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Megamania - The Atari Times


Hamburgers, tires and bow ties, oh my!
by Brendan Onfrichuk

November 30, 2006
Megamania seems to get so much praise from fans so you can understand how excited I was when I purchased it. Activision is known for two different types of 2600 games: amazing originals or something done by Atari but done better by Activision like Enduro is to Pole Position or what Starmaster is to Star Raiders. Most people would argue that Megamania would fall into the second category because it plays like Space Invaders but it has so much more going for it. But just because it has more going for it doesn't make it better.


You move a ship (that seems to have a Klingon influence) at the bottom of the screen. From the top of the screen comes waves of ordinary household objects like hamburgers or bow ties. The game doesn't really make it clear as to how these items are attacking you but the back of the box seems to hint that you are hallucinating. These objects have a very erratic course and you never know when they are going to swing and crash into you. You can choose between the default guided missiles or straight ones but it is much easier to play with the guided ones. This means that your missiles will always be lined up with your ship, even if you are moving. You have a limited amount of energy to defeat a wave of attackers. This energy acts mostly like a timer for each round. This gameplay seems a little generic and doesn't really hold my attention much.


The graphics are a little under done in Megamania. The everyday objects you are fighting are impossible to identify without a manual, the choice of colors the developer used are very poor (ex. pink hamburgers). Your ship also doesn't show much detail as it is one color. There isn't even a star effect in the background which is very disappointing. The graphics are mediocre and could have used more work.


You can hear your ship power up and down in between waves and that works well. The sound for firing is also nice but there is no music to speak of and the games audio comes off as being a bit bland. The enemy objects also don't make any noise unlike Space Invaders that make noise with every step.


The control works fine but could have been better tuned. You fire with the button and maneuver with the stick. The only problem is that your ship moves to slow and can barely keep up with the enemy objects. This wouldn't be a problem if the UFOs didn't move so spastically across the screen. I think that a game like this may have been done better with the paddles to control the ship. Or the programmer could have tweaked it so your ship moves faster than the objects.


It isn't that Megamania is a bad game its just that it doesn't push new leaps or bounds. The game comes off as mediocre in the end and doesn't seem so exceptional. You could do worse than a game like Megamania, but you could also do better. Buyer beware, while there may be many fans claiming that Megamaniais an amazing game I would have to disagree because I enjoy playing the much more primitive Space Invaders over this game any day. I have seen Activision do a lot better than this.


(c) Activision

If it's weird you want...
Marching inchworms?
Erm... Belt buckles?
System: 2600
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 60%
Sound & Music Score: 75%
Gameplay Score: 70%
Control Score: 70%

Final Score: 70%

Reader Comments for Megamania

I love this one by Atarifever on 2006-12-02 11:52:51
I always loved this one as a kid, and, with no manual and no internet, I didn't even know what I was supposed to be fighting. I just thought it was different waves of enemy ships. Something about the attack patterns and the energy bar always impressed me.
This one gets my vote. by eternaluxe on 2007-01-19 22:29:53
I have not played this game in 15 years. Now, first child on the way, I have become nostalgic. Got Stella, (Both Lin and Win) and this was one of the first games I sought out. The reviewer is correct in stating that the graphics are sub par (for an Activision game...) but the game play is absolute tops. I actually find it a plus that the 'guided' missiles track horizontally with the ship. It truly does make the game more challenging when the enemies change lateral direction. I would by a remake of this game for my cell phone in a second.
Got it when first released by Rik on 2007-02-19 22:07:09
This really was an exciting game when first released, and the number of different objects was quite revolutionary for a 2600 game, which up to that time were rather monotonous graphics-wise.
Megamania by Gloria on 2008-04-20 16:49:15
I remember when I played this game. This game was awesome, and I remember it like it was yesterday.
megamania fo the wii by beth on 2009-01-06 13:09:09
is this available for the wii or how soon?
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