Week in Arcade: Gatling Gears, Star Raiders

Another $25 week, and you’d better like shooting stuff… oh wait. You’re a gamer. You do. Well then, score.

Gatling Gears

Yes, it’s a twin stick shooter, and yes, there are way too many of those out there. However, this is an enormously polished one, featuring smooth controls, gorgeous destruction, and addictive leveling up. The world is steam punk inspired mech shooting, full of wonderful music and visual flair. Full co-op through the campaign is included, plus you can take part in survival mode. It’s incredible fun, and well worth the $15 asking price, even if you don’t think you need another dual analog shooter.  You thought wrong.

Star Raiders

Another 2600 classic brought to fresh, modern life, following Yars’ Revenge. This one isn’t quite on the same level, although it definitely relates better to the source material. There seems to be some confusion in the controls, different ships given different schemes that feel disorienting, not unique. The original required a special controller, thankfully not the case here as technology has caught up and provided enough buttons. Players scour the galaxy for enemies and loot, taking on missions and blowing stuff up. Sadly, the ships feel a little stiff, although maneuverable. It’s simple and pleasing, just not not enough to feel engaging.