23 April 2011

Yar's Revenge of Yar's Revenge

Betrayed, brain-washed and then revealed to the truth, Yar sets out for a revenge.

1981. Even I didn't play videogames then. I only started two years later with Philips Videopac. But back to 1981. A quirky shoot'em-up Yar's Revenge was released on Atari 2600 and remained the system's best-selling original title. Fastforward 30 years into 2011. Without much ado Atari releases a re-make at Xbox Live arcade. The titular Yar has been changed from an insect into a manga chick - but not forgetting Yar's insect roots - with four arms. Handy! Ahem... Donning a mechanical battle armor, she zooms into the screen on rails, with left thumbstick controlling Yar and the right thumbstick crosshair. Gameplay is top-notch; fast, frantic and intense. By the last boss my hands were shaking and sweat pouring down my face. Also art design is lavish, especially on mechanical levels which reminds me of those in Panzer Dragoon Orta. Indeed, Yar's Revenge is as close as you can get to Panzer Dragoon and Starfox on current platforms.

Okay, the game may be a tad short with only six stages, and it's not that hard at least on normal difficulty, but achievements are quite a bitch to acquire so if that's your thing, Yar's Revenge keeps you busy long after you have completed it. It's a matter of opinion (and virtual wallet size) whether to rush to get it now for 800 points or wait it to hit a sale. I can say I was happy with the full-price purchase. Games paying respects to retroroots are more often than most just embarrassing to everyone but when done right, they can be just as fun as their illustrious ancestors. And Yar's Revenge sure is a blast.

The game's story is told through some nifty manga drawings. You know, the thought of a girl with four arms is... kinda titillating.

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