Assault (1988 video game)
|Arcade system||Namco System 2|
|CPU||2x Motorola 68000 @ 12.288 MHz,
1x Motorola M6809 @ 3.072 MHz,
1x Hitachi HD63705 @ 2.048 MHz
|Sound||1x Yamaha YM2151 @ 3.57958 MHz,
1x C140 @ 21.39 kHz
|Display||Vertical orientation, raster, 224 x 288 resolution|
Assault (アサルト Asaruto?) is a multi-directional shooter arcade game, which was released by Namco in 1988 and licensed to Atari Games for US manufacture and distribution; it is the last Namco game that was licensed to them, even though their logo still appears on the Mejā Stadium scoreboard in World Stadium '89 Kaimakuban and '90. It runs upon Namco System 2 hardware - and was the first game to use sprite scaling and massive sprite rotation, rather than Japan-only Ordyne which was released later in the year.
In Assault, the player must take control for a futuristic tank, attacking the surface forces of an alien environment; the game's main draw was its innovative controls and perspective. The tank is controlled by two four-way joysticks - and the standard movements, such as "forward" and "turn left", are executed in the same manner as those of other tank driving games, like Battlezone, i.e. push both joysticks away for "forward", pull the left joystick towards and push the right one away for "turn left". But since the joysticks are four-way, two other moves can be executed; pushing both joysticks away from one another (i.e. the left to the left and the right to the right) causes the tank to rear up towards its back end for a moment. When up in this position, the player could fire a lethal nuclear blast, instead of the standard shots when in the normal position - and the tank returned to normal driving when the player pushed the joysticks back together, or waited a few seconds. If both joysticks are pushed right or left, the tank shall roll (or "strafe") to that direction; another innovation with this game was the perspective. While the overhead perspective was not new, the game kept the player's tank centered in the screen while the playfield rotated about the player's tank - and presented this way, the tank felt more maneuverable and lifelike. One additional innovation was the way the tank entered and exited the battlefield; the tank was airdropped from above, but instead of the tank falling down from the sky the battlefield appeared to come up towards the tank. When a stage was cleared, the tank would raise above the surface and then drop through a hatch in the ground - and these methods of entering and leaving reinforced the player-tank-centric approach of the game. The player battles eleven waves of enemy forces (if its "SELECT" setting was set to "ON", the player could begin on Stage 6); after the final stage, the player shall be rewarded with a list of schematics of his or her tank (much like the ending for Namco's own Blazer), and a final screen saying "Thanks for your play".
Assault was followed by Assault Plus, an upgraded version with redesigned visuals and color palettes, and adding higher-ranked enemies to earlier stages; instead of a linear run through all 11 stages as in original Assault, the game is presented in episodic format, with each episode titled "Rehearsal for the Core" and "Battle for the Core" respectively. Rehearsal takes place in Stages 1, 3, 4, 5, and the first area of Stage 1 - and Battle contains all the stages except for Stage 1. Assault Plus was not given a release outside Japan; however, it was included as a bonus game in Namco Museum Volume 4 for the Sony PlayStation.