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10:18 PM on 09.30.2011

Obscurity: Radirgy



If you're a massive shmup fan, you own a Dreamcast. The number of quality shooters released on that white-box-of-awesome far exceeds that of any other console (with the 360 coming in a close second). Years after the console's demise, dedicated development studios continued to support the Dreamcast with commercial-quality releases, mostly of the shooter genre.

One of these, is Radirgy.



Released in arcades in 2005, Dreamcast in 2006, and in 2008 on the Gamecube/PS2 in Japan, and on the Wii in North America, Radirgy tells the story of Shizuru Kamigusa with a strange radio wave allergy. Her father developed a cure for this allergy, but his corporation has been taken over by a terrorist group. So Shizuru decides to ride in on a giant mecha suit, guns blazing, to rescue her father and save the cure.

What the game lacks in story, it makes up for in charming graphics and addictive gameplay. Before beginning the game, you choose which shot-type you would like. For shooter fans, this is very familiar territory. A-type is your focused but high damage shot, B-type is your slightly wider ranged shot, albeit average damage, and C-type is your wide shot with poor overall damage, and a slower ship speed.



You can't really go wrong with any of these, and they don't seem to make too much of a difference in terms of gameplay. What does however, is the sword/shield combo. By holding B (Dreamcast), your character will continuously swing it's sword back and forth. While weakening your shot power, it also cancels any square bullets it comes into contact with. These cancelled bullets add up on a gauge on the left hand side of the screen, which when full can be triggered, granting you 5 or so seconds of invulnerability and extra points for any enemies destroyed. This is called the ABSNET barrier.

Skilled players can then chain these ABSNET barriers together, to make themselves almost continuously invulnerable if done right. This involves triggering the barrier, charging into bullets and destroying as many enemies as possible to garner sufficient charge to retrigger the barrier as soon as your previous one deactivates. Rinse, repeat.

Also of note is the shield, which can be activated by not touching any of your weapon buttons. Your character will pull out a shield which will absorb any bullets that hit it, aswell as damage enemies.



The graphics are also top-notch, combining very clear bullets and cel-shaded graphics. Never does a death feel cheap or unfair, and the game looks great while you're getting your ass handed to you by the multitude of bright orange bullets flying towards you at all times. It's eerily reminiscient of Jet-Set Radio, which not doubt served as a graphical influence.

The feel-good, synthetic, poppy soundtrack is a nice-accompaniment and fits the graphical style perfectly. You can buy the soundtrack CD separately on ebay if you feel like having some solo late night funk parties in your basement.



Ah, now to the issue of cost. Be prepared to drop around $80 for a brand new Dreamcast copy, complete with spine card. While it's certainly worth it for some (like me), for those unsure of their enjoyment will definitely want a cheaper option. If you have a Japanese Gamecube, or PS2 (or have a 'method' to play import games), then you'll find far more reasonable prices for those two ports which are identical to the Dreamcast game. Rough prices are $35 for the PS2 version, and around $50 for the Gamecube one.

By far the best option for most of you will be to buy the Ultimate Shooting Collection for the Wii. This includes Radirgy, aswell as Karous and Chaos Field, which are by the same company and are both great. For only $10, there's really no reason not to at least try it. You'll get at least 5-10 hours out of each game, and over 30 hours out of Radirgy alone if you dedicate yourself enough to 1CC it.

A sequel called Radirgy: Noa was released on the 360 and Wii, but remains Japan only and, unfortunately, region-locked. It's great game, but it's the original I fell in love with.

Anyone can enjoy this game, and even if you're not a big fan of shooters the pick-up and play nature of the game makes it a worthwhile purchase, if only for those lazy sunday afternoons between modern releases.

Happy shooting!

  read


2:29 AM on 12.30.2010

DeathSmiles: Europe Release Information

For me, this would have to be the best news of the year. Being a HUGE fan of shmups, and Cave in particular, I was ecstatic when I heard that the innovative shmup "Deathsmiles" would be getting a european release.

It'll be brought over courtesy of Rising Star Games (who also gave Europe Deadly Premonition), and it seems like they're actually putting a bit of effort into the release.

For starters, it has totally rad looking cover art. It also comes with 3 discs, one being the game disc, a soundtrack CD, and a "Desktop Accessory" disc (I imagine this'll be wallpapers, sound effects, themes and the like).

