Asteroids

a game by Syrox Development

Platforms: PlaystationPC

Genre: Shooting Games

See also: Asteroids Games

Overview

This is an update of the classic arcade game. There isn’t much to say about it if you’ve seen the original before. You control a little ship starting in the center of an asteroid field and blast various obstacles before they crash into you. There’s a cursory cinematic intro with a storyline that’s about as in-depth as the description on the box.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

The game in many ways feels like the original -- nothing much has changed. You get to shoot asteroids, crystals and UFOs and get floating weapons upgrades now and then. The controls really are the same. The amount of thrust, fire rate and drift is almost identical to the original (with variations for the individual ships you can choose from), which may be due to the rumored inclusion of the original game code in this latest update. The pre-set keyboard commands are terrible -- if you want to play from the keyboard, you'll want to set them yourself. Using a gamepad also works well.

Graphics

Very pretty. This is what they spent the bulk of their upgrade work on. It’s very lovely to look at, and lends a bit more realism and depth to the simple game.

Audio

Nice 3D explosions -- if you have a good sound card you’ll enjoy this aspect. Otherwise there isn’t much to hear.

System Requirements

Win 9x, P-90, 16 MB RAM, 70 MB HD space, 4X CD-ROM drive, PCI or AGP 2 MB video card, 16 bit color, DirectX 6

Recommended: P 133+, 32 MB RAM

Bottom Line

If you liked the original game and all its sequels, such as Asteroids Deluxe and Asteroids 3D, you’ll like this, but you’ll probably notice a pattern: not much has changed. The game is definitely much prettier to look at, and the side-by-side multiplayer and ship selection options are neat, but the game is basically the same. If that’s what you want from it, play to your heart’s content. However, after seeing what can be done to update other classic games, such as Centipede and Frogger, it’s kind of a disappointment to see no real changes in the gameplay. I would have been thrilled to find a 3D first person playfield, or ? view, or something besides just the flat wrap screen they have had for 20 years. If all you want is the original game experience, I’d rather spend my cash actually buying one of the original arcade machines. So much more could have been done with this besides just a face lift. Buy it if you must, but wait until it hits the bargain bins.

Other games by
Syrox Development

Asteroids Downloads

Asteroids download

It looks as if we're finally going to get an update of a classic arcade game that does its predecessor justice. Asteroids, developed by Syrox Development for Activision, feels exactly the same as the old game except with new graphics and other innovative gameplay additions. First, the graphics are the feature most improved upon...thankfully, since vectors just don't cut it these days. Backgrounds are vibrant and filled with moving elements, and asteroids are actual polygons instead of chunky vectors. In fact, now all of the graphics in the game are completely polygonal, with texture-maps and the whole nine. In addition, explosions, special weapons and environmental hazards are huge and feature fancy lighting and/or particle effects. On the gameplay side, new elements such as power-ups, "mission objectives" and Bosses have been added. Some power-ups are standard, such as lasers and bigger thrusters, whereas others are much more powerful and have the graphic effects to go with them. There are different types of asteroids to blow up, too--some of which react differently if not destroyed in a timely fashion or if you're too close to them--and several different types of ships to control.

Nice-looking rendered cinemas break up the action and give a glimpse of what's to come in the next zone. Also before each of the zones, a mission briefing tells you what needs to be done to warp to the next level, and what to look out for while clearing asteroids, debris and little spermy alien things. Keep in mind, whatever objectives may be presented, they basically consist of avoiding something and then blowing that same something to kingdom come. Also look for a Two-player Mode where players compete for points, and a variety of bonus levels which have not yet been implemented.

  • MANUFACTURER - Syrox
  • THEME - Shooter
  • NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1-2
reggie posted a review

Overview

Asteroids addicts, look out!! Asteroids is back and better than ever in Activision's latest 3D version of the game. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years since Atari released the original Asteroids back in 1979. It was a huge success, and millions of people of all ages became hooked on the game. Activision has done an excellent job of taking Asteroids to the next level, with gameplay, graphics and playing fields that will keep you coming back for more, especially if you're a veteran of the older version (which has also been included in the game -- when you reach a certain level, Classic Asteroids can be unlocked, allowing you to play the original game that started it all).

