reviews\ Sep 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Elevator Action Deluxe Review


Taito has a tendency of revitalizing its arcade games for modern release. Look at what it’s gone through over the past few years: not one, but two re-imaginings of Space Invaders (Infinity Gene, Extreme), an HD remake of its shooter Raystorm, and a re-release of the 1983 arcade classic Elevator Action. Elevator Action Deluxe may not have the same punch as other revisions from the company’s line-up, but it’s a welcome addition to your PlayStation library – especially if you’re a fan of the first one.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Elevator Action, here’s how it works. You’re a secret agent, infiltrating a large, multi-floor building from the top level. Your job is to find documents hidden behind red doors while taking down bad guys that come popping out of blue doors. Here's where the elevators come into play. Elevators run throughout the building and you use them to move from floor to floor when you’re not running through corridors. You’ll use them mostly for moving, but you can also use them to crush opponents if you time it just right. Other techniques include your trusty firearm, weapons you locate over the course of the game (including homing missiles and bombs) and good ol’ melee attacks. You can also jump across chasms and into baddies when needed.

Though the game has a lot in common with its old-school version, there are some changes. The melee works differently than it did in the first; although, it was mostly unnecessary. The gunplay works pretty well and the new weapons are useful in the later parts of the building. The graphics are similar what you'd see when playing 80’s game: a pseudo 3-D style approach, while retaining a classic 2-D style look. It takes a new approach on an old style.

That said, we would’ve preferred a high-definition 2-D look to the 3-D setting, as it can be mildly distracting. The music has also been touched up to the point that it simply isn’t the same. It’s a good time to blare your XMB soundtrack in its place – preferably Aerosmith’s “Love In an Elevator” or your given choice of Muzak.

The gameplay is right on par with the original game. You jump and shoot. It’s easy to learn and stays that way throughout most of the game, but you earn rewards based on how well you perform in each stage. Nailing gold trophies unlocks classic art for the original arcade game, so there is some incentive to replay levels.

The game also includes a competitive, localized-only four-player mode. Though it’s a bit excessive, it is interesting to see how things go when four agents enter the fray, compared to the solo exploits of Otto.

One last thing – the game does include the original Elevator Action arcade game, untouched and in perfect form. I recommend starting with this when you get the package so you can learn the basics of the game. It’s also a nice blast from the past for those who remember the original or NES versions.

We can’t recommend Elevator Action Returns over other more successful Taito reboots, mainly because some of its revisions don’t work as well as expected. That said, it’s still a good, quick game to enjoy on your own or with friends. The $9.99 price tag won’t send your wallet down the shaft either.


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