Windjammers (video game)

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Windjammers
Windjammers arcade flyer.jpg
Developer(s)Data East
Publisher(s)
Data East
Producer(s)Takaaki Inoue
Designer(s)Tomo Adachi
Programmer(s)Takaaki Inoue
Wataru Iida
Artist(s)Makoto Nozu
Masateru Inagaki
Masayuki Inoshita
Galactus Mina
Yoshiyuki Urushibara
Hiroshi Tamawashi
Tomoyuki Arakawa
Composer(s)Seiichi Hamada
Tomoyoshi Sato
SeriesWindjammers
Platform(s)
Release
  • Arcade
    • WW: 17 February 1994
    Neo Geo AES
    • JP: 8 April 1994
    • NA: 8 April 1994
    • EU: 8 April 1994
    Neo Geo CD
    PlayStation 4
    • WW: 29 August 2017
    PlayStation Vita
    • WW: 29 August 2017
    Nintendo Switch
    • WW: 23 October 2018
    iiRcade
    • WW: 26 February 2021
Genre(s)Sports
Mode(s)
Arcade systemNeo Geo MVS

Windjammers[a] is a sports arcade game released by Data East on the Neo Geo arcade system in 1994.[1] The game mechanics are essentially the same as Pong or air hockey, where players continuously shoot the disc at the goal zone of the opponent attempting to score. The game can be played against the computer or in a 2 player versus. Dotemu ported the game to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in August 2017, Nintendo Switch in October 2018, and iiRcade[2] in February 2021. Dotemu would later develop and publish a sequel, Windjammers 2, which was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Google Stadia on January 20, 2022.[3]

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay screenshot.

Players choose from one of six playable characters, each with their own unique speed/power ratings and special throws. Players maneuver around their respective sides of the court in any of the eight cardinal directions (allowing for almost fluid movement in any direction). They must act as the defense and offense of their side, blocking the disc from entering the goal zone, and throwing the disc back to the opponent's side in an attempt to score. Players throw the disc back and forth (with the speed of the disc generally increasing with each throw) until one of them scores a point, which causes the disc to be reset by the referee, who throws it to the player who was scored on so that they can serve. There are yellow goal zones, worth three points when hit by the disc, and red goal zones, worth five points. In addition, failing to catch the disc while it is in the air (described below) is considered a "Miss" and gives two points to the opponent. Each of the six court types varies in the size and positioning of the goal zones.

While the opponent holds the disc, the player acts defensively by trying to grab the disc and therefore stopping it from entering their goal zone. In order to stop the disc, the player simply needs to make contact with it, by either walking into it or diving for it with a button press (which is done at almost all times due to the high speeds of the disc). Sometimes, the disc may be launched into the air, due to the opponent, the net, barriers, or sometimes bouncing off the player's back, in which a target will appear on the court showing the landing spot of the disc, which can be caught by standing on said target.

While the player holds the disc, they act offensively by trying to throw it into the goal zone of the opponent. The player cannot move while holding the disc, and cannot hold it for more than a few seconds. The player points with the joystick in the desired direction to throw the disc and presses the primary button. The player can throw it either directly at the opponent's goal zone or attempt to bounce the disc off the walls, or barriers (if in a court that contains them).

When playing against computer opponents, the player plays one match against each character (with the next character's difficulty increasing each time) until all are defeated, thus winning the game. When playing 2-player versus, one match is played between the two players. A match consists of 3 sets that last 30 seconds by default and up to 99 seconds on the arcade version (with the timer not stopping when a point is scored, unlike most sports). A set ends when either a player reaches 12 points (in which case that player wins the set) or 30 seconds have elapsed (after which the player with the most point wins the set). If the set ends in a tie, a set win is given to both players. A match is won by winning two sets, but if players tie in both of the first two sets (giving each of them two wins), the game enters a sudden death round in which the first player to score in any way wins the match.

Characters[edit]

The playable characters are listed below.

