Arkanoid DS had some promise for arcade game lovers when it was released in Japan earlier this year. For the United States version, Arkanoid DS has lost all of its appeal as a decent arcade title and as a title even worth buying. Might as well go shove your hard-earned twenty bucks into an arcade machine; you’d come away with more satisfaction that running home to play this title.
Taito actually made a peripheral to accompany Arkanoid. They created a paddle controller, which when used in an arcade game, directs your paddle left and right by turning the knob. The addition of this controller made classic arcade gamers wet their panties, but when it was left out of the US version, Square Enix doomed the title. Without this controller, Arkanoid is nothing. In fact, it is pathetic.
Similar to games like Atari’s Breakout and Pong, the main mission in Arkanoid is to break the blocks with a ball. Different levels boast different block arrangements, and different combinations yield more points than others. Boast your high score to your friends and they might…be… what? Jealous? Nerd alert.
Any narcoleptic grandma can play this game. Games similar to Arkanoid are now standard on kid’s cell phones. This game used to be somewhat challenging, but just when you thought it was safe… this game idea got dumbed down.
Underneath your game paddle is a safety net. Let your ball touch the safety net three times, and oops, no more safety net. I understand three extra chances with a ball, but four with the use of the safety net? Not to mention how few blocks there are in any given level? Seriously people… any narcoleptic grandma could beat this game.
Sadly that isn’t the worst thing; there are still two ideas that are worse than that. First is the use of the two screens in the game. There is a huge gap between the two screens on a DS, so while playing Arkanoid, your ball gets lost in the space-time-continuum-bermuda-triangle for about a second, leaving you to guess where and when it might decide to re-emerge. Secondly, you can either use the stylus or direction pad to control where your paddle goes. Please, for the love of all things holy, do not use your frickin’ stylus to control your paddle. The tip of your stylus covers up the paddle so you feel like you are using your stylus to hit the ball. Not a fun combination.