The real news for this release however, is the inclusion of the Mega Black Label, free on the disc. Those in Japan and the US had to buy this separately for 1200 points as DLC. It's great to see them include it right out the box instead of pining for the extra money. A bit of a shame it doesn't come with the 360 faceplate the limited US edition on came with, but at least it's coming over in the first place. Here's what the package looks like as a whole (manual not included in the shot):



The product page at Rising Star Games includes a feature list which is as follows:

* Left/right shooting mechanic, surrounding you with enemy units and gunfire from both sides of the screen

* The player will need to employ strategy and think about enemy positioning as your shots may be blocked by obstacles

* Deathsmiles features a selectable difficulty level that allows you to choose how to proceed through the game, ensuring that newcomers are as welcome as veterans

* Different stories and conversations will appear during both single player and two-player cooperative play, depending on the character(s) chosen

* Arcade Mode - featuring the same gameplay and accuracy as the original arcade release
Xbox 360 Mode - a high resolution version of the arcade game
Version 1.1 - an original mode for the Xbox 360.

* Mega Black Label - an expanded version of the game included on the disc and features:
New playable character Sakura
New stage Ice Palace
More challenging scoring system
New difficulty setting, level 999

* Play with a friend via Xbox LIVE, where the player can also measure up their success by submitting their scores to the online ranking service



You can pre-order it now from hmv or play. It's proposed release date is 18th of February 2011, so fingers crossed for a clean port and no delays!

EDIT: The American version of Deathsmiles did come with the Mega Black Label on the disc. The japanese version didn't.   read


1:07 AM on 12.28.2010

Destructoid: The Atari 2600 Game

I've recently been taking a bit of time outta my not-too-busy schedule to learn how to create games for the Atari 2600. Since I love Destructoid so much, I've decided this site of awesome deserves it's own (semi) official game. Since I'm new to programming in general, I'll take the time to get it right instead of rushing out shit (which caused the downfall of the 2600 in the first place).

I've got a few ideas floating around, and quite a decent amount of code down already, so this is slightly beyond pre-production phase already. Here's the proposed title screen, running fully coded in a 2600 emulator:



I've also got a hero character, villain character, and both of them moving around and shooting in a small environment. Here's the cool part though. It'll actually be put into cartridge form. This won't be no "Hey! Let's share the ROM around and all have like, 20 seconds of fun with it!!" I have enough money to get a high quality copy made, in an actual Atari 2600 (mint condition) cartridge, with a professionally printed glossy label. Here's a quick idea of what the label could look like:



This single (or potentially multiple) copy(ies) will then be available to win through a competition I'll make. It won't be for sale or anything, and I'd pay for shipping etc.

I won't show any actual gameplay yet, since everything is so liable to (and will) change. I'm basically only learning 2600 homebrew for this project, and I'm still quite the novice, so if you have any knowledge at all, and wouldn't mind answering a few questions or even helping out, that'd be much appreciated.

Stay tuned...   read


9:43 PM on 12.23.2010

Slick Gear: Radiant Silvergun Arcade Stick

You heard right. Treasure have combined forces with Hori to make an arcade stick specifically designed (but perhaps not exclusively) for the upcoming release of Radiant Silvergun on XBLA.

Not only is this good news unto itself, but it also signals that Radiant Silvergun may not be too far away. All we've got so far is a TBA 2011, but considering they've already announced (and possibly released) this totally awesome bit of gear, the game itself could only be a few months away. Personally I'm hoping for the first half of 2011.

Oh, and pics



As you can see, it's a really great looking piece of hardware. They've certainly put quite a bit of effort into the presentation, and it shows. If you're familiar with the gameplay of Radiant Silvergun, you'll know exactly what all those buttons are for. If not, I'll give you a quick rundown. Every button has it's own attack, which you level up as you kill more ships. Unlike in other shmups, however, your experience is kept and saved, so an experienced player who's put countless hours into the game will be able to have highly upgraded weapons right from the get go.



The player is also equipped with a sword, which can swipe away certain types of bullets. As these bullets are swiped away, a bar on-screen fills up. When the bar is full and the sword is used, it clears the screen of enemies and causes huge damage: it's basically the game's bomb, but it's so well done because it makes you work for your invincibility and huge damage output.



So, how much will this fine object of pure win cost you? Naturally, these will be in extremely high demand, and unfortunately, Treasure and Hori both know it. It'll set you back about $161 USD (as of December 23). It's 13500 Yen. Though if you are the collector type, love Radiant Silvergun (that's basically all of us), hate the 360 d-pad (also all of us) and have a bit of spare cash lying about then you should by all means find yourself one of these. How much actual awesome will you be getting with your purchase? About this much:



2.6 frickin' KG's of actual awesome, in fact. No doubt it'll feel solid, and be a absolute blast to play with. It's also a decent size, coming in at 16.2 inches long, 9.5 wide and 4.9 high. Expect prices to skyrocket after they're all sold out (which'll happen FAST), so if you want your piece of the action at a reasonable price, get in QUICK!



