| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=JPN] |
|A combination of the PlayStation ports of RayStorm and RayCrisis, 3d arcade shooters. Each has a "Special" mode that is just like the default "Arcade" mode with more powerups and chained stages. The graphics in these games are incredible--RayCrisis at times hits moments of Rez-like beauty. There's a real Rez vibe in the second game, in fact, with digitized female voices, occassional use of wireframe effects, a display showing your percentage navigation through the "network connection," the multi-missle lock-ons (also in the first game), etc. Both games have some very nice techno/trance music in the background.|
The gameplay seems good at first but doesn't quite achieve greatness for me. Each ship (two in RayStorm, three in RayCrisis, though you can't play two players at once in RayCrisis) has shot, missle and bomb. The missles lock on when you wave your crosshair over a target, then you press the missle key to fire the locked weapon at them (or it'll do this automatically for you in "Auto" fire mode, which is quite handy). With all this auto-locking missle action going on, the regular shots seem like a real afterthought, especially since they make almost no firing sound (I don't think they make any sound at all in RayStorm) and can't hit targets below your flight path.
And there are a lot of things not in your flight path, though thanks to the odd viewing angle--high up and behind your ship--you'll frequently have a hard time distinguishing depth of all the objects flying around the screen. At times it's hard to see what's going on at all--this is particularly noticeable in the RayCrisis boss fights, which look incredible but throw so many effects onscreen that it's hard to tell where you are or what your name is, or, more importantly, what's about to hit you. And if you should want to fly to the "top" of the screen, becoming a tiny couple of pixels due to the camera perspective... well, best of luck to you.
The game itself is rather easy except that some of the bosses love shooting off incredibly fast arcing shots that leave almost no opportunity for dodging, even if you could have told where exactly they were going. For me it often degenerated to wiggling around and just waiting for the "lock" sound when I happened to highlight a target. Death doesn't even seem that fearsome since you only lose a single weapon power level. This detachment gives you time to take in the lovely graphics but doesn't make for the most involving gameplay.