Windjammers (PlayStation 4) Review

By Eric Ace 31.08.2017

Review for Windjammers on PlayStation 4

Harkening back to when arcades were still viable, action was fast, cheap and over quickly, Windjammers is something most modern gamers likely never experienced. The concept had to be obvious enough that merely walking past the arcade machine would entice kids to pop their precious change in. The concept of this game had a very 'Rollerball' feel to it - trying to score points with a violent Frisbee game.

First appearing as an arcade game by Data East (who was better known for pinball games) in 1994, the premise of Windjammers was simple, but oddly fun. The idea is that each player picks a character on each side of a small court, throwing the Frisbee back and forth in increasingly erratic angles until they hit the opposing wall - essentially like Pong.

While never hitting some sort of epic depth, the game actually is more complicated than its visuals suggest. At its root, there are three different types of throws the player can do: straight shots that come fast and bank off the walls; curved shots that come in at weird angles; and a lob shot, which is a vertical shot designed to land on the sand (getting the player points if it is not caught).

On the defensive side, the character automatically catches the Frisbee as long as they get in its way, and there is a dive button, which gives a quick burst of speed, but has a lag if you miss.

Each side has a goal worth different points, either 3 or 5, and acts as a target to try to hit. On the normal time, the matches are incredibly fast - a few volleys is all it takes for a winner - but luckily these options can be extended. There are different levels that help mix up the feel, such as obstacles in the middle, or the goal posts rearranged in different configurations.

Screenshot for Windjammers on PlayStation 4

In a normal match, what would happen is a fast back and forth dashing from side to side, catching the Frisbee and throwing it back. Two other things change the situation, though. First is the sonic shot, where if the dive button is hit right as you catch it, you will throw it back with even faster speed. The real fun of the game comes from power shots that can be activated if the character gets into position before the disc comes. In full anime style, the character charges up with flames all around them and unloads a flaming ball right at the opponent. These are wild, and very hard to stop. It is also incredibly fun to see.

The characters are all different, having both a speed and power stat. The power shots come in slightly faster and are harder to stop, whereas speed is the ability to move around the court. Furthermore, each character has different power shots, as well. From a balance point of view, it is obvious some are better than others, but given the age of when Windjammers was originally made, and that it is loosely more for fun than anything serious, it is not that big of a deal.

The game also includes both bonus games from the arcade - Dog Distance and Bowling. Other than some nostalgia factor, though, both of these games are pretty simple and not really worth mentioning.

The entire style of the game is largely pleasant, even if there is not a lot to it, as seeing characters in body armour, throwing flaming discs bouncing off walls is tremendous fun. The advantage of this PlayStation 4 release is now not having to put change in each time the game is over.

Screenshot for Windjammers on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Despite not being lengthy or containing any sort of story, Windjammers succeeds where many others do not in the simple fact that it is fun, is easy to pick up, has an addictive level of depth, and has that 'one more time' feeling to it that makes it great for playing locally. It also has an online feature, which really helps get the game out there. Even for players that never played it originally, its simplicity is part of what makes this so enjoyable.

Developer

DotEmu

Publisher

DotEmu

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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