Developed and Published By: DotEmu Categories: Sports Release Date: 01.20.22
Do you remember Windjammers? This really spiffy unique sports game that Data East put out for NeoGeo arcade cabs? The closest thing I can compare it to is air hockey. See, it’s a frisbee tennis/hockey game. Does that sound a bit odd? Well, it is a bit of an odd concept, but makes for a fun game, if not a somewhat complicated one. DotEmu takes the reigns to create a sequel after getting the license from Paon, who I am honestly surprised is still in operation, but pleased to hear. How does DotEmu’s work fare however?
First things first. Music and graphics are on POINT. I’ve never been a sports game fan, but I’d be lying if I said sports games from the 90’s had some killer music, you ever play the Winning Eleven games? DotEmu’s games, at least the ones I’ve played on Switch have all really nailed down the presentation, though they had development partners at Lizardcube for those. Windjammers 2 however seems to be just them, and I’m impressed. The art style seems to go for an animation look, which if done right is fantastic, and Windjammers 2 does it right. Now,this wouldn’t be worth anything to me if the character designs were bad…and luckily they are not. Colorful, diverse. It would be kind of weird to play a sport game without different regions, huh?
So I did mention that gameplay is a bit complicated, right? It’s not just a back and forth. This is where the tennis comparisons come. You have tosses, curves, lobs, jumping strikes, charge strikes, special moves. It’s a lot, though you’d only really be using a few buttons. This is an arcade stick kind of game, otherwise you’d be using the claw. The tutorial for all of this is if you ask me, mediocre. Yes it explains everything, but I feel having short clips or a playable tutorial would have been much, much better, especially when there are SO MANY moves. That said, you should be used to it all after a few matches.
There isn’t much going on here. You have an arcade mode and online mode. Lets start with arcade. After you select your character, all with their own stats, you can pick your first match. This is between two other characters, with their own court. Each court has it’s own style and obstacles. Maybe one is just like volleyball or soccer. Maybe it’s a bit more urban and is in a junkyard with fences that bounce the frisbee. Maybe you could even knock the frisbee into one of those fences to move it. You earn points by hitting the goal. For each stage it’s different, but lets do a standard. Yellow parts of the goal for 3 points, red for 5. If it drops in a certain side of the court, you get 4 points. The first to 15 points wins a set with two in a match.
There are minigames to play in arcade mode, which I am just awful at. Standard hitting stuff…er…stuff.
You have a set number of continues, which I have an issue with. In the year 2022, a mechanic that existed in arcade games purely to get money out of players or in console games to hinder rentals should not exist anymore. You can say git gud all you want, but it doesn’t change that that’s a frustrating thing to include.
At least we have multiplayer, both online and offline. In my experience online, with both friends and random players, it worked rather well. The game uses Rollback networking, which I’m not going to go into grand detail of how it works, but it has to do with predicting movements and rolling back predictions and such and so on. Needless to say, it works and it works well. I never once felt like I had any missed inputs or lag. It practically felt like playing right next to someone. The game even lists the player count online, which does lead to some concern. When I played, the player count online was 35. The game just launched, so this is rather concerning. Hopefully the player count either goes up or doesn’t just completely wither away.
Singleplayer? It’s bare. Multiplayer? I had a blast. It is a sort of obvious thing for a game like this, but I did expect a little more to do alone. Not even a story mode, but maybe challenge modes or something. That said, if you loved the first game, you’re gonna love this.,
Buy Now: $19.99
*Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review