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Game Over Online ~ Missile Command

GameOver Game Reviews - Missile Command (c) Hasbro Interactive, Reviewed by - Vic Vega

Game & Publisher Missile Command (c) Hasbro Interactive
System Requirements Pentium 133, 32MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 68%
Date Published Wednesday, December 1st, 1999 at 09:34 PM

Divider Left By: Vic Vega Divider Right

The holiday season sees dozens upon dozens of action titles, ready to capture the imagination (and dollars) of the casual and diehard gamer. Featuring the latest in 3D advancements, tons of weaponry, dozens of baddies, incredible level design, only the fittest of the fit shall survive. We’ve also seen another trend this holiday season, the nostalgic journey. Titles such as Pong, Space Invaders, Q-Bert, and now Missile Command have made their way to store shelves, hoping to rekindle the magic that once was. Hasbro Interactive has played a big part, releasing all the above mentioned titles (except Space Invaders, which was published by Activision), and they’ve got a few more coming down the pipe. So let’s take a trip down memory lane with Hasbro’s Missile Command.

If you’ve played Missile Command at all before, you’ll instantly recognize it’s gameplay. The objective, of course, is to execute a counterattack against a massive alien invasion. You must protect the cities, as well as your missile batteries, by destroying incoming alien missiles. There are two modes of play in Missile Command; Ultimate and Classic. The classic mode relives the glory days of Missile Command. Everything is displayed in 2D and the graphics are clean and colorful. There’s the standard set of three missile batteries, mixed amongst a number of cities that you must protect. Each missile battery contains a set number of missiles that you can fire, and the whole scene is set to a variety of different backgrounds.

In terms of gameplay in the classic mode, it mimics the original to a tee. The levels begin at a slow pace and pick up quickly as you advance in the later levels. The alien fire begins to rain down at a quicker pace and the strategy turns from shooting them all down, to simply protecting one or two cities. In terms of testing one’s reflexes, this game certainly does that.

The Ultimate mode offers a little more in terms of graphics and gameplay. Instead of protecting a handful of cities from alien missiles, you must protect various cities around the world from alien invasion. A storyline is introduced in the Ultimate mode via CG movies and various characters. The battlefield becomes 3D as the range expands well above the normal field of vision. You can rotate the screen left and right as well as up and down. A radar is provided in the lower corner of the screen to provide an idea from where the alien fire is coming. Also, Hasbro added ‘boss’ ships at the end of each stage. The objective of this mode is the same as the classic mode, protect the cities from the incoming missiles, but the gameplay and graphics are updated slightly.

Another key difference between the ultimate mode and the classic mode is the ability to turn your points in at the end of the round to purchase special missiles, smart bombs, electromagnetic pulses, and much more. The ultimate mode provides a variety of different weapons rather than just the simple missile that we’ve all come to love in the classic mode. You can also use the points to increase the number of ammunition your missile batteries can hold, or increase the firing rate of the batteries.

Missile Command offers a number of different controller configurations. You can use your mouse, keyboard, or gamepad to move the cursor around the screen as well as fire your missiles with. You might find that using the mouse or gamepad is easiest in terms of moving the cursor around. It’s hard to move a cursor from one corner of the screen to the other, in a split second, using only the keyboard. Missile Command also feature multiplayer support over the Internet, Modem, or LAN connection. What this offers is the ability to team up with a friend to counter the alien invasion. There’s no head-to-head features available.

If there's any complaints I have about Missile Command, it stems from the original. It becomes far too hard, far too quickly. As mentioned above, the strategy moves from one of shooting down alien missiles, to one in which you strictly protect a single city, because it's literally impossible to shoot any of the missiles down after awhile. The gameplay is very simple in that respect, and with that in mind it certainly won't appeal to a lot of new gamers.

Missile Command has always been a classic arcade title. Hasbro Interactive has effectively recreated the original game in it’s classic mode, and the ultimate mode offers a unique twist on the original concept. The gameplay is nothing revolutionary. It's still very simple and certainly won’t provide hours upon hours of fun. Missile Command is simply a quick arcade fix and in that respect, it does a fine job.


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