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Ikari Warriors

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Released: 1986

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC

Publisher: Elite

Developer: David Shea / Jaffa

Submitted by: Gavin Eke

 I previously read Darren Jones Spectrum review of Ikari Warriors & thought the CPC version also deserved a mention. Released in 1986, Ikari Warriors was a classic run and gun game with a twist.

Unlike Elite's previous conversion Commando, Ikari allowed your soldier to use various Tanks that were dotted along your route. This additional fire power led to much destruction of enemy pill boxes & buildings. However, your tank only had so much fuel & would explode if it ran out (A very bad design flaw if you ask me!). Shortly before exploding, an alarm would go off & you'd have to get out quick or lose a life. Enemies would stream forward from bushes or even underwater to stop our hero. Helicopters rushed overhead & needed to be despatched with a grenade or a Tank if you were lucky. Not to mention the enemies with rocker launchers, who would staunchly guard any oncoming checkpoints.

The differences between the CPC & Spectrum versions are quite apparent when looking at a static screenshot. Utilizing the CPC's Mode 0 graphics, Ikari Warriors was colourful with chunky sprites & smooth vertical scrolling. However, the aural performance of the CPC version was very good & certainly better than the 48K Spectrum version. Grenades sounded meaty upon exploding, especially when hitting buildings, Helicopters or enemy Tanks. The "weeeeeeeeeee" sound which was made by the grenades flying through the air. Not to mention the chugging noise of your Tank as it travelled along.

Of course, the CPC version was released several months before the delayed Spectrum/C64 versions. Therefore, it was a premier arcade conversion for the CPC which was later supplemented by Gryzor & Operation Wolf. I never found out why the game was delayed for the Speccy/C64. Maybe Retrogamer can provide some insight, if it already hasn't done so.

However, when it was finally released, the Spectrum game was very playable & seemed to be a little faster than the CPC Version. Regardless of what version you play, I believe you won't be disappointed. For us CPC owners though, it made up for the shame that was Green Beret.       

Ikari Warriors

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Released: 1986

Genre: Shoot-’em-up

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Elite

Developer: David Shea / Nick Jones

Submitted by: Darran Jones

You’ve got to hand it to Elite – managing to squeeze the action-packed arcade smash Ikari Warriors onto a whole cassette tape without creating any casualties of war is truly worthy of a medal of honour.

For the unaware, Ikari Warriors is a top-down run-and-gun, crafted by SNK in the vein of Commando. In fact, the games are so spookily similar that many people often believe them to be brethren. Never let one of those Ikari-twins hear you spout such nonsensical jibba jabba, though; these pint-sized heroes are made of stern stuff. Just an angry glare or a flaring nostril from one of their faces would probably cause a cockroach to spontaneously combust on the spot. And they are likely to become so enraged at your stupidity that one of them would probably venture into a warzone to commandeer a tank, while the other crushed it into a large iron dunce-cap to perch on top of your ashes.

When faced with a road teeming with enemy solders, heavily fortified bunkers and panzershreks, these guys simply take stock of one bullet belt and a colourful bandana, and walk, unhinged, through the middle of the ensuing chaos. Yep, they have no time for strategy and planning, they view that pointless exercise as time better spent pummelling extra militia into burgers.

To get the best out of Ikari Warriors it’s best to play it with a friend. The enjoyable co-op option, vehicle borrowing and deft firing system – that allowed you to toggle between running and strafing fire – gave it a slight edge over its Capcom rival, with the Spectrum version being one of the finest home ports available. I remember vividly the panic dashes to the tank and backing up your pal with suppressing fire. It offered fun by the bunker-load and marks the lynchpin of a classic gaming grenade that is just itching to be pulled again.