Game Review: Windjammers (PS4)

Windjammers was originally released onto the Neo Geo Arcade System in 1994; but now it has been remastered in High Definition and rereleased onto the PlayStation 4 with smoothed over visuals and online multiplayer.  What can one expect from this game? Well let’s find out in our review and gameplay session. Time to take flight and shine on the beach!

Title: Windjammers
Publisher: DotEmu
Developer: DotEmu
Platform: PS4
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Audio: N/A
Subtitles: English (White)
Local Players: 1 – 2
Online Players: 2
Install: YES (50mb)

Over View:

Originally developed by Data East and published by SNK into the Arcade, and it’s home console equivalent the Neo Geo, comes a high definition port of Windjammers by DotEmu; a game which puts the classic ‘flying-disc’ sports genre into the 21st century with online multiplayer and crisp retro visuals.

In short that is pretty much what you can expect from this High Definition rerelease of the arcade classic and despite having no prior experience with the original this PS4, and in turn PS Vita, variation is good fun – and a nice challenge online – but lacking in content.

Featuring six characters, each of which with their own respective courts based on their country of origin, Windjammers is a game which sees players throw discs back-and-foruth in an attempt to score points with the winner being dictated by scoring 12 points to win. Flying disc may seem like a vague description but it’s basically another variation of Tennis or Badminton except instead of a ball or a shuttle cock being hit back and forth it is a disc that can be thrown and bounced off walls.

In order to score points players must throw the disc into the back of the opposing teams net with three and five points awarded depending on where the disc lands in the net. To make this task ‘extra challenging’ the locations of these points change depending on what court is being played on. On some courts the five point score is in the middle of the net directly behind your opponent, thus making it hard to score, whereas other courts the five point score can be awarded from the corner of the net but the area that holds those five points will be smaller than normal.

This offers some nice variety in the game and makes each match a challenge; but regardless the objective remains the same. Precision and deception is what’s needed, as well as a bit – if not at times a lot – of skill, in order to win at Windjammers as although this isn’t an overly difficult game one wrong move can result in fighting for survival (so to speak). The game isn’t overly difficult but being unprepared on the higher difficulty modes can lead to some disappointment – especially when the special abilities and varying throwing patterns of each characters come into effect.

That’s correct; each character does not play the same… well not exactly at least. From a basic perspective all six characters featured within the game do move and throw reasonably the same but special skill throws can be activated with each delivering different results. The British character for instance throws his disc along the walls while another character will see the disc spin in a rather spontaneous fashion. Its these little attentions to detail that kept me on my toes but initially they were infuriating to defend against.

Gameplay rules and styles aside what does Windjammers actually offer? Well truth be told not a lot; and considering the games price point this isn’t exactly a great sign. The game features the original Arcade Mode, including the two bonus challenges which can also be played at any time, an Infinite mode, which sees you play against opponents continuously, and the newly implemented online multiplayer, which offers ranked, free and custom match play styles, as well as offline multiplayer.

That’s it. The only saving grace for this ‘limited fun’ is the option to choose your viewing style of the game, such as scan-lines, CRT style or smoothed over HD Visuals in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios – each of which offer that authentic retro experience and newer crisp HD experience.

Naturally there isn’t a lot to expect from Windjammers, as its simply a HD rerelease of an arcade classic bundled with online multiplayer, but at the same time I am disappointed with the limited functions the game has to offer. The classic arcade experience is over within 15 minutes on the easiest difficulty (so that’s 90 minutes total with all six characters) with online multiplayer expanding that time to anything you desire.

Unfortunately this ‘desire’ was short lived as while the beta experience before launch saw endless amounts of players I’ve only managed to experience a handful of multiplayer matches. Although finding a match may prove difficult at times the matches I had were steady, lag-free and fun.

In short this release of Windjammers brings the classic arcade experience to your PlayStation 4, and in turn PlayStation Vita with its cross-buy functionality, but it is a short lived experience that is only extended by the unlockable trophies and online multiplayer. Fast, Fun and slightly repetitive but just lacking in general.

Score: review-stars-3

Windjammers is now available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. This Game is also cross-buy compatible so those who do purchase will receive both versions of the game.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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