The Game: Mount up that ostrich and ride into battle once more, this time in strange new environments such as “The Altar,” “The Blues,” a deadly mechanical warrior which can be dismantled by lancing strategic points, and crystal caves filled with killer bats. If all this sounds like too much for an armored guy on a lousy ostrich, you’re right, it is – and this is why you can transform into a Pegasus, which is a larger target and harder to keep in the air, but can take out more armored guys on lousy ostriches – and they can’t turn their steeds into flying horses. Beware, buzzard bait! (Williams, 1986)
Memories: I have to admit, I only became aware of the existence of a sequel to Williams’ immortal Joust in the late ’90s…and even now that I’ve gotten to play it, the jury’s still out. Joust needed a sequel about like The Matrix needs a sequel – meaning not at all. Both were fine as stand-alones, and didn’t need to be turned into franchises.
For all of the advantages of transforming your ostrich into a Pegasus, the more powerful steed is damn near unmaneuverable – and serves only to make you a larger target. The new vertical orientation of the monitor (and hence the playing field) also makes navigation harder in general, a problem not encountered with the original game’s horizontal layout. If ever there was a game that screamed “widescreen,” Joust is it.
Hollywood is full of ’em, and so is Silicon Valley, and Joust 2 is yet another example of a sequel that didn’t even approach the uniqueness of its inspiration.