Week in Arcade: Rush’n Attack, Wakfu, Strania

Three games this week, all $10 each.

Rush’n Attack: Ex-Patriot

An update to an ’80s Konami classic, this one must have been dreamed up by the one person who played through Shadow Complex and thought, “Hey! Rush’n Attack would work here!” Maybe it could, but not like this. Instead of the fast-paced escape, you’re now dealing with a slow, stealth-based adventure title, minus and leveling. The feeling of seeing it all comes too quick, and the combat is tremendously sluggish. Hitting the attack button should mean precise response, but that’s not what you get here. It’s a shame because the stealth kills are cool, especially as you drop from ceiling vents to stab the bad guys in the face.

Strania: The Stella Machine

Nifty SHMUP with a unique weapon system. Players have two arms with which to equip weapons of various types, while switching them on the fly. Memorization is crucial to know what to take into battle. A sword power-up turns this into a mini beat-em-up while offering additional options in close quarters. Fantastic music, huge, detailed bosses, and co-op (local, online) make sure this one is a winner, although the smooth mechanics don’t hurt. It seems SHMUP’s don’t come out with anywhere near the regularity they need to in the States, so it makes for a nice change of pace too.

Islands of Wakfu

Quite possibly one of the most gorgeous sprite-based games on the hardware, but the gameplay simply isn’t there. The interface makes it difficult to know where to go, the controls feel too cramped, and facing enemies for simple combat can prove difficult. There’s a lot of charm to go around though, and the the world itself is unique, interesting, and as if it could be overstated, gorgeous. There’s some co-op play too which may draw in action RPG fans, and some followers of the MMO this is based on may want to take the dive too.