Week in Arcade: Daytona, War of the Worlds, Zombie Apocalypse 2

A trio of available digital downloads this week, coming in at a total of $30, which yes, means $10 a pop.

The War of the Worlds

This is an odd beast, licensed from/by Paramount with Martian sound effects from Steven Spielberg’s 2005 remake, the linguistic stylings of H.G. Wells novel, and taking place the same year as the 1953 film, yet it creates its own take on the story. That immediately creates a bit of a disconnect from a fan standpoint, but so does this lurching gameplay. A sort of Flashback and/or Out of This World survivalist tale, you play a man searching for his brother and other family, trying to stay alive amidst devastation and constant attacks. The sparse visuals have an appeal, but the clumsy movement and ease of being lost in the foreground darkness does not. There’s room for a War of the Worlds game, just not this one.

Daytona USA

Based on the arcade game, not the home ports, this sticky-tire, bouncy cars racer sticks with most veteran gamers for its hilariously tongue-in-cheek musical selections (now given karaoke!). Ramped up resolution gives this icon of the Saturn era a sterling make-over, while ensuring the original polygon and textures remain in place. Whether or not arcade racers remain in their prime in your mind will determine the purchase, and these titles should with their intense time limits. Added challenge modes give this port a bit of a spark while retaining its elegantly kooky simplicity.

Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone

It would be great to write this one up, especially since the first game was such a blast. However, after three attempts, this sequel refused to move past its title screen. Hitting start did nothing on multiple controllers, and zombies kept on strolling around the screen unabated.