Alright, Comiket’s flurry of stuff is now incoming (well, it has been for a couple of days now, but I have limited access, so blah) and I might as well give impressions or something like that.
The sequel to TWilight INSanity; pretty fun game, enough to warrant my desire to write a short guide for it (which I shall get to later this week). The nice art is well, nice to look at, and it’s a good change of pace from ZUN’s eye cancer art; I’m not saying it ruins SA, but eh, I digress.
The game’s bullets behave in true danmaku fashion – heavy, slow, and steady – which is my preferred choice over the other type, light freeform. One issue I have with the game is that you seem to be fighting magic giant boxes and barrels, which is kinda weird, really. Not that it detracts from the quality of the game or anything, but it would be nice to have other enemies that look like, oh, I dunno, actual enemies.
There also seems to be a story with lots and lots of branching paths (notice why there’s a stage C1, D2, etc.), with decision points, well, deciding where you end up. Make the right choices and you’ll get to the true final ending. Make the wrong ones, and you’ll get to not-true, not-final ending. Or something.
We’re offered three pairs (one pair isn’t composed of twins), each with three styles – attack, defense, and balanced. So far, I’m biased towards the defense style because of its emphasis on item collection and lower magic (bomb) costs. I’ll get to the rest of this in the guide.
Another thing this game offers is online scoreboard support. Okay, sure, it seems like common sense in today’s age where we have stuff like E-Amuse and things like that, but this is the first doujin game I’ve seen with built-in in-game score and replay download and upload functions, allowing one to grab replays and watch them without ever exiting the game, and with 99 slots, you’ll have a lot of space to work with. Sadly, by watching a full-clear replay, you’ll end up spoiling yourself on the entire game, plot branches and all. Still, a solid game and a good contender against the seeming monopoly that the Touhou series has on PC danmaku STGs. Plus, it has widescreen support, which is cool! But then it makes fullscreen screenshots look like shit.
Oh, and sad to disappoint, but contrary to what Aroduc says, there are no pretty boys in dresses.
Hoo boy, an old-school shooter. First things first, this game looks like it came from Dezaemon. There.
Anyway, it’s a simple game. Shoot shit. Period. Multipliers for overkill and proximity need to be heavily utilized in order to score even half-decently. Probably, the main draw of the game would be the weapons. With 4 main guns, 4 sidearms, and 4 charge weapons, one can have 64 possible combinations, which makes for some neat replay value. But! Generally speaking, there are probably only around 12 or some good weapon combinations. Some weapons are just outright worthless.
For the main guns, anything is good, really, but I would say SMG > Riot Gun > Assault Rifle > Laser. Laser is just horrible because it has practically zero spread, has a half-second delay between each shot (a lot when it comes to a fast-paced game like this) and is just a little stronger than the assault rifle, which is much easier to spread when moving. The Riot gun would’ve been at least tied with the SMG, but its firepower, even with all the pellets, cannot beat the SMG’s and its balance between spread, accuracy, and power.
For the sidearms, Cluster Gun > Rocket Launcher > Air Greanades [sic] > Vulcan. The vulcan cannot hit shit and is utterly weak. Air Greanades [sic] are only good against enemies below, but are very strong (up-closing is useful). The Rockets don’t have enough spread and usually only 2-3 hit at most. Cluster Gun is pretty much perfect for taking out stragglers and the small upgrade ships, as well as just plain shooting things.
Finally, for the charge weapons, Missile Pod > Napalm > Pile Bunker > Beam Cannon. The Beam Cannon, while fun to use at first, takes an eternity to charge, thus making it absolute shit. The Pile Bunker’s useful for racking up points (killing something with it usually nets high multipliers) and can cancel out bullets in its vicinity, but seriously, leave it for the experts. Napalm is okay, but it’s slow to shoot, though controlled detonations are neat. The Missile Pod is awesome because it is homing and it shoots like, a shitload of missiles, all of which are rather effective at taking out small fry and mid-sizers, and it works on midbosses and bosses as well.
Anyway, my only main problem with this game is its horizontal orientation. At times, the game goes into danmaku mode, and as Cave learned with Arashi no Progear, horizontal danmaku is bad, wrong, and just plain stupid. Otherwise, it’s a fun, dare I say beginner-friendly game.
Next, I review music.