If you liked Asteroids, you will love Meteor Blitz. If you didn’t, maybe not so much. Meteor Blitz is Asteroids for Century 21. Instead of white line drawings against the blank cathode ray background of deep space, we get gorgeous, crystal clear million-color graphics and seamlessly smooth animation. It’s a space shooter game, the objective of which is to blow stuff up before you collide with it or get blown up by hostile ships. Two ghostly joysticks direct the action. The right stick controls speed, boost, and vector; the left controls weaponry and offers a choice of fire, ice or the green stuff that the aliens shot at Will Smith in Independence Day. If you want to play your own audio, go for it. I chose New Morning by Placebo because its ominous, repetitive drone seemed perfect for the visual environment. The rules are simple: if it moves, shoot it, smash it into chunks, then blow up the chunks. Those of you working your way up in a bank or a tech firm will catch on right away. And to complete that analogy, whatever you destroy leaves a corpse in the form of a bright yellow ring that can be used to buy ship and weapon upgrades or to unlock other world environments. At the end of each phase The Boss shows up, and yes, The Boss too must die.

Everything about Meteor Blitz is superb, from the graphics and audio to the BMW I-Drive style control sticks. The problem is, for me anyway, there is no payoff. Destroying stuff just brings more and bigger stuff to destroy. Cool stuff, like space snakes and pointy spacecraft, but after a while I want to land. The default planet is a green, Earth-like place with lots of oceans and continents. I should be able to destroy some enemy ships, pulverize a few meteors, then head for a spaceport bar where I can pound a pint or two of Rigellian Wormhole Ale and maybe start a fight with some of the locals. Bustin’ space rocks constantly just starts to seem like prison. Also, just like Asteroids, the ship remains stationary and the background moves. This almost gives the illusion of flight, but mostly it feels like I’m glued to a point trying to dodge stuff that is coming at me.

Still, Meteor Blitz easily scores 5 out of 5. It’s a brilliant space shooter game and it’s well worth a buck ninety-nine.


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