Monday, November 7, 2011

"What do you mean I can't get 100% in this game?"

Let me just come up and announce that for the past two months, I had a sort of brick-breaking fetish playing games of the classic "paddle and ball" genre, established by Atari, but re-invented and revolutionized by Taito. This revolution sparked the interest in many game developers, and I repeat many of them. All throughout the late 80's and early 90's, many developers, both well-known and obscure, released numerous clones for arcades and home computers, both as basic 16bit Windows applications and DOS programs, the later compatible with modern-day OS's thanks to DOSBox. These games vary in presentation, usually with how their hazards are handled, and the ball-meets-paddle physics incorporated, which is how the player can aim the ball. The worst is Aquanoid, which doesn't even allow you to steer the ball with the paddle, and by far the best is Ricochet, with extremely accurate ball aiming physics.

In all of these games, the main goal is simple. Destroy all the basic destructible blocks, go to the next level, and the process just repeats. Pick up powerups and be careful not to scoop up powerdowns, watch out for enemies that try to get in the way of your ball, or enemies which even try to fire projectiles which can stun or kill the player's paddle, or hinder the level in some form or way. Though many Breakout clones get things right, some of them don't.

To sum this up in a nutshell, a Breakout clone that takes on Arkanoid should have several things. Three or more lives to start the game, a good variety of powerups (with the basics: Catcher, Extender, Divider, Shooter, Slow, and 1up), fair, non-cheap gameplay, and fights with enemies and bosses.

This clone in particular is pretty unique in that it's currently the only Breakout clone I know of that crosses with the Role-Playing-Game genre. This particular clone is known as Alpha Bounce.

As said, it's a little fun RPG that takes on a never-used concept. In the far future, in an universe flooded with aliens and blocks, you're put into a prison term doing the best thing to break you out: Breakout. Just imagine how genius the guy in the story thought this was a "punishment" for prisoners. Anyways, you want to get the heck out of imprison and end your term with cleanup missions. Of course, since it's an RPG, you'll have to find, earn, and buy equipment to prepare for the harder levels and traps that await you via an endless universe of levels, though we mostly recognize only 2,400 levels, numbered by their X and Y coordinates. Enemies and powerups are present, though this doesn't really become common until you start moving away from [0][0], otherwise your origin point. Without the right equipment, you'll be good as dead in these later levels.

The equipment and other helpful objects you can acquire include different strengths to the ball, missiles to fire at blocks incase god forbid you are impatient, drones to dissemble blocks that will harm you in some way when hit, pieces of a map to Earth, engines and radars that allow for faster movement on the overworld, extra paddles to start each level with, and stars, which upon finding all seven of them, will allow you to modify existing levels. Though you can't really create your own ones from scratch, just re-arrange the blocks in a particular level. Yea kinda of a downgrade from World's Biggest Pac-Man, where you simplify made new levels which get attached to the main game, while here, every level is pre-made, though you can change them. The reason for this is to keep the initial level's overall difficulty, so that newcomers closer to the starting point don't have to face harder levels.

Now let me stop and say that Alpha Bounce is now considered "finished" and is no longer giving out updates to the game. I tried going into the forums and writing down some of the things that bugged me about Alpha Bounce, but primarily no one agreed with my suggestions to make the game "fair". Looking back, the challenge comes from the harvesting of minerals, or currency if you will, so you can spend them in shops for items you may need to survive the harder levels and therefore advance in the game. I can see now from my mistakes when suggesting features. Though there is a very, very slim chance of Alpha Bounce being updated somehow at this time, aside from the lack of a good no-limit level editor and browser (ala Time Fcuk and Gap Monsters on Newgrounds), I have three common scenarios about Alpha Bounce, one more severe than the others.

For the first part, let me draw your attention to this photo.
The above image shows a player's stat page with every possible item collected and every feat achieved, therefore resulting in a 100% completion file. The downside is, that by default, you are unable to obtain every possible item from the current version of Alpha Bounce. And this is due to a choice that you must make early in the game.

The (name not announced) galaxy is ran by two different opposing clans. The ESCorporation (or just ESCorp), and the FURI. The former is the clan that houses the prisoners and forces them to do the cleanup missions to end their imprisonment term, while the FURI is a rebel clan with mostly no restrictions, whose main goal is to thwart the plans of the ESCorp and rescue the prisoners they've abducted and forced to break blocks in space. As it's an RPG, you can only side with one of these clans, and once you make your choice, you cannot change it. Whatever clan you choose inflects the missions you can get, and therefore can also affect what item(s) you obtain.

Part of the game's format is deciding what of the two clans you'd like to be affiliated with, and depending on your overall choice, you will receive items that the other group doesn't give you, and since you cannot find those items in shops that the other clan gives out, you are forever forbidden from claiming all the available upgrades. From what I can tell, you're also forbidden to create a spare account that joins the team opposite of your main profile's choice, just incase you don't like your choice and want to go with the other side.

