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Old 03-30-2021, 11:23 PM   #72
Hateandhatred
"The Quebec Steparatist."
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Age: 30
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 31st

Today's challenge is: Favorite Sports Game.

This theme was suggested by thesunfan.

Here we are, FINAL DAY OF THE CHALLENGE! And this another obvious one, so no need to think about it too hard. It's also pretty funny, since both Evascythe and T-Force wanted to give me a sports game theme, but they both had second thoughts. Greg is a little bit of a major tool for being the one to suggest the theme since he asked me about it a few months ago, unless he wanted me to talk about it some more. I do not mind that one bit however, since today, I'm talking about Windjammers. And Windjammers kicks ass.



Before getting into it, I have to explain an additional rule I made for myself when I got this suggestion. It wouldn't have changed anything since I love Windjammers, but I wasn't going to include non “ball” sports games. It's unfair to compare a football game with a racing or fighting game, so I don't want anyone thinking “Herp Derp, you didn't even think about F-Zero GX, woooooooooooow what a gamer”. Besides, when people mention sports games, they're not talking about games like that, but instead whatever FIFA, NHL or NBA 2K whatever game is out.

While planning for this challenge, I tried to at least have one game representing every major player in the video game industry. There's been games for Nintendo, SEGA, Sony, even one each for Microsoft, NEC and Atari. I feel like this list is missing one more company, which mostly left its mark in the arcade market, but who still released what was once hailed as the Rolls-Royce of home consoles, the Neo Geo (AES or MVS, but I'm not going into that, nor am I qualified to). And that's what Windjammers is on.



I've known about Windjammers ever since LimitedRun announced they would release it for Vita and PS4, but I had never actually played it. My first time having a crack at it was while I was in Montreal. I was wearing a Hatsune Miku wig that a friend gave to me because he found it uncomfortable to wear, then we went to an arcade bar. When I saw that they had this game there, having at least seen how it works, I immediately asked Felix to play it with me. We did just that, and I was really impressed at how fast it went, how the power moves worked, and how you could just slide all across the field. I sucked big time at it, but I thought it was awesome.

Shortly after that, a friend of mine who works in an independent game store messaged me and asked me if I was interested in a collector's edition of Windjammers for the PS Vita. Naturally, I said I was, and picked it up not long after. I immediately started grinding for it, and even borrowed someone else's console (and bought him the game too) to grind away at that online multiplayer trophy on my own. Getting the platinum trophy was actually really hard, as the arcade mode is no joke, but I enjoyed every second of it.



That's it for my experience with the title, now about the game itself. The game is actually a Frisbee game, and is known in Asia as “Flying Power Disc”. There aren't any differences between the Asian and western versions other than one of the characters (who represented korea) was palette swapped to represent the UK instead. Your goal is to either shoot the disc in the opponent's goal (sort of like how you play air hockey) or have it land on the ground with your opponent unable to catch it in time. There are some bumpers in between the fields for an element of randomness as well. A game is won by winning 2 sets, and a set is won by getting 12 points. Goals either give 3 or 5 points depending on where the disc goes through, and throwing it on the ground on your opponent's field is worth 2 points.

You should also know that this is to Frisbee what the Prince of Tennis anime is to Tennis, meaning you can expect all sorts of fireball launching and physics breaking moves in this game, complete with attack names typical of a Japanese anime. There are also 6 playable characters. They each represent a country, and all come from a different sport. There are guys from Germany, Spain, the USA, Italy or the UK/South Korea (depending on which version of the game you are playing, as mentionned before), and also a Japanese girl. They all throw, receive and move differently depending on their builds, but the real difference lies in their special attacks. The Japanese girl throws can throw it in a snaking pattern reminiscent of an Asian dragon, the UK/Korea guy can throw it against the wall which makes it go forward like an electric buzzsaw, and so on. Some characters are also more likely to be thrown in the goal along with the disc if it's thrown hard enough at them, and you can reverse special attacks against their original users.



Graphics wise, like most of what is on Neo Geo, there is absolutely nothing to complain about. It looks perfect, and I also love the referee maknig the calls. I wouldn't listen to the soundtrack on its own, but coupled with the sound effects, I can almost feel the arcade excitement as though I was playing in an actual arcade, much like the way I felt the first time I played it. One more thing to say about this is that there is a sequel to Windjammers that was announced 2 years ago and that is supposed to come out sometime soon on the Switch, which, like Cuphead, was also a title that factored in heavily in me buying the Switch earlier that I otherwise would have. It doesn't look all that great in comparison, but since I haven't had my fill of the original game, I'm looking forward to that one as well.

In between some of the matches on arcade made, you also had some minigames. One involved throwing a disc with a dog by your feet, and you'd control the dog as ran for the frisbee while dodging and jumping over various obstacles. The other one was a bowling minigame, and you'd just throw the disc at some bowling pins.



The modern console version of the original game is quite faithful to the old school version, and you should feel obligated to watch the trailer for it, as it ranks among the greatest game trailers of all time in my opinion, and I'd say it is tied for my favorite trailer along with Ace of Seafood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IuCM-L5Um4

This is another ludicrously expensive game on the original system, costing a 4 digits figure, but honestly that's par for the course for the Neo Geo nowadays. Otherwise, you can get the rerelease on PS4, PS Vita and Switch.

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