Retro: VC Weekly #147

Welcome to VC Weekly, N-Europe's guide to the wonderful world of Nintendo's download service. Written by Sam C Gittins.

Fans of the humble platformer may be pleased by the latest addition to the VC as it's a relatively obscure yet uniquely enjoyable example of the genre. Anyway enough from me and on with the game!

Available for download this week we have...

  • Spin Master

Points: 900
Publisher: D4 Enterprise
Developer: Data East
Released: 1993
System: Neo Geo

While a certain couple of consoles released in the same era had a steady flow of platform titles, the Neo Geo was more famed for its fist-full of fighting games and as a result was somewhat lacking in the 'running and jumping' department. This makes titles such as Spin Master all the more enticing being that they are something of a rarity; it might not be the most original example you could hope for by todays standards however back then it would have most likely been one of the better examples for the platform it was released on, now it's time to find out just how well it fares on the VC.

Taking control over either Johny or Tom you must fight your way through waves of enemies, collecting five pieces of a treasure map and rescuing Johny's girlfriend in the process; while the plot won't win any awards for originality it fulfills its purpose of moving things along. Playing is pretty simple as you move from one end of the level to the other taking out enemies with your default weapon, the humble Yo-Yo... most of your foes will be taken out with relative easy from this attack but for the more troublesome baddies there are a range of projectile-based weapons including bombs, fireballs, icicles, missiles and shurikens; each of these varies slightly and has its own limited use special attack.

Each of the five stages are broken down into scenes which although relatively sedate in terms of difficulty can feel a little overwhelming at times due to the sheer amount of enemies that keep coming at you, pace is the trick here. There are a few novelty sections too that help break up the gameplay including one where you're on a boat, one in a minecart � sadly not of DKC standards � and a few others which serve as a welcome break from the standard affair that the game mostly is; there are even a few boss fights thrown in for good measure.

Despite a distinct lack of any real challenge throughout - though cranking up the difficulty to its highest can help - this title still remains to be very enjoyable indeed especially if you're able to rope a friend into playing as the other character because that's where the game truly shines even though it feels like it's almost over before it had even begun. This merely means that it's a very good title to just pick up and play and as a result has a fair amount of replay value if you're willing to invest the time.

Its main highlight is definitely the unique visual style which brings everything to life in a cartoon-like style which is very appealing, sadly the same can't be said for the lacklustre audio which brings things down a bit which is a shame as if more time had been spent here then it could have made all the difference. As it stands this is still a decent and unusual title which is worth your time if you need a platforming 'fix' though there are better titles out there for a lesser amount of points.

Verdict : Short but surprisingly sweet.

That's it for another installment of VC Weekly which will return again soon. So until then, enjoy the rest of the week and Game On!

Sam Gittins
[email protected]

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