[PAX EAST] Hands On With Windjammers 2

Written by Derek Wright

Introducing: Windjammers 2 Switch Preview

The original Windjammers was quite the cult classic. While I had never played it myself, seeing gaming personalities such as Austin Creed of Up Up Down Down, hype this game up, I knew there must be something to it. Despite not having experienced it myself, I knew there was quite a bit of excitement for the Switch-bound sequel. After my brief time with the title, I quickly found my way to Limited Run’s booth and purchased a copy of the original Windjammers.

The marketing director at Dotemu, Arnaud De Sousa, took time to explain to me the basics of this deceivingly complicated game. Two players take the field to play disc hockey. They can freely move around their side of the court unless they have possession of the disc (frisbee). When you have the disc, you need to throw it to the opponent’s goal in hopes they can’t catch it. Each goal is separated into three sections, the outer sections are worth three points and the inner section is worth five. You can also score points by deflecting the disc or lobbing it and making it land on the ground.

We Be Jamming

Each character’s range of movement seems pretty free, much like an eight-direction input.  Along with this basic movement, you can also dash, which can help keep the disc away from your goal. Lastly, each character has a unique super move that can help to turn the tide of battle. I say battle as this title can feel more like a fighting game than a competitive sports title.

Spacing becomes very important and after playing quite a few rounds with De Sousa, who thrashed me completely, this game becomes more and more like a fighting game. How you control the space around your character became more important than timing your throws. I found myself getting destroyed because I wasn’t paying attention to the empty space around me. Thankfully I found lighter characters easier to get around with, and even though I feel De Sousa went easy on me, I finally secured a win.

Disc Fight!

Speaking of characters, there was a decent number of unique characters that each have their own specific strengths and weaknesses. Some of the heavy characters have stronger throws and allow for more curve to the disc. This is a way for them to still stay competitive with the quicker characters, which seem to have less control to their arcs. The give and take shown between the players further the feeling that Windjammers 2 plays like a fighting game.

Finally, when talking to De Sousa, he informed me that along with single player and local versus modes, online multiplayer will also be included. I’m hoping the netcode will be quite hefty as this game lives and breathes its multiplayer experience. I also believe this game will start finding more and more attention, even at tournaments such as EVO (THE fighting game tournament). If the original Windjammers can keep a cult classic status for almost 30 years, I believe that the sequel will bring the series completely into the limelight.

Windjammers 2 releases on the Nintendo Switch in 2020.

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