Monday, August 13, 2018

Ikari Warriors

The battle of the Atari's?

Ikari Warriors brings back many special memories for me because it came free with my first Atari ST and was something I loved from the moment I loaded it up that Christmas morning (yikes that was 1988). I don't think anyone forgets the first time they saw how superior the ST was compared to their old 8Bits...

Anyhow, I admit it's hardly perfect but Elite certainly delivered the goods for a brilliant arcade conversion which is still one of my favourite ST games. Now, unlike my dreadful progress with Commando, I am actually pretty good at Ikari Warriors so figured it a good idea to check out the Atari 7800 game alongside the classic ST version.

Now, before you moan, this isn't a MCIBTYC comparison! I just wanted to see how the game itself compares...

The 7800 has superb scrolling, albeit surprisingly very blocky.

The Atari ST intro might not scroll but it looks crisp and has two massive coconuts!!

Graphics or Music?

After watching the 7800's intro swoosh by, I instantly wished Atari would have released the STe back in 1985... Anyhow, once the game begins, the first thing that struck me was its sexy-smooth framerate. However, the sprites themselves are rather crude in comparison with blocky heads? Yikes, what's wrong with the resolution?

But graphics aren't everything nor is the audio which happens to be as good and exactly what I expected. Those grenade throws are excellent but I missed the sound of the tank. Background music is okay but I don't think anything compares to the legendary ST tune by Jason C. Brooke which is bleeping excellent.

The 7800 might look less defined but I really like it's chunky look.

The ST can chug along when things get busy but the gameplay is solid.

Pros And Cons?

Anyhow, enough of this talk about aesthetics because what we all want is great gameplay and the 7800 certainly produced the goods. Okay, my console might very well be virtual, but I'm still able to use BOTH joystick buttons which means the machine gun and grenades are separate and that beats the ST's one-button method hands down.

Also, firing can be locked in any specific direction thus rapid - independent - shooting is possible until you decide to release the button. This takes a little getting used to but it's certainly worth mastering because it works extremely well - especially when making use of the superb power-ups always being offered.

Sadly, I admit to struggling with this conversion because I found it shockingly difficult. Perhaps it's just me and my lame joystick skills? But, no matter how much I tried, my progress was always weaker in comparison. YMMV of course, but I personally found this excess difficulty only promoted just how balanced the Atari ST game is.

The console struggles with visual definition but this is a beast of a port!

Whatever platform you prefer to use, the mission always remains the same - Kill everyone!!

The CryptO'pinion?

Ikari Warriors is a class act on almost all platforms and both the 7800 and ST succeed in delivering a great arcade conversion which is so much fun. All that's required are quick reactions and a love for guns and oldskool violence! So, enjoy what is nothing short of a cracking shoot 'em up for either your 7800 or Atari ST [floppy or hard disk].

I hoped you enjoyed this sway from being dedicated to the Atari ST... let me know what you guys think in the comments below (because I was actually quite smitten by the Atari 7800 if I'm honest. A hidden gem!)

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