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Pong: Battle Royal v1.7
"Combat and Pong like the world has never seen"
Long before video
games had $3 million dollar budgets and massive marketing campaigns, what
made or broke a video game was only its gameplay. Atari realized this when
putting out their first video game system, and knew that an entertaining
title would have to make the future of video games a reality. Thus Pong
was invented, and the video game craze began.
But now it's the future,
and the game called Pong has taken a frightening turn in QB! Instead of
paddles, now you control space vehicles, armed with powerful weapons. Use
these weapons to shoot down your opponent before he can return your serve.
There are even bombs which allow for mega-damage! This time it's more than
Pong... this is Pong Battle Royal!
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|This is the one area where Budfish Software
really wanted to improve their product. The implementation of starfields
in this game gave what used to be a bland black battleground some life.
And, more and more, the in-game graphics are matching the detail of Pong:
Battle Royal's title screen and other features.
The art used in Pong: Battle Royal is pretty
much a pumped-up version of the monochrome graphics from the Atari Pong.
Each of the weapons and vehicles are drawn with a sense of individuality.
Choosing which vehicle to use in Pong feels like visiting a Toys R Us and
choosing a Matchbox or Hot Wheels car. Really cool.
There are also graphic changes within Pong:
Battle Royal that bump it up in terms of graphics points. The game is noticeably
less flickery than the previous version. The status bar to the left is
also more detailed than in Version 1.4. This version of Pong: Battle Royal
is practically flickerless; I also noticed that there is a lot more shots
fired by the CPU. As a result, you can notice just how many objects are
animated on the screen simulataneously while you're playing.
After much analysis, this game has clearly
moved yet another notch up in the graphics department. The technical fine-tuning
by Budfish Software from the first version to this final one is top-notch.
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
||Strangely enough, the original Pong does
surpass Pong: Battle Royal in one category. In terms of sound and music,
Pong: Battle Royal does not have either available.
|Gameplay (n.)The precision of control
and involvement of character within its universe
|In terms of delivery, Battle Royal doesn't
really divert much from the original Pong. You play a round against a tricky
opponent, bouncing a ball back and forth and trying to get the ball so
that your opponent can't reach it with his paddle and continue the exchange.
The key element that separates Battle Royal
from the original Pong is the weapons. Before playing Pong you are allowed
to choose from five different vehicles, each having it's own attack
and speed rating. One big difference between this version of Pong: Battle
Royal and its predecessor lies in your choice of vehicle. The faster vehicles
are better for bouncing the ball and playing the traditional Pong game,
while the more powerful vehicles can keep fast players busy by trying to
blow up the competition. This gives Pong: Battle Royal some real depth,
as your computer opponent will also adjust to your vehicle's strengths
Another improvement in Pong: Battle Royal
from the version before is the advent of power-ups. These power items are
captured with your missile weapon, and can do anything from increase your
shields to refill your missile supply. Eventually the game becomes a two-part
formula, where victory in a match relies in a mixture of your combat and
Sorely though, I did notice a slight drop
in the control department. It's slightly rougher to move the Pong vehicle
in this final version of Pong: Battle Royal than in versions before. Perhaps
having a starfield and removing the flicker comes with it's sacrifices.
This may be an acceptable sacrifice considering that graphics in QB games
are becoming more paramount than before.
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|Budfish Software was somehow able to insert
a story into this hyperspace Pong game in a sort of Street Fighter way,
by giving each Pong vehicle a pilot and a race. This helps give each vehicle
even more individuality, and helps you keep in some form of character while
playing a match.
|Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience
can be repeated again and again
|A wise man once said, "Anything less or
more than the original is not Pong." Most of the time, this is true. I
remember playing the Playstation version of Pong and being angered by the
way they modernized the Atari version with hyped-up graphics and a rapid
debotchery of the Pong's original gameplay.
But Pong: Battle Royal is not guilty of
the same trends. Sure, there could have been more options in this game
that would divert this arcade game to another genre, perhaps a shooter
had the weapons feature been further exploited. But instead, Battle Royal
keeps the ball/paddle exchange as the center of it's gameplay. And since
Pong is the epicenter of gameplay and Pong: Battle Royal was able to assimilate
the heart of Pong successfully, this deserves a three-star rating.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|Making the AI for Battle Royal must have
been as simple as a couple of IF/THEN statements. For what's it worth,
I never felt like the computer was cheating though. The enemy paddle moves
realistically in accordance to the ball and as long as you're persistent
you will score higher than your computer opponent. The real challenge is
making sure you don't miss the ball when it's your turn to hit it.
|Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|While this game had Pong written all over
it, there was a futuristic element in this game that really reminded me
of N64's Extreme G franchise. This version is definitely improved from
its previous version, to the point that this title suffers nearly no faults.
The power-up system and shields also help to give this game some depth.
It's too bad this game doesn't come with sound effects. Whether Budfish
Software throws in some arcade-style sounds or some crowd cheering, the
feeling of an Intergalactic tournament within this game is almost complete.
||Genre: Arcade Game
||To solve: N/A Final Rating: 14/35
To download this game, click here.
play Pong: Battle Royal, unzip the file and run "PONG.EXE".
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