Joust



Title screen. Note the lack of iconic font used in arcade original.

“While it still poses a worthy high-score challenge for fans of the old school, can it really offer the same rewarding player experience as a solid RPG, or platformer, or Legend of Zelda, or a multi-player sports title, or other great Nintendo games of the era? The debate can persist, but the conclusion stands: Some will be haters, and some will be fans.”
– from the full review, which you can read here.

I like Joust. Maybe it is the uniqueness, or the challenge, or the easy-to-learn pace, but Joust remains among my favorite arcade ports, even if, objectively, I would have to place it a peg or two below some of the other classics from back in the day.

This is another game, though, that falls into that strange developer habit from the era where they would fail to account for cabinet quirks in the conversion. What I mean by that is this: Joust is tough, and designed to eat quarters. Part of this is the de facto time limit in effect from the pterodactyls.

But for a home release, when someone has bought the full game and brought it to their living room, why not relax the stringent difficulty a bit? I think it is a question worth asking, although I imagine the publisher would have caught a lot of flak if their arcade classics were somehow rendered into more of a “kiddie conversion” or something. Eh.

On a positive note, however, is the difference between Joust and the arcade legends I like less: When I play Joust, I want to be good at it. When I play something like Paperboy or Donkey Kong, I do not care. That is just me, I know. But when I mount my bird (shut up), grab the lance, and go to war — I want to be good at Joust. It is a wordless, intangible feeling, but I dig the whole gladiator-arena, post-apocalyptic feel of this game.

Also: Yes, with Heavy Barrel, I just reviewed two different arcade games on NES, and gave each a rating of three stars out of five. Two very different games, but both worth a second look from people who have never bothered to give them a try, or if it has been a while since you last checked them out.

NES Gameplay Tips For Joust: Maintain altitude? I am not a good enough Joust player to offer tips on this one, sorry. Maybe someday.

Read The Full Review For: Game comparisons, gameplay analysis, my attempts at not using the same words over and over, a few shameless links to prior blog entries.

Let the Ostrich Battle begin.

GETTIN' HECTIC

Oops.

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