Review by Warming Blasters

Reviewed: 04/02/01 | Updated: 04/02/01

Almost as Good as Robotron

Bangai-O is another in a long line of gameplay-oriented greats from Treasure. Treasure has made many of the most-legendary action titles you've heard of, including Radiant Silvergun (one of--not THE--best 2D vertical shooters), Silhouette Mirage (their best lately), Gunstar Heroes, Guardian Heroes, and more.

This, Bangai-O, is a return to more elemental and explosive shooting gameplay surrounded by the whackiest (and often excruciatingly badly translated) story panels. Overall, it is another fine gaming experience from Treasure, one of the better creators of innovative gameplay (but far from the only one, despite the hyperbolic enthusiasm emoted by some young'ins).

Gameplay - It's a two-weapon (switchable on the fly), scrolling Robotron with an added ''superbomb''. That's it, and that's good, though any additions to the basic Robotron setup tend to muddy gameplay. You'll traverse 44 levels of absolute mayhem, interspersed with easy puzzles, a wide variety of enemies, some not-always-hard bosses, and even timed elements.

The best part and what makes Bangai-O what it is building up a colossal blast that may send 400 actual missiles or lasers flaring from within! Once past level ten almost every stage has a couple areas you know you can get one of these colossal blasts, though earlier on its tougher. This depends ultimately on just how engulfed you are in enemy fire, the more the better...unless you mistime the superblast in which case you'll have all those bullets crushing you instead.

Audio/Video - Awesome, meaty explosions with smaller staccato explosions. Lots of explosions, in other words. There is pleasant background music as well.

The graphics are perfect for this style of game, featuring necessarily tiny characters so as to fill up the screen with things to target, avoid, and destoy. That being said, those kids who must have 3D (regardless as to whether there is any gameplay) will have to pass.

Replayability - If you take up the challenge to beat previous scores, there is unending replayability here. That will always be real gaming, not just ''old-school''. If you only wish to finish all 44 levels you're still in for a ride of decent length, given that you aren't a hardcore shooter fan. And if you're not replaying for best scores, that is in fact what you are not.

To buy or to rent? - A definite buy for those who love score-oriented, multi-stage 2D shooters. A likely buy for many others who want to excel at those 400 missile explosions. Those who need a cinema handed to them after ''shooting'' a couple zombies need not apply.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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