For those who were lucky enough to be around for the golden age of arcade games in the 80’s, SNK should be a household name. Ikari Warriors is a classic series that had ended with Ikari Warriors III: The Rescue. Moving away from the bizarre second game in the series, the third returned with the traditional beat ‘em up style of gameplay.
The presidential candidate’s daughter has been kidnapped by a terrorist organization and the mission to rescue her unfolds in secrecy. You and your partner are sent into the jungle with nothing but your bare knuckles as lethal weapons. Playing like other classic beat ‘em up titles such as Double Dragon, all of the action takes place up close and personal. For most of the game you will be punishing your enemies with your feet and fists. Occasionally you will pick up a knife or pipe that can be used as a weapon. There are guns in the game, but generally you will only find them before boss fights; using the guns is the other method to harm these bosses. Unless you are Chuck Norris, I don’t think you can punch a tank into submission.
The enemies are your standard soldier types that attack in waves. Only after the current wave is defeated can you progress forward through the map. Throughout the game I felt like I was not only fighting against terrorists, but the controls as well. To change the direction you are facing you have to use the shoulder buttons. This makes it almost impossible to control your character and I ended up just holding down one of the buttons to constantly spin my character around and around while throwing punches or kicks. It worked, for the most part. There is an auto-aim option that will face your character to the newest enemy that is attacking you. It works, but nis not perfect.. Why wouldn’t they just simple use the analog stick to replicate the eight-way stick of the arcade cabinets? The game doesn’t use any recovery time when you are hit, so as soon as a terrorist starts pounding away, you will be dead. Get hit with multiple enemies nearby and you will be dead in a matter of seconds.
Ikari III is a slow moving game that boasts quite a few levels for being an 80’s game. The control problem really brings down the whole experience. The close combat is real departure from the series, and if you can get around the terrible controls the game isn’t that bad. The story line is barebones, but the visuals were impressive for the time and feels like a great way to end the Ikari franchise.
Note: The Ikari III: The Rescue review was written based on the PS3 version of the game.