOOOOOO much about this game was unique it wasn't even funny; probably the first of which to notice were the controls: there were two joysticks, one to move, the other to fire (no buttons there). It even had it's own apocalyptic story, which is that, in 2084, mankind made the severe mistake of creating the Robotrons, which were so advanced, they decided they didn't need us puny humans any more, so your job description was to try to stop them, of course (hope that comes with dental).

Looking like a little dweeb that can shoot lasers out of your head (I guess?), you must destroy the Robotrons and rescue the so-called last humanoid family of the mommy, daddy, and their son Mikey, although it seems like they were all cloned dozens of times over, since you keep on running into copies of them everywhere. However you look at it, though, you get big points for running into them (known as a "hug" from Williams, which would be enough to gag the last video game player ever, but with the intense action, there's no time to think about that...).

Unfortunately, going against you are waves and waves of enemies that are deadly to the touch (my favorite is that even accidentally stepping on a Robotron's toe can kill you). Grunts don't shoot, but unfortunately pretty much everything else does, such as the Tanks that emerge from flying sparks (I usually choke and lose several upgraded geek men from hell on these waves, due to their bouncing fireballs!). All kinds of enemies and obstacles are introduced during every few waves, THE most impressive of them all are the waves ending in 9 (9, 19, etc.), having literally nearly 100 Grunts all moving independently, which was a video game triumph back then. It was also pretty difficult to try to blast your way through to a corner and try to dispense of them from there (not counting the Spheroid in that level too).

You also get a cross between a still destructive, yet bonus screen with every multiple of five waves, which are the Brain waves, which scooping up as many of the human family as possible can net you a bunch of extra lives. Unfortunately not only do the Robotron Brains fire cruise missiles that follow you around and are hard to hit, but the Brains also program the humans (if they come into contact with the humans, that is) to speed around the screen (known as Progs) faster than an inline skater at a rink who just ran across a Coke spill on the floor. The game sure took a lot of different strategies and all as you progressed through the waves, that's for sure.

There isn't much to say after describing the original, since, as per usual with most of the 7800 arcade ports, this is a pretty close copy of the original. However, it's a bit easier, since I almost made it to Armageddon once -- the 39th or 40th wave, before the game starts over, should you live through it -- on the default setting, which I could only make it to the mid 20 rounds or so on the arcade original. However, you can crank up the difficulty setting on this game to make it more challenging, if you wish.

About the only problem is the lack of keeping both controllers firmly together, unlike the 5200 version of the game, which came with it's own little joystick tray included with the game. However, since Sega Genesis pads are programmed to work with the 7800, you can just use those instead, or use one pad for moving and a 7800 or 2600 joystick for firing, just nail it down onto a flat piece of wood. Trust me, even though I never took a shop class in my entire life (I have no idea where to start, nor could build a stupid birdfeeder to save my life with), it doesn't take much to make a few pencil marks around a controller onto a piece of wood and just hammer some nails onto it, which is what I did when I had this game.

Oh...had? If it's so great, why did I get rid of it then? Simple: I'm not a completionist collector, and I would later buy the Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits collection for my Genesis, which has an exact translation of this game (not counting a slightly different-sized screen ratio), along with Joust, Defender, Stargate (renamed Defender 2), and Sinistar. So I saw no need to have two versions of this game, one being an exact duplicate, the other pretty close.

Besides, I made someone else happy by selling it to them (along with Joust, for the same [above] reason) for pretty much just the cost of shipping, since it's not exactly a real rare 7800 title. So that worked out for the both of us. 8/10

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