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Lattice
  PS1Shooter_3DJPN  
  opened by paleface at 16:44:40 08/24/03  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_3D; loc=JPN]
           
Quite literally a rail shooter as the entirety of the gameplay takes place while sliding along the segments of a succession of large three-dimensional lattices (lattii?). To get to the next lattice you have to find and destroy a red, green and blue energy pod, which unlocks a gate of the corresponding color, allowing you access to other parts of the lattice. The lattice rails have four sides (although sometimes the rail corkscrews, and then it gets confusing as to which side you're on at the moment) and as you fly along the segments you'll meet up with an impressive array of Rez-like glowing abstract forms that seek to either block your path or shoot you, as well as a myriad of obstacles, most of which move suddenly to block one or more sides of the rail, forcing you to spin around the rail to dodge through. You've got twin blasters and bombs to deal with the destructible obstacles and a limited number of Jump charges to jump over others.
 
I suspect that many of the obstacles I hit, I was supposed to have jumped, but really there's so much going on around you that it's hard to keep a lively finger on the Jump button, particularly as you can't remap the controls to your liking (grr). Also, your finger will be engaged almost constantly with the Fire button to blow away the swarms of creatures and obstacles coming along the rail and since you can't hold Fire down to fire repeatedly, you're pretty much hammering on the button the entire time you're playing. This starts to get tiresome.
 
The beauty and variety of the lattice world will keep you playing, however: the sometimes glowing, sometimes transparent, sometimes rigid, and always moving things swirling around the lattice strands provide a graphic display downright dazzling to behold. Quite often the bewildering amount of activity makes comprehension and planning downright impossible and you've just got to spin around the rail, mash the fire button, and hope for the best as the lightshow rages by on all sides to the tune of a somewhat subdued techno beat. At times like this you just have to live and react in the experience of the lattice itself and the game becomes a very intense experience. As a trance-like visual trip, Lattice easily surpasses anything I've seen on the PlayStation.
 
Sometimes things calm down a bit and you'll be faced by a more tenacious foe who will stick with you, floating above the path of your weapon fire. In these cases you can hold a shoulder button and move the stick to aim your gun manually but this rather clunky mechanic prevents you from dodging obstacles. I could have done without those bits.
 
The lattice branches sometimes, of course, and although the minute, blurry 3d "map" in the lower left-hand corner supposedly shows where you are on the lattice wireframe, the lack of a real point of reference makes the map pretty much useless. Fortunately, you get a nasty flashing and buzzing if you're heading away from the nearest energy key pod, in which case you simply hit the "turn around" button to get going in the right direction again. Once you figure this out, and how to go around sharp turns without getting flipped back the way you came, you're thankfully for the most part free to concentrate on the fun dodging and shooting stuff without having to worry much about where you're going.
 
Having mentioned the minor quibble of not being able to remap the controls, and my more pronounced unhappiness with the clunky manual aiming sections and the necessity of hammering the fire button the entire time, I'll finish off with the worst offender: no save games, it's all done with stage passwords. How this could happen in an otherwise extremely progressive game released in the year 2000 is beyond me.
    

 
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