When I first heard about the Vectrex system from my friend Brett, I was extremely excited. The concept of having a vector based home video game system had some serious sizzle. Everyone remembers the game, “Asteroids.” That’s an example of a vector based game. The big difference between vector games and pixel games is that vectors use lines. Pixels are the constant in most home video game systems because pixels are tiny square dots that have the color information. The end result with the Vectrex is that the images are extremely crisp and easy to see. You can quickly discern targets and objectives. The sound quality is great too on this machine. The music, albeit generally simple, is clear and good. Big thanks to Brett for allowing overidon.com to check out this astounding technology. Star Trek the Motion Picture the Game was intense, but we didn’t read the manual first. So we ended up getting being blasted by Romulans and Klingons in the beginning.
Here’s how to play: Button 1 doesn’t do anything. Button 2 is for the tractor beam. This let’s you lock onto a space station to refuel or it also locks you into a black hole which will take you to the final stage called, ‘Sector 9.” Button 3 is a temporary shield that will draw an X on the screen. If an enemy torpedo is fired at you and you time it right, it will deflect the torpedo. This is interesting because I don’t remember torpedoes ever bouncing off of shields in any of the movies, so maybe this is an original series thing that I haven’t seen yet. Button 4 fires the guns and it is pretty intuitive…besides for the whole button 4 thing.
What is so superb about this system is that the analog control for the movement is beyond excellent. The analog sticks on even the latest systems are not as accurate as the Vectrex controller. It has a truly visceral and responsive feel. It is easy to aim the joystick and take down targets.
Another cool thing about the Vectrex is that it comes with its own little vector based TV monitor. It is heavy, so I wouldn’t consider it to be portable. But it is convenient that you don’t have to plug in anything besides the power cord to get it to work.
After we played the Star Trek game for a few minutes we decided to read the manual to find out what was going on. It turns out that the strange glowing box is actually a black hole. And if you press button 2 on the black hole you will be transported to the final battle with the Klingon Mothership. I actually did that after a few tries and I was able to defeat the mothership by pummeling it on its nose over and over again. After it was destroyed the game took me back to sector one to start the whole process over again.