Monday, 20 June 2016

Net Yaroze Round-Up Vol. 9!

Unread (Sin, 1996)
A weird shooting game with some unusual ideas. Your ship is accompanied onscreen by a smal purple drone. Pressing square at any time instantly switches the positions of ship and drone,the skillful use of which is the only way to avoid certain hazards and enemy attacks. Unfortunately, Unread doesn't make enough use of its gimmick, and is mainly a pretty bland shooter without even a scoring system to liven things up.

Supanda (Koh/Ray-Net, 2001)
A very odd single plane beat em up in which you play as a kangaroo travelling across some kind of pastel-hued theme park beating up clowns, penguins and various assorted inanimate objects. It's a pretty amusing diversion, though it's a shame there's only one stage, that just suddenly and abruptly ends.
A little extra note: the "Net Yaroze 2012" compilation claims that Supanda is a port of a SNES game, though I haven't been able to find any evidence of such a game existing. Does anyone reading this know anything about this one way or the other?

The Appointed Station (Syuntarou Yoshikawa, 1996)
Another shooting game, this time a variant on the old time limit/score attack Caravan formula. The twist is that rather than starting the game with a fixed time limit, you instead get a series of very short time limits, each with a minimum score threshold that has to be met if you want to continue playing when the timer reaches zero. Special note should be made of this game's grainy-textured low polygon count aesthetic, which looks great in motion, if not in static screenshots.

Roller (Matt Verran, 2002)
This game's very well presented, with clean and sharp textures and models, professional-looking menus and HUD, and the voice of a woman with a thick southern accent saying "Ready? ...Go!" at the start of each stage. Unfortunately, despite all that, it's not very fun to play. You tilt floating 3D platforms so that a ball rolls around collecting gems and getting to the exit, without dropping the ball or running out of time.

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