As far as classic gaming goes, Defender gets a gold simply based on the amount of reminiscing thirty-somethings impart on anyone in the area when the D word is mentioned.
Midway's 2D shooter was a defining moment in gaming. Without question, it broke the rules and taught gamers to expect more out of any genre they deemed fit for payment. Defender had three buttons! Three buttons!
But Defender is more than just a well engineered control system, Defender imparted a feeling never before experienced within a videogame: total control. One button fires, one changes direction and one releases a smart bomb. Defender was the first game that made you feel like any success you had was directly related to you being an ultimate gaming ninja. The roster of software that has managed this most magical of triumphs can be counted on one hand. And Defender has dibs on the thumb.
Defender for the GBA is simply an enhanced version of the original and as such, deserves huge acclaim. The play mechanic of Defender Arcade is perfectly preserved, with side-scrolling, human rescuing alien-shooting the order of the day. It's as rapid as you will expect and as enthralling as it has ever been.
Reworking classic games is an inevitable part of the Game Boy Advance's release schedule. Some are good, essential even, and some just disappoint. This is an excellent outing, and comes highly recommended.
And best of all, this time around, you don't need to sport a mullet and a pair of tight snow wash jeans to be the coolest player in town!