Sunday, September 26, 2010

Game of the Week: Zaxxon

Everyone who was around back in the day remembers the arcade game Zaxxon. It's the game in which the player controls a spaceship flying across a larger spaceship or space fortress of some sort, all while facing enemy craft, missiles and other things. Bumping into objects would also kill the player's craft.

But what everyone really noticed was the three-dimensional effects. See, Zaxxon was the first arcade to feature such, and it looked awesome by the standards of the day. You had great, bright colors, and it all came in isometric projection. You didn't get that in arcade games of the time, at least not until Zaxxon.

If one didn't think about it too much, one might think Zaxxon was just another space shoot-em-up game similar to Space Invaders or Galaga. And there's some truth to that. But the graphic effects weren't the only thing different about this game.

There was great gameplay. If there can be a comparison, Zaxxon is more similar to the arcade favorite Defender, in that the player controlled their spaceship and took the fight to the alien attackers instead of waiting for those alien attackers to come to you, as was often the case in such popular games as Galaxian and the like.

Zaxxon proved not only popular in the arcades, having been followed up by several sequel arcade games, but was also popular for home video game entertainment having been ported to all kinds of computers and home systems, including the Apple II, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Commodore 64 and much, much more.

For basic arcade fun with kicking graphics, Zaxxon had to be one of the best.

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