Review: Windjammers 2

Get ready for the beach. Get your body ready for it (or like me… don’t) and grab your frisbee and let’s duke it out on the court.

Windjammers 2 is a very late sequel to the 90’s classic Windjammers and in that game, in true fighting style, you throw a frisbee. There are not a lot of options to throw your frisbee, but that doesn’t make the game any less strategic, as the simpleness is deceitful in this game. The courts change the rules up a bit and the movement of the players and how you wield them as your digital avatar, like in any fighting game, determines if you win or lose. Despite it’s simple gameplay, it’s fun and challenging.

Yes, I make the parallel with old-school fighting games, as the setup is largely the same as Street Fighter 2. You go from destination to destination and fight the challenger there, even the screen after the match seems largely inspired by street fighter 2, with funny quips towards opponents, or in case you lose (which will happen often, as they are challenging, towards you.

That is the fun thing with old school games like this, easy to pick up, difficult to master, as despite it’s simpleness in design, there is a lot going on under the hood.

This is a sequel that I am happy with that they waited with so long, to be honest, otherwise I would probably never have heard of it in the first place. To my own detriment I have to admit that I never played the first one. I don’t think at that time, that a game like windjammers would have been my jam (pun intended), but now, as a 35 year old, I crave games like this. Games that have nothing more than one gameplay thing going on and no endless collectibles that you have to pursue or even things to unlock.

A fresh breath in the gaming world is also that there are no DLC, Loot boxes or Battle passes, which to be honest, a game doesn’t need. This is a game that I love now, as it’s fresh to see a game go back to gaming roots and don’t add superfluous things it doesn’t need. This game does add upon it’s predecessor though.

The roster is more fleshed out. You get more characters that differ enough from each other so every type of player will find a character that they love playing with. There is no choice paralysis in this game, as I often get in games like Tekken with 20 plus characters, where I will hit random, when I don’t know to play which character, and although a new character to play with every once in a while is fun, it really doesn’t add anything for a casual player. A game has to be interesting enough so you can pick it up and play it, alone or with friends. The game has to be a challenge in and off itself.

This game is that game. I played this with a friend and we quickly had the “one more game” thing going on and it was very hard to stop it. Is it a game you will play the rest of your life as your only game? No. Is it fun to pick up and play with friends or just one quick go? Yes. Absolutely.

Quick history lesson in gaming: most games we had on consoles in the 90’s were quick ports from arcade games, or were designed with that philosophy. That is why platformers were so popular, and fighting games. Games were meant to be played quickly and still be addictive. Games were hard back then but they had only one purpose on arcade: to pump you for quarters. Did they lose that sentiment on console? Absolutely not. Any person born in the 80’s or 90’s can attest that games were not easy back then. The first few levels were easy enough, but the further you progressed, the more elite you became, so far so that you became the legend of the playground if you had beaten a certain level from a game. It gave you bragging rights, nothing more.

Windjammers 2 goes back to this time, in design and everything. Yes, I was again that little kid playing those games I loved best, now I can share them with friends or strangers over the internet and that is a wonderful feeling to have. Pick it up and find out for yourself if the 90’s nostalgia that Windjammers 2 brings is something for you.

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