Ikari Warriors

Atari 7800

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8

Here's a first. Actually, this could be an "only." As it turns out, "Ikari Warriors" is better on the 7800 than it is on Nintendo's NES. This version is faster, easier, and just more enjoyable in the end. That's about all you need for a quality product.

It doesn't get much simpler than this. Two guys, headband included, crash land into enemy territory. The who, what, where, and when of the enemy isn't important when you've got a machine gun and grenades in tow. You'll traverse plenty of swampy jungle until you finally meet the enemy at their home base.

One of the many things that made the NES port of this SNK classic arcade game such a chore was the horrible speed. It was so slow, the first section could take upwards of 20 minutes to get through, and that's no exaggeration. That's not an issue here. Everything moves at a pretty good clip without any sort of slowdown, even when things get a bit too crowded.

Second bonus is the ever so important addition of strafing. Third bonus is part of number two, auto-fire. Both of these combined not only make the game easier to enjoy (rapidly pressing a button on the 7800 controller is a chore, and that's being kind), but easier to beat too. Bullets are white and outlined in black so there's no mistaking a shell for something else. Yes, it can be a bit confusing with a pack of soldiers and two players firing at once, but if you just pay attention, you'll be fine.

The only thing that makes this translation a little less appealing is the tank movement. Plopping into the pilot seat is one of the games more memorable features, and here it's hard to use due to some choppy movement. Since the normal player characters move without a hitch, it's an odd flaw.

Just about everything from the arcade game has made it here intact, just on a smaller scale. Sprites are clearly defined and easy on the eyes. Even when the blue clothed soldiers take a dip in the (duh) blue water, you can still see what you need to. The only things absent are the weapon power-ups. No, you can still get them; you just won't see a difference.

Only one channel is dedicated to the memorable "Ikari Warriors" theme, though it's still entirely recognizable. Bullets fire with the usual (and expected) sound effect. Grenades fly with that cheesy sound we've all heard at least 200,000 times in out game playing lives. It's not the most spectacular package in the world; it's simply sufficient enough to get the job done.

Maybe it's a bit of a misnomer to say that the 7800 version is "easier." This is no easy game. It's brutal and can only be conquered with extreme care, along with patience. It's odd that a shooter on this level can't just be ran through in a matter of minutes, but that's what makes "Ikari Warriors" a bit different from the pack. This is one 7800 fans can use in their argument against NES fanboys.


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Last updated: Friday, February 25, 2005 06:47 AM