Characters Special Move Notes
Italy Loris Biaggi Thunder Loop
Spain Jordi Costa Rocket Diagonal
United Kingdom Steve Miller Sideburner Replaced by Beeho Yoo in European release
Japan Hiromi Mita Fire Snake
United States Gary Scott Missile Throw
Germany Klauss Wessel Blitzkrieg
South Korea Beeho Yoo Sideburner Replaces Steve Miller in European release

Ports[edit]

On June 22, 2010, the game was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Japan. Following the bankruptcy of Data East, the intellectual rights for this game were acquired by Paon DP, a company which hiring some of ex-Data East employees and also having developed some of Neo Geo Pocket Color titles for SNK (such as SNK Gals' Fighters).[4][5] It was delisted from the Virtual Console on December 24, 2013, making it the only delisted Neo-Geo game for the Virtual Console.

A port of the game with online multiplayer support was released by DotEmu for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on August 29, 2017, with a Nintendo Switch version on October 23, 2018.[6][7]

Reception[edit]

In North America, the April 1994 issue of RePlay reported Windjammers to be the fourteenth most-popular arcade game at the time.[25] The July 1994 issue of Play Meter later listed it as the nineteenth most-popular arcade game at the time.[26]

In Japan, Game Machine listed Windjammers on their May 1, 1994 issue as being the twenty-second most-successful table arcade unit of the month, outperforming titles such as Samurai Shodown.[27] According to Famitsu, the Neo Geo CD version sold over 4,307 copies in its first week on the market.[28]

Retrospective reviews[edit]

Video game website Giant Bomb began regularly playing the game on camera in 2013, eventually giving it their "Old Game of the Year" award.[38] The same website later classified the game as a runner-up for "2017's Old Game of the Year" at the Game of the Year 2017 Awards.[39]

