The Many Faces of.......Zaxxon!
Zaxxon was a game that was not only huge in the arcades,
but huge on the home consoles making an appearance on four different systems.
Although Zaxxon was a trademark of Sega, (yes, Sega was around before the NES
era) Coleco produced it for the Atari 2600,
Colecovision, and Intellivision. Later on,
just minutes before the famous crash in fact, Sega released its own version of
its smash coin-op for the Atari 5200. The game itself has a space-age theme.
You're a spaceship penetrating into enemy territory dodging or shooting enemy
planes, missiles, and other typical outer-space nasties. But what this game has
that others of its genre didn't at the time is a unique three-dimensional point
of view. Back in the day, whenever I heard or encountered the word "Zaxxon", I
always thought , "That weird 3-D game." It was definitely a cool concept for its
Disqualified: Atari 2600
You can't expect the Atari 2600 version to be faithful to
the coin-op. Instead, this version has a head-on point of view. If you had never
layed Zaxxon before in the arcades or on another system, you probably wouldn't
think this game is *that* bad. On the other hand, if you had played it before
somewhere else, you *would* think it's that bad. It does offer some challenge
though. If you get over the fact that there are only three nasties, you could
probably play this game for a little while. The boss is tough!
Bronze Medal: Intellivision
This version is hardly a step up from the Atari 2600
version. The view is the same straight-on crap found in the 2600 version. This
is a bit more fun and fast-paced though. More nasties and obstacles. However,
this is yet another game that has been diagnosed with
Intellivisioncontrollerbuttonsyndrome, so be sure to ask your thumbs for
permission before play :)
Silver Medal: Colecovision
My first Zaxxon experience was with this version. My
neighbor had a Colecovision and I'll never forget how fascinated I was with this
game. The graphics and sound were just too real, and the awkward 3D perspective
was too cool! Unfortunately, I was only like 6 years old and sucked so bad I was
lucky if I made it past the first wall. This version is a HUGE step up from the
prior two. Most of the stuff from the coin-op is there and play is great and
customizable with the difficulty options. There really is nothing wrong with
Gold Medal: Atari 5200
Sega did a fabulous job on this game for the 5200. Though
the Colecovision port is very good, this version is simply flawless. The
graphics and sound seem so advanced that it could pass for an 8-bit NES game.
Play is unbelievably smooth, and the analog controllers compliment the game
well. Unfortunately, this game was released just before the video game crash of
1984 and therefore this game is extremely hard to find as are several other
great Atari 5200 games. However, if you're more interested in playing than
collecting this is one ER that no one should have reservations shelling out
extra cash for.
(Doug Saxon is an engineering student at the University of Cincinnati. He's
mainly into 2600, 5200, Colecovision, and Intellivision. He's also a proud owner
of a mint Chase the Chuckwagon cartridge which set him back $1. He can be
reached via email at email@example.com.
Doug is also looking to complete the Atari 5200 set and needs these games.
Bounty Bob, K-Razy Shootout, Quest for Quintana Roo, Star Wars:ROTJ-DSB, and
Zenji. If you have any for sale or trade give him an e-mail.")