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Little Giant Microman
  opened by paleface at 02:15:42 10/25/04  
  last modified by paleface at 12:25:50 03/05/24  
  paleface [sys=PS1; cat=Shooter_4way; reg=JPN]
This was the very last PS1 game I was looking for, and I think it's turning out to be worth the long search.
Microman, of course, was the Takara toy doll series that came to the United States under comic book form (and toys?) as "Micronauts." In the game you take troops of Micromen or whatever into various rooms in a base to fight evil robots. Generally you stand in the room while the robots come in through the doors, at which point the shooting and the yelling and the explosions commence until one side or the other is wiped out. Then if your side is still there, a boss robot comes in, and there's more fighting. Then it's on to the next Microman (or Micromen, if you're playing two-player co-op) in the next room. There's some kind of overall success rating that I don't quite fathom, so it is possible to get Game Over before you've run out of Micromen.
Control is unusual but effective, at least once you remap the buttons. Fortunately they're fully remappable, and in a slick remap UI at that. So then you'll have a Fire button, and if you hold it down you strafe while aiming just one direction. Then there's a Soukyugurentai-style (see entry 258) "lock-on" radar you can activate that will auto-lock your aim on nearby enemies. You also have a rolling dodge, and a number of room-filling bombs. Oh and a health meter. If you're lucky, enemies will drop weapons or health items.
Simple, yes? But the presentation is quite interesting. The backgrounds are for the most part static FMV shots, pretty sharp looking but with neat lighting-blur effects, sorta Tron-ish at times. Then, in some rooms, you'll go through different phases of the combat, and the camera switches seamlessly to a FMV pan that takes it from one position to the next. Very cool indeedy. There's also tons of voice acting and such.
On the default Easy difficulty the game is a breeze, but takes a surprisingly long time to unlock all the Micromen and gun through all the rooms. On Hard difficulty, your Microman will die in three hits, and things get rather tough.
Oh, the ads! If you wait at the title screen the game will play old Microman ads for you--sure they're low-res and really compressed, but the kitsch value is off the charts. There's also a Gallery mode but I haven't unlocked anything there yet, so know knows what that is.

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