Eight years after Asteroids... the rocks came back!
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I'm Gaming Jay: Youtube gamer, let's player, fan of retro games, and determined optimist... Join me in this series while I try out EACH of the video games in the book 1001 VIDEO GAMES YOU MUST PLAY BEFORE YOU DIE, before I die. The game review for each game will focus on the question of whether you MUST play this game before you die. But to be honest, the game review parts are just for fun, and are not meant to be definitive, in depth reviews; this series is more about the YouTube gamer journey itself. From Mario games to the Halo series, from arcade games to Commodore 64, PC games to the NES and Sega Genesis, Playstation to the Xbox, let's play those classic retro games that we grew up with, have fond memories of, or heard of but never got a chance to try! And with that said, the game review for today is...
Developer(s) Atari Games
Platform(s) Arcade, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, DOS, etc.
Blasteroids is the less-known sequel to the classic hit, Asteroids. Having been developed 8 years after Asteroids, Blasteroids contains some very welcome upgrades. For example, though the core gameplay is still based around you controlling a ship that destroys asteroids, there are now aliens and enemy ships to fight, your ship has shields (meaning no more one-hit-deaths), your ship can even morph into three "modes" (one fast and weak, one balanced, and one slow and strong), and there are bosses and worlds to explore.
The updates in Blasteroids feel like welcome changes, and they do add some complexity to the game. Though in a weird way, they also make Blasteroids feel a little more generic. Asteroids stood out for being a unique game at the time and a really creative use of vector graphics. Blasteroids feels like just another Asteroids clone with a number of nice updates, but it doesn't feel as classic or as iconic as Asteroids. Maybe this is nitpicking, as it may be an impossible task to ask for another game as iconic as Asteroids, but it's my impression of the game.
That said, Blasteroids was pretty fun. I enjoyed the weapons and power-ups, there was a nice variety of enemies, though I did find the giant space-head boss to be rather tedious and difficult. I'm sure there is a more effective strategy than the approach I was taking, but it seemed overly difficult to beat the boss and move on.
All in all, I think Blasteroids is a decent addition to the shooter genre. It definitely does capture the gritty feel of 80's arcade shooters and I would've happily fed some quarters into it when I was a kid. On the other hand, this isn't the most engrossing or best shooter that I've played, and ultimately for those not interested in a generic space shooter, this might be a game to skip.
➙ Must You Play It?
Blasteroids is a welcome sequel to the classic hit Asteroids, with a number of upgrades in terms of mechanics, levels, and enemies. For anyone looking for a decent shooter from the 80's, this is a game worth trying. On the other hand, this game doesn't feel as unique or iconic as Asteroids, and doesn't immediately jump out from the pack of space shooters. So depending on your inclination towards the shooting genre, this may be a game worth trying, or one you may want to skip. It's up to you!