great, another rarity! I love dissecting shooters that many people
have never heard of, or something that is not in the mainstream.
It’s like I’ve found a gem, especially in Scorpius, that I can share
for the first time with the shooter public., because face it, we
need something new and refreshing every now and then. Yes, we’re
getting lots of new games, like Giga Wing, and Mars Matrix and the
sort, but find me a shmup from the “golden age” of 1989-1995 that
was swept under the rug, and I’m a happy camper.
was made for the x68000, an excellent computer for shmups by the
way, by B-Type/Shinseisha. If this is their first attempt at a shooter,
they did quite a job. Scorpius has a style all its own, though some
elements have been taken from R-Type. The music can be described
as “spooky” and the graphics have a sort of bio-mechanic feel to
them. Even the ship designs are quite unconventional. There are
three to choose from, and each one has a different weapon system.
Each ship does have a claw device, which is the main selling point
like when you played R-Type for the first twenty or so times, you
need mastery of this claw device to finish the game. You can ram
enemies with it, or just pop it out and lay it on a boss for some
major damage. When extended, the claw does fire like your main weapon,
and here is where the different ships come into play. Weapons include
a lightning flash, 6 way shot, 3 way shot, and a green circle. Scorpius
level design is bulit for using the claw, with some levels vertical
and some enemies hidden behind walls. The claw is also able to absorb
bullets, so it can also be used defensively, and play control is
like a Gradius option, following the movements of the ship.
is an extremely fun and challenging game. I’ve never used anything
quite like this claw device, although the one ship in R-Type delta
with the “latch on” is similar. Adapting your gameplay style is
where the fun lies in this game, and when you master the claw you
can kick some serious behind. Scorpius is pretty easy up until level
4ish, and then it is one for the masters only! The sixth level is
like a Gradius final level, with enemies all over the place. Unfortunately
this game freezes a lot, and I only got to the boss of level six
once. But rather than wait to try and finish the game, I figured
it was about time for a review. This is a “must play” for any shooter
fan, using the claw device will sharpen your gameplay skills.