Review by r0b0c0p

Reviewed: 08/02/02 | Updated: 08/02/02

Great old fashioned Stress/relief gameplay

Lowdown - Good old Treasure always go against the grain - here we have an action-packed unashamedly retro shooter with no corny collectable upgrades, and functional but fun graphics. It's a simple game that will remind you of oldies like Smash TV, Gauntlet and Defender. No reason for a plot, although it has a completely unfathomable japlish one anyway, which may make you laugh.

There are some good ideas and one great one.

Great idea - Your smart bomb power is directly proportional to the number of enemies and enemy bullets on the screen. This is what sets it apart from any other game I myself have played. This is good because it constantly rewards the player for their skill (something that treasure are good at). If you can leave it to the last second before you use it (ie when the screen is jammed with bullets after some deft avoidance) the smart bomb is SUPER powerful and obliterates everything. This leads to some great 'stress followed by relief' situations to get the heart going and a screen littered with point bonuses and energy restores.

Good idea no.1 - Gravity. You will be constantly fighting gravity to stay up, which also encourages good movement skills.

Good idea no.2 - Simplicity. The simple graphics and small sprites mean TONS of action ALL the time. A La Smash TV.

Good idea no.3 - No predictable weapon upgrades. Sometimes I get bored of the old cliches :- collect red or blue lazer and quickly upgrade to the (usually disappointing) max, die and get very frustrated. None of this here, you have two weapons available and that's it, so you get to practice from the start and have plenty of time to perfect skills.

Niggles - The game does get repetitive, the bosses are boring and all mostly exactly the same (which sounds bad but not as much as you think because this isn't a boss orientated game). A few brief respites like bonus stages where the general graphics and presentation change and some more thought in the bosses would have added some variety.

Conclusion - In this time of 3D-for-the-sake-of-it action games here are presented with a quirky game for old shooter fans that rewards skill like only treasure games do. Thankfully it is now very cheaply available (here in England I've seen it for £3 brand new) so just get out there now and buy it!

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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