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Firefox - The Atari Times


Star Wars Lite
by Darryl Brundage

December 14, 2005
I guess Firefox is supposed to be a classic, but I dunno, more was done with this concept, and better the first time around.

The only laserdisc game to come out by Atari, this was based on the movie about an experimental fighter plane that Clint Eastwood must steal from the Russians and bring it home to the U.S.A. (showing how dated the material is, due to Russia not exactly being known nowadays as to being a country that develops hi-tech weaponry, especially one that beat out Atari in having a TRUE mindlink controller...heh heh). Eastwood had to go through the movie convincing us he was right for the job, even without a catch phrase ("are you feeling lucky, Russians?") and change identities as often as the Tramiels did Atari mission statements ("we're NOT a video game company [Nintendo NES comes out]...oh yeah, I guess we are", blah blah).

Firefox plays kind of like the first wave of Atari's Star Wars game, where you must shoot T.I.E. Fighters and their incoming fireballs. Here you get to pound away on the Firefox and it's incoming missiles and all, yet each time you blow up the blasted jet, it comes back. (I thought this was a prototype; why does it keep on reappearing, like the eaten ghosts of Pac-Man?) A couple of new elements are thrown in, like a radar that pops up a lot, and if you don't shoot it quick enough, you've been detected, and this makes you more vulnerable to the already difficult nature of the game as far as weapons' locks goes. Feh...

Progress further into the game, and two Firefoxes appear onscreen at once, and plus you must deal with clouds (a common video game enemy, like on 2600 Combat!) obscuring your visibility and all. The majority of the game's graphics involves actual footage from the movie, shots of the sky/the cursed clouds, the ice scene and all, but the Firefox, radar beacon, firepower, etc. are raster scan, which doesn't really work on top of the beautiful, *real* scenery.

This is somewhat fun, but most players in general aren't going to last very long, and it's not as fun as Star Wars. It has the same, great-responding flight yoke controller that Star Wars did, and even a headphones port (think that was the only time I ever saw that on an arcade game, probably because juvenile delinquent idiots would gum it up by cramming crap into the port), but that, along with the laserdisc scenery, didn't really save the game. There also aren't a whole lot of sounds though, either, for some reason, but they're not bad.

Oh well, it kept Eastwood's career going though, it was a good movie.


(c) Atari

Ok, I admit it. These aren't my screencaps. Hey, you can't get them from an emulator you know.
Eat my jetwash punks!
Combat 1983! Oops!
System: Arcade
Publisher: Atari
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 95%
Sound & Music Score: 60%
Gameplay Score: 70%
Control Score: 100%

Final Score: 75%

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