What? Atari ALSO has an enormously brilliant Scramble version now?
This is so cool! After playing the 2015 Thomas Kite C64 Scramble version (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNRO7lno_DM), I was hoping that Atari could have something similar - and now it does!
This marvellous Atari version has great customization options, wonderful sprite animation, flashing bombs, the lovely color palette changes and really impactful sound effects.
The stars also twinkle, everything is more animated, and when the rockets explode, they show a little Atari-logo. Great attention to detail, I love stuff like this!
There are only a couple of -very- tiny nitpicks I can muster with all my power
- - and this is one of those games that REALLY doesn't deserve any negative criticism - -
one is the movement of the little UFOships (they could be a bit smaller, too) - they only move up and down instead of 'all over the place', and the other is the meteors that seem a bit easier to avoid (slower?) and their motion is not perfectly smooth maybe.
The lack of constantly droning background sound can be seen as a plus or minus, I would have liked it, but I don't find myself missing it when playing anwyay, as the game is so fun!
In any case, this has got to be the BEST eight-bit computer system Scramble conversion - together with Thomas Kite's excellent version.
I don't really care how 'accurate' these ports are (they are both very accurate and showcase the different personalities of these lovely eight-bit computer systems perfectly), I only care if they are fun.
And both these Scrambles are ASTONISHING FUN! You can't go wrong with either of them, but I recommend having both. I just played the Thomas Kite and this Paul Lay versions after another, completing both for the first time, and I am just loving both so much!
I am sorry that I can't make a definite judgment of which is better - they're both representations of such high-level excellence, and I enjoy them both tremendously, that whichever details make or break the deal for you (more animations, flashing bombs, more impactful explosions, more customization options vs. lack of background hum, different movements on some enemies and meteors), that's the version you can probably enjoy the most.
I just enjoy both pretty much equally, and I really want to stress just how epic and cosmically enchanting both of them are - this is exactly the game Atari needed, and having such magnificent port of this fun game is like a sudden christmas gift.
Thank you, Paul Lay, you really helped me love my Atari 800 XL more.
One small problem; if you have SIDE2 and SD2SIO (or is it SIO2SD? I always forget), the xex-file might crash instead of loading - you have to disconnect the SD2SIO and then it will load just fine.