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Summer Carnival '93: Nexzr Special
  opened by paleface at 04:08:18 06/10/04  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Shooter_Vert; reg=JPN]
Naxat Soft / Kaneko take a shot at one-upping Hudson's "Soldier" series (see entry 527 for starters) of tournament-style vertical shooters and make a darn good contest of it. Nexzr has Normal and "Carnival" modes--in "Carnival," as in Soldier's "Caravan," you can compete for high scores in various time/score modes, getting lots of points by blowing up all kinds of ships, magic tiles, and so on.
Speaking of "Carnival," I think I read somewhere that these Summer Carnival games were designed for arcades-on-wheels things that motored around Japan bringing shmup happiness to boys and girls in the streets, but that could just be a nasty rumor.
But why bother with Carnival when you already have Caravan? Well, it's a damn fine production. Lots harder than the Soldier's I've played, too--by the third stage I'm lucky to last ten seconds at a stretch. The bosses go down surprisingly quickly but the enemy patterns in the stages themselves, especially around those big, background-dominating fleet carriers, get downright unwholesome. But the whole features such lovely and fast sights, sounds, and powerups that you'll keep coming back for more.
I suspect that Normal mode is somewhat short even by shooter standards. I'm not sure why, I just do. Perhaps it's because of the checkpoint system: if you die you don't start your next life right there, but rather get to go back to the beginning or maybe midpoint of the stage you last completed, and fight back up to where you got killed so you can get killed there again (oh now I'm just being negative).
The checkpoint system = wank; the rest of the game = bank. And no I don't really know what that means, but I do like this game pretty well.
  paleface 10:11:04 01/30/10
Normal mode is not short by standards of the time, I don't think. When I wrote that I was confused and thought Special was *just* a Caravan game, but actually it's the original PCE version of Nexzr, which came out the year before, PLUS the "Caravan" modes: Score Attack and Time Attack. But it doesn't have cinematics, which apparently the original (non-Special) Nexzr has, which is supposedly why the original usually costs a lot more, even though it has fewer gameplay modes. Huh! I'll take the modes, thank you.
· Soldier Blade (PCE)
· Spirit Soldier Spriggan (PCCD)
· Summer Carnival '92: Alzadick (PCCD)

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