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Ikari Warriors.

Ikari Warriors Title

Ikari Warriors is a conversion of a rather old coin-op from SNK Corp, makers of the Neo-Geo arcade/home console system. The original coin-op is even harder to find than other systems of the same vintage, because it used rare rotary joysticks (twisting the handle aims your character's gun/grenade arm). Without the special joysticks, the game is unplayable, and these sorts of special joysticks have a regrettably short lifespan. It is often a complaint amongst arcade operators that SNK equipment is of low reliability.

The story appears to be set in Vietnam - up to two players simultaneously stroll about a vertically-scrolling jungle warfare scene, fighting hordes of blue and red soldiers on foot and in tanks, and destroying various enemy installations. Because the ST lacks special joysticks, the control system is a little clumsy, but then the original system was also clumsy. The graphics are quite detailed (and almost the same as the original coin-op), and the scrolling is smooth.

Apart from that, there isn't really a lot to say about this game. The coin-op was never fantastically popular, but all the conversions I've played (Amiga, ST, ZX Spectrum, C64) are quite good.

Ikari Warriors in-game screenshot This is a representative screenshot from Ikari Warriors. Your character is the guy standing just below and to the left of the tank (marked "IN"). Standing over the tank and holding fire will get you into the tank; you can then roll over all the people in your path. Avoid mines, and avoid running out of fuel!

While you're not in a tank, holding fire will hurl a grenade, which is essential for destroying certain obstacles. You need to be careful about blowing things up, though - flying bits of debris are fatal.

Verdict: Faithful conversion of the coin-op, although the control method is unavoidably very different. Worth a look, particularly since the original board is impossibly rare. The small play area is excusable because the original game used a vertical monitor; to get the correct aspect ratio on the ST's monitor, you need to reduce the width.

Ratings (five stars = maximum)

Graphics

Sound/Music

Gameplay

Overall

*****

***

***

****


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