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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 time.

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 this version.

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 saxondj@email.uc.edu. 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.")

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