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  • Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Asteroids & Asteroids Deluxe Preview (Xbox Live Arcade)

BySara

Aug 12, 2007

I consider myself an “old school gamer,” though I never did play Pong in its original state. Asteroids was actually my first videogame experience, and having recently played through a pre-release version of its Xbox Live Arcade counterpart, it’s clear that the game was an equally early entry into the videogame arena. Like several “retro” Xbox Live Arcade titles, Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe come in two next-gen flavors: original and evolved. Ironically, the early versions we’ve been playing indicate that the evolved versions of both titles might actually see less play time than the originals.
Asteroids Xbox Live Arcade screenshot
Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe are quite similar in nature. Both involve players piloting a spaceship while blasting away at (you guessed it) asteroids and dodging the chunks that splinter off with each shot. As the levels go on, the asteroids increase in number and speed, and in Asteroids Deluxe, players even encounter occasional UFOs that fire back.
The original version of these games look, sound and play exactly as older gamers will remember. Ship acceleration is controlled with the left trigger, while either the right trigger or A button can be used to fire. And really, that’s all there is to the game. Fly, float, fire at will…it really is that simple.
Asteroids Xbox Live Arcade screenshot
The complexity is boosted a bit in the evolved version of Asteroids Deluxe, because the UFOs are much more mobile, agile and harder to deal with, providing a nice change of pace for gamers now used to more-advanced AI routines. However, the difficulty in both games’ evolved versions is also increased by the scale and wow factor of the graphics, which at times can be a bit overdone — and not in a good way.
The explosions look great when players obliterate an asteroid (they borrow heavily from the look of Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved), but the splash zone is so bright and large that the small shards of asteroid that fly in every direction can actually get lost, leading to several frustrating deaths. In addition, the wake left behind the ship in Asteroids is so thick and long that you can’t see where the ship ends and where the wake begins, a potentially disastrous graphical snafu when you’ve got dozens of shards flying around. Fortunately, the wake effects are minimized in the evolved version of Asteroids Deluxe.
Asteroids Xbox Live Arcade screenshot
Still, it’s nice to see Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe make their appearance for a new generation of gamers. The occasional graphical snafu and frustration may lure older gamers more to the original version of both games, while younger gamers gravitate toward the evolved. But, considering that there’s still time to tweak the graphics before the games release, these small concerns may find themselves ironed out completely before the games ever even blast off onto Xbox Live Arcade.
— Jonas Allen

By Sara

My name is Sara Anslee, I live in Colorado. I am very fond of gaming, writing, and blogging. I share the latest news and tips about sports games, video games, gaming movies, gaming devices, and accessories. I also love watching movies and traveling.