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Why Use A Hammer When You Can Just Use A Giant Superball

  • Addit
  • 07/16/2016 09:33 AM
  • 1211 views


A Game Made By: Ratty524
Created Using: Stencyl
It's A: PUZZLE Game
That Roughly Takes Around: 30 – 40 Minutes To Complete
And It's A... COMPLETED GAME!!!


I’m pretty sure if you asked any kid back in the 1980’s or 90’s what type of games that they used to play on the home computer or early arcade cabinets that the classic game “Breakout” would probably be one of the many choices among them. This simplistic, but devilishly addicting game was created way back in 1972 and has received many numerous ports over the years, enhancements in both graphics and gameplay and has been released on pretty much every single device known to man. This game is just simply timeless, just like in the same vein of the original Super Mario Bros. for the NES and the original Pac-Man.

So when I discovered while browsing around the games section that Ratty524 made a replicated version of it in Stencyl out of all things, I just had to try it out and relieve the good ol’ days of goofin’ off and doing nothing but playing games all day... Because, like many before it, my first experience of playing Breakout was back on the old monochrome Macintosh computers that we had hooked up in our computer lab at our elementary school. We mainly used these machines for basic stuff like word processing and pointless other stuff like that, but, of course, we used to play a lot of games on it too whenever we were finished our work or whenever the teacher wasn’t looking (sorry, teach). Some of my fondest memories included playing the original Sim City for the first time ever on there and, of course, Breakout!

I’m not sure why Ratty524 would choose to do Breakout out of all things to do with Stencyl, but I think this was his first attempt at making a game using the engine, so I’m guessing that he wanted to make something simple to start off with, so Breakout was probably the first choice that he had come to mind - and I respect that.

So let’s go see if Ratty524 manages to do a fine enough job that this game can pass off as a successful Chinese knockoff of it or if it’s better left burying it with the rest of the unsold copies of E.T. in the dump… Let’s go find out!

The Story


- Ooo…fancy!


“A story,” huh…? You guys want a story about breaking down multi-colored bricks using a giant paddle? Well, um…okay! Here you go, I guess…?



“My name is George and I am a foreman…and I also work in part-time construction and demolition on the side.”



“For many years when it comes to tearing down old buildings and junk, instead of using something a lot more practical like dynamite to do so - which would probably be a hell of a lot more usefuller in this here’s person’s opinion – the city has deemed it WAAAAY too dangerous for us to use it so they suggested we do things the hard way by breaking it down with using hammers instead. So far, work has been tedious as shit”

“But then one of my here associates decided that we should try something else.”




“- We should get one of those giant f’king superballs, man.”

“…And later that day, we did just that.”



“Using all the money that we’ve saved up from our 411-k over the years, we decided to purchase the world’s biggest superball and biggest paddle to go along with it and decided to knock these bi*ch-a*s things into smoke and concrete. Maybe then we’ll finally get some shit done around here.”

“The city’s may be laughing at us right now – but we here gonna prove all those people wrong and show the world what a giant superball and paddle can do! Maybe then they might finally allow us to go pantless on Fridays.”


(Yeaahhh…there’s no story in here, guys. Come on, what did you expect!?)

The Gameplay


Hmmm…


So Breaking Out is pretty much what you would expect from a half-decent Breakout clone; you basically move a giant paddle around from the lower portion of the screen using the arrow keys while trying to smack a ball into a bunch of multi-colored bricks in order to clear the entire area and move on to the next one. Simple enough, right? Well, that’s because it is. This version of Brickout is pretty much standard to the norm and there really isn’t anything noteworthy that changes the formula up a little bit, like introducing power-up’s or even introducing more deadly obstacles to hit or avoid. Nah, this is basically your standard Brickout at the heart of it, and that’s what it is.

While the controls are rather simple enough, I found that when I first played the game using the GameJolt sever that the controls were pretty damn retched for this and would barely respond to any of my actions at all. I tried restarting the game again by refreshing the page and kept on trying to play it but still to no luck. Luckily I played the game from the alternate link and was pretty good to go and was quite happy to see that all of the controls worked just fine. Hell, you can even pause the game mid-action by using the enter key at any time, so that was quite helpful! Unfortunately, though, there were a couple of instances where I would try to move the paddle and my paddle would just get randomly stuck and wouldn’t move at all until I died and then I was able to control it again. I’m not sure exactly why that happens, but it did happen to me on a few occasions. Also, having the option to use a mouse to move the paddle instead of using the arrow keys, along with using the space key instead of using enter for pausing the game would have been really nice to have.

Also, how you control the direction of the ball’s movement in this game is really weird and especially risky to do. Basically, whenever you hit the ball, no matter if you’re a bit off center or not, the ball always travels in a 45 degree angle to where it’s ultimately going. In order to hit the ball differently or keep hitting it on the same side as before, you basically need to hit the verrrrrry edge of the paddle in order for it to change in any sort of momentum at all. It feels very strange that the directional movement is like this and it almost feels sort of stiff to use. Luckily, though, the paddle speed and movement for it is overall just right and very responsive, so I don’t have much of a problem with that besides the minor random freezing glitch mentioned earlier. Also, whenever you happen to lose a life or start a brand new stage after clearing, you can manipulate the ball a little bit with your starting positioning, so there’s that.

