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5.0 Perfect
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Funkmaster V Reviews


7800 Rank: Unranked

Genre: Maze Shooter

Awards: None
Frenzy is a Better Game Than Bezerk... But, Man Its Goofy Looking Pros: Addictive/ Smooth Gameplay/ Amazing Multiplayer
Cons: Some Dark Colored Lazer Blasts are Nearly Invisible on Some TVs
Berzerk Looks Cooler Than Frenzy, But Looks Ain't Everythang, Baby
Overview: Frenzy and Berzerk are killer games. Literally! Urban legend has it where someone died of a heart attack playing the arcade version of Berzerk back in the early 80's. I can see why. This seminal maze shooter is addictive, easy to play, tough to master, and relentless. Robots hate humans in this game, and if it did actually do someone in, the machine probably snickered silently to itself. I'm telling you, the computer brainz inside Frenzy hates our little pink azzes.
I keep calling programmer Bob Decrescenzo (Pac Man Plus) a lot of nice things in these reviews, and it won't stop today. On their on, Frenzy and Bezerk are classics. But in the 7800 package, he combines theses two very good titles (Frenzy AND Berzerk), adds everything from the interactive control rooms to the robot speech, and includes a bevy of multiplayer options that will make it hard for a maze shooting fan to say no too.

Graphics: Frenzy may be a freaking great game, but she ain't no looker. Oddly enough, Berzerk, released in 1980, looks much cooler than the sequel, 1982's Frenzy. Berzerk features electric blue walls and intimidating looking robots, whereas Frenzy features some Jawa scavenged, dorky ass looking robots, and its Pepto Bismol pink walls are gaudy enough to make Liberache nauseated. The player's avatar is a primitive looking sprite, and it actually looks like the model for the men's restroom sign. Interestingly, he features no neck, so his head kind just floats above his body. Fun trick, kids! Lazers can actually shoot through the neck hole and he won't be electrified. That's a cool party gag. The ladies love it. An issue that I had on one of my TVs is that the red bullets were almost invisible. No amount of tint/ brightness fiddling remedied the problem. But, other TVs I stole handled that shade of red better than my main gaming set. I pray that you have one of the lucky ones.

Sound: These robots talk some trash, ya'll. They should be android street ball players. They call you a chicken, give each other instructions, and pretty much tear you down the whole game. Berzerk has more robot slack jaw jive, but Frenzy isn't shy, either. A nice bonus is all of this robot love is included in the game without an Atarivox module. Pretty sweet. The only facet of the audio that I don't like is the janky little musical interlude when the game first kicks on. But it's identical to the arcade's little ditty, so I can't knock off points for that.

Gameplay: Asteroids, Centipede, Pac Man. The best games are sometimes the most simple, and anyone with a working frontal lobe and the knowledge that robots deep down hate us will get the mission at hand when they see Frenzy for the first time. Included are two games: Berzerk and its sequel, but both are essentially the same. Berzerk was more popular and a tad bit easier, but Frenzy had its fair share of bells and whistles. In both games, you are plopped into a randomly generated maze (millions of possibilities), your position is not predetermined, and the amount and whereabouts of your enemy bots are random too. No game is ever the same. Your mission? Get out of the room alive. You may want to destroy all of the robots in the room for the bonus, or you may just want to escape, but whatever you decide, the bouncing smiley face boss "The Evil Otto" will find you if you dilly-dally. In Berzerk, The Evil Otto is indestructible. In Frenzy, you can take it out with three shots... but it will be back, faster and more irritated than before. Other key differences exist between the games. Berzerk features electrified walls... which those always suck. Frenzy features two other types of walls... indestructible walls, which ricochet bullets off of them, and destructible walls, where you can shoot the robots through the bullet holes... kinda like the shield in Space Invaders. If the randomized layouts put you in a tight spot, you can even blast through the walls like an action hero to make it to the escape doors easier.

Interpretation: Besides a few graphical differences, this game is spot on. In fact, and the 7800 was capable of this on occasion, this game is probably preferred to the arcade versions because of the inclusion of the extra swanky multi player modes. If you want to be impressed, Bob called upon original Frenzy developer Alan McNeil for programming assistance, and it looks like he came through like a champ.

Value: Frenzy features four different robot control rooms, just like its arcade daddy. So, every four waves, you can deal with a different interactive gameplay element. The order of the rooms are: Big Otto, Power Plant, Central Computer, and Robot Factory. You can really piss off the Big Otto by killing his kid brother "The Evil Otto", freeze the robots by blowing up the power plant, make the droids go crazy-go nuts by frying the Central Computer, and in the Robot Factory, you can freeze the production of robots by destroying it. This is all great, but I'm saving the best for last. The multi-player portion of this game is king. I can even get the people in my life to play this one with me with enough pleading and guilt trips. Like Centipede and Asteroids, there are alternating turns, simultaneous co-op and simultaneous competitive modes. The fun, excitement, mistakes, lack of communication, and name calling during Frenzy can bleed into mild wrestling matches and shunning... so please play responsibly.

Overall: After doing almost 100 of these reviews, I feel like I am too nice to homebrew games sometimes... but really man... most of these homebrews are great. This is another home run. Frenzy may not be a big sexy adventure like Bentley Bear's Crystal Quest or Rikki & Vikki, but dudes... it is the embodiment of what an Atari game is supposed to be: Easy to play, difficult to master. This game IS NOT easy. Sometimes it borders on cheap, and yes, that sucks. But the best thing I can say about Frenzy is that this game puts the hatred of robots in my heart, and helps it fester. Of all the Atari 7800 Homebrews that I have played, and baby I played them all... I played Frenzy the most... and its not even close. And if it rhymes, its true.

Other Reviews:
Video Game Critic: B+


Additional Info:
I would like to thank www.AtariAge.com for the use of screenshots in this review. This game can be purchased at www.AtariAge.com.