Many days in my youth were spent with a cheap handheld playing repetitive brick games where you would dodge oncoming obstacles, shoot down block aliens and of course break groups of bricks. Now nuGAME are taking this to the extreme with 360 degrees action as they attempt to spark this classic pastime back into life.
With 20 levels, no save points and a punishing time limit, you need to be on your A game if your want any chance of making it to the end. Throughout I opted for off TV play using the Wii U GamePad so I could relax in different rooms in my house. With pixel graphics when slimming down to the smaller screen there is barely any difference, if anything it felt more at home on the handheld which only makes sense considering its heritage. The 360 degree angle can take some getting use to and this will eventually help you in future for breaking those bricks that are awkwardly positioned.
Obviously not published by Nintendo directly, 360 Breakout yet mirrors the same failings that made the Wii U Nintendo’s least selling console. Figuring out what controls are applicable for the co-op is one of these core reasons making a two-second job turn into an annoying chore. Do I need the Wii remote or the Wii remote with Nunchuck? How about the Wii U Pro or is it the Classic Controller or, everyone’s favorite, the Wii remote on its side?
After scouring the web (because no details are given in the title itself) I discovered that you have the options of the Wii U GamePad, Wii U pro controller or the bizarre combination of both a Wii remote and a classic controller. So if you haven’t spent money on further accessories multiplayer is strictly off-limits. I found this frankly strange considering the only thing needed to play is a D-pad…which a Wii remote holds. When releasing the NX, I pray that Nintendo take note from their competitors and make one synonymous controller making everyone’s lives much more straightforward.
If you’re lucky enough to own the necessary controls then co-op can be terrific. Playing alongside one another to take down all the bricks or facing off against one another for the highest score add another layer. Throwing in some much-needed competition made me want to return with others to try and crack all 20 levels. The only problem I found or really would like improving is there is only one style of play. Having a frantic version where the ball is constantly zooming off in every direction would add to the package.
Pixel nature comes with a pixel based soundtrack that compliments the overall feeling of being in an arcade. Out of the handful of music played some definitely felt better placed adding tension and speed to the gameplay with others just feeling misplaced, yet they do their job reminding us of that wonderful 2-Bit era and that’s whats important,
The puzzle strategy market is the most saturated in all of gaming. You can see why when their legacy is built on fun, effortless entries like Breakout. Recreated in many different forms over the years, its great to see the Wii U receive a worthy iteration that encompasses how enjoyable this blocky triumph truly is. Still 40 years on from its original debut on the Atari, Breakout is as compelling as ever. The simple concepts like Pong, Space invaders or Breakout will always remain in the video game industry in some form and for that I’m thankful.
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