Video Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, nintendo, wii, ds, sony, microsoft, PSN, XBLA, Onlive, Playstation Vita, Wii U,
Posted by drew10 on May 20, 2011
Yars Revenge – Killspace Ent. – Atari – XBLA

Yars Revenge – Killspace Ent. – Atari – XBLA

Way back in gamings history a little title called Yars Revenge was released for the Atari 2600. A side on shooter featuring an insect-type…. er….. thing, you would need to shoot your way through a force field to get to the baddie on the other side. Simple by today’s standards but a huge hit in 1981, in fact the game was the largest selling title on the machine. Now Yar is back in a totally re-imagined shooter for XBLA and it is our job to see if it has lived up to its 80’s classic heritage.

Well, firstly Yar is no longer an insect-thing. No now ‘she’ is a humanoid female with six wings and wasp-like body armour. The viewpoint has also changed from a side based 2D shooter to a wonderful looking 3D on-the-rails shooter in a similar vein to Star Fox, Panza Dragoon and Sin and Punishment. Illustrious company indeed and to stand out Yars Revenge is going to need to be special.

First impressions are good, the graphical quality of this game is undeniable. The anime-inspired cut scenes introduce you to the new Yar and set the tone for the game. Once started the quality of the games art is laid before you. Bright, colourful environments populated with bold enemies and interesting locales. Yars Revenge certainly looks the part when set against some of its stable-mates but unfortunately that is where the similarities end.

The main issue with Yars Revenge is the control method. With most games of this ilk the targeting and the movement of the character are intertwined on a single stick. However for some reason the developers thought it would be a good idea to have movement on the left stick and targeting on the right. They were wrong, the controls feel, well, wrong. Half the time you find yourself squashed in corner as your brain struggles to come to terms with the unnatural controls. Perhaps with lots of practice and perseverance you could master these controls but that leads me onto the next issue. There simply isn’t enough here to keep you coming back long enough to master the controls.

Your main gun does not have the firepower to shoot through a wet paper bag. Meaning that without pick-ups most enemies are invunerable as you fly past them. But even this doesn’t prove too much of an obsticle as they rarely fire anything back at you that isn’t easily dodged. Power-ups are collected and can be fired from the face buttons but these feel soulless and add very little to the enjoyment of the game. Especially when it relies so heavily on them. In the original game Yar was equipped with the Zorlon cannon and this weapon earned you big points for destroying the baddie. Now it acts as a clear-screen power-up that barely does the weapon justice.

The audio is a bland as the gameplay, a poor repetitive tune backs the action and does nothing to up the intensity of the experience. Likewise the sound effects are also limp and uninspired.

Yet Yars Revenge main crime is simply how dull the whole thing is. When compared to its counterparts there is no thrill, no rush and no sense of adrenaline that is essential in on-the-rails shooters. It is the gaming equivalent of a page 3 model, great to look at but nothing between the ears. It is a shame because had everything in the game matched up to the visual quality then this could have been a real hit. As it is it is another shooter that will fall below the radar and another shoddy remake of a game that stood proud as a real classic.


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