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Available on

PSN

 

Platform

Playstation 3

 

Genre

Arcade

 

Publisher

Alawar Entertainment, Inc.

 

Developer

iSquared Games

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

April 23, 2010

 

 

- Great value: $5 bucks for 100 levels of classic old-school arcade gaming
- Once the majority of the level is cleared, the “completion” orb saves gamers frustration in trying to clear last tiny remnants

 

 

- Some of the broken pieces splinter into too-small debris that gets lost in the background
- Music (it-came from-the-1990s techno) is way too repetitive, to the point of being annoying

 

 

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Hyperballoid HD

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

hyperballoid hd          hyperballoid hd

 

Such a simple concept for a game: bounce a sphere off a paddle into “bricks” with the goal being to entirely clear the level of each and every last one. First with Breakout and even more so with Arakanoid, it became known as the brick-breaker game, relatively popular in the early, early days of gaming in the 1970s and 1980s.

Just released as a PSN downloadable PS3 title, Hyperballoid HD applies a next-generation facelift to the brick-breaker genre. Featuring 100 levels for a great

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bargain price of only $5 bucks, Hyperballoid HD has all the old-school gameplay flavor of Breakout and Arakanoid with a shiny-new graphical presentation.

But if Hyperballoid HD were only a nifty-looking game all about simply bouncing a ball into bricks, gamers would get bored rather quickly. Instead, the gameplay

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challenge is increased with the unpredictability of variable orbs being released from shattered “bricks” that affect gameplay either negatively of positively.

There are two types of orbs, the “bad” reds and the “good” greens, that gamers can avoid/collect with their paddle. The reds act as Hyperballoid HD’s little fiery gremlins, causing mayhem like making the paddle turn invisible or shrinking the paddle and making the bouncing ball much tinier. The greens orbs, on the other hand, assist in gameplay, such as by increasing the size of both the paddles and ball, giving gamers temporary weapons to shoot bricks (including the awesome flash bang that wipes out a large chunk of bricks if shot in the right spot), along with also giving gamers two paddles and releasing multiple balls bouncing around at once.

 

hyperballoid hd          hyperballoid hd


That’s one of the biggest challenges gamers will have in Hyperballoid HD: keeping a handful of balls in play at one time (and the requisite PS3 trophies that gamers can “win” to up the challenge ante). There’s also a “completion” orb that releases either when the level is entirely cleared or just nearly cleared with a few tiny pieces remaining, removing the frustration of trying in vain in attempting to dissipate each and every little piece from each level, especially those small ones that can get lost easily in the background. And it also helps gamers avoid having to listen to the annoyingly repetitive so-1990s techno soundtrack more than they have to.

It’s a shame gamers have to bust up the levels. Both the Ancients (inspired by Egyptian pyramids) and the Planetary (zodiac symbols and starry skies galore) collections of 50 levels each are graphically impressive for what they are a small-scale, downloadable arcade-style casual game.

Costing only $5 bucks, PS3 gamers that enjoy old-school arcade-style gaming won’t find a much better value than the next-generation brick-breaker Hyperballoid HD.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(June 3, 2010)

 

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