The StarSoldier


Artist touch: I usually really like the artwork for the old Atari games and this doesn't disappoint. The art is detailed, colourful, and it actually shows what you must do in the game. It's a shame that the game itself looks much darker. Cover art rating: 9/10

(Atari, 1982)

Month it won: November 2005

Special note: Missile Command was first intended to be a offensive game where you could attack your enemy's cities. The game's creator Dave Theurer took this idea out so it was just a defensive game instead since the subject matter deals with controversial nuclear missiles.

Introduction and Story:
Dave Thurer's Missile Command is definitely one of the biggest hits in the arcades and it is also one of the best selling games from the Atari 2600 and why wouldn't it be, eh? In the game you must score points by shooting down tons of deadly missiles before they destroy everything in sight. Atari needed a big title for their Atari 5200 Super System so here is the graphically upgraded Missile Command by Rob Zdybel. Is it any good though?

The worst possible scenario has happened to the peaceful planet and Earth colony of Zardon. The evil planet of Krytolia have always despised all their success and they had just launched a surprise full scale assault on the cities of Zardon. You have no choice but to act fast and use your ballistic missiles to counter attack to help save Zardon from complete destruction.

Controls and Game Play:

The game is a very challenging mission to stop nuclear missiles and bombs from raining down and destroying 6 of your cities. If all the cities are destroyed then it's game over. If the killer missiles weren't enough you also have to deal with planes, satallites, and smart bombs too to add to your worries. Even with all of it hectic action it is a always a fun game because of its increasing challenging game play and it's possible to perform a chain of explosions that act great as a shield if you are good enough. Sure there is no way you can actually win in the end since this is a older game and contains no ending. You're pretty much doomed to failure but at least you can always go for the high score of course and that's the most important thing, eh? Screw the peaceful planet!

One of the best advantages of having the game on the 5200 is that it supports the Atari Track Ball Controller. If anybody remembers the arcade game they also remember that it uses the track ball for quick pin point control and having it on the 5200 with the special controller only helps bring the arcade experience home. The game also has a few options where you can practice shooting down Smart bombs or the ability to switch off bonus points but these options just plain suck and they pales in comparison to all the 34 different variations Rob Fulop's Atari 2600 version has.

Graphics and Sounds:
Missile Command 5200 may not have all the cool options like the 2600 version did but the game does have much better graphics at least. The game comes with more realistic explosions and it even has that doomsday game over screen now. The game still may look kind of blocky and the background is still just plain old black but you can't win them all.

The game may look better but it still sounds a lot like the 2600 edition with basic radar effects and beeps so don't expect too much for sound here either.
The Bottomline:

Well it is all said and done this version may have it's problems like its lack of options and sub-par presentation, the 5200 version is a above average arcade translation of the Atari classic. The odd 5200 controller doesn't hurt this game too much which is a nice surprise and the track ball support is cool as well. The game may be a grim tale of destruction and it is still insanely difficult but hey, you are looking for a challenging quest for survival Missile Command is definitely a safe bet for you Atari 5200 owners.


overall rating 70/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 or 2 players
graphics: 7/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 6/10
replay: 7/10

(Ryan Genno) 2005

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