Game Over Online ~ Battleship II: Surface Thunder

GameOver Game Reviews - Battleship II: Surface Thunder (c) Hasbro Interactive, Reviewed by - Clarence Worley

Game & Publisher Battleship II: Surface Thunder (c) Hasbro Interactive
System Requirements Windows 9x, Pentium 166, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 79%
Date Published Wednesday, September 20th, 2000 at 09:02 PM

Divider Left By: Clarence Worley Divider Right

You sunk my battleship! The beloved classic naval strategy board game is making a return appearance on the PC thanks to Hasbro Interactive. It's been a couple of years since the original Battleship was released and this re-make not only sports a brand new look, it also offers an all-together unique gaming experience in a freshly designed arcade version of Battleship. It's no longer as simple as hunt and seek, it's naval action like you've never seen in Battleship: Surface Thunder.

Surface Thunder offers two variations of Battleship: Classic and Arcade. The Classic mode is a direct representation of the standard board game. You play head-to-head against an opponent with the objective of locating and destroying each of the five ships placed within their grid. There are 3 separate grids: 6x6, 8x8 and 10x10. The 10x10 is the standard grid you'd find in the board game, the other two simply allow for quicker, if not more intense, games of Battleship. Within the Classic mode, there are three ways to play Battleship: Classic, Salvo and Volley. In Classic, you shoot one torpedo per turn to sink the enemy. In Salvo the more ships you control, the more shots you get. So if your opponent hasn't sunk any of your ships, you'll get to fire 5 torpedoes every turn. If you've only got 2 ships left, you'll only fire 2 shots a turn, etc. In Volley, you get to continuously fire torpedoes until you miss. Each of these styles was featured in the original Battleship as well, but they still bring an added dimension to an otherwise straightforward concept.

The Arcade mode is a unique take on the Battleship universe. You navigate a battleship as you progress through a series of missions with varying goals. Some of the missions will require you to save people in life rafts, others will request you sink specific enemy ships, and still others will ask that you destroy various enemy structures. You'll guide your battleship around various sized maps as you hunt and seek from a third-person perspective. You can pick up various weapons such as surface-to-air missiles to destroy Zeppelins and depth charges to eliminate submarines. There are also plenty of power-ups placed throughout each area that replenish health, increase your ship's speed and even give you the ability to turn into a submarine to avoid above ground structures. The Arcade mode acts as a game in itself. It's not a very complicated game, in fact it's quite simply in design, but it still provides some heart-pounding action at moments. It does an admirable job capturing the elements of the classic board game in a unique fashion.

Graphically, Battleship: Surface Thunder is, for the lack of a better cliché, a mixed bag. Supporting resolutions up to 1024x768, the level of detail in the Classic mode is relatively poor, or perhaps it's just that the design is far too simple to be catchy. There were inexplicable slowdowns in the Classic mode as well. On most occasions, the torpedoes would launch and reach it's intended target relatively quickly, but on some instances it slowed to a lull. On the other hand, the Arcade mode comes across much better in a visual sense. There's more detail in the ships and structures, making it easier to distinguish items of importance. Within the Arcade mode, the effects are relatively generic in terms of weapon, explosions and other various effects. The landscape isn't much to ogle at, as many of the environments are simply recycled with slight alterations such as a night or icy theme. There were also instances of clipping in the Arcade mode, particular after picking up a 'speed' power-up. The sound effects are relatively basic as well, with consequent explosions, foghorn, and bird sounds sprinkled throughout. Everytime you pick up a life raft, you'll also hear a cheer from a crowd of people, a particular effect that gets annoying relatively quickly.

Battleship: Surface Thunder features multiplayer via the Classic mode, however there is no multiplayer in the Arcade mode. Battleship supports hot-seat (two players at the same terminal), Internet and LAN. At this point in time, there is no matchmaking service available for Surface Thunder, so finding human opponents might be a bit of an adventure.

Battleship: Surface Thunder is classic naval strategy with a twist. The entire presentation of the Classic Battleship mode could have been put together a little better, but the Arcade mode provides a solid action-packed alternative to the standard board game. It's nothing hardcore in terms of action, but it's the kind of fun the entire family can enjoy, so mission accomplished.


See the Game Over Online Rating System






Screen Shots

Back to Game Over Online