As a big fan of the arcade version (even today), I found this one a bit underwhelming. The Colecovision version was easily better, but lacked the smooth scrolling that this one at least did better. The biggest mark against, however, was that unlike other arcade translations on my Atari, I rarely played it. Not because it was terrible, but rather, because it was the very definition of mediocre.
Considering this was done by the same person that did a great job with Bruce Lee and Conan, Zaxxon falls short from its arcade version. Then again, I never found the arcade game particularly entertaining to begin with. The diagonal shoot 'em up concept was a nifty concept, something that was used to tremendous effect on Synapse's Blue Max (a far superior game -- and original!).
I usually had trouble gauging the correct distance, perspective and attitude when flying through the obstacles. And engaging enemy fighters were equally a bit too challenging for my tastes; I got destroyed more than I was hitting the targets often to the point where I rarely got to face the robot at round's end.
yeah this version sucks, not even the 32k 5200-version does any better, it's like they only added a title screen. I don't even keep atari zaxxon or super zaxxon in my collection, if i did it would be to show how bad they were.
the arcade game was awesome, i didn't play much tho because i think i was hung up on any game with a giant flight stick controller instead of a tiny knob. i couldn't bring myself to grab something so large and curvy in public. i recall Gorf the same way.
Have a look at the 16k cartridge game "Matterhorn", level 2 tries copying zaxxon's scrolling and can be good fun.
I wonder if delusion is some kind of requirement when you are a die-hard Atarist.
How can anyone think this amateurish, no-title-screen, graphically lackluster game with awful sound and bad playability - plus completely lacking graphics and enemies, be somehow a 'good port'?
Have they ever played computer or video games before? Is this what they think this game should look, play and sound like?
Just compare this to the C64-version (I did it with the same TV, played this and C64 version, just flicking the SCART mixer switch - using real Atari 800 XL and Commodore 64 C), and you see what the game COULD have been like.
Zaxxon seems to look better on the Atari, though. The C64 version was just a couple of expanded sprites with no finesse whatsoever.
But other than that.. this is pretty atrocious by compariosn.
barry southon - 08/04/2015
In its day this was a good game. I spent many an hour playing this game.
Punkydudester - 21/12/2014
This game is a very good shooter with good graphics. A Classic. Everyone remembers Zaxxon from this era.
Absolute diagree with previous comment. This is a fine translation to the 8 bit with smooth scrolling and good use of color.
This was one of the most disappointing arcade ports to the Atari 8-bit. The 16K version especially was missing most of the features that make the game fun. Even with chunky scrolling, the Colecovision version was far superior.