Windjammers 2 Review – Beach, Frisbees and a Student Arcade

Cada cosa tiene su contexto, y si los videojuegos han ido cambiando con el tiempo es porque su contexto ha cambiado. Not only is technology changing, but society, both economically and socially, has too; different circumstances have different forms of play, and it’s not the same to play on a computer, on a desktop console, on a laptop, on a cell phone, or on a recycling machine. As a result, it is very difficult to return to the French of today who have taken decades to put the dream of the just to sleep. Because whether we like it or not, the context has changed, and what might have made sense in laptops, computers, or creatives, you may not have in a gift worth more than other forms of gambling.

Twenty-six years have passed since Windjammers was published by Data East. The game offered us a derivative version of Pong where we supported the rectangles by people in bathing suits and the ball by a Frisbee, making them move as far as our playing field. The rules were simple; like in Pong, we scored points by catching the frisbee, passing long to the other player and reaching the edge of the field at the other end. As in Pong, our frizbi can bounce off walls, making it a whole game of geometry to know how to move at any given time. Unlike Pong, players can grab the fringe and hold it in their hands for a few seconds without moving, pull it in the shape of a globe so that it falls to the ground and earns points if the opponent doesn’t win it in time , and the number of points we get with each annotation will depend on the place between the frisbi.

All of this adds aspects of most modern video gaming that were impossible in the days of Pong. In Windjammers there were special shots, we could move the length of our terrain in eight directions and there were several maps available, of different sizes and with different characteristics, some with obstacles in the center. All this made the game more dynamic, engaging and technical than it seemed at first glance, but above all more arcade: a game easy to understand and enjoy the first time we encountered it, but with enough depth to be able to improve it, dominate it and, of course, it would be satisfying to compete with other people who would turn us into a duel. Something that Pong couldn’t, if he tried to hide, suck up.


The problem is that we are now in 2022. Hobby fairs, like physical venues, in the West live off the past and what Japan produces, there is no longer a usual or even popular way to play games. video games. So what does Windjammers 2 have to offer? Next, we’ll precisely address the feeling of what it’s like to play in an extremely solid arcade…for better and for worse.

For starters, what draws the most attention to the Windjammers 2 is its aesthetic change. If the fundamentals are maintained, we continue to have a style of player that brings us back to the mental image that we have of the United States of the 80s and 90s thanks to series broadcast like Corruption in Miami or The Beach Vigilantes, the aesthetic of a 90s cartoon arcade pixel art to assume a clean style cartoon which, if the tone and design of the characters and scenes are well respected, play with a more contemporary aesthetic. With some spectacular effects, delicate care given to the characters and great attention paid to the legibility of the scene to very clearly delineate the various elements with the use of planes in bright colors and textures, the game results deliciously to be seen without ever sacrifice your jugability. nor the feeling of playing a sequel to Windjammers.

Something similar happens with animations. Following the style of the originals, much more attention appears here, marking many more poses to give a greater feeling of dynamism and power to the movements, bringing to the whole a style with more power, with a touch of incomparable anime. Something impossible, and probably impossible to replicate, in the original game.

After all, the game continues to be the same. It has the same rules, the same mechanics, the same modes, but now with a free face wash: we can play against AI, change all possible parameters, and we can play against other people, now it’s in local with two online commands against friends in casual games or class if we want to enter the world of competitive gaming, something that adds a new layer of depth to the game respecting its purely arcade spirit.

But there’s more to Windjammers 2 than just bringing the original game back into a contemporary setting. It also builds from its limbs, including if it just makes Windjammers 2 even more Windjammers. Not for nothing, we have more characters, more modes, more scenes. And it all comes down to the introduction of gentle, but substantial changes to the form of the game.

Of the new modes, perhaps the most popular is the arcade mode. By adding cinemas and small stories for each of the players, in addition to three difficulty modes, in each encounter we can choose between two possible rivals and arenas against those who face us. This is important, considering that so many arenas and characters in this new iteration have another added layer of depth, which makes these kinds of decisions more important than ever.


The differences between specialties and movements are generally insignificant. With the exception of Sophie De Lys and Jao Raposa, whose speed and peculiarity of their movements result in a slight difference from the rest, the host of characters continue to have the same differences as in the original. Strong characters can be slow but the result is very contained and hard to break, fast characters attack with very little strength and organize quickly, and special moves generally don’t change excessively between characters with similar stats. It makes sense, and desirable, to maintain as much symmetry between characters as possible, but plays against the diversity of playstyles.

But as long as the characters are relatively similar to each other, even if they are a little less so than in the first installment, where they allow themselves to add an additional point of madness, that’s where the game’s inequalities can be lessened more dramatically. way: in the new scenes.

While some drastic changes are sure to be on the way, some of the new scenarios introduce small changes that favor more obvious and specific strategies. Yes, because their arenas are much larger or smaller than normal, because they have obstacles that can be hit with impacts, or even, in the case of a specific one, because the number of points for so much is randomly determined at the start of each round, the diversity of the same adds a radically different approach to gameplay. Although there is a name change, we don’t judge the same when a frizz that falls on the floor serves to give us two than when it serves to give us four points, something that continues the style of the scenes original, where each section gave us different amounts of points, and reinforcing this uniqueness to let you know each scene and its specific rules is part of the goal of competitive play without altering the fun of more casual play.


The problem comes, precisely, from this more casual style of play, because if Windjammers has the spirit of an arcade, it also reproduces certain limitations that do not have a platform that is not recreational. What are we referring to? On the one hand, since the commands do not always give everything they should, we have to play with the joystick if we want to have a response that results, at least, competently. On the other hand, the game tutorial is a bit of slides where we are explained with an image of the buttons and a video of each of the movements; something that would have made sense if we had studied it on a creative machine and our time would have been limited, but would have made perfect sense in a game that works as well on PC as it does on consoles. Two details that do not radically affect the game, and that some will not notice, but which are placed a few steps from the current trends of similar games.

Supposedly, it’s possible to take Windjammers 2 completely like an arcade. Explore our arcade controller and learn through hours and hours, trying to figure out how the controls work through trial and error and play against AI and other players. But this absence of self-awareness in the middle makes the game, while brilliant, not absolutely as magical as it could have been.

Whether we like it or not, Windjammers was born in the creatives, but Windjammers 2 yearns to be online. At meetings of friends with snacks in front of the television. In a competitive game through class with arcade sticks designed specifically for the game. And for that, this ultimate effort to be equally accessible to everyone, means that the game never ends up shining with as much power as it could. But make no mistake: Windjammers 2 is as good as we remember Windjammers, and then some. A masterful example of what an arcade should be – fast, emotional, deep in its simplicity – and why it’s still possible to do arcades in 2022. Because even if the arcade as a space is now marginal, the arcade as a design philosophy is more alive.ever.




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