| paleface [sys=PSP; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN] |
|A compilation containing ports of the following Konami shooters: Salamander, Life Force, Salamander 2, Xexex, and Gradius II. I think Xexex is just there as a bonus, although some of the ship designs do have a fleshy, organic look like the Salamander series, and Gradius II might be there because it was done by the same team that did Xexex (or so I've read on Gamespot). I've already discussed the first three games in the entry for the PS1's Salamander Deluxe Pack (see entry 242), so I'll just confine myself to saying that you really should see Salamander 2, it's quite a treat.|
Xexex isn't so bad itself. A horizontal shooter with bold, bright colors, Xexex mounts a weird organic robot thing with tentacle arms to the nose of your ship. You can drop it off anywhere on the screen, and it'll float around, waving its arms and ripping enemies to shreds. While mounted on your ship, it doesn't wave its arms, but it does give you a powerful charge shot. The ship and stage designs are unusual but attractive, and although the tentacle thing is a little odd, it's still a pretty fun shooter.
Gradius II was an NES game, and doesn't really stand up well in comparison to the more advanced games in this compilation. It's more of the standard Gradius stuff, only in NES low-resolution. Blah.
Each of the games here has a superimposed menu system that allows you to set screen size (original resolution in a tinier window, or stretching to fill the screen), slowdown (you can keep the original slowdown, or turn it off, which is nice), button mapping (you can double map things, which is cool), autosave, and so on. They're very good ports, and if you're a shooting fan who can stand having things on a relatively small screen, you really should pick this one up.
|Salamander 2 has an interesting button that lets you shoot off your Options as big electrical discharges. This leaves a tinier Option floating behind, and you can pick it back up and use it as another discharge, if you want; but eventually they'll be spent. The game is very generous in dropping more Options for you to pick up, though.|| ||