IKARI III: THE RESCUE
written by and most screenshots courtesy of Jackal
The third in the legendary SNK series sends Ralf & Clark out to rescue the president's child.
This installment is quite different from the previous two titles. The first Ikari Warriors game is an ass-kicking gun and grenade fest in the tradition of Rambo. The second (Victory Road) is cool, but rather different- for some reason, the Ikari Warriors end up on another planet destroying all kinds of hideous monsters- but the game plays like an IW game should. Go figure. What's so different about Ikari III: The Rescue?
This time around, you don't have the traditional Shoot and Grenade buttons. Now you have Jump, Punch, and Kick. What's going on here? On the other hand, the joystick is still an LS-30 rotary controller.
The characters are larger than in the last two games. They're about the size of the sprites in P.O.W., which is SNK's take on Double Dragon. Backgrounds include deserts, fortresses, jungles, and even rivers. There's an occasional boss which usually turns out to be a huge tank or a helicopter. Actually, the graphics are not bad for a 1989 game. The music is generally forgettable, except for a catchy swing tune in the 2nd stage. The sounds are pretty good- if you knock an enemy into the water, there's a convincing splash. There are plenty of thwacks, groans, and an occasional gunshot.
Unfortunately, Ikari III falls down in the game play. You generally have to use your fists and feet to take out the enemies. Some die after a couple hits. Others take an obscene amount of damage before they give up the ghost. Where are the guns? They are few and far between. It's a pity that the bullets are severely limited. And grenades? Occasionally, an enemy will chuck one into the fray. If you're fast enough, you can yoink it and toss it back. You'll also find knives that are either laying around or in the possession of an enemy. Your Ikari Warrior character is slow- and sadly, the enemies are a lot faster. Tanks? No tanks for you! Gone is the sick glee of running down enemy hordes like you could do in the first game.
In the arcade, I had approached this game with anticipation. When I saw the different layout of the control panel, it was quite a shock- but I said "Hey, it's Ikari Warriors, right? Give it a try". I regretted it. The Ikari game play got pulled right out of this title. If I had to pick SNK's worst game, this would probably be it- it joins the ranks of other failed sequels like Double Dragon 3. Stick with the first two titles, and you'll be OK. Just avoid this clunker.
Maybe he's referring to Ikari fans...
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