| paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN] |
|Data West's second shooter on PCE, sequel to the rather dire Rayxanber II (see entry 530). Would they improve on the second try?|
Yes. But that isn't necessarily saying much. The game isn't shit-on-your-face difficult this time around, thankfully, and the graphics have a scummy breadth and detail to them that is quite impressive, in a sort of postmodern way. It seems like they set out to draw magnificently ugly stuff, and they achieved it.
The level design is still horrible though. For instance, for most of the first level you sort of orbit around your mothership, fending off attacking space boogers and their booger battlecruisers. In this sequence the screen sort of arbitrarily wanders around your large aircraft carrier, not hesitating to squeeze you in to a corner so that you get crushed by your own mothership, or stranding you on one side of the ship while the booger people ravage it freely on the other side.
The weapon system still follows the stupid rotating powerup scheme, in which the powerup rotates through four different directions, and whichever direction it is pointing when you pick it up is the main direction in which it will fire from your ship. Um, hello Data West. I prefer my gun to shoot forward, thank you. If you happen to pick it up at the wrong instant you are screwed with a backfiring gun until the next powerup comes along. And of course you can only have one weapon at a time, and worse yet in this game they don't have multiple power levels, so really once you get the one of the three which you prefer (none of them are really great...), you have to spend the rest of the game dodging the others.
That reminds me, sound. The music is okay in a sort of muzak kind of way, I guess, but the sound effects simply grate on the ears. Another note to Data West: if you have something that the player will activate continuously, like their ship's gun, don't give it a highly unpleasant sound effect. Just don't.
The one boss I've fought, the booger king, wasn't too shabby, kind of an anchored Gradius-style thing except that he had independent arms and once they were toast his head broke loose and floated around. I can't say that I foresee myself putting in much time trying to get to the other bosses, however.
|The game uses the checkpoint system of continuing, so if you die you have to play back through the last half of the level or so all over again.|| ||