Friday, 12 August 2011

Flame Zapper Kotsujin (PC-98)

Flame Zapper Kotsujin is an excellent game. I'm starting the review off with that statement, just because it's hard to know exactly where to start in singing this game's praises.
The most obvious things when you start playing are the graphics and sound, both of which are of a very high quality. The graphics are excellently drawn, making good use of the PC98's high resolution, as well as using some nice pallettes.
The music is excellent. That's all there is to say about it. It's just really good, catchy shooting game music.
Great presentation can't really standup on its own without a good game behind it, though. But like the opening sentence of this review says, Flame Zapper Kotsujin is an excellent game. I'd go as far as to say it's the best of all the PC98 games I've played (though admittedly, this isn't many. At a guess, I'd say about 20-ish) (And yes, I've played the Touhou games. They're just a bit better than mediocre, to be honest.).
You've probably already worked out that it's a shooting game, and it was made by a team called CO2-PRO, who made a few other PC98 shooters, including the Gradius fangame GARUDIUS 95 and the okay-but-nothing-special Last Breaker. Their body of work, as well as the quality of it suggests that CO2-PRO were big fans of the genre. And this love especially shows in FZK.
It plays fast, with lots of enemies and bullets constantly onscereen. There are three weapons to choose from, a red spread gun that's kind of weak and useless, blue bendy homing lasers, and a very powerful yellow gun that fires straight ahead. You also have the usual bullet-cancelling bombs, but in a nice touch, the bombs look different depending on which weapon you have at the time: red bombs release a bunch of toaplan-esque skull-shaped explosions up the screen, blue bombs summon four extra ships to shoot a giant screen-filling array of lasers, and the most spectacular bombs are the yellows, which summon a giant celestial hand to fill the screen with bolts of lightning.
The game also has a number of different scoring methods, ranging from the obvious (finish a stage without dying or using any bombs to add multipliers to your end of stage bonuses) to the obscure (at least three different techniques of getting big points from the Eighting/Raizing reminiscent medals that enemies often drop).
The only negative criticism I can give this game is that it is a little bit too easy. I'm not even very good at shooting games, and I can get pretty far into the final stage on a single credit. That's on the default settings, though, and you can always turn the difficulty up.
If you're at all interested in shooting games, I very much recommend you seek out and play Flame Zapper Kotsujin.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review. Although you really haven't played the game until you play very hard and try 超(super) mania at least once. Truly a game for those who love difficulty.

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