| paleface [sys=DC; cat=Shooter_3D; loc=NA] |
|After a day of agonizing frustration trying to play this game co-op with a friend using the regular DC pads, it occurred to me to try using the DC TwinSticks--and with these it plays like a dream! Totally changed my outlook on the game for the better. I suspect that the Japanese arcade version (called "Outtriggers," apparently) may have used a twin-stick control scheme.|
The control with the DC pad is almost hilariously bad, it's as if the designers had no idea that players might want to be able to turn and strafe at the same time in the first-person shooter. The closest you can get in the given control mappings is strafing with the D-pad and turning with the face buttons, but this sucks as far as I'm concerned. Fortunately, this wacky AM2 game recognizes all kinds of DC controllers--heck, I'm almost tempted to plug in my maracas and fishing controller to see what happens. You can also use mouse/keyboard, of course. Just whatever you do, do NOT try playing this with a regular DC pad.
So on to the game itself. It feels so Sega that it isn't even funny, with lighting-fast, almost too-fast, bright, detailed textures, a rather nice techno soundtrack, paper-thin premise, well-made low-poly stages and models, and completely over-the-top fast action. Many's the time where you'll lose conscious track of what's going on, and find yourself simply pulling the trigger in response to flickering impulses from the screen--and that's okay, because you need to get in to that kind of groove to beat some of the time-restricted challenges in the game.
Arcade mode puts you through small level after level of arena challenges, generally killing a certain number of opponents within a tight time limit. Dead folks drop a clock before they respawn, and you need to pick these up to gain time back. There's lots more to it than that but I'll have to get back in the swing of things with the TwinSticks before I can remember it all.
I'm told that in Japanese arcades you could play over the Internet with other Outtrigger cabs. Which certainly helps explain why the game's multiplayer support was (I haven't checked, but it seems likely that the servers are down by now) so robust. One of the few gams to support Sega's BroadBand Adapter, Outtrigger came with a very slick IRC-style game-finder and chat system, and I don't remember having any particular lag problems in the few internet sessions I played years ago.
In multiplayer, as in single-player, you can configure a custom character from several body and weapon types. Each character generally has three weapons: rocket-launcher type, machinegun type, and melee. The weapons are a pretty wild assortment, particularly the rocket-launcher types, and always come with rather small magazines that will have you on the move constantly snatching up more ammo from around the little levels.
The levels are miniature masterworks of low-poly arena design. Generally rather blocky, almost feeling tile-based, they still have great deathmatch flow and lots of nice lines of fire. Taking advantage of being able to look up/down may be a chore with the available control schemes, unless you have mouse and keyboard hooked up, but the levels are there to accommodate you when you're ready.
Anyway, damn, TwinSticks. I gotta play this more. I really do like the insane Sega arcade style that reaches something of an apex in this game, in which tightly and brightly-clad individuals skip around at super speeds while carrying weapons larger than they are. Team and co-op is fun stuff, and dang I gotta unlock more of those hidden characters.