The most wimpy character in video games!
Posted 2 years ago By kingquagmire - David Collins
Classic arcade game are extremely nostalgic for those who grew up during their heyday. All the pixelated goodness ushers in the days of the quarter munching arcades...and some of the most brutal difficulties of any gaming era. Now today’s gaming consoles are no stranger to seeing some of these classics return, some for the worse, and some for the better. Cue in Tozai Games (remember them, from last year’s LodeRunner?); who’ve have brought back the venerable 8-bit classic, Spelunker, with a shiny new HD coat of paint. We just need to know which of those two categories it falls into...
Within this $10 package (or $9.99 to be precise), players will find quite a bit more than the standard 8-bit rendition - although that too is included. The basic idea is you need to explore a cave in pursuit of treasures while avoiding the many hazard found within. Those hazards include pits in the cave floor, pooping bats, giant boulders and even ghosts! The fragile value-seekers have bombs, flares and a fan (to blow away the ghosts, naturally) at their disposal to survive the various hazards. The key is proper timing. As long as you have patience and a spot-on eye for danger, you’ll soon be buried in treasure.
The centerpiece is the pretty visuals as the gameplay is drafted directly from the original version. Spelunker HD has a nice, cartoony look to it with a simple, but great looking style. This becomes even more apparent when you flop over to the original game. However, the new visuals do work against it to an extent. Adding the nooks and crannies to all the rock faces give it a more realistic look, but also hide the pitfalls much better as well. I bet I accumulated just as many deaths from falling into holes in the cave floor as I did from bat droppings or the unforgiving jumps.
Jumps? Yeah, they aren’t nice to you. Just as in the 8-bit version, your uber-wimpy cave dwelling treasure hunter has a very limited jump and fall range. Drop off a ladder just a bit too high or jump from a ledge that’s just one grid space up from his/her threshold and said Spelunker will meet his/her maker really quick. That is where the challenge lies. It takes a little time to get accustomed to your weakling’s abilities. Despite that, mistakes will be made consistently and you will die. A lot.
Adding a new dimension to the experience is cooperative play. Spelunker HD features a co-op mode that facilitates four gamers locally or up to six online. The emphasis is completely on the “co-op” part of the equation as you will not progress if your paired with those that are a bit less skilled or not taking the game seriously. Our tests with it was limited since there wasn’t a lot of matches to be found, but if you can gather up some buddies for some split-screen action, good times can be had.
For $10, it’s hard to go wrong here, provided you fit in the target demographic. The original Atari and NES releases were brutal and that difficulty carries over to this HD redeux in it’s entirety. It’s platforming before Mario made it so user friendly. With over 100 stages and 10 different environments, players will spend a lot of time before completely mastering this one. So if you love the classic games, or are hankering for a challenge, Spelunker HD deserves a spot on your harddrive.
+ Classic gameplay
+ Co-op mode is cool
- Impatient gamers need not apply
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Release Date : 2010/11/23
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer : Tozai
Category : Platformer
ESRB : E10+
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