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Gyruss

Parker Bros. 1984

Atari 2600

 

Awesome space shooter for the 2600, for the most part. Gyruss is set in a pseudo behind the ship view, with the alien ships coming at you from the center, like out of a black hole or while your ship is in "warp." At the end of each round the destination planet is shown in the center with the eventual goal being to reach Earth.

There was a lot of scaling and rotation going on in the arcade game and the attempt was made to translate this to the 2600 version. Well, the ships do scale and rotate, problem is they have zero detail and look more like weird little blobs. On the plus side they do show up in squadrons and follow the same arcade patterns, although there seems to never be more than five or six of them on the screen at any time. They also don't line up in the center of the screen like in the arcade but what the hell, can't have everything. On the plus side the double shot powerup and bonus stages (called "Chance" stages) are included.

One thing is there are zero sound effects. No lazer blasts, no explosions, no nothing. The only sound is the music of Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor playing in the background (which was what the arcade game was famous for.) While it's really good music for an Atari game they should at least have put some rudimentary sound effects in there.

Overall a lackluster translation, but you gotta give'em points for trying.

Graphics: Very undetailed to the point of where it's hard to tell what is what. They do however scale and rotate rather well and the stars in the background zoom out with a cool effect for a 2600 game.

Sound: No sound effects, but the music is good.

Gameplay: Somewhat slow but playable. The limited amount of enemies on screen makes the game extremely easy.

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