Perfect port, if you enjoy the original.
- Authentically replicates the fast-paced arcade game
- Simple in concept, nefarious in execution
- Can be played one or two players
- Stages quickly get tricky
- Game is a pain in the butt without a turbo controller (NES Advantage: recommended)
- While the controls are intentionally slippery, it does make the game difficult to pick up
- Lots of cheap deaths
- Doesn't save high scores (no battery)
- My cartridge is super picky for some reason
|Ostrich on ostrich action.|
The LongJoust is yet another arcade classic that was released on just about everything known to man. Ported from Atari to there even being a release on the Xbox 360 now, Joust has proven to be quite popular. It was so popular that Hal even ripped it off to create their own Balloon Fight, a slower-paced version of what was essentially the same game.
|Nintendo games and their black backdrops and no top score saving|
First off, this is a damn near perfect arcade port. Everything from the sound effects to the controls and graphics are right on target. It doesn't have the annoying menu music from the arcade version, and it also doesn't save your high scores (man, life before saving and leaderboards was balls), but hey...you can't win 'em all.
So since the actual porting is perfect, it boils down to the game itself: do you like Joust? Well, in my personal opinion...it's just ok.
|While the concept of dueling ostriches is rad, I'm not a huge fan of this game.|
Joust's core concept is simple: flap your wings (either by mashing your A button or using a turbo controller) to make your ostrich slowly gain altitude, then ram yourself into the other birds when you are above them. Doing so will kill them and have them drop eggs, which you pick up for points. Kill enough and you go to the next stages, which get more and more difficult.There are two reasons I really haven't gotten into Joust. The first is the control. The birds run extremely fast (which makes sense) and maintain that momentum when you get airborn, but changing direction from slow to moving while in-air is extremely slow. I understand this is basically the point of the game, but I could never grasp my brain around the controls which resulted in my dying in a lot of instances that I felt wasn't my fault.
My second reason is the awful "spawning." Frequently you'll die and then reappear with some stupid computer-controlled bird just above you, only to die a few seconds later. Again, I get it's an arcade game and if I had the "skills that paid the bills" I probably could have avoided turning into ostrich stew, but the point is the deaths in the game have always felt cheap.
|I like the sound effects, though.|
Honestly, I vastly prefer Balloon Fight over Joust, even though the concept is the same. In Balloon Fight you have two lives instead of just one, can get lives back, and the game is a bit slower paced. While I appreciate how completely frantic Joust is, I have never been able to wrap my head around it. Though playing two player and just bouncing off the walls stupidly does lead to its own level of amusement.All in all, I'd still suggest checking out Joust if you like old arcade games, and if you have any history with it the NES version is certainly the one to pick up (and with the NES Advantage it's like playing in the real arcade!). For me personally, however, I don't tend to play this one very often. The lack of stages and variety, paired with loose controls (which, again, I understand that people can figure it out in time, but I never could) really make this one a dud for me.
Still, I can appreciate the fun concept here, and we did have some pretty great Joust competitions back in college, so hey...three out of five stars.
|As the stage crumbles around, you, will you be the last ostrich standing?|