(WiiWare)

Game Review

Block Breaker Deluxe Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stephen Witkowski

Can this Arkanoid clone match the block-breaking fun of its predecessors?

Arkanoid clones were two-a-penny many years ago, particularly on home computers; however gamers have not been treated to many games like this in recent times. It would seem the timing is perfect for Gameloft to bring the first game in their successful cell-phone based Block Breaker series to WiiWare to see if it could find a sizeable audience on the Wii. Gamers never tire of quick, accessible fun like this.

In Block Breaker Deluxe, you take the role of a famous champion who wants to enter a tournament being organized by a billionaire for the top 10 players in the world. However, one obstacle is preventing you from entering the competition of your dreams: the entry fee of $1 million. So, in order to raise some dough, you have to hit the block breaker night scene and take characters’ challenges (each challenge being a level of the game).

The first thing you’ll notice is that the presentation in this game is trippy. Gameloft upped the ante in terms of visuals for this port and really pushed the '80s vibe. It’s nothing particularly special, but the visual style is crisp, clean, and appealing. There’s so much neon though that some players may find their eyes getting tired quickly and turn the brightness down on their TV. The visual effect for the explosive blocks in the game warrants some specific attention. It may look cool, but at times it crowds the playing field and makes it hard to keep track of the ball; we predict that numerous lives will be lost thanks to this issue.

The audio all around is fair too; the sound effects are on par, and perhaps most importantly, the sounds the ball makes when bouncing off of different surfaces are not irritating. In terms of the music, we’d say it’s of a higher calibre than the sound effects, but there isn’t much of it, so it does get repetitive fast.

Since this type of game doesn’t come around all that often anymore, the style is a bit of a sight for sore eyes. However, with some prior games in this vein already in existence, Block Breaker Deluxe doesn’t really distance itself from these other titles in terms of level design. That it isn’t to say that there wasn’t any creative muscle flexed by the company though. Some of the power-ups are quite original: take the Yo-Yo for instance. This allows you to pull the ball toward your paddle, adding a unique element of control. There are the more generic power-ups as well, such as lasers that allow for shooting at blocks with your paddle and a multiball.

When it comes down to the core gameplay, Block Breaker Deluxe does a pretty good job of emulating the classic feel of Arkanoid with the Wiimote. Controlling the paddle is simple. Seeing as the Wiimote pointer basically serves as a mouse in 3D space, Gameloft decided to just have the player move the paddle left and right. It makes enough sense, but when it comes to finer and quicker adjustments, the IR control won’t always pickup the player’s motions so smoothly.

There is one other option for controls though, and that is using the D-pad to move the paddle. Taking into account that some items require the use of the A or B button though, this option really doesn’t utilize the Wiimote’s functionality very well. We really wanted to see what it would feel like to play this title with the Wiimote on its side tilting it left and right like Sonic and the Secret Rings or Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, but unfortunately that option wasn’t there. The pointer has one more use in gameplay though: in addition to collecting power-ups with the paddle itself, there is a pointer on screen that can be used for the same purpose.

It is a safe bet that getting stuck will be a huge obstacle for some people. The levels in this game can get particularly tough at times, and with the finer movements and quick adjustments mentioned earlier, they can get downright frustrating. There are also boss fights at the end of each set of levels to keep you on your toes. However help is at hand. There are things that can help in the game's shop. Since you’re playing these levels to earn money, you can go back to earlier stages that you’ve played to scrounge up some cash for items and try to conquer those tough stages over again.

If you get bored of the single player story mode, you might want to try out the 2-player versus mode with a friend, which predictably boosts the entertainment value of this title somewhat. You have a choice of six stages and you basically compete against each other for the highest score head to head. Player one’s paddle is at the bottom of the screen and player two plays upside down from the top. The idea is to keep the ball in your side of the court and get all the power-ups to ensure you get the highest score before all the blocks are destroyed. This mode is entertaining for a short time, but what is on offer isn’t that substantial.

