The year was 1982. I sat transfixed in front of the TV set, joystick in hand. My pulse quickened. A light sheen of sweat adorned my brow. I furiously pressed the button, juking and jiving. I was going Berzerk on Nostalgia Street.
I am so glad that the fashion of the 2000's prediction was dead wrong.
Berzerk was an endless romp through a robot filled maze, dodging bullets while attempting to make it into just one more room and a higher score. The task was made easier by the laser gun you could fire back at said robots, leaving a trail of scrap metal wider than a Michael Bay film.
The robots were thuggish brutes, with exaggerated shoulders and thick, one-eyed heads. Granted, there wasn’t much the 2600 could do with graphics, so they may not have had an option. They were also complete morons, moving in predictable patterns and firing willy-nilly. Sadly, 8 year old me couldn’t figure that out; it was moron robots vs. inattentive kid. It is worth noting that 8 year old me would NOT have survived a zombie apocalypse, or even a zombie skirmish.
Behold the amazing graphics of the past, kiddies!!
In retrospect, this was a stressful game. Screen after screen of robots and walls, robots and walls, and more robots and walls. It’s like Bender’s maze of plenty up in this bitch, an insane asylum stocked with primitive cylons. Oh, and did I mention that touching a wall meant electrified death?
And then there was the evil twist, the surprise giant foe that could bounce right through walls, ready to crush you into a fine powder of shattered dreams and Fun-Dip. Evil Otto.
Don't Worry Be Happy? Nope. Be DEAD.
Seriously, what fucked up programmer creates a smiley-faced-beachball-of-doom as a foe? This is almost as crazy a villain as Chairface Chippendale, but without the funny.
Berzerk was certainly aptly named. In fact, I think it could have been called Apeshit or Suicidal, since the title was also the result of playing the game. It was my own little trip to Arkham Asylum, a short jaunt from Nostalgia Street.
PS: You can play Berzerk right HERE. Not that I recommend it, unless you're looking for an aneurism today.