Midnight Resistance is the sort of old-school arcade game that dumps you right into the action. Press the fire button and you materialise mid-jump in the first level of its side-scrolling militaristic world, making landfall just as a blonde in a jeep vrooms past. If you orientate yourself quickly enough, you can catch a ride - that jeep will plough through the first few waves of enemy infantry, doing your super-soldier job for you. While not really a tutorial, it creates a window of chauffeur-driven downtime - literally, a welcome wagon - to help you get your head right for the mayhem to come. It's an unexpected dollop of calm before the sturm und drang. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Right now, we're in a gaming straddle zone, one of those weird transitional phases where different generations of hardware co-exist. The Xbox One and PS4 might be waxing, but their immediate predecessors aren't waning just yet. Publishers keen to maximise potential profits (which is to say, pretty much all of them) put out their biggest games on as many platforms as they consider viable. That's why you could stage a five-a-side match using different formats of FIFA 14, and still have Android and iOS versions on the bench.
Things weren't that different in 1990. Back then, Ocean Software - the original gangstas of heavily-marketed movie tie-ins and canny coin-op adaptations - would release multiple versions of the same game across 8-bit and 16-bit platforms. Each port may have required a specialised coding team, but some of that financial outlay could be clawed back by reusing the same artwork and assets for packaging. The boxes and cassette inlays routinely spotlighted the handsomest version, with a standard disclaimer - "Screenshots taken from various formats"- that 8-bit owners came to instinctively distrust.
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