Arkanoid: Eternal Battle (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

Arkanoid is a classic arcade game that came out in the mid 80s by Taito, makers of Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble.  It’s a Breakout clone, meaning you move a paddle on the bottom of the screen as you bounce a ball to break blocks at the top.  Except Arkanoid features improved graphics, power-ups, and enemies, so it’s really a better game.  Arkanoid is a special game to me for many reasons.  It was a mainstay arcade machine at the local Pizza Inn when I was a kid, and it was one of the few arcade games I could get my dad to play.  Because of that, Arkanoid was also one of the first games I got for my NES (I also thought the included paddle controller was cool).  Over the years I’ve enjoyed other Arkanoid games, like Arkanoid: Tournament Edition and Revenge of Doh in arcades, Doh it Again on SNES, and Arkanoid R.  I also really liked Arkanoid DS because the music in it is freaking awesome.  So I was excited to review Arkanoid: Eternal Battle, the newest in the series.  It’s available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

I don’t think I have to explain the gameplay too much, as it’s pretty straightforward.  You move a paddle on the bottom of the screen to bounce a ball and break blocks.  When all the blocks are cleared, you move to the next level.  Power-ups will fall from the blocks and you’ll want to collect them.  Some give you multiple balls on the screen, some slow down your ball or make it bigger, one expands your paddle, and there’s the all important Laser which lets you shoot blocks!  Enemies rove around the screen, but they’re more of an annoyance as they just mess with your ball’s trajectory.  If you miss a ball you’ll lose a life, and if you lose them all it’s Game Over.

There are four main modes of play.  Eternal Battle is the main one, and it’s like a Battle Royale with dozens of other players online.  Unfortunately I don’t have a PlayStation Plus account so I couldn’t do this one.  Guess I should’ve reviewed it on Switch.  Whoops, my bad.  I guess I can make a mistake every once in a while.  But I bet you can imagine what a Arkanoid Battle Royale game would be like.  You can also compete locally with two to four players at the same time in Versus Mode.  Neo is a new single player mode with different stages and such.  And last is Retro where you can play the original arcade game that started it all.  You view Retro mode like it’s in a curved CRT screen inside a cabinet and there are arcade sound effects all around you.  Although I swear that first stage in Retro mode is NOT the first stage in the original Arkanoid.

Unfortunately I had a few problems with this one.  In Neo Mode, you can continue as often as you like, but if you stop continuing and come back later, you have to start all the way at the beginning again.  It would’ve been nice to let you start at stages you’ve completed.  Also the game just doesn’t have that Arkanoid ‘feel’ to it.  The sound effects and graphics are all different, and I hate that blurred effect they give the visuals.  It messed up my eyes.  It’s still a serviceable block breaker game, but you can really tell Taito didn’t make it themselves.  It’s not one of my favorite Arkanoid games and I was a bit disappointed with it.

Kid Factor:

Arkanoid: Eternal Battle is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  You break blocks with a ball and your paddle explodes when you miss, and that’s about as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for the menu texts, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may find it too difficult, though.

One Response to “Arkanoid: Eternal Battle (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)”

  1. I should check this out. I do love Breakout.

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