| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=JPN] |
|Unique wide-screen (non-tate) 2D vertical shooter--two of them, actually, since the disc includes both the original NES/Famicom versions of Zanac as well as the new PlayStation version. Even the old NES ROM version is surprisingly fun, as you jet quickly through wide-open levels, hunting for your favorite of eight different weapons to use against swarms of little badguys, in complement to your regular, power-upgradable lasers.|
The weapons tend to be single projectiles that do different things, my favorites are three, which spins a ball around you rapidly, destroying anything coming close, and six, which shoots a single slow ball forward but, when it hits anything, it kills everything onscreen. Zap!
The new PS version expands upon the old gameplay but stays admirably close to it in spirit: now you get to choose from three different ships, and each of the eight weapons functions differently on each ship! For my money, #6 on the err "thunder" or "hammer" ship takes the cake: three targetting reticles revolve around your ship, pressing fire when one goes over an enemy sends an explosive projectile to detonate at the reticle's location, destroying everything in the area in a cool black/purple explosion.
Both graphics and sound are absolutely gorgeous in the remake, with richly-colored, multi-layered backgrounds and lots of nice explosion effects. Of course, you have to be careful that you don't accidentally pick up a weapon that you don't want, because it'll automatically replace whichever one you currently have. Very well done, the weapon variety really makes this game sing.