#296 – Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road



                                                Sorry Paul, the power of your pecs will not repel the creatures.




                        Shoot, blow things up, die, game over, take out cartridge, ponder it, shake head, walk away.


PLAYERS: 1-2 simultaneous


DEVELOPER: Micronics

GENRE: Action

RELEASE DATE: April 1988


Paul and Vince, the Ikari Warriors (not to be confused with Paul and Vince, the gay nightclub owners), liked destroying creation so much in the first game, they decided to thunder down Victory Road and take on the entire galaxy or something. Story is not why you jam an Ikari Warriors cartridge into your aging NES console (or sprightly legal knockoff, whatever the case may be). Here’s a solid question: why would you jam an Ikari Warriors cartridge into your NES? The original Ikari Warriors was a sorry excuse for an arcade port that nobody liked. Apparently, everyone’s distaste for the first game was music to SNK’s ears, thus Victory Road‘s quick release only eleven months after the first Ikari Warriors.


What’s changed: Paul (or Vince) must have been hittin’ the protein powder pretty hard because his sprite is incredibly large. The alien enemies are larger and faster than previous enemies as well, which means the chances for you to get hit are much greater. Despite your increased girth, your life bar is as puny as it is every was, and you still only have one life. The controls are not your friend either. While the slowdown is thankfully missing here, the controls account for your larger size and so you move slower. Also, the D-pad still feels clumsy, compared to the arcade’s original rotary controls. To summarize: because you are large (but slow and weak) and your enemies are large (and strong and fast), you will die often and you will have to start over from the very beginning every time. This ensures that you turn this installment of Ikari Warriors off more quickly than the previous one. Paul and Vince may have aspirations of turning the galaxy’s denizens into furious mulch, but in order to do that, they need to figure out how to move and aim accurately. Godspeed, boys.


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