Ikari Warriors

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As you may recall, everybody expected Ikari Warriors online to be released one year earlier. It was quite a long time to wait. Was IW worth it? The first thing is the game comes in one of these giant cardboard boxes filled mostly with air – I thing the size of packaging is becoming a kind of software house one-upmanship, bu (chortle chortla) it isn’t the size that counts.

Enough of that. Ikari Warriors was a coin-op beloved by many in the oldenish days and it’s in the Commando mode of lone-soldier-running-along-firing-all-the-time-blowing-things-to-bits-top-to-bottom-scroll. The only significant feature really is the fact that you can toggle between two players and from time to time grab a tank to do some serious damage.

Do you need a plot? Well, this general has been held captive by a band of revolutionaries and desperately needs rescuing. Instead of sending in serious numbers of nuclear forces to blow them away, the forces of truth, justice and the American way have decided to send just you instead, and a friend if you’re doing the two player option. Maybe they don’t really want this guy back…

From moment one, streaming hordes of revolutionaries leap on you, filling the scren with the large and small black blobs that stand for grenades and bullets in this game. You blast and dodge your way past them, occasionally taking out big gun emplacements, which crumble away to reveal bonus bullets, grenades, lives and fuel. This last is for the odd tanks which seem to have been left thoughtfully scattered around the screen.

Main characters are small though they zoom around pretty spreedily, but some of the gunn turrets, boulders ad other bits and pieces that litter the playing area are quite detailed and effective. Though several basic designs seem to crop up over and over again…

For all that Ikari Warriors online is fast and more addictive than you might expect. I had a severe case of the “just-on-mores, despite feeling pretty unimpressed with the overall look of the game.

A quick word on the sound. Whilst on the 48K it’s merely average, on the 128K it’s excellent, in fact it may be the closest to a real “coin-op” sonding soundtrack I’ve ever heard and adds significantly to the game.

Ikari Warriors was pretty late, so it looks fairly out of tht date and probably won’t be anybody’s all-time favorite game, but the gameplay is strong and the action is fast, and that counts for quite a lot in my book. Worth the wait? Just about.

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