Arkanoid 2 - Revenge of Doh (Second Review)

Title           Arkanoid 2 - Revenge of Doh  (Second Review)
Publisher       Imagine (1988)
Game Type       Sport
Players         1 - 2 (sequentially)
HD Installable  HD-patch: from Bert Jahn's WHDLoad page
Compatability   orig - OCS-only; rerelease - no caches (WHDLoad-patch - all)
Submission      Dennis Smith Profiled Reviewer

Arkanoid was something of a revolution in the arcades - it was that old
chestnut bat and ball game, Breakthru, given a fresh injection of
gameplay by amazing power-ups. This sequel was better in almost every
respect, only let down by a very silly name, "Revenge of Doh".

So you probably know exactly what to expect in this pretty faithful arcade
conversion - brick-busting fun with the standard extras to collect when
they fall from the bricks - like an expanded bat, sticky bat, laser beams,
multiball bonuses, power ball that passes through bricks.  It's all too
easy to forget that it was Arkanoid that made these standard in the first
place, and it's not been much improved on in the last decade or more.
Other more innovative power-ups are the three-way splitter - while it
lasts there will always be three balls in play (should you lose one or two, the
third will split to provide more), the twin bat and the ghostly trail-bat.
And there are further novelties...

Excepting the first level, you always have a choice between two exits to
two possible next levels; as well as the bricks that need a number of
hits to be destroyed and impervious bricks, there are now time-delay
bricks which reappear a few seconds after being destroyed and there are
moving bricks which start bouncing left and right after being hit.  At the
end of a series of levels, there are first a half-way end-level boss, then
a final end-of game boss (Doh himself?) to kill - great big things in the
middle of the screen that spit out first monsters, then deadly orbs.
Killing these fellas with repeated impacts from your ball is a real

As in Arkanoid, to make things difficult, there are hatches at the top of
the screen from which monsters appear; most can be destroyed by your ball
or your bat when they touch it, but they like to hang around the bottom of
the screen, and collisions send the ball flying off in a random direction,
often catching you out. And of course, as time progresses, the ball gets
increasingly fast, and those slow-down power ups are frustratingly few.

Revenge of Doh is hard. Probably a reflection of the original arcade
machine, the ball isn't slow, and speeds up quite quickly, the monsters
are quick to place themselves just above your bat, and all those impervious
bricks and time-delay bricks make for some pretty nasty levels. In your
favour, the bat responds nicely to the mouse control and it's not too hard
to get a range of different deflection angles for the ball. The graphics
are unspectacular, even on the end-bosses, but do the job perfectly well.
Likewise the sound effects are fine, the music not worth mentioning. (I do
miss Martin Galway's loading music from the c64 version!)

Nowadays, it's just another, er, Arkanoid clone. The definitive one, in
fact. If you like the genre, it's one of the best ones - but also one of
the most difficult.

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