Windjammers on PS4, what’s old is new…and still fun

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Fifteen dollars for a port of a 23-year-old game? Sure. You’ve purchased worse.

Back in the Spring, I talked a bit about Disc Jam, a PSN game that did its best to bring the old Windjammers game into the present day. It was modern, fast and had nice graphics. It played pretty well and if you need your Windjammers itch scratched, it was the best you could get outside of emulators. Until now…

Windjammers

As mentioned back then, Windjammers was on schedule to release on PS4/PSN and so it has. A late-summer release, Windjammers is back and feels great…now if only there were people to play.

This release Windjammers is basically a port of the old NeoGeo arcade version. You’ll find nothing new with the game itself. It’s still the best Pong-with-a-Frisbee game you’ll find. It’s fast, it’s unforgiving and it’s fun for all ages. There are no new characters or abilities…it’s a straight port.

There a few minor options for visuals, like adding a CRT filter and such, but nothing that changes the game. The PSN version does let you play the mini-games any time you want, rather than having to play them during your single-player quest…and that’s cool but those games do kind of lose something when they’re not treated as a reward.

Needless to say, Sony had my $15 the day Windjammers came out. Despite having the game in several forms via emulation, having a “good” version that I know will always work and look good is nice. You can still do local versus mode with a friend (as things should be) but Windjammers now sports online play, which is awesome and a necessity these days.

Too bad it doesn’t seem like anyone is playing…

I get that Windjammers is a niche game (and old)…it’s not Destiny or Rocket League or anything…but it is disheartening to not find anyone ready to play during primetime, whether during the week or on the weekend. I’d like to think theWindjammers faithful are trying to play when they can, which, if you’re like me, means after 9p when the kids are in bed and your house chores are done.

Matches only last like 5 minutes max so there’s no reason to just pick up and play, even if it’s just for a few rounds. I’ve dominated others and I’ve been humbled…that’s the sport and that’s the fun. But having to wait around for an opponent is just not healthy. I’ve found it takes longer to find a foil than it does to play them.

Windjammers on PS4

No remastering here. Old school pixels FTW.

My one complaint

Once you’re connected, the play is pretty solid and fast as you would expect. Once almost-nice feature is the choice to have a rematch immediately after a game is over, they’ve dubbed this “Revenge”. It’s a great thing when you find an opponent that you feel is at your level, where matches are near-wins and such. By all rights, I wouldn’t mind playing the same person all night if it’s a true battle. The problem is, you can only rematch if you didn’t get defeated twice in a row.

Apparently, the concept of “Revenge” can’t happen if the person that vows revenge gets beat again. And yes, that makes sense if you were talking about swordplay or a gun duel, but this is Windjammers…why not let us keep playing? Instead, after I get beat twice in a row, I have to go back to the lobby and find a new player. It’s just unnecessary and I can’t help but feel that someone said, “we call it Revenge so we can’t let people do that more than once or it wouldn’t make sense.” Fine…then rename it. Just call it a rematch and be done.

There are no surprises here

But in the end, that’s the only thing I can really pick on with this port of Windjammers. They didn’t try to reboot the game or anything, for which I am grateful. If I want a “new” version of Windjammers, I’ll go play Disc Jam (which is still pretty fun too). I’m happy withWindjammers and if you’re a fan, you will be done. If you’re not a fan or just haven’t played it before, try it. Be bold and drop some coin on it…or if you’re worried, go find it on an emulator and try it with your buddy. You’ll get hooked and then you can come join me online for a real challenge.

You can buy Windjammers from the Playstation Store for $15, which gets you the PS4 and PS Vita versions…so 2-for-1!

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Brian is a staff writer at TMA. He races Hot Wheels at RedlineDerby.com while watching cartoons with his kid. You can follow @morningtoast on Twitter.

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