The game has also enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to a growing competitive scene. In 2018, it appeared at the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) annual fighting game championships in Las Vegas as a side tournament.[40]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known as Flying Power Disc (Japanese: フライング・パワー・ディスク, Hepburn: Furaingu Pawā Disuku) in Japan.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oh! Neo Geo Vol. 19 - フライング・パワー・ディスク". Beep! MegaDrive (in Japanese). No. 54. SoftBank Creative. March 1994. p. 134.
  2. ^ "90's Flying Power Disc Arcade Game, Windjammers, Headed to iiRcade". iiRcade. January 30, 2022.
  3. ^ "Windjammers 2 launches January 20, 2022". Gematsu. January 20, 2022.
  4. ^ "The Story Behind Reviving Obscure Neo Geo Classic 'Windjammers'". Archived from the original on 2018-08-26. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
  5. ^ "Flying Power Disc Virtual Console information from D4 Enterprise". Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
  6. ^ "Windjammers coming to Switch in 2018 - Gematsu". 5 August 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-05. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  7. ^ @Dotemu (20 August 2018). "Get ready! @NintendoEurope and us are thrilled to announce that Windjammers is heading to the Nintendo Switch Octob…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Testscreen - Windjammers (Neo-Geo)". Edge. No. 10. Future plc. July 1994. p. 78.
  9. ^ "NEO GEO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: フライングパワーディスク". Famitsu (in Japanese). No. 332. ASCII. April 28, 1995. p. 24.
  10. ^ Homsy, Richard; Menier, Marc (June 1994). "Neo Geo Review - Pulstar". Consoles + (in French). No. 33. M.E.R.7. pp. 94–95.
  11. ^ Perry, Dave; Walkland, Nick; Johnson, Jason; Price, Adrian (July 1994). "Reviews: Neo Geo - Windjammers". Games World. No. 1. Paragon Publishing. p. 24.
  12. ^ Perry, Dave; Wilton, Pete; Walkland, Nick; Price, Adrian (April 1995). "Reviews: Neo Geo CD - Windjammers". Games World. No. 10. Paragon Publishing. p. 18.
  13. ^ Herranz, Sonia (May 1995). "Lo Más Nuevo - Neo Geo: Windjammers – Una De Platillos Volantes". Hobby Consolas (in Spanish). No. 44. Hobby Press. pp. 84–85.
  14. ^ Nini, Nourdine; Morisse, Jean-François (June 1994). "Neo Geo (Version Française): Shut Up And Jam – Windjammers". Joypad (in French). No. 32. Yellow Media. pp. 120–121.
  15. ^ Gaksch, Martin (May 1994). "Spiele-Tests – NG: Windjammers". MAN!AC (in German). No. 7. Cybermedia. p. 54. Archived from the original on 2019-01-04. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  16. ^ Schnelle, Michael (March 1994). "SNK - Neo Geo: Windjammers". Megablast (in German). No. 5. Joker-Verlag. p. 60.
  17. ^ Schneider, Ulf; Girlich, Stephan (May 1994). "Test Neo Geo - Windjammers". Mega Fun (in German). No. 20. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 112.
  18. ^ F.D.L. (April 1995). "Punto De Mira (Neo Geo CD): Windjammers - Deporte y espectáculo". Micromanía (in Spanish). Vol. 3, no. 3. HobbyPress. pp. 96–97.
  19. ^ "NF編集部にまる - ネオジオゲームㇱインレビュー: フライングパワーディスク". Neo Geo Freak (in Japanese). No. 25. Geibunsha. June 1997. pp. 124–128.
  20. ^ Schneider, Ulf (June 1994). "Neo Geo Review: Windjammers". Play Time (in German). No. 36. CT Computec Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. p. 147.
  21. ^ Delpierre, Christophe (April 1994). "Tests – Neo Geo: Windjammers". Player One (in French). No. 42. Média Système Édition. pp. 90–91. Archived from the original on 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  22. ^ Iturrioz, Javier (July 1994). "Neo Geo - Review: Disco MANIA – Windjammers". Superjuegos (in Spanish). No. 27. Grupo Zeta. pp. 86–89.
  23. ^ "Ultimate review sector: Flying Power Disc (Neo Geo • Data East)". Ultimate Future Games. No. 5. Future Publishing. April 1995. p. 89.
  24. ^ Schaedle, Wolfgang (June 1994). "Warpzone - Neo Geo: Diesmal haben wir für Euch das zweite Neo-Geo-Spiel vom japanischen Spielhallenspezialisten Data East genau unter die Lupe genommen – Windjammers". Video Games (in German). No. 31. Future-Verlag. p. 40.
  25. ^ "Player's Choice - Top Games Now in Operation, Based on Earnings-Opinion Poll of Operators: Best Video Software". RePlay. Vol. 19, no. 7. RePlay Publishing, Inc. April 1994. p. 8.
  26. ^ "Equipment Poll - Video & Pinball Combined". Play Meter. Vol. 20, no. 8. Skybird Publishing. July 1994. p. 11.
  27. ^ "Game Machine's Best Hit Games 25 - テーブル型TVゲーム機 (Table Videos)". Game Machine (in Japanese). No. 471. Amusement Press, Inc. 1 May 1994. p. 25.
  28. ^ "Game Search". Game Data Library. Archived from the original on 2019-04-24. Retrieved 2020-11-01.
  29. ^ "Windjammers for Nintendo Switch". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  30. ^ "Windjammers for PlayStation 4". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. 2019. Archived from the original on 2019-12-09. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  31. ^ Weiss, Brett Alan (1998). "Windjammers (Arcade) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  32. ^ Knight, Kyle (2007). "Windjammers (Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System) - Review". AllGame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  33. ^ Rockstar78 (December 10, 2013). "Test de Windjammers sur NEO par jeuxvideo.com". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Webedia. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  34. ^ akazan (September 10, 2017). "Test de Windjammers par jeuxvideo.com". Jeuxvideo.com (in French). Webedia. Archived from the original on August 7, 2019. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  35. ^ Lopes, Gonçalo (October 23, 2018). "Windjammers Review (Switch eShop) - Insert disc to play". Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Archived from the original on March 20, 2020. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  36. ^ Steppberger, Ulrich (October 1, 2017). "Top Hunter – im Test (PS4)". MAN!AC (in German). Cybermedia. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  37. ^ Palmer, Stephen (September 10, 2017). "Windjammers Review - The original disc thrower whizzes onto PlayStation". videochums.com. Video Chums. Archived from the original on October 8, 2019. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  38. ^ "Giant Bomb's 2013 Game of the Year Awards: Day One". Giant Bomb. CBS Interactive. December 23, 2013. Archived from the original on December 28, 2019. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  39. ^ "Game of the Year 2017 Day One: Old, Disappointing, Shopkeepers, and Looks". Giant Bomb. CBS Interactive. December 25, 2017. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017. Retrieved 2020-04-23.
  40. ^ Moyse, Chris (July 30, 2018). "Windjammers has one of the highest number of entrants at AnimEVO 2018 - Beats out KoF XIV, BlazBlue and Garou". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Retrieved 2020-04-23.

External links[edit]