| "first rajirugi impressions" , posted Thu 20 Oct 00:19|
from the shmups by seven force forum:
This was released on 10/13 and today I found an arcade in Nagoya that has it. There was just one cab with the game but a lot of interest. About three or four people were always waiting to play and/or watching others. It might be because the style of the game is such an eye-catcher though, rather than the game being so popular.
I played about six or seven credits to give it a shot. Here's what I found:
- Graphics are cell shaded polygons and kind of look like a Flash game, except for the whole perspective part. Characters are Anime-ish and there's a whole bunch of story/conversation that I soon decided to skip. Also reminded me a bit of PCE cute 'em ups and the Twinbee series. It's not that cute though. Actually the visual style looks more like something that was made at a graphic design school. It's definitely very unique and the most interesting design I've seen in a shooter since maybe Ikaruga or Guwange. Homura was right next to it, and really paled in comparison (visually speaking).
- The music is really excellent and abstract Micro-House. The cab was much louder than any of the other shooters, and rightly so. This is something you wouldn't mind listening to at home.
- The Interface resembles a cellphone. The battery life indicator represents your remaining lives, the antenna icon your score multiplier, etc.
- The game (what I've seen of it) it very well programmed, no slowdown, choppy framerate, whatever.
- You can choose from three different ships (speeds) and three different weapons (homing laser, bubble, spread)
- Three buttons, shoot (hold for auto), sword (auto and can be used together with shot, but shot power will decrease to compensate), Absorb Net (Sort of like ESPRade)
- Don't shoot at all, and you'll produce a shield which absorbs bullets (from the front only) and converts them into capsules that fill up your absorb meter.
- You can power up several levels.
- The game feels a lot like a Compile game, specifically the Zanac games. There's always a shitload of tiny enemies onscreen and nobody (bosses are an exception) shoots in your direction, rather everybody just randomly pops a bunch of bullets into the air in the hopes that you'll run into them, so there's no bullet "patterns", just a huge chaotic sea of bullets...
- ...some of which can be shot (baseballs, basketballs, footballs, etc) or at least removed with the sword ("flower shaped bullets")
- There's also an insane amount of Bonus Items floating around, which are usually little icons of everyday stuff, like Umbrellas, Cellphones, Onigiri, Sneakers, etc...
- Hmm... good question. My main concern was surviving, but the way to score big is definitely to use the Absorber at the right moment to suck everything in and multiply your score, then protecting yourself with everything you've got and trying to get your absorb meter filled up again as soon as possible. I sure as hell haven't been able to work out any nice techniques yet though.
- Apparently whacking big enemies over the head repeatedly with the sword will make them drop better items/more points.
- Extras can be whacked repeatedly and "juggled" like the Twinbee bells, eventually they will change into something better.
So yeah, this is definitely a really interesting game I thought. The game mechanics aren't exactly very intuitive, but the on-screen crazyness is rather fun and has me wanting to come back for more.
I got to level 3 on one credit, but then the game suddenly got incredibly difficult. Well-timed Absorber use then becomes essential! I then game overed and played the first to levels again to get more of a feel for the gameplay.
I'm quite sure the game won't win many Western fans though. Cell shading isn't that popular outside of Japan and it's "cuteness" won't help either. Also, the lack of bullet patterns may feel somewhat too oldschool for many players. Personally, I'm rather impressed that Milestone tried to create something so unique, and would give it about an 8/10, based what little experience I've had with it.
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