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Video (Real Player)
Demo Disk Video

Ballistic
NUON Game Review

Type: Puzzle
# of players: 1-2
Levels:
Samsung Pack-in

Puzzle Players Unite!

Ballistic is the exciting new action puzzle game everyone's talking about! It's simple to play and offers endless hours of fun. Your goal is to keep the balls from reaching the center gate. The objective of the game is to rotate the launcher and shoot the balls into the constantly growing string of balls. Matching 3-of-a-kind creates a "chain reaction" and makes them dissapear. Combine multiple chains for even more points!

Features:

  • 1 or 2 Players
  • Three Fun Game Modes:
    - Panic: Face a never-ending string of balls
    - Stage: Clear a stage, then move on to the next.
    - VS: Duke it out with another player on split-screen.
  • 3 Challenging levels of difficulty!
  • Addictive fun for the whole family!

Here we have the very first full-game release for NUON enhanced DVD players (a.k.a. DVD Interactive), Ballistic. From Mitchell Corporation and Infogrames comes a port of the addictive puzzle game featured on gaming-specific consoles such as the PlayStation. The game comes packed-in with the Samsung Extiva DVD-N2000 DVD player, and makes for a nice, addicting puzzler but is not without its flaws.

Ballistic puts you smack dab in the middle of a spiral of ever-oncoming multi-colored balls that you must shoot and match up three or more of the same color to eliminate, in order to prevent the chain of balls from reaching the middle of the spiral. You take on the roll of a turret gun stationed in the middle of the spiral and rotate around blasting balls maniacally to achieve the high score.

There are three variations of the game: Panic, Stage and Versus. Panic mode has you battling an endless string of balls that start off slow but gains speed as you make more and more matches and eliminate more balls. This mode gets hectic very fast, but is a ton of fun.

Stage mode sees you facing challenges one-at-a-time. Again, the difficulty increases as you progress, but rather than having just one endless string of balls, there is a finite number in each stage and when you eliminate the entire string, you move onto the next stage.

Vs. mode is where 2 players can battle it out for Ballistic supremacy, though the lack of NUON peripheral retailers makes this mode impossible to try out since I am unable to procure a second controller. However if this Vs. mode is half as addicting as Bust-A-Move Iíd consider it a winner.

Graphically, this game leaves much to be desired. The low-resolution graphics could definitely be a lot better, they donít appear to be optimized for the NUON processor at all. Menus and high score screens are pretty basic, and again could be higher in resolution and detail. The static screens should at least look as sharp as the opening Samsung logo on the player when you first turn it on. Also, the game tends to sloooow down to a near-crawl when the screen fills up with balls. This actually seems to help out the player, however, as it gives you a bit more time to get in a few extra shots and try to keep the chain from reaching the middle. It does seem a bit counteractive, though, since in Tetris the bricks drop faster when you reach the top of the screen, one would imagine this was the same type of effect they were trying to achieve with this game, as the music speeds up to give you that ďuh-ohĒ feeling. The slowdown just kills the whole panic effect.

Generic Reggae music bumps along as you play, though the quality varies. Some songs sound great while others seem a bit muddy. Certain songs donít loop very well either, which can be distracting. The same quality issues fall into place for the sound effects as well Ė some just seem out of place. The in-game sounds are generally good, but the menu select sound just irks me, doesnít seem right.

Despite its flaws, this is one addicting game. In the vein of some classic puzzler greats, this game just begs you to keep playing, and play you will. If youíve ever played Tetris until your eyes were bugging out, or battled your friends at the Neo-Geo coin op at Bust-A-Move endlessly, youíll get the same enjoyment out of Ballistic. Samsung picked a great game to pack-in with itís player, but there is definitely room for improvement on this one.

Graphics - 4

    Poor, low-resolution graphics and slowdown are no help in this department. Next time optimize the game for NUON please.

Sound/Music - 5

    Decent music, ok sound effects. More consistency in the quality would be nice, but not bad.

Control - 8

    Great for the most part, but the turret can seem just a hair sluggish at times.

Fun Factor - 9

    This is Ballisticís strong point. Fun, addicting puzzling at itís best. Youíll enjoy this one.

Overall (not an average) - 80%

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