Arkanoid II – Revenge Of Doh
So there is some kind of story, and it’s told in a slightly star wars fashion over some wibbly warbly chip-tune bollocks, but fundamentally it doesn’t matter. This is a breakout clone. A good one, but nevertheless a breakout clone. For what it is it’s solid – the graphics are decent enough, the sound is very typically ST beeps and burbles, no music while you’re playing. It does suffer from the low frame rates found in many early ST games which makes controlling the bat a stuttery experience. While later in its life developers found ways to get around the lack of specialist sprite-shifting hardware in the STFM or shifted over to the STE with its superior firepower, much of that early output reeks of 8-bit, shoddily ported to superior hardware while never really pushing it.
To get to the nuts and bolts of the gameplay, much is standard. The ball – initially glued to your bat – goes off in a random direction, hits a brick and comes back again. Most bricks will disappear immediately and grant you points, some bricks will take a few goes, some bricks will drop a bonus which you’ll have to catch with your bat. Some bonuses include double-bat, multiball, a fireball which takes out swathes of bricks, and so on. You also have some aliens floating around for the ball to hit. So far so interesting. But how does it feel?
Between my finger and my thumb,
The squat mouse rests, snug as a gun,
Under the brickwork, a clean rasping sound,
When the bat stops the ball from reaching the ground:
My bat, batting. I look down.
Til it’s straining surface among the spaceships,
Judder slow, coming up 30 pixels away,
Jerking in rhythm through brick drills,
Where I was batting.
Not my video by the way.