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Windjammers (Playstation 4, 2017) (Neo Geo, 1994)

Posted: December 28th, 2017, 9:11 am
by Retro STrife
Windjammers just got a physical release on PS4 courtesy of Limited Run Games. This is the first game that I've bought directly from LRG (I also picked up Night Trap for PS4 earlier this year, but got it from a reseller). The game was also released as a downloadable title earlier this year for $15. There's a version on the Vita as well.

But before discussing the remastered version that was just released, let me go back to the Neo Geo original from 1994. In the game, players go head-to-head throwing a frisbee-type disc at each other, trying to get it past their opponent and into their goal for points. It has been described as a modern version of Pong, but with elements of fighting games mixed in. It's an under-the-radar game on the Neo Geo, but enthusiasts for the system know it well and it's very well regarded. I first learned about the game from the VGC's review, where he gave the Neo Geo version a glowing review with an A rating.

Based on that, when I got my Neo Geo MVS cabinet earlier this year, I decided that I needed to try Windjammers, and bought the cart on ebay. My thoughts... As a one-player experience, Windjammers really has no legs--you can only play against the computer for a few sessions before getting tired of it. But, where Windjammers shines is as a two-player head to head game. It can be really fun going head to head with a friend. Even there, I can't share the same high enthusiasm as the VGC, though I still think it's a very good and unique game. Personally, I'd give it a B rating. The biggest issue for me is that, even against a quality opponent, I get tired of the game after about 30 minutes.

(By the way, for Neo Geo owners who like Windjammers, I also recommend checking out Flip Shot and Bang Bead. They are both similar games, and often compared against Windjammers, with opinions varying widely on which is best.)

As for the PS4 game, I bought it because it was $30, and figured that maybe I could justify selling off my Neo Geo cartridge after getting it (since that cart costs over $100). There's not much that the PS4 version adds over the original, except some very basic online modes. Still, this is a perfect conversion of the original, so the online modes probably make this the definitive version. That said, it can sometimes be hard to find an online opponent, since there aren't a lot of people playing it (I waited over 5 minutes a couple times, while other times I found someone immediately). I've also twice experienced a glitch where the sound completely cut out and stopped during a match, until the match ended.

Bottom line - Windjammers might not have a ton of long-term replayability, but the PS4 version is the easiest and cheapest way to play this Neo Geo hidden gem, and it's always a good game to pull out when you're looking for an old school head-to-head multiplayer game. Anyone else picked up the PS4 version or tried the original?

Re: Windjammers (Playstation 4, 2017) (Neo Geo, 1994)

Posted: December 28th, 2017, 11:29 am
by Sut
I didn’t even know it had been released on PS4 !
Thanks for the heads up. I know the guys on Retro Game Squad adore this game so will be good to try out.

Re: Windjammers (Playstation 4, 2017) (Neo Geo, 1994)

Posted: December 28th, 2017, 7:09 pm
by Voor
The grocery store where I worked for years had a bro geo cabinet, and I played WJ more than anything. Love this game.

Re: Windjammers (Playstation 4, 2017) (Neo Geo, 1994)

Posted: December 29th, 2017, 2:10 pm
by JustLikeHeaven
Yeah I picked this one up from Limited Run Games as well. It seems like the perfect game to have when you want to play something with friends and drink a few beers.

Also, if I ever get motivated enough it seems like an obvious choice for a videogame tournament (like the one the Critic occasionally hosts).

Re: Windjammers (Playstation 4, 2017) (Neo Geo, 1994)

Posted: December 29th, 2017, 11:52 pm
by Retro STrife
Yeah, definitely. It's also a great game to pop in when you want something quick to play. Since each match is under 5 minutes, you could easily pop it in during those moments when you only have like 15 minutes to spare. The past few days I've been finding myself playing it as a "warm-up" to other games. i.e., I'll play like 15 minutes of Windjammers when I first turn on my PS4, and then move on to a more involved game, and play that for like an hour or whatever.

As far as quick games go, it shares that quality with Rocket League, which is another competitive arcade style game that I've been playing a lot lately. Both very good games, although I would choose Rocket League hands-down over Windjammers.

Re: Windjammers (Playstation 4, 2017) (Neo Geo, 1994)

Posted: January 16th, 2018, 11:36 pm
by Retro STrife
Heads up.. For anyone interested in trying Windjammers, the downloadable version of the PS4 remaster just went on sale for $7.50 on PSN (50% off). Limited time only. Can't beat that price for a game that sells for huge prices on the Neo Geo systems.