Believe it or don’t, there are still plenty of old-school shmups yet to join Hamster’s enormous Arcade Archives release. At least this week’s sees one more knocked off the list, with the arrival of Konami’s ’80s hybrid-shmup A-JAX, now available to download on Nintendo Switch.
Released in arcades in 1987, (before making the leap to home computers under the title Typhoon), A-JAX puts players in the pilot seat of a “Tom Tiger” helicopter and a “Jerry Mouse” jet fighter (I don’t know either) as they fire-and-forget their way through alternate vertically scrolling and into-the-screen shmup sequences. Set in the future times of 2007, it is up to Earth’s remaining military forces to liberate the planet from alien invasion, blasting swarms of enemy ships out of the skies while gathering power-ups and other alt weaponry.
A-JAX is a title I remember well, not in its arcade form but certainly in its Typhoon ZX Spectrum form. Today, it’s still a pretty playable example of the classic shmup, although the switch between top-view and into-the-screen isn’t convincing, with the forced perspective on the latter just feeling a little false. It’s still a neat little title, though one might question its $8 price tag. It should also be noted that A-JAX is also available on Konami’s Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection.
Check out the action in the video below, courtesy of YouTuber World of Longplays.
Source: Destructoid Konami’s ’87 shmup A-JAX is this week’s Arcade Archives release