The first clan, the ESCorp, which you start as already a member, but can break away before doing 52 "cleanup missions", which after those, you become loyal to the clan and can earn the ESCorp-exclusive items, which include mines you plant on the bricks, a longer paddle, and the 4th and stronger missile type that can wipe out up to 25 bricks of any type. But on the other hand, the FURI, or the "rebel clan" as I like to call it, sacrifices all those, but instead gives you a stronger ball that can go through a few blocks at once, the ability to start with two balls instead of one, and gives you a bonus free play per day alongside the three, thus giving you four per day. Not much worth it since you can already gain quite a number of plays just by paying $7+ for 100 plays, or a slightly higher amount for much, much more plays. Yeah, clearly Motion-Twin knows how to make good offers unlike Zynga's Far... err. ...S**tVille, and that's one of the many good things that this title has to offer.

Aside from that, I have a lot of faith in this game and hope that the admins return to updating Alpha Bounce, because it's a great online game right now, and even with a few minor things to make note of, it's addicting, visually appealing, great controls (except for the fact that you can move the paddle off-screen), and has a great story. You may have to pay to play more in less time, but that's supporting the developers for working so hard to make a gigantic universe with thousands of levels.

If you want to join the best online Breakout/Arkanoid clone (aside from DHTML Arkanoid), you can get the link here. Be sure to input "Superjustin" into the sponsor's field, if it's there.


Whata said...

Hello again everyone, I'm alive and well and I amd here to show you all something. a cool smb hack thought to be lost forever but was found yesterday by me. Sorry but this will have nothing to do with breakout clones. Sorry that it's impossable to get 100% in that game you're playing, that sucks.

Anyways Justin, the hack I found was found on a file with about 50 hacks on it on a japannese website. The hack is called "Automatic" and it was one of the hacks you were looking for about 10 mounts ago. In case you didn't remember, here is the youtube video of it,

Unfortunely there is a catch which is not of my doing. they are all roms not IPSes, I could make an IPS but I will not be able to give it to you because of the one rules we have in my house (don't upload anything online ever) so I will be forced to give out the games directly from the site and in rom format, (no IPSes for the roms on the site).

One question, are you
able to delete comments on this blog?, I will need you to do that to my next post after I post the roms on here, please answer this question or else I can't give you it.

One last thing, how's the breakout clone you're making. did you program anything for it yet or is it still just the sprites you're planing to use.

From Whata.

Justin De Lucia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whata said...

Sorry but I am not alouled to email you because that is also not alouled in the rules (only give out your email address to someone if you know that person in real life well.) Please delete the message with your email in it, there is a lot of mentaly ill people on the internet who want to go use your email address to find out where you live and kill you there. (It's a sick, crulel world out there.)

In other words, IF YOU WANT THE ROMS, I WILL HAVE TO POST THEM ON THIS BLOG, (Sorry for that, but I had to put them in capital letters to show that I'm serious about this and I'll have do it in the next paragraph so I will able to post them.)


From Whata.

Justin De Lucia said...

Yes I can delete messages and the one containing the e-mail. I honestly know how you feel. .__.¡¡¡

Okay, send it away.

Whata said...

Because the message was gone, I'm going to assume you read the thing first then saved the info
someplace then deleted it. hope you did all that because I'm not typing it again, if so then well done.

there were two reasons why I posted it. The first reason was for you to rip the music from the hacks, the second one was for you to help me make something called "Whata and Super Justin's SMB hack pack."

It's a bit like that "plethora of Japanese SMB hacks" where you you first tried to find those games until I came along and found them. If you can't remember what I'm talking about then look below, and see what I'm talking about,
There will be more of "Whata and Super Justin's SMB hack pack" later, stay tuned.

From Whata.

Justin De Lucia said...

Yea, I know what you're saying. Can you just do the links?

Whata said...

Yes, I can do links but only on wikipedia. I don't know if wikipedia code works on blogspot, I hope it does but I'm not able to check. Did you enjoy the roms I gave you, if so did you rip the music from "Automatic" yet?. If not then have you found it? Remember the instuctions I gave you and you will find it.

I have some more SMB hacks for our hack pack but it will take some time for me to find them. If you have any good ones for the pack then tell me about them, ok.

From Whata.

Justin De Lucia said...

This is me. Since I'm commenting away from my home, I have to go as an anon.

Well there is a format link that does work on blogspot, but it involves using "< a >" HTML tags. It's complicated, so I suggest just posting the address on a blank line. I haven't seen any links you've posted aside from the one to the forum and the Youtube video.

And yes, I do like the ROM's you've given me so far. They all work fine, except for the ones with vertical scrolling stages. I would love if you could please post the link, so I can stop waiting.

Also, I feel sorry for you with your house internet laws.

Whata said...

Don't worry about the internet laws, they are there in my house to keep everyone safe on the internet but thank god I don't live in China where they have something called "The Great Firewall of China" where many websites are blocked including Youtube, for more info see,

The next post I will make is the rom site again.

From Whata.

Whata said...

Hello Justin, are you there, if so I have the link to the romhacking site with all the roms on it, in order to make sure it fits on one line so you are able to use it, I will be using using the link from tinyurl will redirect you to the rom hack site.

Please rembember to save the site the link redirects to into your favouites. Here it is.

Don't forget to delete this comment after doing every thing it says.

From Whata.