Thursday, 1 January 2015

Zangeki Warp Trial (PC)

So, I thought I'd try out something different with this post: rather than talking about a game that's already been overlooked, I'm going to talk about the demo for a game that isn't out yet, and of which my readers might not be aware.

So, some of you might be aware of the Japanese PC developers Astro Port, with their catalogue of shooting games, as well as the awesome Assault Suits-alike Gigantic Army. And I'm sure that most of you will know of the recent Comiket 87. Astro Port didn't release a new game at C87, but they did release this demo of their upcoming game.

It's a shooting game, and in keeping with Astro Port's other shooters, it's of an old-fashioned, pre-bullet hell design, ala Gradius, R-Type, Darius, and so on. It also has a really cool, fairly unique gimmick, though: as well as the fire button, there's also a warp button. When held, the warp button freezes time and gives the player a cursor to move around the screen. When the button's released, the player's ship warps to wherever the cursor was, hitting any enemies between the two locations with a slashing attack, and ignoring any walls or other obstacles in the way. There's also no power-ups in-game, but instead a more RPG-esque system of putting points into different stats, with more points being rewarded between stages.

I've played to a little over halfway through stage two, and not only do I love the gimmick itself, but the stage design perfectly compliments it. The first stage is an introduction to the use of the warp, while still managing to be a pretty robust challenge, while the second stage is totally merciless, expecting the player to have mastered warping around and all the little nuances of the game's controls.

I definitely recommend getting this demo (from here), and I look forward to the full game being released. The only issue I have is a very minor issue: It would be cool if there were some kind of points incentive for destroying or damaging enemies with the slash attack, rather than shooting them.

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