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Game Review #153: Windjammers (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: Chad M.

Developer: DotEmu

Publisher: DotEmu

Category: Arcade, Sports, Fighting, Multiplayer

Release Date: 10.23.2018

Price (at time of review): $14.99

Buy Windjammers (Digitally) from the Nintendo eShop here.

Preorder/Buy Windjammers (Physically) from Best Buy here.

Wind Is Blowing & We Be Jamming To The Oldies

I never owned a Neo Geo, and when I see the games now, I never even think of them in the capacity of the console, but rather I remember playing them in arcade-form with titles like Samurai Showdown. Since I was highly neglected by my parents and that dirt bag Santa never brought me a Neo-Geo, I guess it’s no surprise that I never got a chance to play the original Windjammers.

Windjammers (also known as Flying Power Disc in Japan) was originally developed by Data East and released on the Neo Geo in 1994. It would later see life on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan in 2010. Unfortunately, Data East declared bankruptcy, and the intellectual rights were acquired by Pain DP, a mobile company formed by ex-data east employees. It was taken down, “delisted” from the Wii V.C. In 2013, making it the only “delisted” Neo Geo game taken off the Virtual Console. A port was finally released to PS4 by DotEmu in 2017, and now it has made its way back to Nintendo via the Switch.

Pong Just Got Very Serious

The basic concept of Windjammers is like Pong, or better yet, table air hockey. Each player has a goal behind them with different-colored targets: yellow for 3 points, and pink for 5 points. You throw a Frisbee-like disc back and forth trying to get it past your opponent. You can run and dive-jump to grab the disc, and all you have to do is run into the disc to catch it. When stopping the disc, you can pop it in the air (like an air ball) to then active your special move and launch it back at your opponent. You can also bounce the disc off the sides like in air hockey.

The basic controls are the left stick for movement, and two buttons to launch the disc and lunge when grabbing it. If the disc is lobbed and you don’t get it in time, you will be docked 2 points.

Let The Discs Fly

The game is a hell of a lot of fun, and I’m sad it took this long to make it into my gaming rotation. There are 6 different modes:

  • Arcade Mode and Infinite Mode—basically the campaign mode, with easy, normal, and hard difficulties

  • Versus Mode—local co-op mode (as well as wireless handheld if you find someone out in the wild who also has Windjammers)

  • Two Mini Games: Frisbee fetch with a dog (you play the part of the human throwing the Frisbee and the dog catching it), and Frisbee bowling

  • Online Mode—pretty self-explanatory. Worth noting, as of now, the community is almost non-existent, and I had troubles getting into a match on four separate occasions

There are 6 playable characters you can choose from, as well as 6 different environments. There are leaderboards so you can work to climb that chart and see if you can become the best in the world.

The audio has Neo Geo music, Neo Geo CD music, and music off, where you still hear the background sounds. There are some updated HD menus and screens, but for the most part, everything here is straight from the 1994 classic. They added in a couple options to have the scanlines, none, smooth, and classic CRT screen.

It’s A Wrap!!!

It’s hard to deny a classic like Windjammers, as it’s so much fun to play. This is another game that finds itself with the problem of needing a bigger online community to make it a must have for quick matches, but you can still have a lot of fun playing local-multiplayer and the arcade mode. I’m happy to have finally played this one, and excited to hear that there is a Windjammers 2 coming in 2019.

Score: 8/10

Buy Windjammers (Digitally) from the Nintendo eShop here.

Preorder/Buy Windjammers (Physically) from Best Buy here.

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*Review Code Provided by Tinsley PR

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