Gameplay

The original version of Asteroids was played on a black playing field, meant to represent outer space. Activision has added 5 different playing zones with 15 different levels you must complete before moving on to the next level. This version of Asteroids has you up against much more than just asteroids and enemy spaceships. There are six different types of asteroids, and each one has unique characteristics that you must be aware of. There is even one type of asteroid that is indestructible. Your best bet is to just stay as far away as you can from this one. Watch out for the "Crystal Asteroids," which when hit will leave behind fragments that you must also blast immediately, or they will grow into full-sized Crystals very quickly. There are also "Alien Egg Asteroids," which will release baby space worms on impact. These little guys are out to get you, so you'd better be prepared to do some fancy shooting to stay alive. There is even one form of asteroid that will shoot back at you! This is the "Ancient Energy Asteroid," which will absorb your laser's energy and send it right back at you in a powerful way.

Also floating through space are 13 different Wildcard weapons which you can use to your advantage. Many of them are quite effective in keeping you alive, yet will also require a fair amount of practice before you'll become accustomed to them. Once you learn how to use the arsenal that is at your disposal, you'll soon be on your way. This game has added so much more to the original game, including 12 different enemy spaceships. Each one of them has its own individual character, which adds even more depth to the game. There are also fireball comets and space debris to look out for, so you'd better stay on your toes. Some of the smaller asteroids are difficult to see at times, and will sometimes hit you from behind if you're not careful.

This version of Asteroids gives you the choice of piloting three different ships. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, and it's up to you to choose the one that will best suit your needs and abilities. Some are more maneuverable than others, at the expense of firepower and shield duration.

In addition to the original game's controls of left, right, thrust, fire and hyperspace, this version adds a shield, the wildcard weapon, and a flip button that will instantly turn your ship 180 degrees. This comes in handy when an enemy or asteroid comes at you from behind, and allows you to turn and zap it right away. One nice option on this game is your ability to customize the controller, putting the controls in a comfortable position, which helps you play your best. I would recommend the use of a memory card for this game, which will save your controller preferences for you.

I would also recommend purchasing the analog dual-shock controllers for this game. It is much easier to control the left and right movements of your spaceship with the analog joystick than to use the digital keypad, and really cuts down on fatigue. The dual shock feature also adds a bit of realism to the game, and vibrates as you apply thrust, change direction or get hit. The sound effects are also quite good in the new version of Asteroids, and there is even a narrated outline of each zone, which lets you know what you'll be up against in advance. One other thing I noticed that was different from the original Asteroids game is that you can't cruise through the screens and simply blast alien spaceships. I tried it a few times, and I ended up just flying along with the asteroid and no alien spaceships came out after me. I could be wrong, but the few times I tried it proved unsuccessful.

One of the coolest aspects of the game is the fact that two people can play at once, without having to split the screen. The old version of Asteroids made the players alternate play, forcing one player to sit and watch until the other player lost his ship.

Graphics

I thought Activision did a very good job on the graphics in this game. Each zone has its own look, which is quite detailed and interesting. The enemy spaceships are also well done. They have their own individual looks, and are in color. The asteroids really look three-dimensional as they rotate and move across the screen, and the six different types really add a lot of variety. The background is nicely detailed as well, with stars and various colors.

Classic Asteroids

I was also pleased with Activision's revival of the classic arcade version of Asteroids in this game, and found myself playing it quite a bit as well. They did a good job of replicating the overall gameplay, but there were a few things I was disappointed with. One was the sound effects. The thrust and fire sounds are different from the original game, and I find it odd that they wouldn't make them sound the same. The graphics and gameplay are also good, but for some reason the display of your score is not too clear. I know that it must not be too easy to duplicate an arcade version of a game onto a system that uses a television screen with less resolution, but I think they could have spent a little more time making it as close to the original as possible. Also, I couldn't imagine why they didn't include the use of the analog joystick option on the dual-shock controller like they did in the new version. Despite the things I didn't like about their classic version, it is still a good enough duplication that most people wouldn't even notice the differences unless they've played the original game as much as I have … it's still a great game, and I'll give them credit for a job well done copying it from the arcade version.

Bottom Line

This new version of Asteroids is one game that you won't master overnight. It doesn't take long to get used to the controls, but there is so much variety to this version that it will take you some time to get through all the zones. Getting through the first few should have you hooked. This is what makes it such a good game. It is challenging and fun, with excellent gameplay and multiple levels that will keep your attention for quite a while, especially if you're a veteran of the classic version. If you've never played Asteroids before, this is the best version to buy, and just might rekindle the Asteroids craze all over again.

reggie posted a review
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