Avenging Spirit (Switch)
Avenging Spirit is a re-release of a classic Jaleco title that I hadn’t heard of before we got the press release about it but hearing Jaleco was behind it and how quirky the screens looked, I knew I had to have a look, let’s see how I got on.
Originally released in arcades in Japan in the year 1991 under the name Phantasm, the game received a GameBoy port which garnered quite the cult following due to incredibly bad and misleading box art. Ratalaika Games have decided to not only port the Arcade version but produce a tweaked version making it a little more suitable for the players at home who don’t want to credit dump their way through cheap.
The port features out of the way first, it has all the mod cons of the publisher’s other ports like Wonder Boy Collection, Gynoug, and Gleylancer all of which we have covered previously. You have filters, display options, save states, remappable controls, and a rewind feature to accompany your unlimited amount of digital credits.
On the offer the title has both the original Phantasm and Avenging Spirit offer as well as a tweaked version designed for consoles, complete with 4 difficulty modes allowing you to play the game at your own pace, both versions allow you to credit dump if you want to continue on at the loss of your high score as standard.
Avenging Spirit is a strange title, your girlfriend is kidnapped, you’re killed and her father is a scientist that has kept your spirit in order to help you get revenge, you do this by possessing the bodies of Gangsters, Ninjas, Wizards, Anime Girls, and various other foes, should you remain in your spirit form too long your spirit will fade and it’s game over.
The gameplay is that of a Run and Gun/Platformer but you can also get melee characters so it has the capacity to veer into almost brawler territory, the real joy of this title is possessing the different characters to see how they play, naturally, the Gangster isn’t going to play exactly like a Ninja or the Wizard with cat ears. It’s down to experimentation to figure out the best possession for the job, fortunately, none of them are particularly useless allowing you to really have some fun with the game.
You have 6 fairly expansive levels to explore and hidden in these are 3 keys, should you find them all you get the best ending though I’ll be keeping the circumstances of that to myself, it is worth looking out for them though I will say.
Avenging Spirit is a downright fun and quirky title that oozes 90s arcade charm with its over-the-top sprites and its over-the-top premise. It isn’t the longest game around clocking in at around 30 minutes or maybe a little longer while you look for the keys.
It’s a shame the GameBoy version isn’t present to bulk the title out further but as it stands there is a lot of fun to be had with this title and it’s well deserving of its cult status.
A quirky, cheap and quick arcade time.
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