| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=Japan] |
|Three great, on-foot vertical shooters here: Commando, Mercs, and Gun.Smoke.|
Commando is a bit pale looking these days but the run-n-shoot action is about as pure and frenetic as it gets, aside from not being able to throw grenades in all directions (I don't know why I want to do that, but only being able to throw them upscreen feels unsatisfying somehow) and that darn tunnel, it's a greaty.
Mercs' graphics put its prequel on this disc to shame, and the sound is rather remarkable as well: dig the metal rattle of the gatling guns on the harrier in the first boss fight. As usual I'd have preferred a single-hit-kill multiple life system rather than a single health meter, but even being allowed to take multiple hits and restore health with food items, this game is tough! Gotta love the alt-fire grenade launcher that just torches the whole upper part of the screen instantly, though, and how about being able to drive an armed jeep? Great stuff indeed, and not only that but you can use a multitap for simultaneous three-player action (haven't tried this yet).
And what can one say about Gun.Smoke other than that it is sheer brilliance: how on Earth did the designers come up with this idea of transforming a vertical shooter into a gunslinger moseying down the street, able to shoot not just up the screen but also angled to either side with two additional fire buttons? And collecting boots and rifle powerups to increase your speed and range? Pure awesomeness, if I may be allowed to say so, and the boss fights are wonderful.