Love can make us do strange things. However, revenge will drive us crazy! Therefore, when you combine the two emotions, you have a dangerous and powerful mixture of feelings. Consequently, those who cross you will pay as you try to get back to your loved ones. This is exactly what happens in Avenging Spirit. It is a haunting retro game that is straight from the 90s.
Developed by City Connection and published by Ratalaika Games, this is an old-school arcade title. It can be played solo or with another, and it reeks of nostalgia. Subsequently, it may not be for everyone, but fans of the original will lap this up. Sadly, it is a bit of a short game, but this shouldn’t put you off. Thankfully, its low price point and fast-paced action make up for this.
Avenging Spirit won’t test you.
Though there is an array of difficulty settings, the gameplay will not test you. I died repeatedly, but it mattered not. Every time I failed, I simply continued as if nothing had happened. I found this to be more than a little strange, and just a tad too easy for my liking. Accordingly, I ran around like a headless chicken and was just as graceful as well. I wish it was much harder, but this never happened. As such, this short title was shorter still and took minimal effort to complete.
The simple nature of this title starts with its uncomplicated plot. A loved-up couple is taking a romantic walk when trouble strikes. Unfortunately, a crime syndicate attack the pair and the man drops dead. To make matters worse, they leave him where he falls and they kidnap his girlfriend for good measure. However, this isn’t where it ends. Instead, the spirit of the man returns to avenge his death and save his girlfriend. In order to do this, he must traverse many levels, possess his foes, find keys, and defeat enormous bosses.
Simple concepts and short levels.
Though the core concept of Avenging Spirit is straightforward, it is also enjoyable. You’ll experience some basic platforming elements, plenty of shooting, and some paranormal activity. The hero must possess his foes and control their body. Moreover, each person he controls has unique skills that must be mastered. Therefore, you’ll become a gun-welding maniac, a kung-fu champion, an unusual snowball rolling fiend, or more. The eclectic blend of characters ensures the action is always lively, if not a little predictable. Sadly, this does make it somewhat repetitive, but the short stages mitigate this issue.
What I did enjoy, however, was the Metroidvania moments and the quest to find each of the three keys. These collectables were essential to save your girlfriend. If you missed them, you must restart your adventure and attempt to say your beloved again. What was also great was the mean bosses at the end of each of the 6 levels. You’ll face a giant snake, the head of the crime syndicate, a magical being, and more. Each boss will test your reactions and abilities but are simple to overcome. Because of the aforementioned unlimited lives, death was just an inconvenience. This was a shame, as you rarely considered your approach, and this removed any risk or tactical nuance.
Avenging Spirit is bright to look at, but also uninspiring.
The 90s were renowned for their vivid colour palette and simple but cute sprites. Avenging Spirit doesn’t fail to live up to these classic retro tropes. Consequently, it’s nice to look at but is also uninspiring. Moreover, its approach was familiar, repetitive, and lacked an exciting edge. Even when the landscapes changed and the obstacles were different, they screamed déjà vu. This was a shame, as there was such potential for a unique and unusual action title. Instead, the developers played it safe and this won’t cut it with a modern audience.
The retro approach continues with the loud, sharp, and ear-bleedingly painful audio. This high-energy and aggressive soundtrack matches the theme and hurts to listen to. However, you won’t turn it down as it’s so bad it’s good. Alongside this, the annoying sound effects add to the OTT cacophony of noise. All in all, it is the perfect accompaniment to this legacy arcade title.
Easy controls and a lack of longevity.
Avenging Spirit captures the arcade gameplay with its simple control setup. The hero can shoot, jump, and possess his foes. This is the extent of the button layout and it won’t test you. On top of this, the fast-paced action is matched by the reactive controls. Therefore, this already simple title is just a bit easier to play.
Disappointingly, the levels are too short; the enemies are weak, and the bosses are simple. As a consequence, you will complete the game in no time at all. Luckily, the search for the keys extends the longevity, as does the one labyrinthine stage. Other than this, you’ll fly through the content and will be left wanting.
Avenging Spirit doesn’t work for a modern audience.
In the 90s, Avenging Spirit would have been well-received. Sadly, its simple ways and lack of difficulty don’t work for a modern audience. Its key selling point is its retro style and simple achievement list. Other than this, it is a basic arcade title that hasn’t aged well. I can’t see a reason to revisit it and therefore I won’t recommend you to buy it. However, more information can be found here! Will you avenge your death and save your girlfriend? Possess your foes, find the keys, and save the day.