03
Jan
08

Doujin Game Review: ETHER VAPOR

This was pretty popular back in C72 (at least, from my perspective) and people were already wondering when the hell Edelweiss would come out with the full version. Thankfully, it did this Comiket73. So what exactly has changed? Well, another four stages have been added to the demo version’s three, which totals up to 7 stages. There has been a massive upgrade in the graphics, and some other things.

Here’s a video you can have loaded in the background so you can watch it after reading.

Anyway, for starters, let’s take a look at the weapons:

ether-gatling.jpg

First, the Gatling. It’s essentially a straight shooter, nothing more. It’s also the most powerful, non-charged shot there is. Charging it up to the max will fire a large cannon shot that knocks 500 HP off the enemy.

ether-winder.jpg

The Winder is a wide shot that also has a pair of wussy shots in the center. Charging it up will create a large field that damages enemies and nullifies any shots that it touches. You will probably end up having to use this a lot in the later stages as it gets really hectic after stage three.

ether-lockon.jpg

The Lock-On is exactly just that. A lock on laser. It, like the Winder, has a pair of wussy shots in the center, so you’re not completely defenseless in the front. Obviously, this has no charged shot, because you hold down the button to lock on.

ether-stage1_small.jpg

The game is utterly gorgeous. Explosions, lasers, the ships, almost everything looks breathtakingly incredible – even smoke effects look particularly good, for a doujin game. One unique feature of the game is that it constantly switches perspectives. You’re playing a vertical shooter at one moment and you’re playing a horizontal shooter the next. There are even some parts where you switch to an After-Burner-esque point of view, which is totally sweet. Another unique part of the game is the “Bonus Zone”. These are basically moments in the game where you may or may not be invulnerable, but every enemy or thing shot down nets you a large number of points. These range from shooting tens of missiles at a time, and even blowing up an entire battleship.

ether-stage2_small.jpg

One thing to note is that the game has a small bit of dialog in between stages, and through these, we find out that you actually have a partner with you. In the later stages, particularly in three and four, she actually helps out in the background by shooting lock-on lasers to help take out the enemies. In another stage, she’s in the background fighting one boss, while you’re busy taking out the other; a short while later, you see the one boss exploding while she continues to fire at the boss you’re dealing with. It’s these little things the make the game a lot more awesome.

ether-stage3_small.jpg

Of course, the game has its flaws as well, and one of the most glaring ones is that there is far too much going on at the same time. Imagine, lasers 1/4th of the screen, with another 5 enemies are shooting at you, explosions everywhere, while you’re firing the Lock-On Laser. Most of the time, I end up getting killed because of an unseen shot that hit me, which would have been avoided if I were actually able to see it through the smoke, lasers and explosions. Another flaw is that one particular type of bullet is just plain butt-ugly. Some models also need more polygons (ie: 2nd Stage Boss) because they end up looking kinda crappy.

ether-stage4_small.jpg

Overall though, this game is quite the challenge (I’ve only gotten up to stage 4) but still doesn’t get boring or cheap. It is definitely generous with the eye candy, and well, the ship’s design is just so fucking awesome. I highly recommend this game.

Links:
Edelweiss Official Site
ETHER VAPOR Official Site

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7 Responses to “Doujin Game Review: ETHER VAPOR”


  1. January 4, 2008 at 11:55 am

    One of the few STGs I was actually looking forward the full version. I still need to find time to sit down and test it, but the screens looks awesome. And glad to hear the difficult is good enough.

  2. January 4, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Great review! Ether Vapor looks fantastic. 😀 Imma try it out. \o/

  3. 3 sss
    January 10, 2008 at 6:30 am

    it’s not a flaw for being hard, you know, it is quite possibly to dodge every single shot in the game without ever using a charge winder shot.

  4. January 17, 2008 at 8:59 am

    Awesome game, been playing this game for the past few days. I just wonder if it has a “save” feature. I can’t seem to find it. Cuz I suck at STG and always end up starting from the very beginning. ^^

  5. January 18, 2008 at 12:13 am

    Deathy, Snacks, good to hear that 😀

    sss, I’m not saying it’s bad for being hard, but all the eye candy can be quite distracting, even with the hitboxes on.

    shinji, It doesn’t have a save feature, but you can practice stages which you’ve previously cleared so you can do better on your next run.

  6. 6 Infinity
    April 25, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Nice Shump! I wonder where I can get the full version (in Indonesia!). Mwahahahahahaha!


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