Thursday, 15 January 2015

Leucistic Wyvern (X Box 360)

Looking at this game's logo, and the dragon the player controls in the game, you'll probably think the same that I did: that it's some kind of flagrant no-budget Panzer Dragoon "homage". That's an innaccurate thought, though: while the creator was obviously a SEGA fan (the fonts used in-game are also really similar to the fonts seen in AM2 arcade games in the mid-90s, particularly bring the Virtua Cop games to mind), it actually plays more like Space Harrier.

There's none of the locking-on seen in Panzer Dragoon, it's all about flying around (while travelling in a straight line, obviously.) while shooting enemies and trying your hardest not to collide with them, their bullets or any of the bits of scenery jutting out of the ground. The scenery is the only real bad point of the game. It's hard to describe, but for some reason, it's really difficult to judge the positions of the obstacles and the player in relation to each other. It's worst of all in the bonus stages, which have points bonuses floating in the middle of large rings, and despite them being bonuses stages, the player can still lose health during them.

I'd also like to talk about the presentation: the graphics are a strange mix of low poly models, with the sharpness that comes with modern HD console games. There's a minor problem that's actually similar to the SNES game I recently covered, Bishin Densetsu Zoku, in that there's a kind of sparseness in the environments, compared to its SEGA-produced inspiration, and being in 3D makes the stages look like completely empty, incredibly vast wasteland stretching out for hundreds of miles. The music and sound effects are a bit of a weak point, though. The music, though inoffensive, just seems to be there, while the sounds effects seem to have been recorded at different levels of volume.

Though Leucistic Wyvern has a few problems (and it's definitely no contender for Chieri no Doki Doki Yukemuri Burari Tabi's XBLIG crown), it's a fun game to play, and it's definitely worth the 60-something pence it costs.

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