Review by Bargregibo

"Builds off the old formula with some fresh ideas!"

Companies these days have the crazy tendency to rehash or remake old classics, and half the time these remakes are poor shabby attempts that seem like they were the old game in a new case. So, with this being a remake and a remodel of the classic Breakout, is it any good?

Gameplay – 8/10
They have done a great job here of still keeping the old breakout formula while making it feel fresh. The ideals of breakout involve you controlling a paddle, and you have to hit a ball against blocks that are ahead of you until they are all gone. On top of this, you have obstacles to dodge and tasks to undertake that are in accordance of what the theme of the level is – in Egypt you have to venture into a crypt and decipher ancient puzzles to progress, the Farm you have to hit sheep back into their pen or defeat a group of hens, in the Castle area you have to get past knights and defeat a dragon, and so on. The game throws surprises at you with different innovative tasks at every turn, while the old formula stays intact. Not only is there the paddle and ball action, but there is sections where your paddle gets up on its feet and has to run away, walk across conveyer belts, and keeping hens off a raft. While this is very good fun, the formula can sometimes get boring after a while and it’s a shame that the game doesn’t last longer. There is a multiplayer mode to be had for up to four players, which is a little poor but should keep you interest up for long enough. Imagine like Bust-a-move – where the more bubble you pop on your area of you screen the move appears on the other players’ areas? Same here, but you have to destroy groups of flashing bricks. There is a great multiplayer game where you have to knock hens on to your own coloured coop, but apart from that, overall the multiplayer doesn’t shine that much.

Graphics – 7/10
Somewhat basic, polygonic shapes that work for this title. You don’t need great graphics for a puzzle game, but I thought that more attention could have been paid to this department, you can see some polygonic mishaps here and there and some of the more complex models, such as the dragon, look pretty poor. It’s a shame that they couldn’t match the great sound, but they do the job that will not distract you when you are playing.

Story – 7/10
The story line involves Bouncer, a hip pallet chilling with his girlfriend, Daisy, and his buddies on an island (as you do). His buddies (more pallets) hit the ball into the water and Bouncer, the sound guy he is, goes collecting it. But as he comes back, Batrix the evil pallet has kidnapped Daisy, locked all your buddies way in places around the world, and throws you in prison! You escape this prison, with the aid of ‘Coach Steel’ (your trainer) and you set off to rescue Daisy, free your friends and get rid of the Batrix menace. It isn’t a bad plot by all means and is done fairly well, although not gripping, I feel that they have done an OK job of doing so despite the genre of a puzzle game.

Audio – 8/10
The audio is quite nice in Breakout, the music especially. The music, from the breakout of your cell, to the castle and the final battle fits the mood really well and doesn’t annoy one bit. The same with the sound effects; good to the ears yet not annoying. Bricks crack with some realism, and there are some cute and somewhat comical sound effects from the likes of the knights and the farm animals. No point muting the sound here, people.

Replay Value – 6/10
The one player Story Mode, although challenging at times, doesn’t last long at all. A half experienced games player can crack it under four hours no problem. But with the ranking present, coupled with the Challenge mode, this will keep you going for a while longer. You are ranked at the start of the game on how well you performed the training out of a possible 11 different ranks. When you do a level, your rank either increases, decreases or stays as it is depending on how well you done. On each level you are told what ranking you completed it at and you are given a ranking for your overall playing. The higher the ranking, the harder the game is, and the Challenge mode allows you to replay the levels at what ranking you want, so there can be a lot of time spend getting an average ranking of ‘superstar’ (the highest ranking). You sadly don’t get anything for doing this, but it’s an interesting challenge none the less. Also you can unlock extra pallets to use and there is an Art Viewer hidden away. The multiplayer won’t keep your interests for long either, and overall you might not keep this in your PSone disk tray for a while.

Rent or buy - RENT
If you are a massive puzzle or breakout fan, buy it. Same applies if you see it cheap. But, as the game doesn’t hold you for too long, you can do probably everything the game has to offer within a rental, and I would advise that you do rent it or borrow it off a friend.

Conclusion – 7/10
A good attempt that hasn’t let the classic down at all. If you are looking for a game that needs to fill that urge for a puzzle / action gap in your head, then I say go for it. I would also say that this game is perfect for children too, as it doesn’t go on for hours; it doesn’t last five minutes and is very entertaining. Whether you buy or rent this title, either way I doubt that you will be disappointed.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/13/03, Updated 04/13/03


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