REVIEW by CHUCK:
Hey, my first review for Shmups!!!! I am
a huge Shmup fan! So what better way to start off my first review
than with an awesome game, Battle Garegga. Created by the wonderful
team that did Soukyugerentai,
Eighting/Raizing, Battle Garegga is a players dream come true.
Where talkin' fast and furious! You've probably never seen so
much going on the screen at one time(at least I haven't!!!)
The Saturn handles this arcade conversion flawlessly; although,
of course I've never seen the arcade game. But still 2D is the
Saturn and it is the KING!!!
So, what's it all about. Well, first of all, there are eight
different ships to use. Although I use "ships" lightly...Each
of the different ships have different standard weapons and super
weapons. The first four standard ships are basically just souped-up
planes. You've got your G-1010(Silver Sword), G-130(Grasshopper),
G-1026(Flying Baron) and G-913(Wild Snail). But, you've also
got some very cool and very different ships that you can use.
These look like some anime characters...Although I'm not sure
and I can't pause the screen long enough to look at the names.
One is a warrior, one is a magician, one is a dragon, one is
a necromancer. These make the game even better because each
of these four ships has unique weapons too and in my opinion
that's what a shooter is all about. The kick-ass weapons!!!
Trust me, Battle Garegga has some excellent weapons to look
at and to blow the living hell out of stuff. My one favorite
is for the extra ship that I believe is the necromancer. He
has little bats as multi-bodies and his super weapon is a big
skull that is animated and he says "Hell to you..." While all
this is happening all these little skulls are flying out of
the big skull...Very cool!!! I also mention that each ship has
its own multi-bodies. Well, you can four of the buggers and
you can make them do all kinds of great things. They can circle
your ship, they can home in on the enemy, they can be straight
ahead of you, or they can be at an angle at your side too. Kinda'
reminds me of M.U.S.H.A....remember
So, what about the graphics. At first, it doesn't seem as colorful
as say Shienryu;
but that game was designed on the STV hardware which is basically
a Saturn; so Battle Garegga does kind of have that brown/green
color to it, but you'll be to busy to notice it anyways. But
still, the graphics rock. Each level(7 in all) has a very distinct
look and feel. They range from the rolling acres of the Valley
to the bustling Air Port. There is some parallaxing in some
of the levels...although it is subtle; but it works great. Enemies
are plentiful and varied and animated very well. You can see
little wheels turning or little gears moving which just makes
the game and makes me think that Raizing/Eighting really cared
about their game. Everything smokes and blows up with graphical
perfections; there are tons of what I call "hit sparks"...ya'
know, when your weapon is hitting the boss and little sparks
fly off of his skin. I love that! Enemies die nicely too. Some
just blow up, some explode in a ring of fire, while others shoot
off a huge flame finger. As I said earlier, this game throws
more sprites at you than anything I ever seen. There are just
millions of objects moving and animating at all times. Shrapnel
from the enemies is all over the place too and the Saturn just
handles it beautifully. The Saturn people, just smokes as a
sprite monster. I've heard that can do virtually unlimited sprites
and this game might attest to that. Bosses are big and mean.
They are all your basic war machine type which is totally fine
for this type of game(no throbbing brain Malc!!) Some are a
real bitch too...
Music is such an important part of the whole game experience
for me. I'm not one of those people who turn the game music
off and listen to "other" music whilst playing. I have to have
the ingame music or nothing at all. So, what is really neat
about Battle Garegga is that it gives you the original arcade
BGM or the arranged BGM. Both are super and I actually just
switch back and forth between the two when I'm playing. The
music is very techno/dancey sounding. So I love it!..I've always
been a huge fan of electronic music
This is such a great game. Before I bought it people in the
Sega Newsgroup were kinda' making it out to be crappy. But I
didn't listen(do I ever listen..no) and picked it up and it
is one of my favorites. I don't think any Shmups fan will disappointed...
THE OTHER HAND...
There's one thing that always amazes me
with shootemups. I think it's something to do with the whole
concept of just one (or two) earth fighter versus the universe.
I know it can only really be this way, for the sake of the gameplay.
But you think they might give you a really modern spacecraft
to do it in.
The powers-that-be in Battle Garegga have no such ships at their
disposal, in fact some of the ships you get look as if the A-Team
knocked them up in ten minutes with only tape, a toothbrush
and an airfix kit. However, Chuck Banevich informed me that
if you go onto the options screen and switch EVERY option on,
you get another 4 ships to play with, one of which is a dragon!
How ace is that! So I can't really complain at all. Nice one
This game is a bit of an anomaly, being such a classic design,
and coming out as late as 1994 in the arcade. It's no small
wonder that I haven't heard of it before. Raizing, the people
responsible for releasing Soukyugerentai
and Kingdom GrandPrix amongst others, have got a really nice
line in shooters, in fact I've yet to see them release any other
type of game. I'm not sure if Raizing are the developers, or
just distributors with some good taste, but I hope so see more
from them soon!
It's a vertically scrolling shooter, with all the usual baggage
that this format commonly employs. You can't bash into any scenery
- which is one thing I don't like about some shmups, it's nice
to interact with the trees sometime. However, it's probably
a very good thing, as BG is one of the busiest games I've ever
seen. I can't get past level one yet without dying at least
once (how are you getting on with it Steven?) much less complete
the game without resorting to credit feeding. There's just so
many bullets on screen, small ones at that. The only way to
play it properly is to turn your telly so that you can play
in in the original 'tall' arcade mode and everything opens up
As for graphics, you can see them below, lots of multipart highly
detailed huge bosses to waste, each with pleasingly varied attacks.
At first the game seems a bit rough graphics-wise, but astounds
the further you get on, except there's no way you can stop and
admire the design! A highly recommended game, nab it if you
Malc's Score 8½/10