Elevator Action Deluxe: It’s full of ups and downs

September 13, 2011

Making its arcade debut in 1983, Taito’s Elevator Action found several releases and graphical upgrades on both the Game Boy Color and Advance, as well as on Sega Saturn. The game found new life in its recent release on the Playstation Network by Square Enix: Elevator Action Deluxe.

You’re a spy sent to retrieve documents from a building. However, this task won’t be easy. These buildings seem to have a love for an excessive amount of elevators and escalators, which makes your life even harder since the enemies want to stop you from leaving with their documents. Make it out alive, and earn money for your efforts. 

The game boasts an online leaderboard for each stage so you can compete against others on your stronger stages. Along with regularly completing stages, you can also earn medals for your efforts, most of which require some strategy. More often than not, you’ll find yourself retrying the stage several times to achieve certain medals. Multiplayer mode has made its way into the game once again, but with new modes that weren’t featured in several of the older games. There’s do co-op with another local player for story mode, as well as three competitive multiplayer modes.

The original arcade game is included as a bonus, credit system and all. It’s nice to see that the core gameplay hasn’t changed much through the years, but playing the original arcade port alongside Elevator Action Deluxe, you can immediately tell why the remake’s changes were made.

One change? A dedicated attack button. In the older games, to melee, you had to jump into your opponent. When you’re close enough, you’ll just smack them in the head and you’ll earn points for their kill. Another: improved detection for entering doors and escalators. In the arcade version, it was seemingly more difficult since you had to be on mats to use them. Elevator Action Deluxe’s mechanics just seem to be more lenient with it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The game’s music is okay for the most part. Nothing particularly amazing to write home about, but certain elements remain from the arcade version, such as zip-lining into the building in the first area of each stage. It still has the classic starting sound effects. Graphics are adequate as well. Gone is the serious look they tried to achieve in the some of the previous games, and in its place is a new level of whimsy.

However, the game isn’t without its faults. While something did get improved (the controls), the newer mechanics added into the game seem to throw you for a loop and make life much harder than it should be. It seemed like a lot of the new gameplay elements weren’t balanced in time for the game’s release. If you’re a fan of the original game, though, you could probably overlook most of the games faults and just have fun with it. While it might be a rough ride and several things could make the game really cheap, it’s still a fairly solid game.

Pros: A ton of replay value with leaderboards, a nice amount of stages, multiplayer.
Cons: The game can and will be cheap. Completionists, be warned, this will be a frustrating ride.

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.