Windjammers 2 review: arcade action in simple and enthralling form

We’re in a little bit of a “love letter” media interval proper now. Some outdated issues come again with new issues to say, like The Matrix Resurrections, and a few outdated issues come again merely to get pleasure from themselves, and remind yesteryear followers what they liked in regards to the unique within the first place, like Scream.

Windjammers 2 falls firmly into the latter class. After efficiently resurrecting Streets Of Rage for an additional bout in 2020, developer Dotemu are as much as the identical outdated methods, bringing Windjammers all the best way again from 1994 (earlier than I used to be even born) with a contemporary coat of paint and a few model new final frisbee-style motion on this sequel.

Dotemu’s revival is basically easy on the floor: two individuals pelt a frisbee backwards and forwards with sufficient vitality to knock the shit of one another, aiming to place the frisbee previous their opponent and right into a “aim” space. The purpose is to place the frisbee the place your opponent can’t get it, rebounding the flying disc off partitions and even limitations in the midst of the courtroom to ship it past their attain and bag your self aim factors.

That is final frisbee, but when the frisbee may defy the legal guidelines of physics. Catching the frisbee out of your foe, you’ve received a valuable few seconds to resolve tips on how to hoon it: you possibly can bend the frisbee round your opponent, quickly rebound it off the sides of the courtroom, or toss it up into the air like a volleyball. Merely lobbing the factor backwards and forwards is Windjammers 2 at its most elementary; bending and circling the frisbee round your opponent opens it right into a fast recreation of transferring elements.

Windjammers 2 turns into an electrifying take a look at of your reflexes within the defensive section. Dotemu have prolonged the slide capability a little bit in comparison with the unique to cowl extra floor, so you may go skidding across the courtroom in your knees to rapidly intercept frisbees blitzing and bounding in the direction of your half of the courtroom that’d usually be simply out of your attain. Right here, no frisbee is ever out of your attain – the onus is in your reflexes to see when you can precisely predict its winding path at excessive speeds to your facet of the courtroom.

A screenshot of the character choice screen in Windjammers 2

The response occasions form of surprised me at first. “This can be a frisbee recreation,” I stupidly thought. “Why is it requiring the response occasions of a CS:GO participant?” That beginning thought solely felt extra ignorant the additional I delved into Windjammers’ legacy, as I got here throughout EVO tournaments the place response occasions rivalled that of Mortal Kombat and Responsible Gear specialists going at it. Windjammers is a frisbee recreation on the floor, however peeling again layers uncovers new points of its razor-sharp gameplay – issues like piecing collectively lob-shots with charged pictures for brand new particular assaults.

It is the Tremendous strikes which are Windjammers 2 at its quickest, although. Each character has one particular charged throw that they will let rip at any time when in a match – they merely must cost up by launching the frisbee within the air to themselves. Raposa’s tremendous transfer has the frisbee firing down one courtroom barrier earlier than teleporting to the opposite, for instance, whereas Max’s fees it with ethereal firepower earlier than pounding it again at his opponent. Studying every character’s particular transfer is one hell of an endeavor, much more so precisely memorising the place the frisbee’s going to go and when, however it’s a surprisingly pleasurable added layer to grasp when you’ve received to grips with the fundamentals.

Windjammers 2 has some shocking depth in its character roster. Each frisbee participant is measured in two attributes: pace and energy. Some may lean closely on the previous like Raposa darting across the courtroom, or you possibly can end up staring down the blistering biceps of Wessel with supreme energy. Though you’ll typically want higher response occasions as a meeker character to face off in opposition to the dominant energy of somebody like Wessel or Max, nobody character matchup feels damaged, because the enjoying subject nonetheless permits for everybody to remain on a aggressive degree.

Two players in Windjammers 2 hurl flaming frisbees at each other across a small court

The Neo Geo traditional Windjammers had a pixelated artwork fashion the place everybody appeared a little bit greasy and worn, like they’d simply crawled out an all-night bender. Windjammers 2 has had an enormous replace that smooths off the tough edges from the unique for one thing contemporary and vibrant. Then once more, if Windjammers 2 is a callback to the period during which the unique was developed, it’s completely nailed that aesthetic. In 2022, Windjammers 2 seems and feels prefer it takes place in Nineteen Nineties L.A., like everybody’s reducing about within the background of Level Break, and each avenue nook is rammed with Scream-era Matthew Lillard characters.

Windjammers 2 is a banger. I didn’t actually know what to anticipate from Dotemu’s revival stepping into. I assumed it’d be catering to a really particular viewers that did not embody me, and I wasn’t fully flawed: it doesn’t even provide you with a tutorial earlier than throwing you headfirst into the mayhem. When you’ve mastered the fundamentals, although, whether or not you’re a newcomer or somebody steeped within the historical past of the Neo Geo traditional, that is arcade motion in easy and enthralling type, beckoning you in with a surprisingly low talent barrier to entry, a blinding artwork fashion, and an eclectic mixture of characters to grasp.

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