Originally released to arcades in the early 90s, Avenging Spirit is now available on home consoles thanks to the efforts of Ratalaika Games and Jaleco. A side-scrolling run-and-gun with a twist, this is an interesting action game with nice quality of life features added to this home release.
Playing as a ghost, you can possess any on-screen common enemy and inherit their powers. From the star throwing ninja to the rocker girls with spinning wave kicks, each possessable enemy has the same jump and attack button but each one plays a bit differently. The gangster’s machine gun is pretty straightforward, but the He-Man Orko spirit’s floating jump can make navigating platforming segments a little easier. The player will also encounter space alien men in the closing segments so there is something new to see throughout the twenty-minute campaign.
Once the host body takes too much damage, your ghost must find another body to possess before its power is lost. Take too much damage or too much time and it is game over. Since this was originally an arcade release, this game was designed to take your quarters so expect moments of cheap deaths and damage. The boss battles are the worst as some are insane bullet sponges and is impossible not to take damage. Luckily, this home console port has been graced with a save/load state feature along with unlimited continues from the point of death. However, if you are looking for a more authentic experience, the original arcade release is playable without all the modern quality of life features. This original mode is also compatible with local 2-player co-op. Ratalaika also included the original Japanese release if you wanted to experience the differences for yourself.
At the end of the day, it still plays like an action shooting arcade game from 1991 but the possessing mechanic is actually really interesting and keeps gameplay fresh. Sure, it is loaded with moments of cheese, and finding those three keys to get the good ending is tough, but this is one arcade title that holds up and the quality-of-life features makes it playable and enjoyable for a home console experience.
Don’t Forget About: the Gameboy re-release by Limited Run Games with glow-in-the-dark cart
Better Than: pumping tons of quarters and going broke playing the original arcade version
Wait For It: a console port of Ninja Baseball Batman
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com
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