Hey ... what happened to Ikari Warriors II? Those following my SNK Minis coverage will remember me giving a passing grade to Ikari Warriors, but it feels like we've completely skipped over Victory Road in order to get to the exciting third chapter. Perhaps that's a wise choice, as The Rescue proves to be the best game in the series. Too bad this port doesn't stack up.
If you've played the original Ikari Warriors, SAR - Search and Rescue or Guerilla War, then you already know what to expect with The Rescue. In the arcade you use an eight-way controller, which you rotate around to aim your Arnold Schwarzenegger-like action star. Sadly, nobody has been able to figure out how to make this work on a standard game controller. Here you are forced to use the shoulder buttons to rotate the hero. This is ultimately too slow and imprecise. There is an option in the options screen that allows players to use auto aim, effectively forcing you to attack in the direction you're facing. Although it's a good workaround, auto aim feels decidedly different from the arcade game. Ultimately there is no perfect solution.
Unfortunately the control problems mar an otherwise stellar game. Although you're doing little more than walking in a straight line, the hand-to-hand combat is a fresh take on the gun-heavy franchise. The graphics are also strong, offering a nice variety of indoor and outdoor stages. There isn't much story here, but that's in keeping with the action movies it's so clearly inspired by. If you can get over the game's control issues you'll find a fitting end to the Ikari Warriors trilogy. It's a great game dogged by the perils of porting to new systems.
Ikari III: The Rescue is a great game dogged by the perils of porting to new systems. If you can get past the crummy controls, you'll discover that The Rescue has a lot to offer. The graphics are strong and there's a surprisingly long adventure to be found!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!