I’ve heard people say the phrase “Classics never die”; I usually would scoff at that thinking that everything eventually ages enough that it’s no longer relevant. Windjammers has proved me wrong with its rerelease on the PlayStation 4 with new added modes that only help to bring out the real star of the game; its buttery smooth gameplay.
Originally released for the Neo Geo arcade system back in 1994, the game is quite simplistic with the game playing like sophisticated Pong. The game features a cast of characters from around the world you can use to play in old school Arcade mode or take part in a couple of quirky mini-games that while weird still delivering the same sort of fun you’d expect.
The gameplay’s all about sliding and dashing just in time to grab the flying disc; it’s not that simple though not when you dig deep into the different mechanics of the Frisbee throwing. From the ricochet of the disc of the walls to the ability to arc your shots this game has a lot to master not to mention the unique big special moves that each character possesses. All of these mechanics all fit together perfectly to facilitate some real competitiveness that really immerses the player.
Singleplayer content is there and really doesn’t have meat on its bones but Windjammers really shines in its multiplayer side be it online or offline. During my time of local play there were shouts, yells and a lot of groans when that disc would land the goal shot in a tie game, with its simple controls and easy to comprehend objectives Windjammers delivers an experience anyone can get into easily and can lead to hours of fun or misery depending on your playing partner. I also played a couple of games on the online side and am pleased to say the netcode was fantastic with no lag nor disconnections and games seemed to be plentiful.
Graphically the game may have been top of the line back in 1994 but today it is not but thanks to the pixel art trend that came with the indie game craze. With an art style deeply imbued with the 90s spirit with bright florescent colours and bad ass reflective sun glasses, a nice glimpse at the 90s fashion. The game features 6 different courts with different sizes, different flooring like grass, tiled, concrete, etc.; also some barriers in the middle that make defense more of a challenge. The music beautifully compliments the graphics with it cool 90s beats that really brought me back to my early days of gaming.
Also included are multiple features to customise your view of the game with the ability to emulate a CRT TV’s curvature or to add or remove scan lines. The game also allows the player to customise the black lines on the sides allowing you to have your view unobstructed. These features are a welcome addition for a retro game as it really increases the authenticity of the nostalgia of the game.
Windjammers has fantastically smooth gameplay and that’s great but with such limited content in either single player or online. The art style and music bring the 90s feel and really take you back but again there is definitely a limited appeal to this. As previously stated many times the game really just has its gameplay going for it and if that’s not your main priority this game may not be for you. With that said the game is good but it’s just not worth the price with the lack of content, I would suggest waiting until it hits the half price of the retail price.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.