Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Asteroids

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chris-littlechild - April 25, 2013

Last week, we brought you the ancient wonderment of Space Invaders. Here, then, is its equally decrepit brother-in-arcade-arms, Asteroids; another chunky enough to presumably withstand a direct hit from a ballistic missile fatass cabinet release from the Seventies. Because, lest we forget, this craptacular era of ill-advised hairstyles/hideously unfashionable ‘fashion' worthy of capital punishment was also the much-ballyhooed golden age of arcade games.

Who doesn't harbor fond nostalgia-tingles in the underpants region at the very thought of Asteroids? Nobody we know, that's for damn sure. It was also born into a simpler, more Richard Nixon-flavored time, before developers got their shit together with regards to, y'know, even supplying a half-assed attempt at a narrative.

In today's Gamingsphere, you can embark on a complex, Metal Gear Solid-standard cinematic shitstorm of a narrative. Back in 1979, though, when a ‘development studio' consisted of a single dude with an old typewriter scratching his wang on the couch, this was not the case. In an exclusive interview, Asteroids' creator said of the premise, ‘you shoot many, many Asteroids right in their space stone-y faces. Why? Because screw you, that's why." (No he didn't.) What more did we need to know? Nothing, that's what.

The simplistic shenanigans of the premise are reflected in the controls. You have rotate-y button/haul ass forward-y button and shoot lazer-y button. Aside from an asscheek-clenching will this propel my face-first into a fiery death? crapshoot of a hyperspace maneuver, this is all that's necessary to indulge in some deft tiny ugly-ass triangular spacecraft piloting.

A later Atari release bestowed ACTUAL COLORS upon the game. A red asteroid? A turd-hued one? How much excitement is too much? We must be PERILOUSLY close here.

One of The Simpsons' frequent flashback segments sees Homer and Marge on a ‘romantic date,' wherein Marge shoveled nachos into the wacky funster's face so as to keep both his hands free for Asteroids. It must be difficult for today's youth, with their skateboards, backwards baseball caps and gramophone records by Engelbert Humperdinck, to see how this archaic ballache could ever have been that compulsive, but it certainly was. Highscore contests ended many friendships and saw the weight problems of innumerable mothers soundly mocked (it's not glandular, incidentally, she's just a heifer), and still do among retroheads/old bastards worldwide.

Alongside Space Invaders, Pac-Man and their ilk, this relic of a bygone age (they're grandmas with tits sagging down to the floor like a Neaderthal's knuckles in video game years, after all) is the very definition of classic. Oh yes it is. Take a look at it in blur-o-vision action right here, you'll shit:

Ah, those incessant bleeps are like being massaged in the ear canal by a cavorting troupe of nostalgic midgets (a la the Borrowers).

Header image source: grebz.

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