XBLA Review: Yar’s Revenge

Some games should be left alone, but is this one of them?

Yar’s Revenge was originally an Atari 2600 in 1981 and over the years has appeared on other systems like the Game Boy Color, GBA and Xbox 360 through Game Room, but now the game has been reimagined for 2011, but should this be one game that should have been left alone?

The game essentially plays like a Panzer Dragoon game, except you can only be damaged by hits from enemies as the game makes it impossible for you to crash into walls or objects, which is quite silly…the story is also pretty poor and those who played the original will be dismayed to see Yar reimagined as a humanoid female in mechanized power armour. You use the left analog stick to move Yar and the right analog stick to aim your shots that you fire with the other buttons and it does seem to work well, so what’s the problem?

For starters, the game only has 6 stages and will be over very quickly. Yes, you can play it through co-op, other difficulties and challenges, but the main game will wear thin quickly as it all becomes repetitive and predictable. Boss battles are unimaginative as all you need to do is shoot them, instead of aiming at specific sections like a Lylat Wars-esque boss would be. The stages although nice when compared to the original lack the level of detail needed for this generation and looks incredibly dated.

There are also only a few different enemy types and avoiding their shots can become quite easy as they are predictable. Those who require a challenge will get so by attempting the game on harder difficulties and trying to gain achievements such as not being hit during a stage or not dying once through a playthrough. These are decent things to try, but chances are that you’ll be sick of the game well before then.

The Verdict

800 Microsoft Points for a game with only 6 short stages is disappointing, but it wouldn’t have been as bad if they were memorable. Sadly, Yar’s Revenge doesn’t have any originality and for the price tag, it really should have been so much more.