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Any individual picking up Star Raiders for the first time might start out a
bit confused. At a glance, your first impression is that it’s simply a
cartridge game. How complicated could it possibly be? So, you throw in
the cartridge, flick on the power switch, grab your controller and hit start.
Just like that you are flying around space, zooming past stars, dodging meteors,
maybe taking out a few of those meteors with your photon torpedoes. Of
course, at this point, an intuitive gamer is going to realize that something is
not quiet right. For instance, why is no one shooting at you, where are the
enemies, what are all those numbers…specifically, what is that green number
labeled “E” that is slowly approaching zero. Now might be a good time to pick
up that instruction manual because, for a game written in 1979, this one is
highly complex. Written for the Atari 400/800 it made full use of the keyboard.
You could not get anywhere in the game without it.
Now that you have read the manual, welcome to the world's first 3D space
shooter. Star Raiders gives you total access to detailed universe with stunning
graphics and infinite varieties for game play. This puppy utilized everything
Atari had to offer.
Pulling up your star map, you see the evil Zylons attacking your bases. Plot a course to the enemy
battalion currently posing the biggest threat and jump into hyperspace. Now get your
shields up and prepare for battle. As you come out of hyperspace the
instrument panel lights up as every sensor you have starts screaming at you. Alarms
go off as enemies start coming at you from every direction. Diverting some power
to your Ion Engines, you thrust of in pursuit of the first Zylon.
Taking him out with a few photon torpedoes you start to turn around to
hunt down the remaining Zylons only to find out they are right behind you when
they start pounding on your shields.
Using your aft view, you throw a
few shots in their directions, taking out one as you pull around to put the
last Zylon in your sights. With one last barrage of torpedoes, the last Zylon is
history. This sector is now clear. Don’t sit around to long though. The
other Zylons out there are not waiting on you. They are after your bases.
Hurry back to base for a fix up if you took to much damage, but you better
do it quick. There are several battalions out there heading your way!
Ditto gives Star Raiders a 10/10.
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