Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New PCB: Progear - Cave/Capcom 2001

After getting Dave's PCB which had decided to have a melt down, I started to hunger for Progear. It didn't help that the few weeks leading up to me actually getting his Astro City and Progear board, I wantched the CKDF superplay and the Futobishi superplay numerous times. I also read through the high score boards on shmups and Cave-STG. I got seriously stoked.

I looked through a lot of sales posts on shmups to no avail, but also seriously considered trying to get a Phoenixed edition of the board as I really didn't want to have happen to my PCB at some future date what happened to Dave's board. The idea of having a ticking time bomb in the closet, ready to go off and kill a fantastic game is a little unnerving.

Luckily, I did find a Phoenixed board that I ended up with in trade, along with the Daimakaimura and I'm pretty stoked to say the least. It's an excellent looking board and one I actually feel safe with.

The game is one of only three Cave horizontals, the other two being 2007's Deathsmiles and 2011's Akai Katana. It was made for Capcom on their CPS2 hardware and was Cave's only foray into that hardware.

The graphics are done by none only than Joker Jun, who worked on such classic STG titles as Dogyuun, Batsugun, Dodonpachi, ESPrade and Guwange. His art style here looks excellent - kind of a steam punk meets more of a manga style akin to Batsugun rather than Dodonpachi. The sprites do have a look all their own, as Jun seems keen to make sure he isn't retreading what's he's drawn previously.

The soundtrack is beyond awesome, especially the stage 1,2 and 5 tracks and it ranks as one of my all-time Cave favorties. The gameplay is also very fluid and enjoyable, though the jeweling combo mechanic is pretty different. When you get it to work, it's great amounts of fun watching bullets turn into diamonds.

Speaking of bullets, the bullet spreads are super-organic, right up there with Ketsui. There are so many amazing bullet patterns and massive bullet spread moments that it can be a bit unnerving at first and then super-satisfying later dodging them.

I haven't been able to get any time in on this, save for a credit or two to test it out, but I am still very stoked to play this. I may move my cab at home horizontal for the time being so I can catch up on these great PCB's!

It's been a busy month with new acquisitions, with the DK3 cab and the Astro City cab, the Progear and Daimakaimura pcb's. I also have another horizontal platformer PCB on its way from Canada I am very excited about and a long road trip to make on Saturday to Minneapolis, MN, 8-hours away from me in Chicago to grab a cab I have been waiting for since I started buying full size arcade games back in 1996...


gunbird18 said...

Wow, these are some great acquisitions, DRB! How do you find time to be social? I guess I did see you for a little while at the Comicon!

A new cab from Minnesota??? I can't wait! The anticipation is killing me!

drboom said...

Ha - not reallly sure how I find time to do anything! I try and get some gaming in everynight, but damn if I am not just crazy busy right now.

And the cab...yeah...I am so unbelievably excited. I'll give you a hint: my shmups user name has alot to do with it...