An in-depth look at the low point of the SNK collection
Ikari Warriors for NES is the one you're gonna want to skip past, as this video retrospective demonstrates.
Yesterday I wrote about how much I have enjoyed SNK's 40th Anniversary Collection. Today, alas, we see the dark flip side of that release.
This week's episode of NES Works looks at two games, but mostly it's focused on SNK's NES debut. It's not a good debut, I'm afraid. Ikari Warriors for NES takes an interesting arcade title powered by a clever interface mechanism and does it exactly zero justice. Ikari Warriors really wants to be a twin-stick game, but on NES it has to work with a D-pad and two buttons. Which is to say, it doesn't work, period.
There was probably a way for the loop lever interface to translate into an NES game, but that would have required a fairly significant reinvention for the shooting mechanics of the game's protagonists. There's no reinvention here, though. The result is clumsy and frustrating, and Ikari Warriors' reputation is saved only by the fact that it was one of the very first two-player simultaneous games for NES.
Interestingly, developer Micronics did overhaul the game somewhat by greatly expanding its length. You will not see the end of Ikari Warriors in less than two hours! They're a pretty terrible two hours, however.
Still, I'm happy that Ikari Warriors for NES appears on the SNK collection. It really makes you appreciate just how much better the arcade original is, and how effectly Digital Eclipse translated the loop level interface to Switch. I guess this is one of those games that underscores the duality of good and evil—that is, you can't have good things without evil like this to contrast it to.
As for the other game this episode, I have since rectified the shortcoming that prevented a proper review. Expect me to revisit Athletic World in a few months when I reach World Class Track Meet. I know you're stoked.