| paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN]
|The way the name is written is a little vague, you could make an argument for calling this "Hyper Dyne Side Arms Special" or "Sidearms Hyperdyne Special" or various combinations in-between. The katakana just says "Sidearms Special," however, so I'll stick with that.
The "Special" seems to refer to the fact that you get not one but two versions of the game in this pack: regular Sidearms and then "Sidearms: Before Christ," which seems to be a version with slightly clunkier graphics, fewer powerups, and a charge shot. I like the charge shot.
I love the firing system: left button shoots left, right button shoots right. The graphics (in the regular version at least) glisten with spritey goodness, the music rocks, and enemies and weapons come thick and fast. Doesn't have two-player simultaneous, alas, but if you get a certan rare powerup you still do the thing where two ships combine into one larger robot with increased firepower.
Enemies don't pump out tons of bullets, or super-fast ones for the most part, but they start to attack from all angles (especially those missles that loop around you, ouch) and start to push your left/right firing skills.
In the regular version you can call up a weapon switch menu by pressing Select. Powerups level up each weapon you've found, so you may stop using a weapon because it is underpowered, then switch back to it later and find that it really kicks ass. I like surprises like that. On the other hand, you have to watch out that you don't pick up too many "POW" powerups because you'll start moving too fast--but if you shoot the powerups they'll cycle down to a speed down powerup, so I guess it's okay.
This is just a darn fun game with tons of shooting, and you should go get it now.
|Oh, another difference between the two versions on this disk is that in "Before Christ," when you die you start back at the beginning of the stage, whereas in the regular version you start right up where you died--in fact people complain about this because you have only a few seconds of invulnerability to get away from whatever killed you. It doesn't seem that bad to me once you get used to it.