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taito's 1983 elevator action is a game of gunfights in a flat-colored urban tower. the elevators which lurch up and down the floors function for both player and enemy as transports, obstacles, battle platforms and escape hatches. it is a platform game of vertical strategy.

if namco's 1986 rolling thunder can be thought of as a response to elevator action - flattened horizontally and faster-paced - then 1994's elevator action returns could be thought of as taito's response to rolling thunder 2, faster, louder, full of character and bombast.

elevator action returns refines the original's vertical strategy into a procession of tight, fast setpieces. explosive barrels are lined up like dominos, enemies are positioned to goad the player into shoot-outs. and ultimately it is the elevators that direct the action.

the movie sees commander "edie burret" through the game's first three missions and a great deal of gunfire. i'm playing the game on the playstation 2 taito memories joukan disc with a saturn ps2 pad, but there's also a port available for the actual saturn.



   1/23/2007