Arkanoid (NES) Retro Review


Arkanoid is a 1987 arcade game for the NES developed and published by Taito. It has the same style of gameplay as Breakout but improves on it with things like powerups, different block types and loads of level layouts. Note “Arkanoid” is the name of a mothership the player (whose ship is ‘The Vaus’) escaped from before they get trapped in space.
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The arkanoid title screen is very simplistic with a logo that doesn’t look that good and no sound although a small tune plays after you choose an option (note its the ‘Take Turns’ type of 2 player). It very quickly changes to a screen with the plot on it and then demo play, you could watch it forever if it didn’t suddenly end because of how overly perfect the AI is.
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Getting into the game it has ok looking graphics but no music unless you count the jingle every time you start (which i heard alot because i’m terrible at the game). Controls were incredibly simple with only the dpad but sadly that didn’t mean i’d be any good with the actual gameplay. I was kind of disappointed that the paddle had only 1 speed as i had a bad habit of missing because i go past where it would land. Enemies aren’t really that special when you think about it but they’re a nice addition even if they can get annoying too. In fact if it weren’t for powerups.
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There were 5 powerups that i found and each of them were helpful in their own way, i was disppointed that you couldn’t mix and match but considering theres no downgrades it seems fair. To be honest i wasn’t a fan of any of them except the magnet one that made the ball stick your paddle every time which i can explain. The other 4 powers were:
-Extend, which makes the paddle longer but only helps if you aren’t as bad as me and the fact you usually end up accidentally replacing it with another powrup quite quickly.
-Split, splits the ball into 3 which is useful if you’re lucky but considering i could barely keep up 1 ball it was ultimately pointless.
-Slow, slows the ball down which seems like the most useful one but it seems to suddenly turn off after a while which continuously took me by surprise.
-Laser, lets you shoot lasers which i cool band even changes the look of the ship but seemed more distracting than helpful.

If you noticed a pattern, powerups only help those that are already good at the game and therefore i couldn’t do anything, i didn’t hate the game though but felt that it definitely wasn’t made for people like me.

Overall seems like people that like this type of thing might enjoy it but i don’t know and therefore sadly cannot recommend it.

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