Asteroids: Recharged is an old-fashioned arcade game in the same vein as Asteroid Deluxe and Asteroids. The objective is to destroy all of the enemy ships before they get too close. Gameplay consists of two stages, with a short intermission between them where players can collect their ship’s powerups if desired. Environments are randomly generated each time you play – but this keeps things fresh, since there’s always something new to explore!
The “what is an asteroid” is a game in which players control a spaceship and try to dodge asteroids while collecting power-ups. It’s available on the Google Play Store for free.
The existence of Asteroids: Recharged does not surprise me in the least. On the other hand, the length of time it took Atari to release it astounds me. I’ve spoken my piece on the Recharged series of vintage remakes and its waning oomph, but Asteroids is without a doubt the property that would, should, and should gain the most from this neon-infused vector-esque graphic style. Because the original was already a vector-based sci-fi game, translating the gameplay loop and concept to this fresh new Recharged version should work, right?
Despite having the same graphic style as the previous Recharged games, Asteroids: Recharged looks rather well.
The Recharged games are a collection of neon-colored remakes of ancient Atari classics including Missile Command, Centipede, Black Widow, and Breakout for the uninformed. They aren’t remakes of existing games’ formulas. They’re practically the same same thing as forty years ago, but with a few new powerups and a better design. Surprisingly, the powerups are common throughout both games. Depending on how well the vector-like visual style suited with each game’s idea, these titles have been either decent or poor thus far. With this fresh coat of paint, a swarm of laser-shooting centipedes and spiders, for example, did not seem to be particularly exciting.
On the other hand, asteroids do. Asteroids: Recharged is, without a doubt, the best-looking Recharged release to date. Surprisingly, I think this is because it is the one that most closely resembles its 1979 counterpart. It keeps the majority of its vector-like elements, but with a (much) higher framerate, a lot of neon, and a lot of particles. It seems like a logical progression from the original, while keeping the same gameplay cycle. Shooting asteroids within a limited playfield while avoiding debris and alien invasions is the goal of this game, which has purposefully quirky thrust and turning controls.
Asteroids: Recharged becomes a shambles once the powerups are onscreen. It was a good mess, but it was still a mess.
The Asteroids gameplay cycle is both easy and repeatable, making it an ideal title for a portable device like the Switch. Asteroids: Recharged isn’t revolutionary in terms of appearance or substance, since there’s virtually nothing in this inexpensive bundle that wasn’t available in the 42-year-old arcade original. You have internet leaderboards in addition to the aforementioned powerups, which turn the whole playfield into a bizarrely exciting laser mess. There’s also a music, which, although not spectacular, is significantly superior than any previous Recharged product to date.
Some of these powerups are a little excessive, but we’re not playing Asteroids for the sake of competition.
There’s not much more to say about Asteroids: Recharged than that. You get exactly what you see. It’s yet another bite-sized Recharged version of an Atari classic, but this one looks well enough, has a decent soundtrack, and strikes the right retro-modern balance, due to its blend of vector graphics and a slew of neon particle effects. I’m still not persuaded that this is all Atari should be concentrating on, especially given how much they have to prove themselves right now owing to their pricey system. Asteroids: Recharged, on the other hand, is by far the greatest contemporary re-imagining of a classic in the Recharged series of games.
Given that the original Asteroids was already made up of vector graphics, the addition of neon particle effects clashing with vintage materials turned out to be rather appealing, particularly in portable mode.
The movement of your spacecraft is purposefully clumsy, but that’s part of what makes the Asteroids gameplay cycle so addicting. In terms of gameplay, it’s essentially the same game from 1979, with the inclusion of a few additional powerups and a noticeable performance bump.
The music for Asteroids: Recharged isn’t spectacular, but it is noticeably better than its predecessors.
Asteroids: Recharged isn’t a game changer for Atari, like the other recent games in the series, but it’s a lot more enjoyable and refined than the Recharged versions of Centipede and Black Widow. If you only have time to play one of the Atari remakes, take this one up on a handheld.
Final Score: 7.5
Asteroids: Recharged is currently available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Xbox One S/X, PC, Switch, and Atari VCS.
On Switch, the game was reviewed.
The publisher donated a copy of Asteroids: Recharged.
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