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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (40354)
Written on  :  Dec 06, 2004
Platform  :  NES
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Thou shalt kill those buzzards

The Good

When I first heard of Joust, I wondered what the term could mean. Well, according to the dictionary, Joust is a combat with lances between two mounted knights. And that's what the game is about. The basic idea is that you control a jouster who is riding an ostrich. You need to fly by repeatedly flapping your wings and colliding with knights who are riding buzzards to knock them out, but as long as you are slightly higher than them. If you fail to do this, you lose a life. Failing to flap your wings will result in you falling down on the nearest platform or in the burning lava.

If you manage to knock the buzzards out, you will receive some points. However, if you collide with their head instead, the buzzard drops an egg, which you should pick up before a knight hatches out of them and goes off riding a buzzard. On later waves, there are two more dangers: the deadly pterodactyl who cannot be beaten unless you hit its weak spot, and the hand that comes out of the lava and tries to grab a hold of you.

so that's the object of the game. The NES version of Joust remains faithful to the original coin-op game: same sound, same graphics, and same gameplay. The only difference between the two versions is that all of the characters in the game, including the jouster, are big that you won't be confused at which character that you are actually controlling.

Unlike other earlier games from the 80s, you cannot shoot the buzzard-mounted knights above, below, or ahead of you. Instead, you have to press the "flap" button to fly up and collide with these knights to destroy them. But whether you are successful really depends on the height and speed of you ostrich, and gaining speed allows you to fly higher, and the chance of killing a buzzard is higher. If you go too slow, you will not fly as high and it is likely that you could die.

The Bad


The Bottom Line

If you have the really old version of Joust, made for PC Booter, then you're out of luck. The game will run too fast since this is a timer-related game. If you want to play this game, then play the game on other consoles like the NES. If you have read my reviews of the games that were made by Williams, you would have noticed that these games were for the C64, made by Atarisoft. This company has made some great conversions of Williams' coin-op games, but they forget to port Joust over. Tsk, tsk.

Rating: ***