Thursday, 4 December 2014

Winged Gear (PC)

So, Winged Gear is a freeware shooting game, made by a guy named ZAP back in 2006. Unlike most doujin shooting games, it isn't a bullet hell-style game, nor does it feature any little girls. It's actually a very old-fashions single-screen shooter with elements of various games such as Smash TV and Raimais (though, the similarities with Raimais are pretty much entirely aesthetic), as well as a few modern twists, mainly in the fact that it has a scoring system, life system and weapon system tied to the same high concept.

That high concept is that bullets, whether they came from the player or an enemy, shrink as they get further from the source, becoming less powerful. The bullets have three sizes, and the player has three hitpoints for each life. Bullets at their largest are instant death, medium bullets take two HP away, and small bullets one. This ties into the scoring system, through use of a multiplier applied to destoryed enemies based on what kind of bullet was the last to hit them: x4 for a large bullet, x2 for medium and x1 for enemies killed by small bullets or bombs. It's nice how all these things tie together into a single system, isn't it? There's also yellow triangles dropped by destroyed enemies which are worth points, but aren't specifically tied into the bullet-shrinking system. They do, however, lose value the longer they're on-screen, though, so you're more likely to get more points from them if you were near the enemy when it died.

Aesthetically, the game is okay. It's very functional in its looks, with very little flair, though everything about those looks, from the sprites to the backgrounds to the colour palettes used would allow it to fit in perfectly among similar games from the late 1980s, with a lot more authenticity than most modern games claiming to have a "retro" aesthetic. There's also something about it, possibly the designs of the enemies, that makes it really feel like an Amiga game, in fact, when I said earlier that it had a similar look to Raimais, it looks like an Amiga port of Raimais might have looked (though obiously, this is also if Raimais was a shooting game rather than a maze game).

Winged Gear isn't anything amazing or special, but it is a fun game that's fairly addictive, and the aesthetic authenticity it displays is pretty admirable, too. Also, it's free so it's not like you have anything to lose by trying it.

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