Format reviewed: Atari 2600
Publisher: Stern Electronics
Developer: Stern Electronics
Submitted by: Nick DeMarco
Berzerk was one of those iconic arcade titles before it hit the Atari 2600 in August 1982. An adventure title that pitted you against rooms of attacking robots, what makes Berzerk so interesting is that there’s so much for you to avoid in this game, from the laser beams of the opposing robots, the bouncing Evil Otto, even the electric walls that line the rooms, all of which can cause damage to you, as well as your opposing enemies.
While the Atari 2600 port of this title was entertaining and fun to play in it’s own right, it is certainly far from a picture perfect depiction of the original game. Gone are the awesome robot voice overs, which thankfully were later added to a homebrew hack of the title, and Evil Otto, who is invincible in the arcade classic, can be defeated in the Atari 2600 port, which is met with differences of opinion to this very day.
With the capabilities that were available to programmers at the time, I feel the folks responsible for the Berzerk port did the best they could with what they had. There is still enough sound, still enough solid gameplay to keep a classic gamer entertained. If you are a stickler for the original, and I can certainly understand if you are, you may want to hunt down the rom on Atariage.com to have the fully effect of the original game, but I still feel you can’t go wrong with the Atari 2600 version that arrived in 1982.
Berzerk can sometimes be overlooked among other arcade classics as well as those in the Atari 2600 library, but it is sincerely worth tracking down.