Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Disc Station MSX #09

I've long since run out of ways to introduce these DS posts, you know by now what they're all about, right?
Disc one of this volume is slightly anemic, offering three demos, only one of which is playable. The two unplayable ones are for a "Space War Simulation" game based on the Legend of Galactic Heroes series of novels/cartoons/possibly other things. I assume even if this wwere playable, the language barrier would keep me away from it anyway. The second is something a bit strange: it appears to be just a sound test mode with music from Hertz' RPG Sword of Legend Lenam. Come to think of it, in the UK in the eighties and (very) early nineties people were buying certain C64 and Spectrum games purely for their soundtracks, so I guess if the same sort of thing was happening with computers in Japan, this is actually sort of logical.
The playable demo is of Compile's awesome shooting game Aleste 2. The demo lets you play through the entirety of the game's seventh stage. It's still as excellent as it was when there was a demo on the previous DSMSX volume, so go back and read what I said about it then, I guess?
Disc two is a bit more interesting. It has the usual magazine stuff that's of no use to me, a demo of some baseball game that I also don't care about even a tiny bit, plus a nice little animation and a complete game.
The animation is a cute story of a young boy in his room playing what appears to be a Megaman game on his Famicom, when suddenly, his room is invaded by annoying little oni-like troll things! It lasts a couple of minutes, and it's something of a step up from most of the animations on earlier volumes, since it actually tells a story, rather than just have a random thing happening on a loop.
The full game is Gulkave, a horizontally scrolling shooter, originally released by SEGA in 1986. The first thing I noticed about this game is the fact that it had parallax scrolling in the background, which is pretty impressive for such an old game.
The game itself is pretty good too, thankfully. The only major problem it has is that you get a health bar, making it a little bit easier than I'm used to. This isn't a game-ruiner though, and Gulkave manages to be good enough to save this volume from being a bit of a damp squib.

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