Title Arkanoid 2 - Revenge of Doh (Second Review) Publisher Imagine (1988) Game Type Sport Players 1 - 2 (sequentially) HD Installable HD-patch: from Bert Jahn's WHDLoad page Compatability orig - OCS-only; rerelease - no caches (WHDLoad-patch - all) Submission Dennis Smith Profiled Reviewer Review Arkanoid was something of a revolution in the arcades - it was that old chestnut bat and ball game, Breakthru, given a fresh injection of gameplay by amazing power-ups. This sequel was better in almost every respect, only let down by a very silly name, "Revenge of Doh". So you probably know exactly what to expect in this pretty faithful arcade conversion - brick-busting fun with the standard extras to collect when they fall from the bricks - like an expanded bat, sticky bat, laser beams, multiball bonuses, power ball that passes through bricks. It's all too easy to forget that it was Arkanoid that made these standard in the first place, and it's not been much improved on in the last decade or more. Other more innovative power-ups are the three-way splitter - while it lasts there will always be three balls in play (should you lose one or two, the third will split to provide more), the twin bat and the ghostly trail-bat. And there are further novelties... Excepting the first level, you always have a choice between two exits to two possible next levels; as well as the bricks that need a number of hits to be destroyed and impervious bricks, there are now time-delay bricks which reappear a few seconds after being destroyed and there are moving bricks which start bouncing left and right after being hit. At the end of a series of levels, there are first a half-way end-level boss, then a final end-of game boss (Doh himself?) to kill - great big things in the middle of the screen that spit out first monsters, then deadly orbs. Killing these fellas with repeated impacts from your ball is a real challenge. As in Arkanoid, to make things difficult, there are hatches at the top of the screen from which monsters appear; most can be destroyed by your ball or your bat when they touch it, but they like to hang around the bottom of the screen, and collisions send the ball flying off in a random direction, often catching you out. And of course, as time progresses, the ball gets increasingly fast, and those slow-down power ups are frustratingly few. Revenge of Doh is hard. Probably a reflection of the original arcade machine, the ball isn't slow, and speeds up quite quickly, the monsters are quick to place themselves just above your bat, and all those impervious bricks and time-delay bricks make for some pretty nasty levels. In your favour, the bat responds nicely to the mouse control and it's not too hard to get a range of different deflection angles for the ball. The graphics are unspectacular, even on the end-bosses, but do the job perfectly well. Likewise the sound effects are fine, the music not worth mentioning. (I do miss Martin Galway's loading music from the c64 version!) Nowadays, it's just another, er, Arkanoid clone. The definitive one, in fact. If you like the genre, it's one of the best ones - but also one of the most difficult.