Hooray! A conversion that Ocean didn't completely fuck up, Although technically it was Imagine, but they were pretty much the same thing by this time!
Arkanoid is a conversion of Taito's 1987 Breakout Clone. It's basically Breakout with power-ups, enemies, and end of game boss, and a rather stupid clichéd story to boot. The Vaus Scrambled from the mothership Arkanoid, before it was destroyed, dimension wibble! Blah! Blah! Blah!
I actually prefer playing the Speccy version of Arkanoid over the arcade version. The default controls are awful and keys are not re-definable, fortunately you can use Sinclair, or a Kempston if you have one plugged in. Or at least you can if you're playing on a real Speccy anyway, with emulation there's several control solutions available which negate programmers, or developers love of awful key layouts.
This games choice is quite awful though V, and B for left and right ergh! I can understand perhaps the need or want for a more central point on the keyboard, given the nature of the game, but it just made me uncomfortable. I remember how much my left hand hurt playing this back in the day on a plastic keyed 48k+.
Anyway the game....Even though there appears to be a total lack of any kind of options screen the game is none the less presented quite nicely, with stills of the intro minus the Vaus actually Scrambling from the Arkanoid, and the Arkanoid actually being destroyed.
Graphics are quite simple, and colourful, enemies look quite good, and are animated quite well.
The in-game sounds are quite minimal but there's a nice variety of beeps, and pips, and buzzes, that fit the action quite nicely. The Paddle...Sorry Vaus moves at a fair pace, and thankfully never feels too slow to catch up with the ball once it starts to blur the edges of time with it's speed. It does take a little bit of getting used to as the game does try to speed the paddle or slow the paddle depending on the balls position.
I always got a little annoyed with how easily the ball can drop through the sides of the Vaus when it looks like you blatantly hit it though. After all these years though I've noticed the arcade kind of has the same problem, so I can't really fault the Speccy version for that, if anything as annoying as it is maybe it should be praised for accuracy?....But probably not!
As per usual I don't normally review direct Arcade Conversions, but as I mentioned above I think I actually enjoy the Speccy version more. That's a good enough reason for me to do so.
It's a simple game, but it's fun, and addictive.