| paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=Japan] |
|A vertical shooter from Banpresto based on some anime property, I think ("The Time Bokan"?). A leather-clad vixen and her two masked henchmen, all sporting a red "D" on their forehead (this is reminding me of Gatchman somehow...) must battle their way through six or so stages to carry out some sort of diabolical plan. They have six vehicles, each lasts for one stage, and you can pick which one to take for each mission, each vehicle having different abilities.|
Unlike most V-shmups where you're soaring over a tiny landscape, here you're driving, plowing, skimming or bouncing through a very close-up landscape, mowing down trees, wildlife, and anything else that happens to get in your way (and reaping a plentiful powerup bounty, of course). Everything is very happy and spritey and bouncey in an utterly charming way. Your Evil-Mobile has a health meter so you can take multiple hits, but somehow this isn't annoying as it is in AirGrave--perhaps because there's a big reaction every time you take a hit. At the end of the stage you face a hero (such as "Yatterman") of some sort in a massive robotic animal form, generally. These bosses literally take up the screen either with just their massive bulk, or in spewing out carefully choreographed formations and platoons of henchmen on parade.
There's sound and animation everywhere and it's just unbelievably appealing. For instance, while there's a Bomb as in most vertical shooters, here when you press the bomb button the vixen gives an order, the henchmen answer, doors on the back of your vehicle open, a large black bomb rises out, flips into a ready position, and is catapulted (with sprite scaling) forward to land on whatever wretch occupies the upper middle of the screen, where a roiling explosion devastates the landscape showering shrieks and powerups everywhere. Rad.