Forgotten Worlds is a classic Capcom arcade shooter from 1988, with simultaneous two-player coop, a rotational aiming system, and intense bullet hell action set across a landscape of the desolate Earth in the 29th Century.
It was the first game to use Capcom‘s then new ‘CP System‘ arcade hardware and the graphics were just mindblowing for the late ’80s. There’s something about Capcom graphics from this point in time (Street Fighter II, Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, Final Fight and Aliens vs. Predator to name but four) that really have a great mix of dynamism and imagination. You just to have to notice things in Forgotten Worlds like the legs sweeping under the lead characters as they fly around to see the care and attention to detail that has gone into this game. For a 1988 release Forgotten Worlds is phenomenal, and it broke new ground for what arcade games were at the time.
In two-player mode the game is pretty easy to play through once. Not that Forgotten Worlds is easy – it isn’t – but you can keep putting money in to continue from where you last died, so in effect you have infinite lives if you play it in an emulator. Each player has a default gun that rotates, and can also pick up a satellite drone that will float around and protect you and shoot for you. You can also upgrade your weapons and buy defensive measures at shops too. You need to collect blue coins from defeated enemies, called ‘Zenny‘, that will give you the currency needed to buy from shops.
The blasting action in Forgotten Worlds is given a unique edge by having rotational aiming, but this can also slow you down and reduce your accuracy, unless you’re able to figure out a control set that suits you. It’s not easy, though, but it is worth it, because re-playing Forgotten Worlds (or playing through it for the first time) is like taking a time capsule back to 1988. When arcade games really began to innovate… Forgotten Worlds certainly wasn’t one of the most innovative games back then, but it did take the twin-stick shooter genre to a whole new level with its surreal landscapes, bizarre monsters and gigantic boss fights.
I have no hesitation putting Forgotten Worlds onto my “Party Games” list either, because it’s a game that you can play through relatively quickly with a small group of people, and it is pretty spectacular for the time. So it would work at a gathering of video game-playing friends.