Thursday, November 6, 2008

New PCB: Battle Garegga - Raizing/8ing


So hard, so brutal and very, very enjoyable. This pcb has the China version (Ver Tue Apr 2 1996) rom chips installed (larger, yellow bullets, no stage editor), but I have a set of the original, official version (Ver Sat Feb 3 1996) chips on the way, courtesy of Steph over at These are the modified roms, where your rank resets after each game ends instead of increasing with each credit and where the Mahou characters are unlocked always, so you don't have to keep entering the code to play them. Check out the 'Hey Poor Player!' blog to learn more about the guy who created them.

I can honestly say I am pretty impressed and daunted at the same time. This game is punishing and there are massive amounts of information on rank and playthrough tactics out there and you'll need them to get anywhere. But the game has so much depth and so many little programming gems (the flamingos on stage 2, for instance) that you feel compelled to play it more and more, even if it kind of hates you. Yagawa built a really challenging game here and one that requires dedication and a bit of OCD-ness to get good at, but one that is also enjoyable - as long as you don't mind lots and lots of deaths and a stark, dirty, military-feel to your STG's.

I'm just the guy for it. To control your rank, good players will have to suicide at certain points. It's so counter intuitive, that when I learned of the game originally, it dropped to the bottom of the list of games I must play/own someday. Then, after doing some reading, watching some replays and learning about the depth and strategy involved, it creeped its way back up and became a pcb I wanted to own badly.

A high score isn't even a priority at the moment. Just learning the game is enough right now. I'm hoping to get sometime in on it in the next few weeks, learn enought o post a high score, but with another new pcb waiting in the wings, it will have some competition for cab space...

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