I love playing retro games, but sometimes those retro games simply do not translate to modern platforms. A very good example is the Super Breakout arcade game (originally designed in part by Ed Logg). Super Breakout is one of my favorite arcade games, and also one of the best arcade translations ever made for the Atari 2600.
The game took the concept of Breakout, but created multiple different games based on the concept. My personal favorite was Progressive Breakout, a version of the game that created new lines of block continuously and dropped them down the screen.
The key to any Breakout game, is precise control. However, the Game Room version of Super Breakout is a disaster on this front. You simply cannot control the game. Every press of the pad or analog stick moves the paddle about 1/2 the it’s length. This makes playing any type of Breakout nearly impossible. I attemped to play the game 10 times last night, and my record was 5 blocks hit. FIVE.
This is a real disappointment. There are very few games in Game Room right now, and to have a premiere coin-op title have such terrible controls is very disappointing. The controls were so bad, I decided to skip Megamania and Pitfall! for the 2600, as they both require precise control as well, and I refused to be burned again.
I have to say, I was initially excited about the Xbox Live Game Room, but now I’m having second thoughts. Far from being the retro panacea I hoped, it is simply falling short in many ways.