|Unusually irreverent and amusing vertical shooter by Psikyo. The bullet patterns can be quite reminiscent of Psikyo's excellent Gunbird and Strikers games, but the lovely round pre-rendered toylike sprites are quite another thing altogether, and together (aha!) with the sharply isometric, photographic backdrops of tall skyscrapers (hey, the Twin Towers) and large natural monuments, give the game a distinct and definitely off-kilter appearance.|
Happily this extends to the gameplay as well. Instead of the usual shooting game bombs you've got a capture claw that can grab nearly any enemy and suck him in to your ship, which processes him and deposits him to trail behind in a little tail. You can hold three enemies this way, and use them by holding Fire for a second: the oldest capture then pops up in front of your ship as a helper, their function varying by enemy type: turtles and armadillos block shots, frog heads shoot a sideways spray of deadly musical notes, and so forth.
Clever, no? And it even gets into tricky scoring, because if a shooting-type capture shoots destroys an enemy, down falls a bag of money (points). Strategic or lucky use of the right capture at an opportune moment can yield a bumper-crop of rapidly descending moneybags--and if you hit the enemy formation just right they may drop all in a row so you can scoop all of them up. Big score coming? If you're good.
Bosses are the best part, their big pre-rendered super-deformed bodies taking up a goodly portion of the screen space, leaving perhaps just enough room for them to summon in a few squadrons of helpers to run interference while they maneuver you in to the right spot of a withering death laser blast. Of course, this comes from a giant pink piggy, a massive transforming trashcan, or other unlikely figure. Very good stuff.
The best though are the main characters of the custscenes, namely a toylike smiley-face alien ("We are alien!") and The President of the United States, ie you. That's right, you're playing the President, piloting the Space Bomber ship against those nasty alien invaders, and hoping aloud that they haven't revealed your secret sex habits to the world. Get a good score and the game rewards you with a title of rank: I've got past "Governor" but have yet to exceed "Beginner President." Some day I'll be the big President, blast those interfering aliens!