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Gyruss - The Atari Times

Gyruss


Parker Bros. gets it right!
by Jonathan Rose

April 12, 2004
Gyruss is one of those games that really proved that solid gameplay, frantic action, good controls, and a catchy tune are all you really need to make a great game. no polygons here, please! It ranks number one on my list of favorite arcade games of all time.

Gyruss is also one of those games that will make you eat humble pie like it was on 'fat people eat free' night at the buffet. That sped up Bach that played in the background would start making you feel real cocky, and just when you thought you'd gotten your groove on, SPLAT! Ha ha. Stupid human. Then you'd get mad and put in another quarter to show the *&$^ machine you really WERE the man. Rinse. Repeat.

So, you are probably asking by now, 'when does the annoying man tell us how the 5200 version stacks up to it's big brother?' Patience. There is much anger in you, young Atarian. You must control your anger. You must... *cough*, umm, yeah. Right. The game. I believe the answer is: Not bad, actually!

First and foremost, you will notice that the game was made by Parker Bros, which (if you don't already know) in Atarian for 'average' They made a lot of decent, playable games, that never really quite stood up to what other, more dedicated companies like Activision or Imagic could put out. In the case of the 5200, however, that's not quite the case. While Activision's 5200 games were merely slightly updated versions of their 2600 games, Parker Bros seems to have upped the ante a bit and made some darn good stuff. Here's the breakdown on Gyruss:

Graphics

The weakest part of the game. They come in at around a 70% or so, looking a bit grainy and washed out. Gyruss is a bit advanced for the old 5200, as the arcade used a diagonal vector system to display the graphics, which was (I imagine) difficult to emulate on a TV at the time. Still, the graphics are serviceable, and don't detract from the game at all after a round or two. It even has the flashy title screen, just like the arcade.

Gameplay

It easily rates a 90%. This is one game that the 5200 controller works perfectly on. Since your spinning around in a circle, the joystick never stays centered, so it handles just fine. In fact, the game plays just like the arcade, with all the bells and whistles, bonus stages, and power ups you would expect from the coin op. It will suck you in, trust me.

Sound

Once again, this is where the 5200 shines. The glorious Bach music is here in all it's glory, with nary a sour note or compromised tune to be heard. It's dang near perfect, and so are the sounds. Everything sounds EXACTLY as it should, which is great, as i can't think of a single classic arcade game that sounds better than Gyruss. You'll be on the edge of your seat the whole time. That is, assuming you have a chair, of course.

In fact, the only gripe is that the challenge level is not quite up to the arcade. Then again, that might not be bad for everyone. All in all, Gyruss gets a solid 85%. It's good stuff, people, give the 5200 a chance.



You can almost hear the music!
Always shoot that center thingie for double firepower.
No more quarters needed to get to earth!
Gyruss
System: 5200
Publisher: Parker Brothers
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 70%
Sound & Music Score: 100%
Gameplay Score: 90%
Control Score: 100%

Final Score: 85%



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