Ikari Warriors 2: Victory Road
At a Glance: In a stinging commentary of the cold war in 1986, you play a battle-weary soldier who only wants to get home - but end up taking a trip straight to alien adventure! Using the most cutting edge of something or whatever, you and possibly some poor homeless man you picked up off the street can learn what it really means to be a soldier. [Note: My boss told me that I need to "angry up" my reviews because I sound too weak and pathetic. I hope I don't offend any of you, you jerks. ]
Platform: NES (Download Emulator here - 192k)
Download: Download ROM here - 64k
Game Plot: If you wait at the title screen you will be treated to an intro sequence filled with beeping only matched by the touching speech made by R2-D2 professing his love for C3P0 in that fanfic I know you're writing: "Episode 7: Return of the Revenge". Within this intro sequence your buddy Pinochet has authorized you to take his private jet to go back home after whatever happened in some other game you'll wish you were in. Once in the plane you immediately run into a thunderstorm that transports you to the land of Alexia, where you have to defeat some conquering aliens/mutants/never explained to yous. I'd like some more reason in this story, SNK. No? Okay, I guess I'll deal with what you gave me. [All of this was written while I was waiting for the intro sequence to get done typing itself out. Morse code can kiss my ass, I don't care what Nicolas Cage says.]
As you begin to play, you are told "Come on, let's fight" by someone. You will probably spend a good portion of this game wondering who it is that says this to you. But in the end, you can only assume it's you or someone living on your McFlabby body.
I tried to analyze this game like any professional PhD-holding Nintendologist would. I realized quickly that it was a love letter to the pioneer spirit, the American dream. You, clad only in the traditional American military unitard, are sent to fight the forces of evil on whatever planet they may be. This is the role the United States was born to play: the guy who walks into alien bars and beats the hell out of guys for cash.
SNK decided to pave new grounds with their brilliant "confusion" game design strategy. Throughout the levels you find conviniently placed green or blue mirrors that will transport you into another dimension. One dimension is made entirely of skeet shooting. It's something only you would enjoy. Ikari Warriors 2 doesn't try very hard not to give you plenty of reasons to convert this game cart into a bong. All the enemies can shoot you no matter where you are. Your weapons are worthless except for your grenades. Also keep in mind you have one life during this whole time. One life. That's like only giving you two dollars when the local Sizzler is having a special on deep-fried cheesyweasies for three bucks.
Boo Hoo, Beefvacuum.
Enemies: Sacks of fat in different vessels, this the first thought that came to mind as I traveled around this alien world and the first thing I think of when I imagine you reading this. All enemies look fat, even the small ones, and all enemies have more mobility than you ever could. Thankfully, reality prevails by making you as slow as any Ben and Jerry's aficionado. Yes, that's right, in this game you get to know how it would be to drive that boat-sized guy who always shows up at the comic shop before you. Let's see how that anime-stealing porkmonster handles dodging a bullet from a flying vampire thing!
Not very well.
The enemies also like to use the method of "shooting where he's going to be" which, considering your character has a top land speed of 1 mile per donut in front of you, it isn't very hard to do. However, you have to try and dodge these (to you) extremely fast bullets. This results in every enemy being as difficult as a boss battle, you mindless dorkwagon.
Weapons: Shops litter the landscape, adding a much needed something to the "rocks and floating platforms" feel you get as you traverse the game. Inside these shops, you can pick a fight at the bar or look at the merchandise. But remember, you can only buy one item. This is very similar to how you are only allowed one type of candy bar at the local candy shop now. But I'm sure that story involves too many chocolate-related injuries to recount here. Everything bad always has to happen to the jerks, right jerk?
No worries though, anything you buy doesn't really help you at all. You can use this little eagle icon to get some sort of jetpack, which conviniently flies low enough that all the enemies can hit you while running at a speed you can only dream of. Or, more likely, all of its horsepower is being used to keep your pasty American body three inches above the ground. Which is something obviously destined for failure because it involves you. Another power-up is a suit of armor that you can only wear for so long before your flab grease causes it to either corrode or slip off your body. Like you, most of what you pick up in this game is worthless, you ham bandit.
To even get to these items you have to use the pause button. This seems to be a feature that SNK has entirely forgotten becuase it almost physically pains the game itself to get to your item menu. You can use these few moments to contemplate how worthless your life is and how that girl will never like you. No, twinkies do not count as girlfriends.
Levels: Somewhere in the vicinity of five levels. I lost conciousness around the fourth. What? Sad that I didn't insult you?
Bosses: When you suddenly hear some weird mutated voice say something only crickets can understand, you know it's time to fight a boss. Every boss eventually results in a "throw a grenade and run" type of strategy, a plan that only get more absurd when you could more effectively eat your enemy than run away from it. To add insult to injury, the majority of your bosses are creatures that really want to pinch your husky behind. These kinds of creatures are utilized by the designers to both display their graphical capabilities and also to teach you that no matter how hard you try - ugly people will never get ahead. (You.)
Defining Moment: For some reason, I remember playing this game when I was younger with my friend and enjoying it very much. But maybe I hated this game because I have grown up, matured, become a learned individual, and come to know the touch of a woman. Six of these things are lies, can you figure out which ones they are?
[I'm sorry for all the mean things I said. I really didn't mean them. Please don't hate me. And please don't fire me, boss. Please.]
Each category in the rating system is based out of a possible -10 score (-10 being the worst). The overall score is based out of a possible -50 score (-50 being the worst).