Every Atari 7800 Game Reviewed
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5.0 Perfect
4.5 Excellent
4.0 Very Good
3.5 Good
3.0 Fair
2.5 Weak
2.0 Poor
1.5 Bad
1.0 Terrible
0.5 Atrocious
0.0 Your Mom

Funkmaster V Reviews

7800 Rank: Not Ranked

Genre: Shooter

Awards: None
Dazzling Disco Light Party Time Pros: Same Asteroids Guts You Know And Love/ Great 2 Player Modes
Cons: Missing Ship Functionality/ No Tethering Option
Funky Fresh Geometric Throw Down City

Overview: I feel like Space Duel is to the Asteroids franchise as Pac N Pal is to the Pac Man universe. It's not a bad game,
it just feels like Atari went... "Well, kids... how can we shoot the moon with a rubber band one more time with this game engine?" The arcade version of Space Duel implements odd graphical changes, takes away an awesome gameplay function that I loved with Asteroids Deluxe, and adds something that is a bit goofy but fun all the same.

Graphics: If you are a fan of Asteroids, the first thing you will notice are that the Asteroids themselves have been "made redundant" (as our British pals would say). Taking their place for some reason are colorful geometric shapes similar to Geometry Wars (Xbox 360). I get the temptation to funk things up and replace boring old space rocks, but I feel like it hurts the title's immersion. Small space ship... out of control asteroids... I get the story and the tension because I saw that movie 1000 times. Small space ship... crazy disco lights and shapes you draw on your folder during Algebra next to your scribbling of METALLICA... I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel about this because I never saw that movie.

Sound: The sound here is typical Asteroids on the 7800 fare. In space, they can't hear your awesome hip hop soundtrack. And in Space Duel, the same rules apply.

Gameplay: Bob DeCrescenzo's other Asteroids homebrew: Asteroids Deluxe, was so great that it actually made me reconsider this franchise as a viable time killing option in the new millennium. I loved AD's shield defense that could careen you around the play field like a pinball on uppers, and thankfully that's till intact. Also, the addition of rapid fire in Asteroid Deluxe friggin' ruled. But in Space Duel rapid fire has been removed. Tha' fuq? Simultaneous team play is a Space Duel option at the arcade, but Atari 7800 believers are already familiar with this trick on the original 7800 Asteroids release. Bob also included many multi-player options on the Prosystem's take, but it is missing the biggest gimmick of the game: The double ship tethering. It's not practical... and it's sort of dumb... and I definitely cannot imagine NASA ever implementing two ship tethering in real life, but it is really goofy fun to control two space ships at once connected by a cable. One ship flies forward, and the second ship fires as it spins around like a fool. Or in a 2 player mode, both players control both ships tethered together in something that feels somewhat like a drunken three legged race. Sounds interesting, right? Well, that's missing here on the Prosystem. Poop. What the 7800 version of Space Duel does feature are bonus stages, unique enemies, colorful thingamabobs, and annoying tiny enemies that take seemingly 3000 direct hits to destroy.

Interpretation: This is an extremely playable game of Asteroids, but without the weird tethering option and the removal of rapid fire, I feel like this game will collect dust compared to the 7800 version of AD and even possibly the odd Asteroids official release depending on your taste.

Value: Bob left the gameplay options from the 7800 version of Asteroids in tact, and they are still great: one player, Two player alternating, Two player Team and the vicious Two player Competitive. Four difficulty levels exist on each mode, as well.

Overall: I hate dogging on Bobby D's games worse than I hate poking myself with jagged objects, but I think Space Duel is a regression compared to Asteroids Deluxe. I do think I still prefer it to the official release of 7800 version of Asteroids. So what does that mean to you? If you were on a desert island (with working power, a CRT TV, and an Atari) and you only had a 7800 Space Duel to play, it would do a fine job of passing the time between your jumping around frantically at boat mirages on the horizon. I just wanna stress it to the consumer that if you are flop sweating, clutching two moist twenties, staring at the Atari Age store website... trying to decide on pulling the trigger on this game or Asteroids Deluxe, brother... rock that AD and don't look back. If you are an Asteroids nut, go ahead and buy the damned thing. Then, make a fake email account and send Bob a message to start on a Blasteroids port right away.

Oh, and I'm aware that the Video Game Critic praised this game to no end... but he's from Baltimore and probably smokes ALOT of crack rock. Believe me, I know... my grandmother was a hooker there, after all.

By the way... Space Duel is a terrible name for this game. I blame Obama.

Other Reviews:
The Video Game Critic: A