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GF! Archival Version Copyright 1995-2004

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by Activision

Ups: Classic Asteroids action; great new graphics.

Downs:  Just like you remember; fairly repetitive.

System Reqs:
Game Boy Color (compatible with all Game Boy systems)

It's a junkyard out there. Just the other night on TV they were discussing the huge proliferation of space refuse in close orbit around the earth. Little bits of crushed satellites, exploded rockets, and miscellaneous crap create life threatening hazards for astronauts and the new international space station. A marble-sized piece of debris, travelling at thousands of miles per second, can really do some damage. So that got me thinking, and I discovered a newfound respect for the old arcade classic, Asteroids, available now as a Game Boy Color title from Activision. Like in The Last Starfighter, I hope that one day my Asteroid-playing abilities will be recognized by an interstellar organization set up to clear the path for beings in space. I'll be there, shields and cannons ready to blaze.

If you've played the old version, then you know about what to expect. You fly your spaceship around, rotating on your axis, and blowing away everything that comes near – asteroids, aliens, various big, nasty things. When you speed out the right side of the screen, you re-enter on the left, and vice versa, just like old times. The audio is purely original as well, lending to the nostalgic feel. The new version gives you a choice of spacecraft, but as far as gameplay goes it's the same.

Where the GBC version really excels is in the graphics. I haven't seen screens this pretty on the GBC yet. The graphics are colorful and dense. Explosions are nicely rendered, as well as the movement. The backgrounds are phenomenal, looking much better than average GBC scenery. Overall, the game is exceedingly easy on the eyes, and worth taking a look at just to see what the GBC can really do. Of course, if the simple, black and white line graphics of the original are more your thing, you can play that version by entering the password, "QRTREATR."

If you're a fan of the original, or if you're just really into space shooters, Asteroids for GBC might be your thing. The graphics are amazing, and the play is as good as ever. But in a market populated by (mostly) "deeper" games that involve more story and less repetitive play, it's doubtful that Asteroids will make many top ten lists.

--Shawn Rider