Review by Vegetaman

Reviewed: 05/31/01 | Updated: 05/31/01

For the alien killer near you!

The Atari 2600 is the basic ''mother'' or ''father'' if you will, of gaming consoles. Developed in the late 1970's (around 1977), it has provided some of the best, and most exciting entertainment for kids, adults, and families alike. Now it's your turn! Defender is a classic Atari game that features you trying to shoot down all the aliens, and save your people, and your planet!

Game Play 10/10
This game uses the basic Atari joystick, like many of the action games. Use the joystick to pilot around, and press the joystick button to fire your guns. The controls are simple, and once you've mastered them, it's time to rock and roll. The object is to fly around in your space ship, and shoot down all the UFO's and other dangerous stuff trying to kill you, or the people of your planet. As for difficulty, it is easy the first few levels, but as you get up there, the aliens are meaner, harder to beat. The game, like many Atari games starts out at that easy and basic level, and goes up from there. This is not the only game like this. The games like this include, but are not limited to: Asteroids, Adventure, Missile Command, Defender, and many other great Atari classics. The high point of this game is shooting down the aliens, and getting to the extra or bonus stages. The enemies move fast, and it gets that old heart a pumping, and your adrenaline rush!

Difficulty 10/10
Just right. Not to hard, and not to easy. As I explained lightly in the game play section, this game starts out like most Atari games do. It starts out very easy, and moves up the scale. The higher the level, the harder it is. This is logical though. The more you advance, the harder it gets. The thing that gives you an advantage and a disadvantage is the rolling screen. It allows you to move either right or left. The is good in the way that you can head whatever direction you want, but the enemies can flow from both directions.

Story 10/10
Leave it up to the great people at Atari to make a story, and they have one. So, here it is:

Aliens are attacking the planet. Not only have these creatures been taking many threatening forms - alien landers, exploding pods, and bombers - they are also trying to take your friends hostage to use them against you. Launch your anti-alien attack rocket. Watch the rockets computer screen for early warning data. Then fire your laser cannons! Only you can prevent the aliens from kidnapping your fellow humanoids and transforming them into treacherous mutants.

Just like any great game for the great system we all know and love...

Audio/Visual 10/10
Remember, you don't compare the graphics of Atari games to those of Nintendo 64 or Play Station. You think of how it was at the time. Defender is actually one of the best games, and has some of the best, and most advanced graphics on the Atari 2600 system. With its smooth sounds like: alien abductions, or firing your laser to blowing up an enemy, the sound offers a unique variety that not many games can offer! The graphics are just as good too! The ship, the town, the background, and the people are some of the graphics, but the best one is: Your laser cannon. The bright flash of light that destroys any enemy object in its path, with a multi colored flare! That is priceless. Even master card can't offer that in one of its commercials!

Replay YES
You have to understand the concept of making an Atari game to understand the replay factor. Atari games are in no part long, besides the endless levels, but they are not built for length. They are built to be two things: Played, and Replayed. These were the two things all Atari game developers had in mind. Unlike the games of today, almost every Atari game was one that a person felt like they should go right back and play it again, and again and again! Todays games would be so much better if they implemented this standard into modern games. Old games like Asteroids and Missile Command hold a higher replay value than many of todays games like: Mario 64, Turok, Bio Freaks, Clay Fighter, and stuff like that. Defender is another one of those Atari games that falls right in with Missile Command, Asteroids, and those great Atari classics!

To Buy YES
Well, Atari games are becoming very hard to find, and very rare. If you are lucky, you will find some in a pawn shop, or gaming store. They cost around $1 - $2 dollars, and are normally stored in the central part of the store on a large shelf, or in a tub. Make sure if you have a choice, get the best copy of the game you can. A good copy of the game would be: It still has a label, it is not beat up, nor severely scratched. If you shake it, there is no lose particles shaking inside. You also probably don't want one that just plain looks dirty, or unclean. Simple steps like these can help insure you are getting a top quality product.

Verdict EXCELLENT
If you want an action packed, alien encounter, shoot them up type of game, then Defender is for you! From its great graphics to the stunning game play, it is fun for any age!

Don't delay, play today!


Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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