Monday, May 7, 2012

Web Wars (Vectrex Game)

Now here's a prefect example of a game that knows what the Vectrex can and should do as a system. As you know, the Vectrex excels at shooters, but it's always a challenge to make an original shooter that adds twists to the formula without taking away from gameplay. This is evident in the fact that the Vectrex has nearly as many bad shooters as it does good ones.

Web Wars clearly builds on the Tempest template, but adds a few wrinkles that I really enjoyed. I read the back story on the game, but it was too convoluted for me to care about. Apparently you're trying to become the Hawk King through killing and capturing lots of enemies. That's something I really don't care about. Here's how the game works for me: you always shoot to kill certain enemies and capture others. The ones you shoot to kill are the sorta star-shaped ones. All the others you're trying to capture look like little bugs. You press 4 to shoot and 3 to extend your capture device. You have to time your captures correctly. More than once I found my capture device retracting at the same time that the enemy was crashing into me. Once you successfully capture an enemy, a square will appear on the web. If you go through the square, you'll enter the trophy room, which will display all the enemies you've captured. Passing through the trophy room will deposit you into the next level in which you are moving faster and there are more enemies to blast and capture. Higher levels feature a big ol' bird which will try to kill you. You have to be quick and observant to dodge its shots. It's fun to start filling up the trophy room, and the increasingly fast and frantic action turns a good shooter into a great one. Web Wars provides enough fun to make the game a joy to play, and enough of a challenge to keep you coming back. It's exactly what I wanted out of a Vectrex game, and I can't think of a single thing to make it better.

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