Break'em All - NDS - Preview

Arkanoid (or Breakout as some may know it) is one of those untouchable perennial games that has secured its place in the canon of gaming. There have been many different ports of the game, most of them keeping within the basic formula of the game. Break ‘em All from D3Publisher of America is one such game, bringing Arkanoid’s style of addicting gameplay to the DS. However, Break ‘em All is more than a straight port, and offers some uniqueness to the formula.

For those unfamiliar with the Arkanoid gameplay model, you basically control a platform on the bottom of the screen. With your platform, you must continuously knock a ball into a series of blocks on the top part of the screen without letting it fall below you. Since this version is on the DS, you’ll be able to use the touch screen, dragging the stylus along the screen in order to move your platform around. If you’re not comfortable using the stylus, you can also use the shoulder buttons to move your platform left and right.

One way that Break ‘em All is a unique take on the Arkanoid formula is the way that the game uses power-ups. At the start menu, you are given a list of different power-ups that you’ll have access to throughout the game, reminiscent of Gradius.

In another nod to the shooter universe, Break ‘em All also features large-scale boss battles. About every four screens or so, you’ll encounter a boss that must be defeat in order to progress to the next area. These bosses feel like the top-down shooters of yore, where you’ll have to employ a certain strategy in order to defeat them, not just wail on them until they expire.

Graphically, Break ‘em All is pretty simplistic, but the game doesn’t need much in the way of bells and whistles. The boss battles look pretty cool, taking advantage of what the DS can do.

Break ‘em All is a cool approach to the classic Arkanoid formula, providing a fun and addicting fan favorite with some great new features and DS specific goodies.

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