Speaking of speed, the ball speed does increase the longer that you play on, just like in the regular game, so things do get a bit hectic as time goes by. This game also rewards you with an extra life every time that you complete a stage, so there’s a bit of mercy handed out in regards to the game’s overall challenge. And speaking of challenge – this game can be pretty hard, man! Yeah, sure, it may look easy at first and plays a bit laid-back, but after a while you’ll start losing a bit of your concentration, you’ll start making mistakes and losing a lot more balls, and then you see the untimely game over screen after a little while in. This game requires you to focus quite a lot, especially in some stages where some of the panels are really low to the screen - which brings me to my next issue:

This game can definitely get a bit boring after playing it for a while. Because of its minimalistic design and mechanics, not to mention in its graphical and sound department, this game’s appeal will definitely shrug off some people after around ten minutes or so of playing. The only thing that kept me kind of going was to see how far I could get in the end, which I only got to around Level 17 on my third playthrough before I finally just gave up playing it for good. You basically just stare at an empty black background with the most minimalistic of sounds and features while playing the whole game through. If this game had a lot more to offer in the range of powerup’s and different obstacles and provide more of a sense of atmosphere to it, then this game would be pretty fun. Hell, I remember one version of Brickout where it had keys that you had to collect and you had to change your ball into a different color in order to hit certain blocks. If this game was anything even close to that, then this would be pretty damn sweet.

The Soundtrack


That’s right, get in there, you…b*tard.


From what I already mentioned before, this game uses barely any sound effects at all and has about a grand total of about three songs in it. Yes, it is pretty underwhelming to listen to, but since this game is trying to emulate that of a classic NES game I think the overall sound and music direction fits for the type of game here. It may not be entirely super-stellar or provide much of an impact on the ears, but it does work and fits the theme just fine. Although a part of me wishes that there would be some sort of background music playing in the back during the stages with the ability to turn the music off in an options menu, I can see why Ratty524 decided to just go with this approach instead and keep things pretty simple... Although I am a bit curious to find out where the music for this game actually comes from, actually. If Ratty524 did, indeed, make it himself then I’m a bit impressed!

The Aesthetics


COME ONNNNN, JUST HIT IT!!!


I actually really like the overall presentation for this game despite its simplicity. It may be because I grew up with an NES and I’m used to this sort of spectacle on-screen, but the graphics here remind me of that of Tetris game with a little bit of Super Mario Bros. thrown in, in regards to the side blocks and its overall text. The game looks nice for a Breakout clone, and I really don’t have much of an issue with how the game overall looks. I guess I kind of would have wished that the text and the overall objects on-screen would be a bit zoomed out more to see more of the screen and give me a bit of a better sense at judging my focus, but this game does looks quite nice for a retro game. Also, props for the sweet looking title logo. I actually really like it!

The End Result


F**k!


Overall though, for Ratty524’s first attempt into the wonderful foray of Stencyl and trying to make a decent Breakout clone with it - I think he did an overall all right job here. Yeah, sure, the game doesn’t have a lot of the later mechanics implemented with the later Breakout titles, the minimalistic music and art design might turn a lot of people off, as you’re basically just staring into an empty void with no music playing at all while you’re playing, and that can get quite boring after a while, and the game’s overall ball control feels quite wonky and doesn’t give you a good enough sense of control with it. If some of these issues were weeded out and improved upon then this game would be kind of fun to crack open once in a while and play. But from where it stands right now, Breaking Out is pretty much a minimalistic Breakout clone of an author’s first attempt at trying to make a decent thing out of it. I’d say for him that this is defiantly more of a moral victory then a subsequent one.

OVERALL GRADE:
3 / 5 - C ~ Just Makes The Cut.

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Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
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author=Addit
So let’s go see if Ratty524 manages to do a fine enough job that this game can pass off as a successful Chinese knockoff of it or if it’s better left burying it with the rest of the unsold copies of E.T. in the dump… Let’s go find out!

Your reviews kill me, man. xD

Thanks for your feedback! I'm not sure what causes the freezing issues as the game tends to play fine on my end. It could possibly be a browser issue where focus is lost on the game, but I could be wrong.

And yes, the music was composed by me, with sound effects generated through Chiptone. It's definitely not my expertise. xD
It might be my browser, actually, I’ve been using Internet Explorer mainly as of late because I’ve had some problems in the past with using Google Chrome or Firefox to play things like videos or anything in Flash. Lately I’ve had a few issues with IE lately, so it could be that, who knows.

And I think you did a decent job composing the music for this. I mean, hey, I know it’s only two songs and they only have a grand total of five to ten second playback – but you did good job, regardless; you should feel proud!

And you’re welcome for the review there, bud - but I just realized something: Out of all the games that I’ve reviewed on here thus far, I’ve reviewed more games from you than any other user on here, three solely that you made and five that you were part of making. I find that actually really interesting! I guess the type of stuff that you like to make I’m more attracted to playing than anything else.
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