Sorry about the quality of the caption headers, but it's a good
tip for novices to the genre. Mayhem abounds plentifully in 19XX,
right from the start. Pictured right is some mayhem.
One thing I always
liked about the 19?? series is that there was always a lot to
shoot, often overlooked in many shmups which feature screens of
nothing and not much else. Are you listening, Silpheed2, you vacuousity?
Most shots will connect
with a baddie of one sort or another giving the taxpayer good
value for money. I can't help but admire the pretty pink hue of
the little planes, a bit like the sort of single fighter Barbie
would be proud to own. Wouldn't it have been nice to have a dolly
of your own without pinching your wee sister's? Fortunately my
daughter lets me play with hers.
<< KILL THIS.
All the levels start by showing you a location where the end of
level baddie is hiding. This one's the Ayako Special, and a small
handy red arrow in case you missed it.
Here's a wee clip of the animation when the level starts -
small black stealth ship and two of his mates sneak up on our
bomber/ carrier... Luckily we escape and wreak revenge in our
plane of choice. Yes, player 2 can escape and do some wreaking
too for a small fee.
I've just let off a big one here, clear the decks. Good old smart
bombs, a hugely amusing addition to any shootemup, especially
if done right. Well, these are done right, with a new kink to
them. A quick press of the bomb button will effect a screenwide
deathly blast of lovely springflowerlike explosions, ridding your
immediate vicinity of bullets and baddies.
However, hold the
button down a bit and you can actually powerup the bomb to different
levels, 3 being the max. Let go and step back, and enhanced pyrotechnics
unleash themselves. Simple and effective, wonder why it hasn't
been used much before. You can work out the gameplay implications
of this yourself... there's both pros and cons of this feature.
One 'disadvantage' is quite cunning - I always seem to die whilst
holding the bomb button down just because of sheer greed for a
<< AND TANKS MIGHT FLY
Extreme sports have nothing on this. Parachuting tanks as you
can see quite clearly. What's not so obvious is that in this level
there's bugger all land about. Look, see, "Water water everywhere,
and now my tank will sink". Happily, this little bit of artistic
license bodes well for the rest of the game, with some great twists
on the usual enemies you get in a 19?? game.
Those blue streaks are subdimensional rips in the space-time
continuum, watch out for them as the demon angels can pop through
them and you're into an alternative universe, a la Dangar.
Oops, sorry I was mistaken, they must be lasers. At least I
got a link in to another review though, eh?
On completing a level (even shmup virgins ought to have got this
far), you get a quick outro, and the oft-missing stats screen,
showing you various shootdown rates and scores - as well as the
simple imformation about what actually happened to the boss.
Here it was shot
down, but sometimes if you are too slow, it'll get away, and you
will be treated to a different animation. LEVEL
<< FINALLY, THE AYAKO SPESH
Quite a good length of a level you'll find, lots to do and shoot
and just as its getting a tiny bit wearisome, up pops the bosses.
None of that tiny level stuff that strikers 1945 and Aerofighers
games have. This is the point where you realise the graphics are
rather lovely, being very flat shaded, high detailed masterpieces.
It's got a clean, handdrawn look, a sharp bas-relief effect similar
to Xevious, and I like it a lot. Many games since have gone for
super intricate and confusing visuals - the contrast between this,
and say In The Hunt, or Blazing Star is refreshing. The level
of detail is amazing, bits falling off and very trim paintjobs
all round. Have to hand it to the enemy, some good looking machinery