Conclusion

Block Breaker Deluxe is a pretty decent game on the whole, but at times it takes some patience to play. It may have not utilised the Wiimote as much as it could have, but the control is pretty slick still. Give it some time and it might just grow on you. Gameloft released Block Breaker Deluxe 2 on cell phones recently, so maybe Wii owners will be able to get a second shot at it in the future if Gameloft choose to revisit it on WiiWare - hopefully with additional online modes.

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User Comments (29)

BDPatVCR

#1

BDPatVCR said:

Sounds like a decent enough game although i will not be getting it ...
I just hope we won't see a flood of this type of games ... 1 or 2 will be enough

Ben__Harlan

#2

Ben__Harlan said:

Interesting review. I didnt hope so much about that game because is a mobile phone game port, but it really looks good after all.

KnucklesSonic8

#4

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Well-written review. I bought the game this morning so I can't wait to get home to give it a go.

I also enjoy how you explained the control options well, comparing it to THDJ and SatSR. Nice comparison.

And getting "stuck" on a level is only natural. Although this is an "Arcade" game, as classified by WWW, for all its intents and purposes, it's also a Puzzle game. It's only logical to conclude that the game would have some sort of challenge, something that is very welcoming in a game like this.

Overall, the game has enough substance to be worth the 800-Point Price Tag. If it were any higher, I'm sure many would even question whether or not it's even worth it in the long run but as it stands, it's worth the price it's being offered at.

As I said before, I enjoyed your review and I felt you went into detail quite well, for the most part.

Anyone who is wondering whether or not to drop the points for this re-make shouldn't do so without reading IGN's and WWW's Reviews. Both will help you see what you're getting into. Rest-assured, though, the game is fun. :D

Bensei

#5

Bensei said:

Lol, as I heard about the control scheme I thought it might get the same points as Action Loop did, and I was right!

KnucklesSonic8

#6

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Yep! Except, Magnetica looks great and I'm really looking fwd to seeing it come here. If I had to go based on my impressions with Zuma, I'd probably be very, very pleased with it to the point that I'd rate it an 8 or a 9, even. And 100 Blocks is perfect! But let's not stray too off-topic, shall we? xD

Umm... I find it weird how the game requires almost the same amount of space as FFCC:MLK...

Meanwhile, other first-party titles (namely, Dr. Mario and Magnetica) don't even pass 200!!

It's something to think about I guess..

DazzaAdmin

#7

Dazza said:

Great review Stephen! I think you captured all the key points really well. Being a big fan of Arkanoid myself, I think this is a worthy modern day follow-up. I like the variety of power-ups and the 80s neon vibe. I even won a sexy statue!

KnucklesSonic8

#8

KnucklesSonic8 said:

@Dazza: Yeah, I saw on GoNintendo a post about how Nintendo may have gone a bit lax in rating the game E for Everyone. Not just cause of the statue but just cause of the whole premise of the storyline and the characters I guess... But whatever.

DEMON212

#9

DEMON212 said:

I adore Arkanoid, but I've never been a fan of Ark clones, so I'll be skipping this one.

konkerdoodle

#10

konkerdoodle said:

I love this game. I had a version on my old computer. I think I'll download it. I'll get some good fun out of it.

Objection

#11

Objection said:

Good review, i think thats pretty fair. Things for the sequel to do: keep a story but lose the "edgy nightlife" attempt, more multiplayer modes, and better size compression.

andy836

#13

andy836 said:

i cant decide about getting this game or star soldier R the review has sparked my interest.
Good review btw.

KnucklesSonic8

#14

KnucklesSonic8 said:

I have both. (I get to play BBDX for the first time when I get home tonight. I'm quite excited to play it. :])

If you plan on getting both, get Star Soldier R first. There's still one week left (6 days, actually) of the Official Tournament! Get a jump on it while you still have the ability to do so!

BBDX isn't going anywhere, and neither is SSR exactly, but the tournament for SSR is truly a great opportunity not to be missed.

Tides_of_Chaos

#15

Tides_of_Chaos said:

I wasn't exactly paying the best attention while reading this review and when I came across the line, "we predict that numerous lives will be lost thanks to this issue" I got quite alarmed and started wondering what kind of crazy motions are in this game that could actually kill people!....and then I came back to reality and realized you meant game lives, not real lives.

