Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Elevator Action, the original arcade game, is a triumph of design under limitations: you are a handsome dirty-blonde spy, zip-lining onto the roof of a building, where you will enter red doors, shoot out lights and get secret documents. You'll shoot tons of guys that just work there and take their elevators and escalators. Sometimes you karate kick them into oblivion. It is one of the most desirable arcade games without unique controls. It's the arcade game I've heard people say, "I remember this!" after not thinking about it for 40 years. I want to note one thing about the arcade game because it cracks me up:

Image

There is one band at the top of the game for the score. There is one band at the bottom showing the number of lives left and, ah, the number of credits in the game. But above that? There is a non-functioning brick wall inexplicably being shown.

I suspect the brick wall is in a ROM and by having it there, there's less work the CPU has to do with all the other craziness going on in the game. We were talking about the VIC-20 having a border (I think? Recently?) and this is the same kind of thing. OK.

Onto Elevator Action Returns.

I never had it for the Saturn. This game is a port of a game that was on at least that console 20+ years ago. The version on Steam is definitely a port. I can't get the Sega Saturn console working on my MiSTer, so this is the best I have and it's on-sale and has port-itis. This is how it starts:

Image

Do you know what to press to play the game? Do you? You do? You do, do you? Did you guess the enter key?
Did you guess the space bar?
Did you guess the fire button on your gamepad?
Did you guess A?
Did you guess B?
Did you guess C?
Did you guess D?
Did you guess E?
Did you guess F?
Did you guess G?
Did you guess H?
Did you guess I?
Did you guess J?
Did you guess K?
Did you guess L?
Did you guess M?
Did you guess N?
Did you guess O?
Did you guess P?
Did you guess Q?
Did you guess R?
Did you guess S?
Did you guess T?
Did you guess U?
Did you guess V?
Did you guess X?
Did you guess Y?
Did you guess Z? D-- oh? You did? You guessed Z as the key to start the game? Well, good, because that is how you do it. The game sure as fuck isn't going to tell you how to start it. I want to note that there is an arrow on the screen that moves and points down and it's as far from the letter "z" on your keyboard as they could place it.

With all console ports, these guys make this shit a thousand times more difficult than it needs to be. Elevator Action Returns has UI for setting gamepad buttons but does not support gamepads. It has varying menus and one option on one of them called OLD, which I had to press because, Christ, why not. I'm at that age, I see a button that says old, I hit it. It actually calls up the arcade version of the game. I didn't play it long enough to see if it was accurate because hey, I've got that one in my garage.

Sorry to make the game review one short paragraph: I do not have Elevator Action Returns in my garage, but I wish I did. It has hilarious violence on just about every floor. You can jump over the elevator gap. Within seconds my gal (there are three characters to pick) was shooting up dudes with a rocket launcher like the picture below. Millseconds after I took this screen shot, the rocket cut through every enemy on the level and I think there were even gibs.

Image

Ha hahahaha.

So that part is good. The actual GAME is good. They make you work for it. They make you work for the fun. Elevator Action Returns is the crab legs of platformers. But honestly, I have moved Taito games for a good portion of my life. While they are the smallest full size cabs and weight the least, they have the worst back doors in arcade history. Each season I check my Zoo Keeper and I am shocked that mice didn't get in there. The presentation on the original EA game took shortcuts with the way items were displayed on the screen so I guess I can't get too mad here. And elevators and bazookas go great together.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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AArdvark
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Re: Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by AArdvark »

I've seen this in my MAME collection someplace but have never thought about playing it. In the old version you played as a spy gathering secret documents in an enemy embassy (or something) and working your way to the funky getaway car in the basement.
This version looks more like Street Fighter in a crack apartment. There's no suave, there's no Bond vibes, you know? There are definitely better weapons and I bet you'll need them but the atmosphere is gritty street violence.

That's something you can get anywhere. Now I have to KLOV this game (bad verb usage, me) and look up the sales stats

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

I didn't know there was an arcade version. :(
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Re: Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by AArdvark »

Just played five minutes worth of this and does play like a fighting game. Graphics are much smoother than the original and it does have a 2 player option. I played as Kart Bradfield and didn't make it to the basement at all.

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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Kart Bradfield has done some rotten things to people in that basement.
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Flack
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Re: Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by Flack »

Elevator Action was the very, very, very first arcade cabinet I ever owned. It's the one I bought, moved into the dining room, and put a plant on top to try and hide it.

Elevator Action Returns is... okay. The layout looks similar but once you play it you realize it's a different game. I find the backgrounds too busy -- it's like Impossible Mission II, where they added backgrounds making the items to locate and search much more difficult to find. Most people haven't played this because, as you pointed out, if you didn't have a Saturn it's pretty unlikely you played it as arcades weren't exactly booming in 1995.

Elevator Action on the Gameboy Advance is pretty fun. It has the original version and a new version with updated graphics that's a lot of fun. I spent a lot of time playing it in parking lots waiting for the kids to get out of school and other activities.
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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey »

Flack wrote: Thu Dec 21, 2023 4:45 pm Elevator Action was the very, very, very first arcade cabinet I ever owned. It's the one I bought, moved into the dining room, and put a plant on top to try and hide it.
There was an Elevator Action at Oscar Blues Bar in Lyons for a long time. Somehow a guy in the arcade scene got it, or had it the whole time, and brought it back to his place in Boulder and listed it on craigslist. I think. I had been to his house before to get Q*bert.

On the way back my phone ran out of energy and I had to navigate back to where I lived without GPS. Boy, that's a treat when you are driving a rented truck. It's enough to make you want to get on an elevator but turn the gun on yourself. I guess I figured it out because the game does seem to be here on my property.

I like the IDEA of reworked classics. I support what Elevator Action Returns is trying to do.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

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AArdvark
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Re: Elevator Action Returns (PC, 2022)

Post by AArdvark »

If 1Up had an Elevator Action I would think about it.

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