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5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
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1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom


Funkmaster V Reviews


Genre: Multi- Directional Shooter

Awards: None
Get These Fools Off of Me! Pros: No Flicker/ Several Ways to Play/ Dual Joystick Compatible
Cons: Acquiring a Way to Play With 2 Joysticks May Be Tough, Some May Consider the Gameplay Shallow
Man, It's Crowded in the Club Tonight


Overview: Robotron: 2084 (only one "T", please) is famous for being one of the first games to empower you to move in one direction and shoot another. It is totally feasible (and encouraged) to run away from a robot and shoot at it at the same time.
Games like Super Smash TV and Ikari Warriors borrowed from this concept, immortalizing the game Robotron: 2084 as the great-grandfather of cowardly video games. The Atari 7800 version, I'm glad to report, is a stellar port. Along with mass robot murder- you are charged with saving families from the grumpy and aggressive robot hordes in this dystopian disco shooter.

Graphics: The main difference between the arcade and the Prosystem version is the fact that the robots, objects, and humans are all larger in the 7800 version, making the robots easier to kill. Truth be told, I prefer the 7800's presentation of the game. The playing field is smaller, but in turn the robots are slower. What's most impressive about Robotron running on this hardware is that there is little to no flicker nor slowdown with all of these sprites flying around the screen at once.

Sound: This game features great audio, and it is in fact very similar to the arcade version. Nothing is very shrill, unlike most 7800 games. Since this game features continuous shooting, it is important that this game not suffer from what I call "Planetsmasherlamegunsounditis". Thankfully, it does not. Hordes of robots being mowed down have a real satisfactory "ftttzzz" noise that makes the 12 year old inside smile from ear to ear. Take that, C-3PO!

Gameplay: It doesn't take a robot engineer to figure out this game. Its simple: kill or be killed... there's tons of butt kicking on both sides of the argument to go around. The only wrench thrown into all of this is the fact that there are men, women, and children running about, and it is up to you to save them by simply touching them. They are worth saving, even outside the realm of Christian love, because the bonuses for their salvation are bountiful, topping out at 5000 points each. Since you gain an extra life every 25,000 points, scooping up all the peeps early seems like a smart thing to do. This 80's game furthers the patriarchy, however; featuring men in business suits and trophy wives in pink dresses with gigantic boobs. To make up for it, the game features weird kids with mullets. With only one joystick, you are forced to play the game where you walk and shoot in the same direction. This is actually not a bad way to play the game at all, but purists of the arcade version may grumble at this idea. It is possible to play with two joysticks like Williams Electronics intended: one controlling our hero and the other controlling the laser fire, but it takes some creativity. You may have slide the Pro-lines under your butt, or your feet, or under the sleeping family dog for this to work right. I have seen people construct devices to lock the 2 joysticks in one place, and a quick survey of ebay reveals custom Atari 7800 Robotron controllers exist (I got to pick one of those up one day). Two other easy solutions to the problem exist: two people can play at the same time, one shooting, one running. High fives after each round! This is a fun variation on the game, but if no 2nd player is to be found, you can do what I did years ago. I had two 2600 joysticks with suction cups on the bottom and a flat bedroom floor. Yep, a wee bit of spit and linoleum baby, you are locked and loaded.

Interpretation: R:2084 is a very good translation of the arcade game, but many people may turn their noses up at constructing elaborate boxes, dealing with suction cups and spit, buying $60 custom controllers, or abusing the family dog to play it like intended. For those that endure or don't care about the controller issue, delightful things abound: Every robot in the arcade is featured here behaving the proper (or improper) wayz: The indestructible big blockers rip heads off of humans, the drones act all drone-y, the flying blue fire hydrants slide fast and throw projectiles, the brain monsters turn humans into projectiles and shoot at you with heat seeking lazers, and those rolling tanks... well... they roll... all metallic evil is accounted for!

Value: This game's standard difficulty is a bit easier than the arcade. The first time I played the arcade version, I made it to level 4. The first time I played this version, I made it to level 14. The arcade version can go straight to H-E-Double Hockey sticks, by the way. Again, a Prosystem port has some bang for your buck: There are four difficulty levels, the ability to play with two joysticks, two people can take turns going head to head, or two people can control one man together. There is even a Challenge mode that lets you start the game with only one man. This game is loaded with options, and if you like the arcade version, this is a great game to save your quarters by!

Overall: This is another stellar port for the Prosystem. Robotron is a simple game, perhaps too simple for some, but it offers non-stop robot butt kicking action for those looking to do so. This game has inspired many companies and hobby programmers to develop dual joystick accesories for the 7800 port... and that says something about its appeal. For those with the right equipment or creative solutions, this title can transform you right into the arcade, wearing your Vans, with your big puffy 80's hairdo, listening to Journey over the jukebox. Purists without the aforementioned equipment will do better with a modern compilation for those fancy-schmancy systems with dual thumbsticks or other such new-fangled nonsense.



Other Reviews:
Tomorrow's Heroes: B+
The Atari Times (Joey Kay): 85%
Video Game Critic: C-


Additional Info: I would like to take this time to thank Mitch Orman, owner of The Atari 7800 Page for allowing the use of his screenshots for this review.