Saturday, August 7, 2010

Retro Review: Athena for NES

Long before Kratos went postal on Zeus and the gods on Mt. Olympus Athena was battling "strange and fearsome creatures" on the NES.

Athena is a side scrolling platformer that has the player fighting enemies and "breaking bricks" to pick up armor and weapon upgrades. There were four weapon types Club, Arrow, Magic and Blade. The first three had three levels of strength the Sword had a forth level.

Athena can pick up Armor, Helmets and Shields to protect her against the "strange and fearsome creatures" in the game.

The game also has many items Athena can use to help her such as Pegasus wings, Harp of Protection and umm a Sailor Fuku O.o and a few that actually make the game even more infuriatingly difficult like the Broken hourglass, Goblin Hand and Skull Shield.

SNK could've had a decent game here if there was some QA involved, but regrettably this game suffered tremendously because of non existant hit detection, incredibly poor enemy AI and a zero tolerance learning curve.

The graphics were decent for the time, and the levels had enough variety to keep the player from feeling the repetitious nature of the game. The boss's were large and hard as hell if you came unprepared. Getting to the boss's was challenging enough, if you died you were whisked back to the start of the level with none of your equipment or weapons.

Athena has eight worlds to play thru (good luck!) and the final world actually incorporates a game mechanic any Megaman fan will instantly recognize, the final world in Athena has the player battle all 7 previous boss's in short succession before finally facing the final boss Dante.

The story itself is absolutely ridiculous...a goddess gets bored living in a castle and sneaks out to fight "strange and fearsome creatures". Not exactly Edipus Rex...

Later Athena made the transition from platformer to fighting game vixen in SNK's KOF franchise.

Athena's debut game gets a 3/10