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River Raid - The Atari Times

River Raid

Touring the River of No Return
by Ryan Genno

February 8, 2006
Another popular Activision legend on the Atari 2600 also comes to the Atari 5200 as well. Was this intense shooter improved for the upgraded system or is it another lack luster Activision translation?

In this overhead shooter you must pilot an jet fighter to push back a terrorist attack. It's your mission to blast away anything that gets in the way like enemy boats, planes, helicopters, and even bridges while you try to survive a strike down a long river bank.

Not only to you need to watch out for terrorists but you also have to be careful of your fuel supply as well. Just like Sega's classic Zaxxon game shattered through out the game are fuel tanks needed to continue on. It's up to you to balance both speed and precision to survive the narrow canyon passage ways. Usually the loose 5200 controllers are a pain in the neck for some 5200 shooters like Gorf and Galaxian this shooter still plays very well and Activision did a great job in that area.

Unfortunately this fun game only comes to the Atari 5200 with some very minor graphical enhancements compared to 2600 game. The river in River Raid is just a boring solid blue colour and all the enemies and fuel tanks are just as bland. There are a few touch ups on the mountains but that's about it. I would love to talk about the sound but other then a few jet or explosions there just isn't much River Raid as to offer.

Although the graphics and sound are very plain and could have been way better for the 5200 (c'mon I know the system can do more then this), the game still controls and plays very well. River Raid is an excellent arcade-like shooter with brains.

River Raid

(c) Activision

Here we go again!
Ah, the ragged edges of the river.
Dem balloons are deadly!
River Raid
System: 5200
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 60%
Sound & Music Score: 50%
Gameplay Score: 80%
Control Score: 60%

Final Score: 65%

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