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June 22, 2001
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 Overall Score: *70*ESRB Rating: Everyone (E)

Asteroids 

by Activision  Reviewed by: Shawna Walls  


ScreenshotOverview

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.

ScreenshotGraphics

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 LineScreenshot

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 ¾ 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.

 
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