Review by maximus86

"Atari Does it Again"

Remember that oldies game Arkanoid? Well, if you do, than chances are that you loved it, and chances are you will like this game that plays almost the same way. So let's see why this game got an 8/10 and why you should play it, if not own!

Visuals: 7/10

Breakout has simple graphics that won't really astound anybody. There are no FMV's, but should there be? There is never any slowdown, as there will never be too much action on the screen that the Playstation can't handle. The edges of characters are nicely done, albeit you can still notice that the lines are not perfectly straight if you look carefully, but that's no big deal.

Audio: 7/10

The music is also simple, it does not have a main tune or anything. Each level has its own song and slightly changes from level to level. The sounds, on the other hand, is a different story. Whenever you hit something like a brick, it will sound like a brick being destroyed. The characters talk, but not in English, nor in Japanese, or any language. They just make noises similar to the voice acting in Klonoa. Once again, there is nothing special, but also nothing bad in the audio.

Gameplay: 9/10

Just like in the original version of this game, all you do is hit the ball with your ''paddle'', hit the objects that you need to hit in order to beat the level, and make sure the ball(s) don't get past you. Once the last ball gets behind you, you lose a life and try again. Simple gameplay, but very fun. Adding to that, there are powerups that you can pickup and possess temporarily such as being longer, fatter, or an extra life, and so on. Each level has a different and unique design. For example, you might have to destroy boxes that block your escape, destroy a pyramid so you can go inside, or even just rebound asteroids so they don't destroy your spaceship's engine. I was actually surprised as to how many different and enjoyable level designs Atari can come up with. There are two forms of playing Breakout with your paddle. You can have it in a straight form, or in a circle shaped form, so that you have curved angles at the ends. You can change them whenever you want during gameplay, and both of them are good. You can also manually angle your character slightly, moderately, or heavily by pressing the top buttons. Not every level requires you to rebound the ball and destroy stuff. A few times in the game you will go through runaway levels, where you are constantly running while dodging and avoiding objects.So although most of the game keeps its classical form, it does feature some few types of gameplay.

Story: 7/10

Breakout does not go too serious on story, but it still has its single player adventure mode. So basically, you and your friends are enjoying a happy beach party when suddenly some villain comes in and kidnaps you and your friends. You have to escape and rescue them to save the day. So, it's pretty much good v.s. evil, as in almost every other game. The game starts off with a nice tutorial to help you explain some techniques, and off you go to save your friends and fight the evil villains. There are several different stages that you will go to, each with its batch of levels. At the end of each stage, there is a boss fight, and a character to save. Once you rescue that character,you have unlocked him/her and you can use that character for the rest of the game. Each character has its own different abilities and styles. For example, one can be quick but small, and another can be large but slow.

Originality: 9/10

Since there are no other games like it, Breakout is original by itself. Add to that the unique levels and elements of the game and you have one original game. There are different ways of beating levels, not just hitting a lot of blocks until they are all destroyed. Sometimes a level can be quite long because you will need a strategy to beat it, or even solve a puzzle, which is actually very smart once you see it work.

Replay Value: 7/10

Breakout is a relatively short game to beat and master. It is more of a kiddy game because of the short length and challenge, but some levels I actually got stuck on and took me a while, so I guess there are some challenging levels, but not enough to keep you busy for a long time. Once you are done completing the story mode, you can come back and do the challenge mode, by getting a higher rank on levels. Once you get the highest rank on all levels and stages, you have pretty much done all you can do. The game does have four player multiplayer, but I must admit that it isn't that entertaining. Basically you battle an opponent to see who can clear their grid first by destroying their blocks fastest. You can unleash powerups against them , and there are four different levels which slightly differ. It can take a long time to win one round, and I don't think Atari concentrated too much on this part of the game.

Exact Score: 7.666666

The Good
-great level designs
-good boss fights
-high fun factor

The Bad
-not so great multiplayer
-short story mode

In the end, Atari has made yet another great remake to its classic line-up, and I suggest that you should play this game. I don't know about buying, because it is very possible to beat this game in a day, but if you got money to burn and see this game lying around at a low price somewhere, I recommend you add it to your Playstation library.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/19/02, Updated 09/03/02

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