Over the years it's safe to say that we've had some pretty decent plots for Arcade games, as well as some CPC original licences but we've also had some quite bizarre ones to hit us as well. Fifteen years on and I still wonder what Data East were thinking when they came out with this one. Breakthru puts you in an A-Team/Knight Rider scenario. Which granted for its time, drew the attention of the punters and was actually quite playable in the arcades. U.S Gold were granted the rights to Breakthru, as well as a number of Data East conversions over the period of 1986-87. Now I will freely admit that I don't have a lot to go on as far as this review is concerned, having only played the arcade once, so I load up the tape and see what it has to offer us.
Entering combat zone
Your strange car jumps over hills!
The plot is another sledgehammer I'm afraid. Someone stole your plane, The PK430 aircraft must be recovered and this is a high priority. Of course, you don't trust any Joe Soap to do this and take your rigged up vehicle that jumps quicker and higher than your granny after seeing Ibiza Uncovered, and set out for the hills, to drive through dodgy jungles, jump over bridges that were bombed to bits, and trecherous mountains. These are all, of course, guarded by the military so you know you're in for a rough time straight off the bat. The usual power ups such as sheilds, spray shots and if you're lucky, extra lives are available to take some of the load off your shoulders. They're all needed as enemy fire doesn't ease off as the game progresses.
The CPC version? Well it's early 1987 for the release for this one, so thankfully Multiloads aren't much of an issue, however what is an issue is the dodgy graphics. Well granted they're not the worst I've ever seen but there's still room for improvement. They move fast but that's about the only compliment I can really pay them. Sound is quite disappointing, especially the sonics for when the car jumps (provided the sound doesn't drop out at that point). Control is dead awkward, requiring a combination of both stick and keys just like Renegade did. The game itself leaves a lot to be desired but the coin-op version was rather obscure as well so Data East go on the chopping block for that one. This one tends to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
Head on Collision with a tank.
Granted the game was a bit ropey from the day it hit the coin-op, this is still no excuse for the bad graphics that were handed up here. U.S Gold made a total balls of this conversion, and the speccy and C64 versions were no better. There isn't even much of a game to play, although it might emulate it's parent as far as the game's layout is concerned, it still fails to match the playability that the arcade had, and that really wasn't much from what I had played of it. So even if they had matched the arcade, it still probably wouldn't be enough to save this turkey of a game. And if you think this Data East one was tragic? Try playing Express Raider, or Kung Fu Master and see what really is true disaster. Complete thumbs down I'm afraid.
THE END RESULT:
Yuk, looks like something a school kid drew!
Dreadful use of the sound chip.
Lacks the playability that the arcade had...
... and even that wasn't a hell of a lot.
THE BOTTOM LINE: 40%