Review by vgc2000

Reviewed: 08/10/09

You're usually not this lazy Activision. For Shame!

Overview- You can ask me anytime and I will tell you that River Raid is one of my favorite classic games of all time, but if you ask me about The Colecovision port of River Raid I’ll tell you that it’s my least favorite and that I strongly believe that Activision didn’t care about the quality of this port. The Intellivision and Atari 5200/XE version both look better than this one and like they’re ahead of their time, but the Coleco version which should outclass the rest barely looks like it got any upgrades from the Atari 2600 version. It also doesn’t play nearly as well as the rest of the ports. Something was definitely fishy with Activision here.

Game Play- I guess I can fill you in if you haven’t played River Raid before. You are an airplane that flies over a river and has to shoot other planes, boats and several other enemies. Along the way, you have to destroy bridges over the river as well as maintain your fuel levels by touching refueling tanks floating on the river. It’s as addicting as it gets for an old game and unfortunately it’s a great game on just about every console except the Colecovision!

The INTV and 5200 both let you fly over land as long as long as you don’t nail a tree which allowed all kinds of strategies and maneuvering. If you hit the land in the CV you explode, top that off with the miserable handling of the CV controller and the game is more frustrating that fun. To let you know how frustrating this game is, I can only get about 13,000 points on this game but on most other versions I can usually push 100,000, it’s that frustrating.

Graphics- The graphics, to put it lightly, are lame especially for a powerful system like the Colecovision. The Atari 5200 version (probably my favorite) has trees on the land and there are visible cliffs and plenty of other details that make the game look great but the CV offering has no trees, no cliffs and no detail in the plains or ships which is just unacceptable in my opinion. This game unfortunately doesn’t look any better than the Atari 2600 version and that really isn’t saying much for Activision at all.

Sound- The sound effects also sound like they are coming from an Atari 2600. Once again, another blemish for Activision made all the worse by the fact that most other ports had unique and cool sounding sound effects added to make them stand out.

Conclusion- Activision had a practice of making all of their ports of a game look identical to the next, just look at Pitfall! on the Atari 2600 and Intellivision if you don’t believe me. That being said, it’s understandable why this game looks the way it does but it’s still not an excuse since many other ports of other games and even this one did get enhancements on other consoles. This game is dirt common on any system other than maybe the PC Jr. with that said, pick any other version than this one. Trust me, you’ll be happier.

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

Product Release: River Raid (US, 12/31/84)

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