EDIT: All images sourced from the Hori website, linked to directly from the Treasure homepage   read


1:09 AM on 12.14.2010

Dreamcast Shmup announced: Sturmwind

RedSpotGames, an independant publisher for indie commercial Dreamcast games, has announced a new Dreamcast shmup, and is to be available via their store sometime in 2011.

The shop page has a decent list of features, aswell as an interview with one of the developers from Duranik (who are developing the game)



Features:

* 16 Levels
* 3 selectable difficulty levels
* configurable controls
* adjustable screen position
* different weapons selectable
* More than 20 large bossenemies
* Hundreds of different enemies
* FMV intro sequence
* Hybrid 2d/3d game engine
* Resolution 640x480
* PAL50, PAL60, NTSC and VGA (with Adapter) compatible
* Region Free
* Works with any MIL-CD compatible Dreamcast
* CDDA Sound
* Supports: Joypad, Arcade Stick (Analog/Digital), VMU, Rumble Pack
* (configurable)
* Internet WEBcode Hiscore Tables
* Award Trophy System with unlockable content



While features such as configurable controls, and 3 selectable difficulty levels have obviously become standard, it's great to see VGA support, aswell as what seems to be a rather large selection of levels. It'll be interesting to see what kind of system they use for the level playability. A Darius-esque multiple paths option is welcome, but personally I'm hoping for some real creativity when it comes to level selection. An FMV intro sequence, and extra unlockable content is just icing on the cake.

A few screenshots have already been released (courtesy of RedSpotGames), and so far it's looking great, You can preorder from the site, and they won't actually charge you until the game ships. If you have a Dreamcast, please support this small company. The more it sells, the more awesome indie Dreamcast games we get in the future. 'Nuff said

  read


7:54 PM on 08.14.2009

TheSpeedGamer's MegaMan Marathon is underway!

The MegaMan marathon is now underway!

TheSpeedGamers are doing a 72-hour marathon, playing through 24 Megaman games. They are raising money for Earthday. Give them you're support!

Head on over to thespeedgamers.com and get donating!

Or, go to forums.thespeedgamers.com for more info on the event.

  read


3:58 AM on 07.16.2009

My New Friend

I've been bad. I haven't posted in a long time. To be frank, I took an undeserved break. But I'm back.

An acquaintance of mine offered to lend me a box set of a particular TV show. I had never seen this series, but had heard of it. It stars the fantastic Dylan Moran and interesting Bill Bailey. This show is Black Books.

It's now one of my favourite shows. It hasn't had a large following, but it definitely deserves one. I got the complete collection, which means all 3 seasons at my disposal. With only 6 episodes per season, they aren't long but the quality is good. I'm a fan of Shaun of the Dead (which Moran was also in) and Hot Fuzz (which Bill Bailey was in), so it was great to see Nick Frost and Simon Pegg guest starring in some awesome roles.



The actual show is about an independent book store, called Black Books (hence the name), in Britain. Bernard (Moran) is a mess, who can't do his accounts. It looks like it's the end of the road until Manny (Bailey) shows up and decides to help with the accounts, cooking, cleaning and anything else Bernard grudgingly tells him to do. Next door is another shop, run by friend Fran (), who also joins in on whatever fun their having. The 2 opposing conflicts that are Bernard and Manny make things hilarious although sometimes Bernard makes things a cringefest. A good cringefest though. High points are the way Bernard treats his customers. I can definitely say his customer service is on the illegal side.



I can easily recommend this amazing series to anyone with a sense of humour. You should be able to pick up the whole series for about $25 (USD). Trust me. It's a great deal.l   read


3:57 AM on 07.02.2009

My first program!

I've finally done it. I actually stuck with a programming language long enough to vaguely learn it. And I produced my first program from scratch. I'm proud, to be honest. And it's coded in Python.

It's creatively named. It's called the 'Area Calculation Program'. You can calculate the area of 2D shapes, and the volume of 3D shapes. In terms of graphics, you've got a black background, with white writing. No sound effects as of yet. Another of my achievements, I compiled it into an .exe, and biffed that into a .zip file. Yes, it runs in command prompt, but so what? At least it runs smoothly, with no hiccups or lag. That's something not many games can boast nowadays. Not that this is a game. Anyway.



You can grab it [url=http://uploading.com/files/LL6XF4LC/Area Calculation Program.zip.html]here[/url], if you're interested at all.   read


7:19 PM on 06.27.2009

Cave Story: Another free game review

Special thanks to CAFFEINE KNIGHT for recommending this game to me.

I'll get this clear at the beginning. I won't say anything about the story. I reckon it's better if you find it out for yourself.

With that out the way, it's time to actually talk about the game. Cave Story is a 2D platformer, released in 2004. As everyone who has played a platformer knows, they pretty much need perfect controls. Cave Story certainly delivers, as the shooting, jumping and movement areas are all fluid and feel really good. The gameplay is quite story driven, and requires some, but not too much, problem solving. If you've played Megaman, you'll feel right at home with the gameplay, graphics and sound.



