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.