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BattleSphere Update - 2/3/97 - The Atari Times

BattleSphere Update - 2/3/97

A window into the development of BS
by Douglas Engel

February 5, 1997
(Editor's note: BattleSphere is now available! Check www.battlesphere.com or www.ebay.com to get a copy!)

Greetings BattleSpherical BattlePhanatics! It's time once again to give you all the nitty-gritty on the most eagerly anticipated videogame in all of videogame history! You guessed it... we're talking about BattleSphere(tm) from 4Play!!! (That should really annoy Martian, huh?)

More amazing superhuman effort has brought about dramatic changes to the world of BattleSphere(tm). As we approach the end of available ROM space, more and more additional features are being added and play is being tweaked to perfection. The actual changes made include but are not limited to:

1) The graphical extravaganza introduction has been completed. The number-crunching graphics are indeed impressive. The nasty bug in the hardware which caused this mode to occasionally lock-up was circumvented.

2) The mega-awesome new "Mystery" levels have been added to Gauntlet (I hate the term "Boss"). Several unusual new entities have been added to make things a little more interesting for the player trying to complete all 100 levels! Animated 3D ships RULE!!!

3) Gauntlet Networking is nearly finished. This allows 2 consoles to be connected to play a co-operative version of Gauntlet... it may be the only way some of you get to see the nifty later levels (heh heh heh).

4) Cockpit radars have been aesthetically improved for a more high-tech look.

5) Another incredibly realistic explosion has been added.

6) Several all-new sound effects have been added.

7) Steph is pleased to announce that all non-in-game music has been increased to 8 or 10 stereo track sound, thanks to an all-new music player expertly coded by TBird. (Limited bandwidth forces in-game tunes to remain 4-track).

8) A nasty hardware bug killing BattleSphere(tm) mode was eliminated. It didn't show up until testing.

9) BattleSphere(tm) Play mode is finished. This mode is a show-stopping strategy-invoking white-knuckle blast! Conquering the bases of the enemy team is challenging and fun... and the more players you bring to the Battle Sphere, the more fun it gets. Forget about mindless "Deathmatching" (Which you can play too in "Free-For-All" mode)... BattleSphere(tm) mode's vastly more elegant play mechanics create a networked play environment that's light-years ahead of the simplistic kill-or-be-killed doldrums everyone's so weary of.

The object of the mode is to capture the enemy team's bases using special energy weapons... but you need to accumulate kills to be able to upgrade your ship to be able to carry these weapons. Once you upgrade your ship, you can dock with your bases and load up on special weapons. But watch out! If you get destroyed, you have to start over again. Once you have sufficient weapons to conquer a base, and you get through the enemy fighters defending it, you can lay into it and take it over. Once the base is yours, you can go after the next. Be careful though because the enemy may not want you taking over their base and may take their own base down with a last-ditch bombing run, if it looks like you're about to conquer it!

Of course the number of bases, number of players, and method of victory (conquest or destruction of enemy bases) is completely configurable... for hours and hours of networked play fun. By itself this play-mode is an entire game. Remember.. this mode is for 2-8 consoles only (no 1-player version).

10) Coding is progressing on the final play-mode (Alone against the empires), which is the Star-Raiders-ish mode. An all-new galactic map is being designed as well as the enemy AI required to seek and destroy bases in multiple warp sectors. This mode will be super cool.

With the multiple play-modes available and the variety of them, it a lot like getting 4 or 5 different high-quality games all for the price of one! Imagine getting a game and 4 of it's sequels all at one time! That's what BattleSphere(tm) is all about.

As always... BattleSphere(tm) continues to improve daily.

Until next time....  

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