Friday, November 30, 2012
Review: BreakQuest: Extra Evolution
First starting BreakQuest: Extra Evolution, I had no idea what to expect. I watched the trailer and still had no idea. Starting the game, the first thing that caught my eye was the start screen and the music; the start screen has a retro feel to it and the wonderful music only supplements it. I actually left it on the start screen, just to hear the entire song.
When it was finally time to start the game, I was shocked to see 100 levels. The first level I played was Wild Bloom. I was greeted by several retro looking flowers and lovely music. Now, I've played Breakout all my life considering it's on almost every phone, but even years of experience can't prepare you for this. Admittedly, I never played the first title, but if you did, you shouldn't be too surprised by this next statement.
BreakQuest is different. Very different. I pressed "X" and a rocket launched from my shuttle, effectively obliterating all of my flowery adversaries.
The levels are full of miscellaneous design, some stationary, some not. It's great to look at, but it kinda posed a problem: it was sometimes hard for me to tell which stuff I can hit and which ones I can't. Of course, it's a problem that solves itself when you play, but I should be able to detect the objects before I launch my ball.
Typical Breakout problems will arise, like not being able to complete a level because your ball will go everywhere but to the thing you need to destroy to complete the level. But level design and powerups stop this from feeling like your typical Breakout games. One level at a nuclear reactor plant requires you to hit 3 "On" signs for each "power plant" (it was a radioactive trefoil in a containment thing; joys of retro graphics) on top of hitting them enough times to destroy them.
The powerups are a godsend, but oftentimes, you have no idea what they do until you hit them, which can cost you the game thanks to the powerdowns. The most welcomed feature is the ability to create a wall under your ship, so missing the ball doesn't cost you a game over. It's constantly replenishing, which is wonderful because the ball has tendency to bounce off random debris and careen into a game over. The boss fights in this game are surprising; they have a different feel while still retaining the Breakout feel. Some are cheap, but it honestly felt more challenging than flatout cheap.
Overall, it is still Breakout at its core; which means, if you like Breakout, you will love this and if you hate Breakout, you will probably hate this, but there's enough variety to warrant a shot. The levels are wonderfully designed, but are sometimes annoyingly so. The soundtrack is fantastic. The controls are great. It's addictive and it's cheap (in more ways than one, sometimes). Even if you hate Breakout, you should give it a chance, it could probably seduce you into loving it.