Reviewed: June 8, 2011
Released: April 28, 2011
Yar’s Revenge is a remake of the original Yars’ Revenge, I know it’s a bit confusing but unlike the original 1980’s game you aren’t in control of a giant alien race of flies called Yars but instead a humanoid girl called Yar who is also a Yar. I can understand the developers attempt at giving the Yar race a much needed updated look but to also make a character named for their race just confuses all of us. The original game had you going through levels defeating the Qotile invaders that had destroyed one of your home planets for no reason, at the time this game was ground-breaking due to the fact it involved diagonal movement, an all too common feature for us now but not 30 years ago.|
The remake begins with you being sent out by your masters to destroy one of their enemies who are essentially giant bugs with a lot of guns at their disposal; you have the usual grunts who take one shot to the behemoth who takes at least 10 to bring down. No backstory is given as to why you were sent out to destroy them other than you were told to. You play a few levels killing bugs and destroying the bug commanders and then their queen as commanded by the Qotile until you are shot down and saved by another alien who somehow knows who you are, what you are and who controls you as he explains you are a member of the Yar race who the Qotile have imprisoned along with your Queen. The rest of the game is just a simple shoot everything and save the queen at the end at exact revenge for your imprisonment.
When you first begin the game you are explained all your controls and the abilities you can gain during each level which consist of a regenerating shield, the ability to shrink to make yourself a smaller target and two offensive attacks plus a weapon called the Zorlon cannon which has a recharge time but usually can be used to destroy most targets in a single shot with the exception of bosses. Along with the story aspect of the game you also want to finish a level with a high of a high score as you can, not that it serves any purpose just a reminder of this game’s roots.
The story itself is told in a comic book style that looks amazing but unfortunately you only see it a few times. The rest of the game is told through conversations in game with your allies and even enemies. The lack of the voice acting makes it so you have to read everything being told to you while dodging everything that’s being shot at you, something I found extremely hard to do on the normal difficulty.
Being a port-in from the Xbox live arcade version you will notice as soon as you load the game that there is even a “Press start button” screen and all your abilities are tied to the color coded buttons on a controller. Personally I couldn’t play the game as well as I did until I plugged in my Xbox controller and played with very high sensitivity and it still felt sluggish at times. One of the most annoying problems I found was that I could not change the screen size or even the quality of the graphics unless I used an external menu.
Yar’s revenge was made for the avid rail shooter but at the price of 10$ It doesn’t justify the length of the game at only six levels and the fact that it was a direct port in with no changes to the menu from the Xbox version. I do recommend before you buy this game you keep in mind this game has nothing to do with the 1980s version other than the name so even for nostalgia’s sake I would think twice.