01/12/2022

Runtime: G4's Jirard the Completionist Raves About Windjammers 2

Runtime: G4's Jirard the Completionist Raves About Windjammers 2

By Jared Petty

Pre-Order Windjammers 2 By January 16

Collision detection is the punctuation of game design. Most action video games boil down to two mechanics: get hit or don’t get hit. In modern games, don’t get hit seems to represent a strong ascendancy: So long as you’re not struck by too many bullets, tapped by too many turtles, or caught by Mr. X, you get to keep playing. You survive. You’ve got a chance to succeed.

But go back to the early age of video games and you’ll also find a second, smaller, but important tradition more grounded on crashing into things than on avoidance. Nowhere is this idea more pronounced than in PONG, the arcade original that created the commercial game industry as we know it today. In PONG, you didn’t avoid the projectile; you went for it. Your only defense was to attack the tiny pixelated ball bouncing across the screen, sending it hurling back at your opponent, hoping they won’t manage to crash their paddle into the sprite and send it zooming back at you. 

In 1994, Data East gave the PONG principles of game design a facelift. It was a brash, colorful, stylish NEO GEO arcade game called Windjammers, and it was perfect. I’ve been playing Windjammers for many, many years. It’s something between Rockstar’s Table Tennis and a great fighting game, or more properly, a fusion representing the best of each: easy to learn, tremendously replayable, unfathomably deep.

My friend Jirard the Completionist, YouTuber extraordinaire and G4 host, is a huge fan of Windjammers, and the two of us got together for a hype-tastic discussion of what makes Windjammers pretty much perfect… and why we’re dying to play the sequel. You can listen here or on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and other places.   

You’ve still got a few days to pre-order Windjammers 2 at Limited Run Games, and you really, really should. If you’ve already played Windjammers, you know why. If you haven’t, this is not a game you want to miss out on. Listen and find out why. 

 

 

So now that you’ve listened to Jirard and I wax eloquent for a while, you’re convinced, right? Or do you want to know even more about what makes Windjammers 2 unique?

Simon Perin, Lead Artist on Windjammers 2, told us that "Windjammers 2 is an extension of the initial experience, a tribute to the original gameplay and a nice entry point for players who have not experienced the first game." That’s certainly in line with my experience playing early builds and also fits well with what Arnaud De Sousa from Dotemu had to say about the design philosophy behind Windjammers 2.

“I've known Windjammers for a long time now,” he said. “For me, Windjammers has always been related to competitive gaming and fighting games. I'm a competitive fighting game player myself and, in France, Windjammers always had a special place in tournaments and events like the Stunfest. Although Windjammers might look like a nice simple arcade game, the vision I always had of it was always closer to Street Fighter than Pong, and this is only because the Windjammers community in France really pushed the game to the next level.”

“The first Windjammers is very deep, very fun, and very unique, '' he continued. “There's nothing like Windjammers. For us, it was really important that, when you pick up the controller and start playing Windjammers 2, you feel that the game feel of the original is still there: ‘Ok yeah, it's legit, I'm playing a true Windjammers game.’ But it was also important for us to bring something new to the table.”

Windjammers 1 and 2 share the same DNA, but this new episode brings new ideas,” said Arnaud. “It's an evolution, with new graphics of course, but also new stages, new characters... and new mechanics. And this is where the biggest difference between the two games lies in my opinion. With the new mechanics we added, like the jump or the drop shot, for example, we managed to keep the unique Windjammers feel, fun, and gameplay while adding a new layer of strategies. You can play Windjammers 2 the same way you would play the first one, but if you play it like Windjammers 2, it's another beast.”

So the spirit of Windjammers endures in this refinement, but there are entirely new approaches to discover. “I personally can't wait to see how the community is going to play the game competitively and adapt to the new stuff we added,” said Arnaud. “The meta they're used to is definitely different here and a whole new world of strategies is coming their way. It's gonna be fun!”

Y’all, it’s my job to tell you about how great some video games are and to encourage you to buy them from Limited Run Games, so I hope you can take me at my word here: Windjammers is a ridiculously good video game that’s brought me dozens of hours of joy, and Windjammers 2 is built with love and patience on the same foundation. Don’t miss it. Grab it at LRG before it’s too late!

Limited Run Games:

the industry leader in the production and distribution of premium physical video games. Founded in 2015, they have published over 1,000 physical games and soundtracks in addition to winning a number of awards for their bespoke Collector’s Editions. Limited Run is the gold standard in bringing digital games to physical form for casual fans and collectors alike. Visit limitedrungames.comfor the latest offerings, or follow the brand on your social media platform of choice for all LRG-related updates:@limitedrungames.

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