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  • Power Instinct 2 (Arcade)


    Source: EGM 2 – Issue Number 5 – November 1994 – Page 156 (Fact File)

    Power Instinct was the second in a fairly long line of fighting games by Atlus. The first two were both originally released as arcade games. Power Instinct 2 followed on the heels of its predecessor pretty rapidly, less than 6 months after it was introduced. While the home ports of the 1993 original appeared on the Super Nintendo and Genesis, Power Instinct 2 came home on the PlayStation in 1994 but only in Japan. The arcade “Fact File” from the November 1994 issue of EGM2 is shown above.

    Power Instinct is lesser known than some of the more popular fighting game series but it could hold its own for the most part. The problem was that it just didn’t have much that set it apart. Power Instinct 2 added additional characters and a small unique twist with a “stress meter” but it just wasn’t enough for it to stand out from other popular fighters of the day. After the first two games the series (and spinoffs) moved on to the Saturn and Neo Geo but I don’t believe any of them were home ports available in the U.S.

    While Power Instinct 2 doesn’t really stand out from the crowd, there isn’t really anything wrong with it. If you are a fighting game fan it’s probably worth picking up for something a little different. You’ll have to emulate the arcade version or perhaps pick up the Japanese import though as that is the only way to get it. You can also check out the ports of the original Power Instinct on the SNES or Genesis.

    Screen shots above are from the arcade version of Power Instinct 2.

  • Dragon Spirit (Arcade)

    Dragon Spirit (Arcade)


    Dragon Spirit is an arcade game that was developed by Namco in 1987 and manufactured and released by Atari Games in North America. It was a vertical shooter with the unique twist that you were not controlling some sort of space ship or other aircraft but a Dragon. This didn’t really change the mechanics of the game much. You still had a primary weapon (shooting fireballs) and a secondary weapon (dropping bombs) as well as the ability to collect various other abilities throughout the game (thirteen of them).

    The story, such as it is, involves an evil serpent that escapes imprisonment and kidnaps the princess. A soldier is chosen to rescue her and transforms into a blue dragon (I’m a little fuzzy how this happens). In his quest to rescue her, he has to defeat nine of the serpents minions (bosses) before facing the serpent himself.

    Shooter fans should really like this game. It’s a solid shooter and offers a unique twist on the typical space theme. The fantasy aesthetic is a nice change of pace and who doesn’t like Dragons?

    The arcade version is easy enough to emulate but there have also been a number of ports, sequels and re-releases. The original game was ported to the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, TurboGrafx-16, and NES among other systems. The TurboGrafx-16 version was also released on the Wii Virtual Console. An emulated arcade version also appeared as part of Namco Museum Volume 5 on the PlayStation, Namco Museum 50th Anniversary for the PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC and Game Boy Advance, on the Xbox 360 as part of the Namco Museum Virtual Arcade and on the PS3 in downloadable for as part of Namco Museum Essentials. The TurboGrafx-16 version is the best port but any one of the numerous compilations with the emulated arcade version is probably a better choice.

    There was also a sequel. In the arcades there was Dragon Saber released in 1990 though the original arcade version, PC Engine port and Wii Virtual Console release all only appeared in Japan. Also, the version of Dragon Spirit released for the NES was called Dragon Spirit: The New Legend and was really somewhere between a port and a sequel. It had the same basic theme as the arcade but it was altered more significantly than the other versions.

    At any rate, it’s definitely worth checking out and the sequel is worth a try too but you’ll have to emulate the arcade version, the PC Engine version or track down an import for the PC Engine to play that one.

    Screen shots above are from the arcade versio of the game.

  • Asteroids Deluxe (Arcade)

    Asteroids Deluxe


    Asteroids Deluxe in an arcade game released by Atari in 1981 as a sequel to the original Asteroids. An experienced player could employ strategies to extend play on the original Asteroids for a long time. This “sequel” was largely designed to prevent that. After all, you have to keep those quarters flowing.

    Asteroids Deluxe is significantly more difficult game than Asteroids for a couple of reasons. First, the hyperspace feature was replaced with a shield feature. Eventually, your shield would run out of energy. Also, a new enemy was added called the Killer Satellite. If you shot this enemy, it would break apart into multiple ships that would each home in on your location. Otherwise, Asteroids Deluxe looked and played very much like the original.

    Surprisingly, there were not many home ports of the Deluxe version. In 1987, six years after Asteroids Deluxe hit arcades, there was an Atari ST version. A few years earlier, in 1984, there was a release for the BBC Micro. It’s surprising to me that there wasn’t at least an Atari 7800 version given Atari’s habit of publishing old arcade games to death in those years. There was an unofficial hack released for the Atari 7800 in 2007 that added the new play features of Asteroids Deluxe among other things.

    There have also been no re-releases of Asteroids Deluxe that I am aware of. However, there were a couple of more sequels. Space Duel in 1982 and Blasteroids in 1987 were both follow-ups to Asteroids and Asteroids Deluxe.