Format reviewed: Atari 2600
Submitted by: Hagen Dragmire
Phoenix on Atari 2600 is a fantastic adaptation of the arcade classic. Phoenix boasts great graphics and quality shooting action, as your ship blasts through four waves of enemies and then finally takes on the massive mother ship. In a time when bosses were few and far between, this was definitely a treat for many a gamer. After you've taken down the mother ship, the cycle continues gradually getting harder each time.
One of the most unique features in this game would have to be the enemy birds and how you have to destroy them. Hitting them in the center kills them instantly. But if you make contact with one of their wings, the bird still survives and eventually grows back that lost wing. This innovative idea alongside the boss feature made this game a bit more complex than your average arcade shoot-em-up. If you are looking for a solid Atari 2600 shooter, don't pass this one up.
When playing Phoenix, you may be reminded of another Atari 2600 classic called Demon Attack by Imagic. Upon inspection, the resemblance of the two carts is immediately evident and even resulted in a lawsuit between Atari and Imagic. Atari sued Imagic for taking ideas from Phoenix, but lost the case in the end. The battle between companies in competition often means more for the consumer. Gotta love it.
Format reviewed: Arcade
Submitted by: Alex Reeves
I first came across this game on holiday in Spain in the early 80's, and as an eleven year old spent most of my two weeks (and lots of 25 pesata coins) perfecting it.
The game was released in 1980 by Centuri / Taito, whose other famous arcade cabinets included Pleiads and the classic Time Pilot.
The format is classic horizontal shooter, with 5 waves of attack, climaxing on the 5 wave with a massive screen filling boss ship.
The first two waves are fairly standard Galaxian style invaders, with diving attackers. These waves are quite tricky as the divers can also swoop up again into your ship, or lurk on the same level as you waiting for you to hit them. Fortunately you have a force field which can be activated to kill the divers or stop a bullet.
The next 2 waves have eggs, which hatch into large eagle like birds, who have to be killed with a hit to the body, otherwise you just wing them. They also dive, and you need to dodge them carefully.
The final screen is the best of the bunch, accompanied by a loud siren, with the objective of shooting through the hull of the mother ship and destroying the octopus creature inside. This is complicated by the rotating forcefield beneat the octopus and the kamikaze ships defending the mother.
This game was converted to the Atari 2600, and more recently on the XBOX and PS2 as part of the Taito Legends collection.