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  opened by paleface at 12:05:36 04/29/04  
  last modified by paleface at 04:12:58 05/04/04  
  paleface [sys=PCE; cat=Shooter_Vert; loc=JPN]
Uninspired port by NEC Avenue (not NEC Interchannel as it says on GameFAQs, unless they're the same thing) of a Toaplan WWII-themed vertical shooter known in other spheres as "Twin-Hawk." Or maybe the original game wasn't very good, but I doubt that it had almost nonexistent sound effects, at least.
The game uses a baffling waypoint system when you die, so you start either ahead or behind of where you were when you got hit--rather confusing.
Powerups come along in little trucks, but half the time when you shoot one of the little trucks, you hear the "I'm a powerup!" sound and no powerup actually comes out. Fun, especially when it happens right before you have to face a boss. When you actually get them they're nice because they add another two bullet streams to your fire, so if you manage to get a few in a row you can get a pretty impressive rake of fire going across the screen.
It's kind of hard to tell which the bosses are, in fact. I think you can tell because the waypoint system restarts you in front of them, instead of past them, but otherwise the game throws a lot of large vehicles at you, so it's kind of hard to tell. After killing them the game just keeps on scrolling.
What else. Oh yeah, the bomb. Triggering a bomb flies in a squadron of wingmates who fly alongside you, shooting when you shoot--and they don't leave. They get shot down sometimes, to be sure, but since the enemies aren't gunning at them they live a lot longer than you'd think, especially the outermost ones. This means that you can kind of cruise through large swaths of the game, almost without having to move. You can get a normal big explosion-type bomb if you press the bomb button twice rapidly, but since this lasts only briefly and uses two waves of wingmates, it seems like a significant waste (so does pressing the bomb button again with wingmen present, which just sends the wingmen crashing down in kamikaze attacks).
It's a good thing that you've got all those bomb wingmen because the default weapon is weak. I usually sneer at the user of autofire but you have to mash the button so quickly to get a decent stream of fire with the default weapon level that it really isn't fun at all.
Backgrounds and vehicles look nice but there's a lot of sprite flicker, and the game overall just feels a little unquantifiably chuggy. The restart weirdness and missing bombs get rather frustrating, and the muted-to-the-point-of-nonexistence sound effects really kill any excitement you might have tried to feel about the game. Disappointing, really.
  paleface 12:25:19 04/29/04
Oh yeah: unlike the arcade version, this one has no two-player support.
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