Date: 07-27-2011 20:01
Author: Matt Gonzales

PDC profile: Matt

Originally released in the arcades back in 1981, Vanguard is for the first time being released on modern day consoles/handhelds. Is the game still relevant in this day and age however?

Scrolling for No Reason

Like most shooters or games during the early 80's, Vanguard throws you straight into gameplay with no story whatsoever. Vanguard does not play like most sidescrolling shooters; the directional pad is used to move the ship, while the symbol buttons (,,, & ) are for shooting the ships weapons in different directions. Using multiple buttons for shooting is uncommon among old-school sidescrollers, since it required more buttons than most arcade cabinets came with back when it was released. The main objective in Vanguard is getting from one zone through to the next, with each zone changing the landscape and enemies. The landscape must be memorized, Vanguard is one of the first games to make the environment a maze. For example, in two of the zones I've went through, the screen starts scrolling faster and the level gets smaller enabling you to pick one of two routes. The graphics are not visually pleasing in this day and age, but for a game that was released during the 80's, it still holds up well. Sound is bland and unmemorable, which should be expected for a shooter from the 80's. However, the game was able to present me with possibly the creepiest voices in gaming I've ever heard, which occurred every time I would get past zones or gaining a power-up.

Keep Shooting until boredom
Vanguard still holds up well, but unlike fine wine, games don't get better with age. While I do know story wasn't much a factor of gaming in the 80's, it certainly is a factor in the 21st century. The only thing you'll be doing in Vanguard is shoot enemies in predictable spawn points and evade landscapes. Shooting predictable A.I. gets stale and boring, as it doesn't present much of a challenge besides time. There was one graphical error that I think I encountered, involving the landscape disappearing, or could that just be the first instance of destructible environments? Either way, the graphical error only happens every-so-often when you start shooting the landscape . After I played Vanguard, I just wanted to pick up a more entertaining game. I'll suggest you to pick up another game besides Vanguard, unless you're a hardcore fan of this game/genre.

Vanguard is available on the PlayStation Store in PlayStation Mini format. Published by SNK, ported by G1M2. I played Vanguard 2 hours total between my PS3 and PSP.

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