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Have You Ever Heard of Arkanoid?

June 9, 2016 11:51 am by: Category: Features Comments Off on Have You Ever Heard of Arkanoid? A+ / A-

Following Nolan Bushnell’s legacy of the Atari, one of the most iconic games came out; Breakout. In the game, a layer of bricks line the top of the screen, while on the bottom the player control a paddle that hits a ball to break the blocks at the top. Not much could be added to that. Until ten years later, after various clones and reimaginings, one company puts its own twist on the Atari classic.

Taito, a Japanese company, approached their own title with a broader puzzle game experience. Adding different blocks, power-ups, and various level layouts changed turned the game away from its original predecessor.

The game also features a storyline to it. The mothership, Arkanoid, was destroyed, leaving only the Vaus. The player controls the “Vaus”, a space vessel that acts as the game’s paddle.  Breaking blocks at the top can grant power ups, such as a longer paddle, multiply the number of balls, equip a laser cannon, advance the player to the next level, etc.

The first level of Arkanoid. Courtesy of wikipedia.org

The first level of Arkanoid. Courtesy of wikipedia.org

“I enjoy the game for its fast and simple design.” said senior Jason Branch. Branch is a video game collector, owning over 1,600 games and 4 arcade machines, one being an Arkanoid cocktail table.  “It’s a great reimagining of Atari’s Breakout, but with added power ups, more levels, and a crazy storyline.”

The goal is to venture 33 levels with various level layouts, ranging from a Space Invader to a heart. The final level consists of the player fighting the boss, known as DOH, with the remaining lives the player have.

Doh, as pictured in an old video gaming magazine. Courtesy of retro4ever.com

The end boss Doh, as pictured in a video gaming magazine. Courtesy of retro4ever.com

A sequel was made in its name, “Revenge of Doh”, or Arkanoid II. The story revolves around Doh returning to seek revenge on the Vaus. Travel 34 stages to once again beat Doh.

“It’s a real unique experience,” Branch said. “Even if it is a simple rehash.”

Branch’s arcade was released in 1986. The cocktail table shows its age, but the game plays perfectly. After tweaking the near broken arcade, Branch was able to fix it into prime condition.

Branch has spent over 6 months making a remix involving Arkanoid sound effects as well as sound effects and music from other games. The entire song was made only in Adobe Premiere.

About Jacob Kramer

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