| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=NA] |
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"2D shooters by Nazca."
The group who would come to be known as "Nazca" must have done this while working at Irem, the year before producing the very Metal-Sluggish "Geo Storm" on the same arcade board. You can see their style everywhere in the insane amount of sprite animation, explosions, super-deformed vehicles, massive fat weaponry and, of course, just in the submarines themselves (seen again in many of the later Metal Slug games, such as Metal Slug 3, entry 170).
The PlayStation version has a lot less slowdown than I remember the arcade version having, even two player, though I last played that back in the days before I knew what "slowdown" was. Anyway, it runs pretty good, especially since it isn't really a "fast" shooter anyway, constantly forcing you to tiptoe your way through minefields and all sorts of underwater wreckage.
And then the enemy subs, gun emplacements, choppers, jets, mechs, and whatnot come and the spritey carnage begins. There is so much shrapnel at times that it is awe-inspiring to watch, and sometimes a wave of scrap metal and boiling water almost obliterates your sub from view and you hold your breath until it clears away and you see yourself still bobbing merrily along.
The later boss monsters get incredible, though I use that term loosely since they sometimes stick around throughout the entire level. The most memorable so far, for instance, has been a giant underwater humanoid statue-type thing. You come upon him deep at the bottom of an undersea pit, then he wakes up and angrily climbs upward, driving you before him through mines, enemy subs, rock strata and ancient ruins, for what seemed like a good ten minutes (though it was probably less than five) until you run out of room, then you have to take him down (and his ghastly inner secret is revealed!). Epic, truly epic.