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by Jonathan Hunt
I just got Breakout 2000 Monday and spent all evening playing it. It's a really fun game with plenty of options. Two playmodes - 2000 and Classic. Classic is really close to the original but not quite exactly the same - I'd compair it to the classic mode of Missille Command 3D, very good in most respects but not quite as good as the classic mode of Defender 2000.
2000 mode is LOADS of fun. You can play one player, one player VS computer player or two player. In two player modes player one has a red paddle and player two (or the CPU) has a green paddle - these colors are consistent throughout the game but player alternate being on the top or bottom of the screen each round - playing on the top of the screen in a mind f|_|ck. In one player mode your ball travels past the last row of bricks, hits a forcefield & returns. In two player mode your ball goes past your last row of bricks but the playfield is like a big loop or U shaped area with your point of view being at the open end of the U looking down it. When your ball goes past your bricks & hits the curved section of the U it speeds up and goes to the oposit side of the U & this at the other players bricks - if the other player misses YOUR ball he has 1,000 points taken off his score but you don't loose a ball. Two player games are great - there are bonuses for clearing out your bricks first, 2 x points for hitting an opponents bricks - penalties for each of your bricks left when your opponent clears all of his bricks. Neat power-up's too - good and bad ones, Plazma-cannon to shoot at bricks, attract-ball, repell-ball, super-ball - clears out rows of bricks without bouncing back, knock out all bricks, replace all bricks, catch-ball - probably others too. There's even bonus levels with different types of gameplay - the first one is Pong - B2K-style. If it's a one player game you play against the computer.
Graphics are really good. Your ball is either basicly red or green but it has other collors in ther too & spins while it's moving - it rotates left if you hit it left and rotates right if you hit it right - it's even off the "ground" a little bit & casts a shadow. The bricks are pretty cool - lots of different types like hit-more-than-once to knock out and bricks that don't knock out at all. Bricks stacked on top of bricks that fall down in place of the brick below it when the bottom brick gets knocked out. There's even a little ship that comes out & shoots cracks/holes in your paddle that make controlling the ball's direction harder. Your paddle is translucent. Lots of cool stats in the score area. There's different graphics for the "walls" - all I've seen so far's pretty decent. There's a starfield going in the background. I guess it could be criticized for not having the paddle move as smothly as possible but it's not reall choppy either - the ball moves real smothly. Also they probably could have put in some kind of explosion when you hit a brick - no Tempest 2000 type blast-a-thon's but maybe thats as it should be for Breakout - I conld't imagin following the ball with all that stuff going on. Nothing about the graphics bothered me at all - no low framerate problems or disorientation or anything to report on. They did a real nice job on this one.
There's plenty of difficulty levels & paddle speed adjustments which can be made different for each player so you can handycap yourself while your sucky friends try to play you. :)
Music's pretty good - a sight better than average but again, not T2K. I really like the sound effects - they kept the same bassic flavor of the original beep's but added depth to them.
It's got a pretty good scoreboard - you can enter plenty of characters for your top ten scores.
They did a great job of capturing the spirit & flavor of the original game while adding depth & enhancemnets in gameplay & graphics. If you've been holding off on buying this one & liked any of it's predacessors such as Breakout (duh!) or Super Breakout (super duh!) or Pong or Warlords or Arkonid I strongly suggest you wait no further - it's a winner. I don't think any of us really know exactly how many of these last four cartridges Telegames manufactured (I'm sure you'll find someone on the net who'll claim to know all about it though :) but it's bound to be a small number & I wouldn't be supprised if these four will be the ones going for big bucks in collectors net auctions ten years from now. Get your Breakout 2000 while you can - It's worth it. Later, JJH
PS: Here's a big THANK YOU to Telegames for making all of these four games available to us and a big PRETTY PLEASE to make Iron Soldier II and World Tour Raceing available to us as well.
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