| paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=JPN] |
|I've seen the kanji beginning of the game romanized as "Yoku Shin"; it babelfishes as "Wing God," which I think is pretty neat. Generations is, in effect, Gigawing 3, I think.|
Initially, the game, and particularly this port, is a disappointment. I think this was Type X in the arcade, which should be beefier hardware than what Giga Wing 2 (see entry 99) an on, but it looks much scrappier: the backgrounds are muddled, blocky 3D affairs, the ships are generic-looking and again blocky, the bomb effects look okay but then just disappear, and the bullets and reward medals don't look nearly as neat or as big as in the DC version.
And then there's the sad lack of vertical mode. Unlike the previous two games in the series, Generations was on a vertically-oriented monitor in the arcade. Well, Takumi/Taito didn't bother giving you the option to play at the arcade aspect by rotating your home monitor, so you're stuck with either an "Arcade" mode that fixes a tiny, scaled down version of the vertical arcade screen inside the limits of your horizontal home screen, or the "Original" mode that keeps the full arcade resolution, but chops off the top and bottom of the playfield to fit it on the horizontal monitor. Bah! Neither is a great solution, but the "Original" mode gives you less room to see/dodge, and seems to have more slowdown, so I'll stick with the smaller, blurrier "Arcade."
Even in "Arcade" there's some slowdown, but it hasn't really got bad at all on me yet (GW2 on DC has a bunch of slowdown, let us not forget), and the times it does slow down a bit are when billions of bullets are heading your way, so it sorta helps a bit, you know.
Oh yeah, this latest episode in the series has no characters, just ships. No real story. This is a big come-down from the previous games, which sported unique characters for each ship, and conversations and stories and art for each character. Dang. They also don't have the screaming Japanese voice that the Japanese GW2 had when you did a bomb or reflect attack (man, I still have to get that import version). So really, the game has no characters at all.
Then again, this is about shooting, not exposition, and as far as the shooting goes, Generations does surprisingly well. Previous Giga Wings tended to feel like they were just spraying out random clumps of bullets, but Generations is much more inventive and consistent with choreographed bullet patterns, and it makes things rather more interesting than before.
The game ain't that hard. I'm not great at shooters, but I've got to stage four here on the default difficulty after just a few tries, and while goofing around and taking screenshots. On two player, we continued to the end, which didn't take long of course, but we also didn't have to continue more than a few times each (and most deaths in co-op mode come about because you lose track of your little ship in all the massive explosion effects). Actually, in two player you can really work the system by alternating Reflect Force attacks: one guy clears out all the bullets with a RF while the other player's RF recharges.
Hm oh yeah, it's too bad that the game only supports two players, rather than four like GW2. The RF seems to charge up faster than it did in the earlier game, though; I suppose that was a way of balancing the player shortage.
Toward the end of the game, although the bosses don't get as multi-stage and epic as one might hope after playing too many Psikyo/Cave shooters, the backgrounds get incredibly intense, and you feel like you're shooting through a bizarre intergalactic cloud or something. Oh yeah, some of them also get real fast, like a train level, and the landscape just rockets past beneath your ship, which is pretty exhilarating.
Man, if the port only had a vertical mode I'd be very, very happy with it. As it is, I'll tend to nitpick it a bit in the absence of an accurate graphic conversion, but I like the actual gameplay more than I thought I would--more than the previous games in the series. If only it had vertical mode and the screaming.
|Download added: big_guns_a.gif (150034 bytes)|
"Big guns. We need big guns. Oh wait, we have some."
Screenshots with an "a" at the end are the "Arcade" mode (fits the vertical arcade screen into your horizontal display by shrinking it down); those with "o" at the end are "Original" mode (full zoom, but top and bottom cut off).
|Download added: cone_bomb_o.gif (101863 bytes)|
"Bombs is pretty."
Wait, now I'm not so sure I made it to stage 4. Might have got whipped by the stage 3 boss... Oh yeah, I did, trying to take that last screenshot. Ah well, it was worth it.