Thanks to Flying Tiger Entertainment for the review code
Title: Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: BreakThru
System: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: 11/08/2018
Per usual, this uses the same filter and display options featured in every other Johnny Turbo release. Since I just covered all my thoughts on said options with Night Slashers, I’m not going to repeat myself outside of a note on how ugly the blur filter makes this game look. Unfortunately, Breakthru wasn’t that pretty of a game to begin with, even back in the 80s.
Presented in a horizontal view, the backgrounds are colored in a very sloppy manner, and the music is repetitive and forgettable. The sprites of the cars and enemy vehicles look decent, but considering how other DE titles like Burgertime, Shootout and Express Raider looked much better, I can’t help but feel that this game comes off as a visual mess, and combined with the blurring it leads to an already bad game looking even worse.
The main goal of Breakthru is to drive and shoot through five stages of mayhem, dodging bullets, people, enemy vehicles, and other obstacles as you reach the end goal. You have a jump button with B, a fire button with A, and you can increase and decrease your speed by holding right and left on the left stick respectively.
It sounds like your average side scrolling shooter, besides the fact that you play as a vehicle from start to finish, but this game is unfortunately not nearly as fun as your typical score chaser, or even your typical action game from this time. You see, while you can get a powerup that will allow you to fire a spread shot of three bullets at once, it doesn’t really change the fact that this game is absurdly difficult, even for arcade standards.
You need to go fast in order to get enough speed to jump over any obstacles you need to clear, but doing so will make you more prone to crashing into other obstacles or getting blindsided by an enemy before you know it. Sure, you can credit feed as much as you like and have the game be over before you know it, but as someone who plays these games mainly for the hi-score chasing, I found it pretty disappointing how continuing does nothing to your current score whatsoever. It just keeps it exactly the same as before, and like in Sly Spy this means that you pretty much have to limit yourself on using continues.
Yet, when you try to play this on 1CC, the game just isn’t fun. You have to slow down in order to even have a chance of seeing anything ahead of you, but if you slow down you can’t clear the obstacles, which leads to a tug of war that goes nowhere. Combined with how the entire game is only 15 minutes long even when you continue feed, and this isn’t really that fun of an experience, and it honestly makes me really miss the lack of DIP switch customization more than the other games in the JTA lineup, solely because it would have probably made this a more enjoyable experience if I could tone down the obstacles and increase the lives a bit.
In conclusion, Breakthru is easily the weakest Arcade title released through the Johnny Turbo Arcade lineup so far. With a bland presentation, frustrating difficulty that doesn’t work well at encouraging you to try and try again for a higher score, and the usual lack of DIP Switch features, Breakthru is just a borefest, and would remain one even if it had the best port in history. Of all the Johnny Turbo Arcade releases so far, I can easily say this is one to avoid unless you have fond memories of this game growing up.
I give Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Breakthru a 5 out of 10.