It has been quite the ride these past few months with retro KOEI Tecmo titles making their way onto the Nintendo Switch. With a bunch of NES titles hitting the Nintendo Switch Online service, as well as stunningly good arcade ports by HAMSTER – You can check out our review for Arcade Archives: RYGAR here.
HAMSTER now alongside KOEI Tecmo have released the original Arcade version of Bomb Jack. You can read below the official description of the release:
‘BOMB JACK’ is an action game that was released by Tehkan (Koei Tecmo Games) in 1984. Players control ‘Jack’, a superhero who can leap and glide, to collect all bombs in game stages. By retrieving the ignited bombs first, you can earn bonus points and fill up your Power gauge.
The game is out now on Nintendo Switch as part of the Arcade Archives series with a price of £6.29/$7.99 and can expect the usual Arcade Archives treatment (such as different screen types, save states, difficulty changers and more).
Are you happy to see more KOEI Tecmo retro goodness? What do you want to see next? Let us know in those comments!
Critic: Shaun Player Date of Review: Sept 15th, 2018 Version: Nintendo Switch File Size(s): 75.0MB Region: PAL Game Page: RYGAR Game Page
RYGAR – known as Warrior of Argus in Japan – is a classic Arcade side-scrolling Platformer by Tecmo from the 1980’s, and with the capabilities of today’s generation of consoles we are seeing more and more true Arcade ports hit the systems. Thanks to HAMSTER’s faithful Arcade Archives series, we now have the opportunity to play RYGAR at our leisure from home (or on the go with the Switch) without the worry for our pennies being sucked up.
You play as RYGAR, a legendary – but dead – Warrior whom has risen from the grave to take down the Dominator. Set 4.5 billion years after the creation of Earth, you wield your Diskamor (a Yo-Yo type bladed wheel) to succeed in your adventure. There isn’t much story beyond that for the Arcade edition of the game, and quite frankly there doesn’t need to be.
Each level is separated into “Rounds”, which will pit you against a long side-scrolling stretch of land that you will have to navigate by platforming and launching your Diskamor at foes – along with a timer pushing you forward. The goal is to reach the end of the level with as high of a score as you can accumulate. You can do this by defeating enemies, smashing statues, and getting to the end without losing lives or in a speedy manor. This isn’t an easy feat by any definition of the word, but it is satisfying when you get your groove down.
However, this game is very trialling, as you’ll soon realise if you stand still for too long, or try and defeat every enemy you will only meet your doom. You have no health points, and only a select few lives. Every hit you take is a life lost. Thankfully the game is lenient in letting you respawn right where you died with all enemies on screen (and bonus items) removed from the screen, allowing you to get a fresh start.
The best way to get through a level is by getting use to dodging and avoiding enemies and booking it to the end as efficiently as possible. You will have pits to jump over, projectiles to dodge and hordes of oncoming enemies to avoid. You are able to jump on enemies to stun them for a short period, however this is hit and miss as the hit box is very particular with where you have to land, otherwise it’s a life lost.
This also leads to some other issues with the game, sometimes button inputs will feel delayed, so you’ll end up not jumping when you meant to, and there are also random times you won’t fling your Diskamor in mid-air, leading to a lot of unplanned lost lives. When you run out of lives (up to 5 depending on the settings you pick) you will get a game over, and have to start from Round 1 again.
There is a variety of enemies you will come across in your perilous journey, which will require different tactics to take down, if you so choose to. The game is very simple in that you can only jump and do a basic attack, so tactics will rely on when to strike, having to jump on them first or having to strike them from behind. You can also use your attack to hit oncoming projectiles if things get too hectic.
As you progress through each Round, the levels design will change up, more platforming challenges will appear and tougher enemies will spawn. There are some that feel very cheap, especially those that appear very quickly out of holes in the background. The ultimate goal is first and foremost to get as high of a score as you can, so it is meant to be played over and over again (like many of the Arcade games of that era).
The Arcade Archives version allows you to tweak various settings within the game, allowing you to increase live amount (up to 5), allow a continue option so when you run out you can have a select amount of continues to further progress, as well as things such as tweak how many points you need to get an extra life or make the game even harder if you’re the masochist type. You can also play two player with a friend locally, where you will take it in turns each time you lose a life (or complete a Round).
Is this game worth your time and money? Well the Arcade Archive series is a rather cheap purchase, though it depends how much you like high score chasers. You can get a lot of play time out of it if you are, or if not you probably won’t play it more than 5 or 10 minutes. There isn’t much motivation aside the score to push you through the game. As an Arcade game itself, it is fun, and definitely has that “one more try” addiction to it, just at least this time it isn’t costing you money each time!
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