Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Midway's Defender -GameCube
Retro Gaming Review

 Nintendo GameCube console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewMidway's Defender for GameCube Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Defender
Manufacturer: Midway
Platform: GameCube
Release Date: 2002
Part #: DL-DOL-GDFE-USA
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: Teen

Rating: Midway's Defender Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating ESRB Classic Video Game Rating
Midway's Defender Screenshot:
Midway's Defender for GameCube screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

When Defender was scaled back to fit the memory confines of the early Atari home consoles, each subsequent platform had a little more to offer. These days the game developer's logo takes up more memory than any of the Atari game versions. :)

Atari licensed Defender from Midway for it's home console ports. This release (also on PS2) comes from Midway as an iconic leap forward rather than childhood revisited. Redesigned for the modern gamer, Defender is no longer a 2D side-scrolling game, but an immersive adventure.

Defender Story Arc

Manti bugs have swarmed upon Earth, consuming human DNA to survive and power their fleets. It wasn't long before cities fell and humans were harvested to be turned into mutants who would turn on any remaining humans. By the time a 2nd swarm of Manti arrived, Earth's future was in extreme peril. A 3rd ave of Manti would certainly seal it's fate.

Human resistance was led by the Galactic Stargate Authority (GSA) headquartered at Cydonia Base on Mars. From this base, elite piots (GAS Defenders) join the Swarm War with a single mission to eliminate the Manti and save the human race!

Defender Joystick Controls

I've always liked Nintendo controllers from the SNES onward (wasn't a fan of the NES rectangle controllers) for both function and comfort. The GameCube controller was particularly evolved making it very flexible for a variety of game-control options. For Defender, no button goes to waste - there's a function for every button position available.

One of the complexities, found in arcades, were Defender's controls. The numerous buttons could overload your brain during a seering mutant attack. Defender on the Nintendo GameCube creates a lot of options to keep straight from using the Control Stick and C-Stick for areal maneuvers to various functions for 7 buttons. Your mind will adapt soon enough, but there's a lot to keep track of.

There are requisite training missions you must complete which serve as a turorial for playing the actual game. Once you get the hang of it, the controls are very responsive and combining the right motions provides a very cool experience. In place of the Reverse button you have the ability do do 180's and fire on missed bugs. Success in Defender for GameCube comes from mastering flight control as this lets you target your objectives from returning humans to the drop zone to firing on the various forms of Manti.

Defender Game Variations

Atari Defender for Atari 5200 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Don't go looking for Difficulty Switches on your GameCube - you won't find any. However, there are quite a few options built into this update to my beloved Defender of the 80's. At the outset you can choose a difficulty level of Rookie Veteran or Elite. 2-player silmultaneous play is supported via a horizontal split screen and there are two options: Cooperative and Deathmatch where you either work together to rescue Earth or try to kill oneanother.

BTW- your ship has taken on astonishing detail from it's 8-bit youth and allows you to choose your Defender Ship and more are unlocked as you progress. Additionally, you can buy supplies an weapons upgrades as you rack up credits. Those growing up with the side-scrolling version will be delighted to blast Mutants and rescue humans in several different misions that unlock with game play. The Z-key brings up a map similar to the radar screen on the arcade version and humans can be dropped off on the ground or in drop zones for power-ups.

 Nintendo GameCube console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Midway's Defender

is a good reboot to the classic Defender, but I'll never retire the old 8-bit versions of Defender

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