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Super Asteroids/Missile Command - The Atari Times

Super Asteroids/Missile Command


Two Classic Games In One
by Gregory D. George

February 16, 2001
Remember the golden age of arcades? Everywhere you look there would be Asteroids, Missile Command, Joust, or Defender machines being enjoyed (or kicked) by players. The nostalgia factor has yet to wear off and continues with Super Asteroids & Missile Command for the Atari Lynx.

While a mildly fun game, Super Asteroids just seems to be missing the intensity of the original Asteroids. Perhaps it is the missing "heartbeat" sound effect. Or maybe it's because the asteroids don't often break into smaller pieces. Or maybe it's because the shield is automatic now. For all of these reasons, Super Asteroids is ok, but nothing to get excited about.

Super Missile Command, on the other hand, is a wonderful update to the original. Not only has the graphics been updated, (I love the multicolored missile trails) but the weapons too! Yes friends, it looks like Atari followed Nintendo's lead and created a game with powerups. Super Asteroids has powerups as well, but they are totally random and don't have much bearing on the game. However, in SMC, if you don't buy the right upgrades, you won't survive the enemy onslaught. The most interesting of the powerups is the shield. If you fire this into the battlefield, a plasma shield will appear destroying any missile that touches it. My only wish is that they lasted longer.

SMC also offers different terrains to protect, so you won't get bored with the graphics. Super Asteroids is nice too, but the variety is minimal (read: non-existent). If this were just Super Asteroids, the graphics would definitely take scoring tumble.

While the title screen music is nice, in-game music is no where to be seen. My only explanation for this is that Atari must feel that the games are too slow with music running. Or maybe they just felt a video game shouldn't have any in-game music. I personally tend to turn off the music in my games anyway because they are too much of a distraction.

SA & SMC has some nice explosion sound effects that are shared with both games. There's a cool "delay" effect when your cities are blown to smithereens as well as a beautifully animated mushroom cloud. The only real annoying sound effect is from Super Asteroids. Your blaster sounds really lame and I would have preferred the actual Asteroids sound effect instead.

If you're planning to buy this game, be sure you get it for the right reason. Super Missile Command is the real showstopper of this pair as Super Asteroids get boring fast. You won't be disappointed.

These are classics, but not "just like the arcade."
The missile trails are prettier to look at now!
"Shoot. Move. Run. Shoot." That's Asteroids in a nutshell.
Super Missile Command offers some rather interesting weapons.
Super Asteroids/Missile Command
System: Lynx
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Action
Graphics Score: 75%
Sound & Music Score: 55%
Gameplay Score: 80%
Control Score: 75%

Final Score: 80%



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