Co-Op Corner: P.O.W. (Arcade)
When I was a kid I played P.O.W. on the NES quite often. A side scrolling beat em up by SNK, you play as an escaped P.O.W. who has to fight their way through enemy territory to freedom. The game is short with only four levels. The game looks pretty good for a NES game. The overall gameplay is pretty good for a beat’em up. While this game did not make my Top Ten NES game list, it would easily be in my top twenty.
Recently, I played through the arcade version of P.O.W. from the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection on PC with my brother. The biggest difference between the two is that the arcade version has a two player mode. Besides that there is the obvious graphic and sound differences with the arcade version being better in both categories. I really didn’t notice a difference in the overall gameplay. The game is the same length although the arcade version levels seemed a little longer to me.
Overall our impression was the arcade version is OK. The biggest complaint we had with the arcade version was the insane difficulty. Now, we are quite aware that arcade games are meant to be hard so you put more money into the game. However, there is a difference between a game being challenging and just being unfair and that is how this game felt. There were times I would spawn, get sandwiched between two enemies and get killed again before I could even do anything. Also, in the NES version you were able to go into buildings which is something you can’t do in the arcade version.
If I had to pick one version of the game, I would pick the NES version. While I liked the ability to play co-op on the arcade version, the difficulty just killed my fun. If you want a challenging co-op game that is more unfair than challenging, this one's for you.