ARKANOID Live!

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Remember Arkanoid? I do, it’s an old game that’s been around for quite some time, even though it’s old it’s still a bit of fun, breaking blocks by bouncing a ball around the screen is not a bad way to spend some time. Taito has recently released an updated version onto the Xbox360 console, specifically Xbox Live only. It’s a download only game that costs 800 points, and if you want to get in some old school gaming it’s quite worth it.  Arkanoid Live! is revamped for the Xbox360 console with better graphics, achievements and even a new boss for you to fight. This versions also features co-operative play and online multiplayer mode as well so you can compete against others. So continue on for a brief review that includes screenshots and a couple movies..


The main menu has several choices for you, the two main ones are Arcade Mode and VS Mode. You can also view Leaderboards, Achievements, Help & Options, and Download Content from here as well.

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Under Help & Options you can configure your controls, learn how to play, change the settings and other miscellaneous stuff.

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When you first start out you’ve only got access to Episode 1 and Episode 2

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When you’re ready to play there are some adjustments you can make like number of players, how many live you have, difficulty setting and turning the enemies on or off.

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There are 12 achievements total for Arkanoid Live! for a total of 200 Points, some are easy and some are hard to get, like just finish an episode to get 20 Points, or hard like clearing 30 rounds without using any continues for 25 points. You can hop over to Xbox360Achievements.org for the list and descriptions HERE to learn what they are exactly.

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Specifications:

ARKANOID Live!
Developer: Taito Corporation
Publisher: Taito Corporation

800 Points

The classic ARKANOID comes back to life … in HD! Destroy every block on screen in ARKANOID Live! by bouncing an Energy Ball against them with your Vaus! It’s the all-time classic arcade game now with achievements and multiplayer co-op play over Xbox LIVE.

* Arcade classic: ARKANOID was one of the all-time classic arcade games that sparked a huge number of imitators. Now you can play the game in glorious high-def.

* Tons of gameplay: The full version contains 62 rounds divided into two episodes that can be played under either Lives Rules or Barrier Rules. A boss awaits you in the last round of each episode: DOH, as well as a new boss, SKULL.

* Multiplayer: Defeat the game with a friend in co-op play or compete online against other players over Xbox LIVE and aim for the top!


The Episodes are a bit different, in how they are configured and what types of blocks you’ll find there. Each one though has power ups like sticky pads, multiple balls or even the ability to shoot lasers. If you’ve ever played Araknoid then it will all be very familiar to you, just bounce the ball back to break the blocks.

Here’s the first episode screenshots and video:

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and here’s the second episode screenshots and video as well:

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That’s about it, there’s not much to Arkanoid, bouncing the ball around the screen, avoiding enemies and grabbing pickups. Sam old same old stuff just re-done to look a bit better on the Xbox360. it’s not a bad thing though, Arkanoid is a fun game to play, it’s fairly easy, and most anyone can jump right in to play. The music is upbeat and a funky techno, synthesizer type of stuff, not bad..

I did come across one problem though, it seems to me the controls are a bit sluggish, no matter if I used the pad or the stick to control the pad it just seems like it wasn’t as responsive as it should be. These sluggish controls can make the game rather frustrating.

There are some other things that need pointed out as well, it’s small, if you noticed from the screenshots and videos the main play area is only half of the screen, there’s a whole lot of empty space going on that could have been used for the game or who knows what else.

Everything is just really small, the blocks are small and the ball is very small, it’s very easy to miss the ball, don’t even think of playing this game on an standard definition TV, you’ll never figure out where the ball is, it’ll just be a little blur blob on the screen.

It’s supposed to be HD, but it doesn’t really feel or look like it, not to knock the Wii but this looks like something that you would see on the Wii… Just sub-par graphics for a higher end console like the Xbox360.


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Conclusion:

For what it is, Arkanoid Live! isn’t a bad game, sure it’s just a re-done version of an old game, but it’s a nice way to spend some time reliving memories of old school style gaming, call it retro-gaming maybe. It’s not a bad way to spend 800 points, and have a game that everyone in the family can play, but it’s debatable if it’s actually worth 800 points. If you really, really like Arkanoid, then it’s worth the 800 points, if you don’t care to much for it then you can find better ways to spend your hard earned cash or points…

Arkanoid Live! has got a lot of bad things going on as well, the game feels rushed or incomplete, it’s just basically an upgraded version of the game and not even upgraded really in terms of graphics. In the end there’s not much new or original going on here in Arkanoid Live!, I think they should have spent a bit more time on it, especially the graphics…

 6

Pros:
+Retro gaming now in HD
+Nice graphics and features
+Fun little waste of time
+Brings back memories

Cons:
-Controls feel a bit sluggish to me
-Only half of the screen is used for the game
-Very small ball
-Kind of ugly overall, not what I expected for an HD game
-Very small blocks

Grades:  
Overall score-6-10
Design score-5-10
Performance score-7-10
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