Arkanoid: Eternal Battle (PC)

Ice Cream Jonsey
This is a great game.

The sound and graphics are amazing. Even the screeching zeros that descended upon Steam to ruin its reviews when Arkanoid: Eternal Battle had an initial free weekend — all of whom gave their worthless game design, marketing and biz advice! — more or less avoided the topic of how it looks and sounds. That’s because both are incredible. It’s a gorgeous video game with a soundtrack that I’d buy separately. It somehow incorporates the sounds that the arcade version of Arkanoid made with a modern electronica experience.

But more, this game was created by people that obviously have a lot of fondness for Arkanoid as an experience and franchise. I am playing it with a USB spinner from BD Retro Mods that simulates mouse controls and the fine-grain control I have over the paddle is flawless. Flawless! I used to own an Arkanoid arcade cabinet and the control here feels just as good as it did on real hardware. The original Arkanoid spinner had pretty great granularity, they had an extra set of teeth on the rotary dial. There hasn’t been a single time where I lost a life where it wasn’t my fault. You can zip around the boards in a way that feels right. I played with a trackball for this review and it was also really good. Controls are the best thing about this game, except for the sounds and graphics.

The retro mode, where you can play the original Arkanoid, is a delight. Yes, the screen has a filter on it to give it a curved CRT experience. I guess everyone complaining about this one lives in a reality without MAME, but in this one, anyone who wants to be playing the original on a flat rectangle of a screen can do so. I’m glad that the creators tried something different. The retro mode is the best thing about this game, except for the controls, sounds and graphics.

The new single-player mode is fun with new boards. It is true that I have only faced AIs in “Battle Mode,” but that’s fine. I prefer it actually. A computer frustrates me every single day, I’m glad to have the chance to spank them in this.

As for the initial cost of $39.99, I don’t know what to say, I guess global inflation is allowed to affect every single small business and large corporation on Earth with the exception of Pastagames. Who knew that the collective pent-up anger of a mercurial global economy was going to take its rage out on a small group of modern-day retro game enthusiasts. Five bucks on Steam gets you the worst port of Frenzy they could dig up a few clicks over; this is what a good game costs now. Plus, it’s on sale as I type this and the Thanksgiving and Christmas sales are coming.

This ware and Atari’s Gravitar: Recharged are the two best contemporary games involving 1980s arcade IP. Arkanoid – Eternal Battle is fun. It’s beautiful to look at and listen to, it has a wonderful flow, the new levels have just the right kind of learning curve and I didn’t even get into the new powerups, which I like. I hope Taito works with them for other games like Elevator Action or Qix or something next. Well done.

Get it on Steam.

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Ice Cream Jonsey