Draygone

#16

Draygone said:

Personally the issue with the special effects potentially making you lose track of the ball worries me. If the ball moves fast enough, I'd have trouble keeping my eye on it anyway. So for me, this sounds like a potential game-breaking issue. Maybe they should've had the blocks implode instead of explode.

@ Knuckles-etc.6
Nintendo doesn't do the ratings. The ESRB does, which, legend has it, is run by concerned parents.

mr_niceguy

#17

mr_niceguy said:

This game looks so cool, I never played arkanoid, except fo the demo for the DS remake, which I'll pass on since this looks better for less coin. Also I played Breakout! on the pc, so I kind of have an idea how this will play(not really, but it's the closest thing I got control-wise).

KnucklesSonic8

#18

KnucklesSonic8 said:

@Draygone: There's more to it than that...

Anyways, I tried this game last night and I was having a great time. It's great fun and the game is quite challenging, which is always something I welcome.

The "special effects" aren't that umm... what's the word... well they don't exactly make you lose track of the ball if you're paying attention but if you hit a row of dynamite that spreads through the rest of the bricks then you may lose the ball in the fury, yes. But mostly only if you have the ball going at a fast pace.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the game so far.

I can't locate a gripe at the moment save for my concerns with the rating but that doesn't bother me that much.

strade32

#20

strade32 said:

i have played a few games like this. they are decent, but for me, nothing special.

Jona

#21

Jona said:

this game is pretty fun 4 wat it is... u can play it on a blackberry

KnucklesSonic8

#22

KnucklesSonic8 said:

I really enjoyed this game despite its flaws. It's pretty solid and quite challenging at times. I beat the game but I want to go back to it once I get the memory problem sorted out for me. And I'm really looking forward to finally giving Multiplayer a go. :)

AtTheDriveIn92

#24

AtTheDriveIn92 said:

yeah this game picks up the difficulty fast, and you lose 200,000 dollars if you lose all your lives, it's a lot of fun, and the casino theme doesn't take away from the game at all, in fact, it's quite charming, i own dr.mario rx, DYC, gyrostarr, and this game, and I rank this right up there with Dr.Mario, if not higher!

tovare

#25

tovare said:

I liked this game. The controls work great and this game easily ranks as the best Arkanoid clone ever. I liked both the music an graphics added to the atmosphere. I played it 5 hours and 35 minutes straight. It's completed now. I'm not sure if I'll play it again that often, but i think I got my points worth and happy I made the purchase.

Clayfrd

#26

Clayfrd said:

I'd call this game surprisingly addictive. I'm stuck on one of the most terribly frustrating block breaking game levels ever created, but the game's fun.

Sassy_Cc

#27

Sassy_Cc said:

I really liked this game when I first DL’ed Block Breaker but I soon grew tired of it ~ The graphics were redundant as was the gameplay ~ I love these type of ball blaster games but this one didn't have high reply value to me plus it was too easy to complete all the levels ~ Like I said I did enjoy Block Breaker at first but that feeling lasted only a week maybe two ;) ~

MikeyMikeMike

#29

MikeyMikeMike said:

This is what it means to breathe new life into an old game. For a game based on precision control it's important to have analog controls that never make you feel as though losing a life was the game's fault and these are perfect...as fast you are and incredibly precise. The gathering of power-ups through the use of the pointer inevitably involves some decision making calls. Getting too greedy trying to collect them can be the reason you lost a life adding a layer to the core gameplay mechanic. The level designs are strong though sometimes quite difficult. The powerups are clever. They even found a way to overcome that annoying last piece that you just can't seem to hit, having it grow dynamite blocks that string together. Add to that the ability to purchase permanent upgrades and an open-world style map to go between and you have one of the best Breakout clones to date. A significant improvement on the earlier versions. The only criticisms I can really lay on this game is the slightly odd task of collecting bikinis, shoes, jewelry and the like. If you can overlook that, this is a great game.

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