Review: Missile Command

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Well it’s great to see more classics hit Xbox Live Arcade, especially when said classics get a makeover. Missile Commad brings back fond memories of when arcades were still cool. Playing for the first time was frightening. How could I control 3 missle silos and stop all those incoming ICBM’s?

00231.jpgMissile Command has stood the test of time in arcades, emulators and now home consoles once again. With the Xbox Live Arcade game you get the old dog and a brand new HD ‘evolved’ version. The original Missile Commad is emulated so it looks and plays the same. This time however, it has achievements. Many of them require getting high scoring games or clearing a level using only a few missiles. I have no complaints except that the sound effects for the cities when they are counted at the end of the level are way off. Probably an issue with the emulator they are using that they didn’t care to fix.

The new Evolved version of the game is beautiful to look at. It has photo realistic desert backdrops and 3D rendered cities and tesla coils. Yeah you heard me right, tesla coils. You know longer command ABM’s. You have three tesla coils which fire lightening streaks into the air at the cross hairs. While this effect looks beautiful, it is by far the dumbest thing they could have done with the game. I wanted to see 3D rendered missile silos. The game is called Missile Command for a reason! They should rename Evolved to Tesla Command. What was Stainless Steel Games thinking when they made this decision? I’d like to know.

Everything else about the game is sweet. There are lots of achievements you can get, the levels are more forgiving than the old school game and scoring is much lower in the early stages this time around. Oh and they’ve done a wonderful thing by queuing your bonus cities. If you still have 6 cities by the time you get your first 10,000 points, your bonus city gets queued until you lose a city and then it’s replaced. In the original game, if you had 6 cities you wouldn’t even get a bonus at 10,000. Gameplay takes a little getting used to with the analog stick but after a few games you’ll have it down.

Xbox Live Arcade is living up to it’s hype. It’s delivering classics old and new on a constant basis and among them, Missle Command is a welcomed one. Aside from the change from missiles to tesla coils, the game is pretty awesome.

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