Atari 5200

Review by Joe Santulli



Graphics: 6

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 3

Overall: 3

Gorf is four games in one. Hereís why thatís not ALWAYS a good thing. Gorf is four CRAPPY games in one. Is that a bargain? Not to me. I remember when Gorf first graced my local arcade spot. It seemed like a bit of an anomoly, taking bits of other games that were already considered primitive (Space Invaders and Galaxian), stripping those down even more, then adding a few spinoffs to the mix. Well, it wasnít all that great then, itís pretty bad now, and itís just plain AWFUL on the Atari 5200.

Four of the five arcade scenes are here: Astro Battles (Space Invaders with just three rows of aliens), Laser Attack (Galaxian minus two thirds of the attackers but with two fast laser guns added in), Space Warp (Space Invaders with just one invader spinning around the playfield), and Flag Ship (one ship zipping back and forth as you shoot through its hull). Missing is the real Galaxian scene, but most every home port of Gorf is missing this screen. Curious.

If it were a direct port of the arcade, Iíd probably give it a 6. These games are pretty tired by todayís standards, and like I said, Gorf was never really "original" anyway. Come to think of it, Gorf is the video game equivalent of a K-Tel record: Lots of hits no longer on the charts and not guaranteed to be the original artist!

Finally, thereís the Atari 5200 problems: this time the stick works in analog fashion by moving you entirely too fast around the playfield. It takes time just to handle the thing. Then thereís the buttons that just make your hands hurt after a few minutes. Put it all together and you get this wonderful score. Even if you use a Wico stick youíll find that careful maneuvering around the barrage of enemy fire is almost always impossible. In these action arcade games, you sometimes have to be able to move exactly two pixels to get out of harmís way - not one, not three, but two. It just canít be done with this conversion, leading to low scores to add to your cramped left hand.

If youíre at a garage sale and you see this one, give the owner my condolences!


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:25 PM