|Two arcade shooter ports, and a rather odd couple at that.|
XMultiply effortlessly outdoes Gradius in the claustrophobic horizontal shooter department, offering a joyfully simple one-button control scheme but remarkable challenge in the firepower it throws at you. Grotesque organic shapes throb around your ship and even become part of your ship as powerups give you two long, trailing arms that not only fire weapons of their own but also block incoming shots if you maneuver them properly.
On the other hand, something about ImageFight just doesn't work for me--I nearly always get slaughtered right in the very beginning of the first stage. Maybe it's that horrible screen flickering that begins the introduction, or the subtle slowdown, or the stupid way in which you have to increase your speed each time you die and restart; I can't quite put my finger on it. The sprites have a nice big fat look to them and you get these cool gun pod things than can shoot out at the enemy, kind of R-Type-like, but gah, there's just something wrong here and I can't even dodge the simplest shots, it's a bizarre mind cramp. They DO have this annoying habit of turning to follow your ship.
It's kind of cool when you have a gun powerup and like three gunpods, some of which shoot backwards while others shoot forwards, but then that weirdness kicks in (is it the garish colors in the quickly-scrolling background that make everything hard to see? Or general low framerate?) and blap I'm dead. Ugh. I'll have to try this again someday.