So I was playing through Yakuza on the PS2 the other day, and at one point you're fighting at a batting cage, near some arcade machines. Looking a little closer, they're Spikeout machines. This brought back a flood of memories.
I actually couldn't wait to play Spikeout when it was originally announced. I followed news on the game in CVG and Gamesmaster for months (try doing that with an arcade game now), and waited patiently for my local Sega Park to get it in. They never did, and I never saw it anywhere else. Then a couple of years ago, Spikeout: Battle Street came out for the Xbox, with new characters and such. I preordered it, and although it's not as terrible as most sources suggest, it's not the world's best game either.
What interests me is that going back through those magazines, some of the locations in the original Spikeout reappear in the Xbox game, and look pretty much identical. So, I got to wondering how closely related the two games are, but never found anyone who could answer my question. It would be great if someone here could, and also if anyone knows of any Spikeout machines operating in the UK (I know this is quite unlikely).
Cant help you there dude, cant say I remember ever seeing Spikeout in the arcades, might pick the xbox version if it aint too bad, although i do remember it getting poor reviews. but seeing as i shud be able to pick it up for cheap now, i may as well give a try.
Thats if I can fit it in what with all the bioshock Im playing at the moment!
Can anyone else help HeavyElectricity?
I've been doing some research through videos and screenshots, and Spikeout: Battle Street seems to be based semi-closely on the arcade game Spikeout Final Edition (itself an update of Spikeout). The game was developed by Dimps, which does a lot of Sega contract work (for example, the Sonic Advance series).
All five stages from Final Edition are included in Battle Street, and the polygon models for them are exactly the same, with very few exceptions. However, they've been retextured to lose some of the more vibrant colour, and modern lighting effects have been applied. From what I can see, the gameplay is more or less a direct carry over too, although some design decisions are quite terrible - you can't configure one button to pick up items, you have to stick to the default (down+X+Y). Not sure about the music. All four characters from the original are in with redesigns, but you have to unlock them. Loads more characters were added, too. There's a story mode with some awful acting, which is way tougher than the arcade-style Battle Street mode. Speaking of the Battle Street Mode, you can't play all the stages in one go - depending on which route you take through Diesel Town, you'll end up in either Astro Mall or the Shipyard. Loading times are quite bad, which the arcade version didn't have a problem with due to being stored on ROM chips.
As for the game itself, it's good if you know what you're in for. The game is essentially one of the earlier 3D brawlers with very little updated material, and it shows in places. You've got freedom of movement around some large environments and can do some cool stuff - one of my favourites is in the mall level, where you can chuck an enemy down from the top of the up escalator, charge a powerful hit while he's slowly trundling back up and knock him back down just as he recovers. You can also find some neat things, like picking baseball bats off the racks in a sports shop. However, you can't get enemies to interact with the environment too much. Throwing them into walls doesn't really do anything, and neither does knocking them over a ledge. You can't knock them onto tables or other objects, which just limply fall over instead.
Unfortunately, some of the controls require pressing multiple buttons, which doesn't suit the Xbox pad so well (bear in mind I'm using the massive original model) and there's no single-system multiplayer, with only Xbox Live or system link options available. It's understandable, because Spikeout requires each player to have their own screen, but does take away from the experience a little. The fact that you have to play through the story mode using the new characters in order to unlock the original characters is a bit cheeky, too. It's like they're not letting you have what you want before you've seen the few new things they have done. However, the game can be enjoyable when taken as a 1998 arcade game, because beating up loads of bad guys is always fun.
I can understand the low review scores for Battle Street, despite the fact that I enjoy it - just enough was done to make the game look new, but the core experience was seven years old by the time it actually arrived. I can't understand why they didn't just do a compilation instead of a limp reworking. There's enough material for one across the related games (Spikeout, Spikeout Final Edition, Slashout and Spikers Battle) for them to have gotten away with it pretty comfortably without going to the effort of redoing bits.