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January 16 2019

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  Retro - Ikari Warriors

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Game Stats
1 or 2 player

Overhead Shoot 'em up
Further Info:

The sequel to this game is called "Dogosoken" and is better known as "Victory Road" in the west. There is a 2nd sequel as well, which is simply titled "Ikari Warriors III".

Reviewed By:
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Guerilla War (Retro)

Ikari Warriors (Retro)

POW - Prisoner of War (Retro)


Back in the 80's this was probably one of SNK's better known titles. While many gamers are familiar with the name ‘Ikari' from the King of Fighters series this game seems pretty much unrelated. Missing were Ralf and Clark as we know them now, in its place was a one-man war (or two if you had a friend with you) in a bandana-wearing, M60-wielding, Bennett-Steaming*, odds-against you battle in that, if 80's action movies led us believe, must have been a daily occurance.

Ikari Warriors, for the uninitiated, is a pretty much standard fare top-down shoot-em-up game. It's main catch however, was its control system. The top part of your joystick was a ‘dial' that would change the direction your mini-Rambo was facing. This enabled you to strafe the enemy with gunfire, most of who would appear from the top of the screen, giving the game a feel very similar to shooters such as Capcom's 1942 or Gun smoke. This control method sounds good in theory but occasionally less so in practice. If you were attacked from two-directions, turning round to face them became a bit of a chore, particularly giving the sensitivity of the controller that sometimes meant turning around too far and dying often. Smash TV / Robotron's two stick approach was much better, although in general Ikari's system did suit it's gameplay.

The odds did however rise in your favour if you were to come across a tank (sound familiar slug fans!). Although these vehicles were very badly drawn and were no bigger than your character, they lent you a nice feeling of invulnerability as you could run down your enemies or just let the cannon do the talking. Frequently placed fuel packs could let a tank run last a long time. Take too many hit and the vehicles break down, and flash quickly, forcing you to bail before they explode (deja-vu?).

In the main, Ikari Warriors is a limited but briefly enjoyable shooter at best, however it pales against the competition such as the excellent, yet timeless Shock Troopers and the guilty pleasure that is the mildly satirical Total Carnage. However there is no doubting the impact Ikari Warriors had in its time. The game was a success back in the day, spawning home conversions on the NES and various 8-bit computers and probably played a major role in the development of SNK as a gaming force to be reckoned with. Ikari Warriors may not have stood the test of time, but its legacy surely has.

Overall: 6 out of 10

*Arnie fans should get that one ; )

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Home Ports:

Ported to 8-bit computer systems like the C64 &
Amstrad CPC as well as 16-bit computers like the Amiga.

Also ported to the Nintendo NES home console.

Back to Non-Neo Geo Reviews -->

#1 | Kazuya_UK on January 02 2007 12:18
We need more retro SNK reviews like this one! I must get to work on some! Ninja

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