Monday, March 29, 2010

Omega Fighter - UPL review, high score #1

I'm typically not much of a UPL fan, but for some reason, I couldnt stop playing this today. In fact, I spent most of the afternoon playing, trying for the clear. I think I got to the last section of stage 5, heading inside the ship to destroy the mother computer or something.

There's something about the dated graphics, the pretty good for its time soundtrack and the Ketsui-like aggressive play style. In fact, the game heavily rewards aggressiveness, giving you a multiplier based on how far you are from an enemy when you destroy it.

You have a choice of two different shot types - the spread shot and the laser shot. The spread jiust gets wider, taking up a good half of the screen on full-power while the laser gets more powerful with each pick up - and shrinks - vertically. If you haven't played this game before, take a second to think about this. Not only does your shot get more powerful, but it gets shorter, forcing you to run up on enemies to take them out, giving you a higher and higher multiplier when you do. You can power it up so much that the beam only will extend out from your ship about one ship length. That's very short.

I found its best to collect about four or five power ups, giving you about a four ship length beam and go to town.

You don't have a typical bomb, but you do have a slow-down button, which can make all of the enemies on the screen move slow with slow shots while you remain the same. Each slow bomb is collected by picking up small satellite power-ups, which also act as shields and disappear when they take a hit. After you play for a while, you won't use these so much to get through the stages, but to slow down time to get right up on big enemies and get a 10x multiplier (the max).

The stages are all based around a mothership and destroying each of its sections - the tail, left side, nose cones, right side and the central core, which is a few sections long. The first two stages are tough, but not too bad while stages three and on are brutally hard and require some good movement.

I really, really like this game and pushed myself for the clear today, but only made it to the third part of stage five inside the ship for a first high score of 2,567,190 - which is pretty good considering my high score before that credit was just under 1 mil.

Most of you who read this blog know I'm mired in the old school and this game is now right up there with my favorite classics.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu 1.5 pcb - review, high score #1

Rarely do I get a chance to play something which totally stuns me. The only games that have knocked me off my feet similarly would be playing Star Wars in the arcade in 1983, the first time I played Super Mario Bros in 1987, and more recently, after five credits of Ketsui over at Dave's house when I got the pcb in the mail during lunch at work.

DFK already has a hold on me so tightly that I am thinking of selling off my prized Cinelli Supercorsa pista to try and cop a pcb! Not only is the game fun and graphically beautiful, but the scoring system, chaining and music are all top notch.

The first few credits I played I just blindly choose a ship, shot type and went to town. I made it halfway through stage five on my first credit - then I noticed brentsg had set the pcb to difficulty 1 with the max ship stock (5). I reset the system to default settings and started playing ship C, power type and just fell in love. The lack of bombs is a little disconcerting at first and you hate the autobomb right off the bat, but the truly amazing thing is that you can play this game anyway you want.

Each ship type has good and bad, just like previous DDP titles, each shot type - bomb, power and strong - have their benefits. Unlike older DDP titles, the chaining is fluid and fun and becomes addictive like any good scoring system. It requires less memorization and allows for more seat-of-the-pants chaining, which helps you to learn and enjoy the game right off the bat.

I have enjoyed learning this game more than any other STG in recent memory, including Ketsui.

I set this high score at 968,405,432 after playing it this afternoon, trying to play for distance more than score and died off about a third of the way through stage 4.

It is an easier game than previous DDP titles, but more fun as well. I really do hope the port this to the 360. It'd certainly give me a reason to buy one!

Recca VHS superplay

As i am a huge fan of this game, I have wanted to see this superplay VHS for quite some time. I know that there was one copy in someone's hands on shmups but the chances of getting it were slim.

So I practially jumped at the chance to get a DVD copy from cstarflare on Cave-STG (Yagawa game - Cave employee). Not only is the copy totally flawless, but he mailed it without charge. Awesome!

The superplay is without fanfare and hoopla, no intro screen, just the game's title screen as if you had just popped in the cart. The player plays through Normal Mode in a no-miss 1CC, then plays through the Harder mode you unlock by beating normal mode as a no-miss, 1CC, which is followed by the Score Attack mode. He hits the mil in 3:47 - very impressive, never once dropping his medal chain.

There are a ton of good strats on the DVD and some pretty impressive playing. It's a super daunting game, but oh-so beautiful in its 8-bit near-bullet hell glory.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vimana high score #1

Vimana always feels like a lost Toaplan title to me - a game that fell by the wayside while other games like Out Zone, Batsugun and Hishou Zame took center stage. It's not the greatest game in the stable for sure, but not the worst either. It's simple and fun and kinda broken with autofire which makes it enjoyable for a time.

I have played this on and off for the last three nights, having spent a few weeks kinda plodding around with shooters like Raiden and Battle Garegga, trying new things, but not really gaining any progress.

Which makes looping Vimana all the more enjoyable. I finally hit the loop and made it a good way throught the second loop before caving in at 2,049,050 at area 187.

I don't expect to come back to this one anytime soon, but for those of you who haven't given it a shot, load it up in mame, turn on autofire and go for it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Good Parenting Award: gunbird18

Regular reader and friend gunbird18 sent me this pic of his two kids - Nathan and Hayley - playing some DDP over the weekend and it's too adorable not to share.

Keep 'em at it gunbird18 - we need some Western shmup record holders!