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Mars Matrix
  opened by paleface at 03:18:13 08/25/03  
  last modified by paleface at 01:12:12 05/26/05  
  paleface [sys=DC; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=NA]
At first the funky chunky rescaled graphics, three-button control and mass bullet swarms of this wide-screen (non-tate) vertical shooter didn't appeal to me. Then it was revealed to me that it's actually one button control, based on timing: tap rapidly for regular shots, tap slowly for charge shots, hold for uh the Mosquito or whatever, the thingy that sucks in enemy shots and blasts them back at your foes. This made the game a lot more interesting and intuitive to play.
Then I realized that to get high scores you have to keep collecting a steady stream of point cubes, raising your scoring multiplier--but go for more than a few seconds without getting a cube and the multiplier resets. Then you find that you can use your scores to go toward buying nifty powerups and gimcracks in the Shop mode and by now you're thoroughly sucked in. Heck, for the past week I've just been playing one-credit, trying to see how high a score I can get with chains. I haven't quite got the knack of connecting chains by well-timed, short Mosquito bursts yet, so I've still got a lot of learning to do. A very fun and rewarding shooter.
There are a few spots of slowdown, but the only thing that really annoys me is that the game doesn't autosave until you start a new game, so if you just got a new high-score, quit back to the menu and then power down the DC, that score was lost. Silly!
  paleface 01:12:12 05/26/05
Offers co-op play, and to my surprise co-op doesn't seem to run any more slowly than single-player. Having to share the gold drops with another player makes it harder to chain and get high scores, but it's challenging and fun just trying to coordinate defenses and stay alive.
· ESP Ra. De. (PCB)
· Night Raid (PS1)

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