Arkanoid took the idea of Breakout and injected it with a cool factor of 10. It brought sexy sounds, fast fluid action, and most importantly highly addicting and tasty capsules, or power-ups, that really pushed the gameplay to all new and exciting levelsl.
The Amiga version of Arkanoid is hands down the best original conversion to grace any screen. Period. The graphics, the speed, the animation - the Amiga version is as close to the original game as could ever be found outside an arcade.
To keep the arcade’s vertical aspect ratio intact, the developers made one design change to the UI, however. They decided to put the various logos and player's score in a floating pane to the right of the play field. Not the worst idea since the aspect ratio of the original game was never intended for a horizontal space - if only the Amiga developers hadn’t decided to animate their logo (bigger than the game name and Taito itself) constantly during play. Regardless of that ego trip, though, the game is still simply great.
In the original arcade version, one of the cool experiences you gained was the main controller. It was a paddle wheel, sure, but it was also made of what felt like solid metal (aluminum?) and had an incredibly weighty and sophisticated feel to it. That, like trackballs, are hard to compete with when it comes to the overall gaming experience. It’s almost like trying to play Marble Madness without a trackball, but not nearly as disorienting. There is a noticeable difference. But at least with Arkanoid you’re really only dealing with the x-axis in a predictable fashion. So, even though you don’t get the same tactile response with a joystick, the game is still a total pleasure to play without the metal wheel controller.
My favorite power-ups are the "Lasers" and "Expand" capsules (besides the free Player capsule). The others feel like bastard children to say the least. At least with Lasers you feel like you’ve got a fighting chance with some levels, and damn if it doesn't feel good to fire off a volley as fast as you can to destroy blocks that have avoided your earlier attempts. "Catch" was sometimes helpful, too, if for no other reason than to let you catch your breath.
If you’re in the mood for some old-school “twitch” arcade action, Arkanoid is a great way to go. The power-ups alone will keep you wanting to come back for more.
On a personal note, I have very fond memories playing this game with my brother at the arcade. The Amiga version brings those memories rushing back near to perfection.
Back of the box:
The #1 Coin-Op Game has come home, offering the breathtaking animation, digitized sound, and dazzling game play you've been seeking!
Aliens have destroyed your planet, setting you and the humans aboard the galactic cruiser ARKANOID adrift and searching for a new home. You are the only hope. Climbing into your vaus, you realize you must act quickly. You have some weapons, but against the certain danger that lurks ahead, sheer nerve is your greatest strength. Hurtling through icy space, who can help but wonder, "What's out there???"
- MULTIPLE LEVELS of mesmerizing brick formations, testing your reflexes and ability to make split-second decisions.
- WHIRLING KONERDS, PYRADOKS, TRI-SPHERES AND OPOPOS that you must dodge and destroy, or be destroyed!
- SPECIAL CAPSULES that can aid in your quest. When caught, one capsule will make your vaus expand. Another will equip you with a laser, enabling you to smash through alien obstacles. More capsules exist, but you must choose carefully...the decision, and the fate of the crew, are in YOUR hands!
- OTHER FEATURES: Arcade High-Score Table, Variable Skill Levels, and more!