Saturday, 25 August 2012

Disc Station #12 (PC)

Hooray! It's the first of the PC Disc Station volumes! And it's full of stuff! But the only parts we're interested in are the games, so let's go straight to the first one.
In this case, "the first one" refers to the excellently entitled "Bomber Through Gogo! ~Jump Hero Gaiden 2~", which is a Bubble Bobble-esque single screen platformer. You get three characters to choose from, though to be honest, you should only pick the devil-woman Linda, since she can fly. Anyway, as is the fine ancient tradition for this genre, to pass each stage, you have to defeat every enemy. Every few stages there's a boss too. Your method of attack in this game is to drop little bombs on the ground, then kick them around.
I'll admit that at first, I didn't really like this game. I thought the attack method was awkward and stupid, and you have to prss up to jump, which is always a negative. But! After I played it a few more times to get screenshots, i really started to warm up to it. Once you get used to the unusual controls, it's a ton of fun kicking bombs and having stuff exploding all over the screen. Plus, the graphics are some spectacularly luxurious pixel art, just as you'd expect from mid-90s Compile.
The second game on the disc I'm just going to refer to as "Gensei", since the full title is in Japanese and I can't read it. It's a top-down action game in which you control a tiger with a sword, going from room to room slashing monsters and stuff.
Most of the game is nothing especially original or anything, with the exception of the various gimmick rooms in each stage. These include a room where you stand in place while enemies fire elaborate and intricate bullet patterns that, provided you did stand in the right spot, pass harmlessly round you. There's also a room with a quick game of Space Invaders and one with a baseball player, against whom you have to hit a few home runs.
Gensei is an okay game, but 's not really very exciting. You'll probably get bored of it after a few plays.
The other two games on the disc I don't have much to say about. One of them, Sniper, won' go past the title screen, no matter what I do. The other is a remake of the first Madou Monogatari game, and since it's an RPG in Japanese, I don't have the patience for that sort of thing. It does have the super-cute end credits on the disc as an .avi file though, so I've uploaded that for your viewing pleasure, along with a couple of cool images from the disc's bonus folder.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

STDS00751 R+R (X68000)

Sorry about the long wait between the last post and this one, but I was busy preparing for, going to, and recovering from Bloodstock 2012 (which was thoroughly excellent, in case you were wondering). Also, I was playing a lot of Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 instead of anything that fits this blog's remit. Oops.
Anyway, this game is a shooting game for the X68000. It's a pretty good one, too! It's neither too easy or too hard, it moves at a decent pace and it looks and sounds pretty good, too. The only problem it has is that it's a little bit generic. It doesn't have any really strong gimmicks: no intricate scoring system, no fancy bullet-countering weapons or cool-looking bomb attacks, not much at all really. The nearest thing it has to a good gimmick is the power up system: you start with the weakest weapons (oh yeah, there are two weapons that can be switched between at any time: a powerful straight laser, and a weaker spread shot. Again, generic) and once you get 10000 points, they get more powerful, then again after another 20000 points. If you die, you're back to the weakest weapon and have to build it up again.
This would be a pretty cool system, if it had more than 3 levels of power. It would have been interesting if the game rewarded continued survival with gradually more and more powerful weaponry.
You also get an unlimited-use super shot that is activated, oddly, by jiggling your ship left and right.
As said before, the game looks pretty good, with the sprites being a lot better looking than the backgrounds (though they themselves aren't ugly or anything). I could be my imagination, but some of the enemies seem to be possibly inspired by Thunderforce IV.
The music is as good as you would expect from a shooting game for the X68000, though obviously it doesn't reach the heady heights of ChoRenSha.
All in all, this is a pretty fun game, but on a system with as many great shooters as the X68000, it doesn't really stand out much. And it has a really terrible name.