The graphics themselves certainly aren't bad. The backgrounds and character portraits are well drawn, and the characters have a charming vibe to them. The music, while not amazing, certainly fits the mood of the game. The sound effects could have been better though. Throughout the game you will acquire many different weapons, all of which can be leveled up and down. Yes. Weapons can level down. If you get hit enough without killing anything, your weapon will drop a level. It's not too bad though, because leveling up isn't too much of a chore.



There's not much I like more than a good platformer, and Cave Story is my definition of a good platformer, combining charming graphics, story, and decent music. I hear you can get this game from WiiWare too. You can download this game free from here. It's only 40 megs, so you might as well give it a crack.

This spells the end of my THIRD free game review in a row. If you would like me to review another free came, please leave a comment containing you suggestion(s). Thanks!   read


11:46 PM on 06.25.2009

Free games galore?!

Yes. I'm back. With another free game.

This one's called Cottage of Doom. It's a very simple survival horror game. With zombies. You control your character with the mouse. Left-click is move, left-click twice to sprint, and right-click to fire your shotgun. As the name of the game suggests, you're inside a doomed cottage. You start in a party of 3. Well. They don't do anything. One is eaten right away and the other, obviously with creamed pants, decides to go upstairs and hide, leaving you to hold off the horde.



I'll get this clear right now. It's damn impossible to hold off all the zombies for any respectable amount of time with just the shotgun. You have to barricade doors and windows, and shoot out them to keep the zombies away. To barricade doors and windows, you obviously need wood. There's heaps of furniture all through the cottage, so each time you destroy furniture, some shotgun shells and wood fall on the ground. Barricading all doors and windows is essential, because as soon as the zombies smash down one door, you'll concentrate all your time on keeping them out and eventually other doors and windows will break too.



Every so often new furniture will drop from the sky and into the cottage. While this is extremely unrealistic, it's also extremely helpful. You'd be stuffed without them. The graphics are nothing amazing, but many gamers with appreciate the retro, pixelated art.

So let the zombie killing begin! For 8.45 megabytes, it's definitely worth the download.
You can grab it here

Highly recommended!   read


11:16 PM on 06.24.2009

Who doesn't love a free game?

Times are tough. The economy's stuffed. People don't have as much money as they used to. So who could decline a free offer? Especially an offer for a free game?

Well this game's free, and it's a good one. Black Shades (developed by Wolfire Games) is a first-person shooter, bodyguard style. The object of the game, is to defend the V.I.P (guy dressed in white) for an allocated amount of time. In that time hordes of assassin's will attempt to kill your V.I.P with guns or knives.



You have no health bar. Well you do. Sorta. Your health bar is the V.I.P, who dies in one shot. When assassin's take aim a large white rectangle will point at the V.I.P from their gun. That bar will start thinning and eventually turn red and disappears. When it does, the assassin's gun fires and unless your lucky and a pedestrian has taken the bullet, your V.I.P will be dead. Then you get to do it all over again.



When you complete a level, you move onto the next. Levels have varying starting weapons, weather and enemies. There are a few levels where there are no pedestrians, just you, your V.I.P, and hordes of zombies. Of course they don't use guns so they have to get right up close to bite the neck of your unsuspecting V.I.P who, by the way, doesn't do anything and is oblivious to all enemies in his vicinity. He thinks he's just going for a walk. When you press E, you enter a bullet-time sort of mode, except you run slow too. This will give you a good chance to take aim and pop a few heads.



While the graphics may be simple, the core gameplay is great and the responsive controls make you feel like it's your fault the V.I.P died, not the game's. You can download this game for a few measly megs from here.

Big thumbs up from me!   read


2:23 AM on 06.24.2009

It's finally here!

Yup. I couldn't stay away for more than 10 minutes. But I had to tell the world what came. I got The Legend of Zelda for the NES. It freaking rocks. I'm on the 5th dungeon and think it rocks. It combines elements of exploration, combat and problem solving into one pick gold cartridge.



That should bring my NES collection up to about 15 (if you count SMB and Duck Hunt and 2 games).

The stack looks slightly impressive.



This is the list so far:

LEGEND OF FREAKIN ZELDA!!!!
Excitebike
Duck Hunt
Super Mario Bros.
Cybernoid: The Fighter Pilot (hardest game ever)
Zanac
Legacy of the Wizard
Blades of Steel
Tecmo Baseball
Startropics
Rad Racer
Pin*Bot
Defender 2
Gyruss
Gauntlet II

Thanks Nintendo

Ok. I promise I won't post again in another 10 minutes.   read





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