Before SNK just made King of Fighters, they were lords of the arcade. They may not have had the success of companies such as Midway, but at least SNK are still in business.
Ikari Warriors was one of their best-selling titles before the Neo-Geo era; so popular, in fact, that it was even ported to home consoles such as the Atari 2600 and the Commodore 64. It was clearly made to capitalise on the success that Capcom’s Commando had gained the previous year, something that it certainly achieved.
The aim of the game is to run and gun your way from the bottom of the map to the top on upwards scrolling levels. Armed with a machine gun and lots of grenades, you must take out all the enemy soldiers, tanks, helicopters and encampments. Along the way, you will find tanks to control (which will improve your fire power) and power ups to collect. Unfortunately, unlike the arcade original, there is no two player co-op.
The game plays much like a coin-op should. In other words, it was designed to suck quarters from you and, therefore, can become rather difficult at times. But seeing as you now no longer have to feed it real money to play, this can be forgiven.
It feels like a really faithful port of the original, at least what I can remember of it. The only difference in how the game plays, is the controls. The original arcade machine had a rotating joystick, which could be rotated to change the direction your soldier is pointing his gun. This function has been replaced by the R1 and L1 buttons. It can be a bit cumbersome trying to switch between the buttons, while in the heat of combat, but it isn’t exactly game breaking. A twin stick function would have been great here, but as this is a ’Minis’ game. It has to be playable on the PSP as well as the PS3. There is an option to change the aim settings from manual to automatic, but this just makes the game unplayable, so don’t bother with that.
Ikari Warriors is a fantastic port of a classic game. It looks and feels the same as the original did, and is something of a bargain for the price they are asking for it. If, like so many others nowadays, you like your games a little retro, you really can’t go wrong here.
Review copy provided by publisher.