Hey Gramps! We are Shooting Here! Safety First, Moron!
Nice Graphics/ You can shoot Gramps
Gramps doesn't run around screaming when shot
Kill a Bunny, Burn in Hell
Overview: One time when I broke up with a ho... err... my significant other, I took several pictures of that person and lined them around my yard. I then got a pellet rifle out of the closet and proceeded to shoot holes through the pictures while laughing hysterically.
Barnyard Blaster is nothing like that. And this is why I do not get paid to review video games. In short, Barnyard Blaster is a game with good graphics but is so boring and broken, that not even shooting Gramps in the head will save it.
Graphics: Though this is a very weak title, this game has some really good graphics. Of course, when the action is spread out only over 4 different screens, the programmers should make sure that those screens are well done. This Hee-Haw murder fest of innocent animals will take us to a fence, a barnyard, a corn field, and inside of a barn. The animals and other various targets are done decently well, especially a mysterious bottle that is black and white and has the initials "JD" on the label. Hmmmmmmmmmmm....think the Atari programmers had to have a drink or two to cope with the task of making this game?
Sound: My choice for the second most annoying sound (besides Planet Smashers' main laser cannon) in the 7800 library would have to be this loud and moronic version of "Old Macdonald" that plays over and over again throughout the game. It's peppy! And annoying! Other various sounds include busted bottles, misses, and cartoon bleeps when you murder an animal. I wish when Gramps gets shot in the head we would be treated to a helpless "Man-Scream", but no.
Gameplay: As I have mentioned before with other Atari light gun games, the Atari Light gun sucks. If you want more to read about that wretched pistol, please do so in one of those reviews. I'm tired of writing about it. Gameplay wise, this game is not too bad at first. It takes you a minute to aim down and to the right of an object to destroy it, but for a few minutes the game is actually fun. Shooting bottles and helpless bunnies may relieve some stress. But, the first game I played was about 15 minutes long, which was plenty long enough. On top of that, I had no idea why it ended. After clearing a board, a screen will come up with total shots, hits, and accuracy for that board, plus the total score. The next board
would hop up, and violence would ensue. After a while, you will start to feel a sensation of, "What is the point here?" Round after round, boring screen after boring screen, the lack of excitement will make it easy to slip off into a bored induced coma. Another problem with the gameplay is that several characters cross the same point on the screen, and only one target will be on the screen at a time. So it is possible to pick off several targets in a row without moving the zapper. Yawn.
Originality: Why was this game made? I dunno, but I feel like someone wanted this game to be the ProSystem's answer to NES 's Duck Hunt. The next question is, did Atari need an answer to Duck Hunt? My answer would be "no". The 7800 needed an early answer to Super Mario Brothers, Zelda, and Metorid. At least Dunk Hunt had a cute little dog that would emasculate you. Barnyard Blaster has an old man that can be shot in the head. Yay.
Value: The only thing that could have made this game more valuable is when you shot Gramps, he would wail around and bleed all over the place. Then, a horrified and hysterical Granny would come out of the farmhouse, collapse on the ground screaming, run to the barn and then reappear with a tank. Dammit man...its either her or you! Do it! Kill that old Jezebel. You won... its over. No! Wait! The animals revolt and they walk around like the characters in Animal Farm. Wait! They can hold weapons too! Kill them quick! As they attack you, the Air National Guard arrives to take you out. If you succeed against the US military, minor Marvel super heroes and villians try to stop you. Ya know, people Atari corp could afford in the late 80's... like Hypno Hustler, Rocket Racer, and Big Wheel. On level 6, Jesus would descend beside you, forgive you for killing Gramps, and then he would rip off his shirt, flex his chest, and attack the brigade by your side by shooting purple lazer beams that will turn enemies into doves. God, that would have been awesome. But alas, the only repercussion for shooting Gramps is a message that says, "You Shot GRAMPS!!!" Well.... no shit! We won't admit it, but we did it on purpose.
Overall: About the only positives I can say about Barnyard Blaster are that the graphics are good and when you shoot your gun the screen doesn't blink, unlike Sentinel and Meltdown. This game is just boring. I also don't like shooting Bunny rabbits and hordes of non-game birds. I also don't like games that suck. I guess I'm out of luck with Barnyard Blaster...
The Video Game Critic: D
CV's Atari 7800 Panoramic Froo-Froo: 2.5 out of 5.0 (Weak)
The Atari Times: 4 out of 10