amazing how fast emulation has progressed. With the advent of the
new Sega CD emulator, Ages, I thought it'd be appropriate to look
at some of shooters on this system. Thankfully, one of the playable
games on this new emulator just happens to be a little shooter that
kicks lots of butt. I never thought that the Sega CD was good for
anything other than Lunar. Shows how dumb I am:)
is an intense shooter that seems like a great blend of Thunderforce
and Gates of Thunder. While not quite as good as either, it still
holds it's own when compared to some of the genesis and snes shooters.
game has some damn fine graphics. The game begins with a cool intro
in Anime, which shows some of the baddies and the hero. It's not
the typical FMV intro, but more like the still shots of the Turbo
Duo's Thunder series. After the pretty lengthy intro, you set up
your options, and it's time for some action.
of the enemies have a great Mecha look to them that suits the genre
well. The game is full of giant robots, multijointed bosses, great
background depth (something lacking on the Duo shooters), and even
some cool effects like line scrolling. While it may not be XEXEX,
it's still a great looking shooter, as you'll see in the pics.
flows at a pretty nice pace, too. The game moves much like Thunderforce
4, with multi-tiered levels that take up 3 or 4 screens. There are
also sections where the game moves super fast, as well as vertically.
Enemies fly out of the backgrounds in some sections too, which,
despite the fact that it has been used forever now, still looks
cool. There are always a lot of enemies on the screen, but never
so many as too seem cheap; something I can't say for Lords of Thunder
:(. In fact, nothing about this game seems cheap. It actually controls
flawlessly, with the ship having 5 different speed levels, and a
basic control layout (2 buttons).
weapons are pretty damn generic, but they get the job done. Your
weapons may be powered up four times. When the fourth powerup is
found, your ship transforms into a side-view Musha Aleste wannabe
that in no way offers any benefit to the game. While this mode does
let you take an extra hit of damage, it pretty much ruins things
because the mech is just too big. It's about the size of 3 ships:
of that, you're pretty much only going to be running in ship mode,
which is more than enough for this game. The weapons consit of homing
missiles, a four-way laser, straight missiles and a spread shot.
If you go for about 5 seconds without shooting, your ship powers
up, allowing you to fire a special attack, which changes depending
on the weapon you have. Not too shabby.
difficulty is adjustable, allowing you to pick from normal, easy,
and hard. The wimp...err, easy mode is pretty much explanatory,
giving you the option to blast through the game without breaking
a sweat. The other two modes change accordingly, and offer more
of a challenge. Still, the game's not too hard. The challenge level
is just about are Gates of Thunder.
fact, this game, at times, reminds me a little too much of Gates.
The game flow just seems very much alike. It's hard to explain game-flow
unless you see it in action, so I won't even go into that. Just
know that this is pretty much the Gates of Thunder of the Sega CD.
That's a pretty great compliment considering what a classic Gates
only thing lacking is the music department. It's not that the music
is bad, but more like...err...ummm, I couldn't hear it: (The Ages
emulator just doesn't play sound yet. However, the back of the box
does say that the game has an intense CD soundtrack. You never know.
I doubt if it's anything memorable though. Probably not even close
to Gates in that department.
is just very enjoyable. It's not a classic by any means, but it
is one of the best 16-bit shooters that I've ever played. As a CD
shooter, I'd put it right behind Gates and Lords. It's good, but
it's not that good. Still, if you have the time for a good game,
and don't mind the missing sound, try to find the ISO. It's worth
it. If you have a Sega CD, I recommend you pick this little gem
up. You won't be disappointed.