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Preview: Bangai-O HD Missile Fury

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Bangai-O is the reason I own a Dreamcast, purchased years after the console had failed solely so that I could finish the game. It's an addictive shoot-em-up with some staggering challenges and more "Oh sh*t" moments than any title of its type that I have ever had occasion to play.

Now, D3 Publisher is set to release the newest game for the series over Xbox Live Arcade. Dropping the confusing and weird story elements, Bangai-O HD Missile Fury is all about hot action and explosions. I had a chance to play though a three-stage demo of the game before release and, as a fan, I'm pretty excited for this week.

Bangai-O HD

The first stage was a huge, open area lined with enemy-generating blocks. It was a great opportunity to test out counters, which are massive attacks based on how imminently doomed you are. One of the core gameplay mechanics of the original game, it works just as well here. On use, a wave of fire erupted in every direction with me as the center, and things got mopped up quickly. Even the appearance of four huge robots didn't slow me down a bit.

Waves of increasingly difficult giant robots made up the second stage. Only a couple of hits from one of these bruisers was enough to take me down. The easiest way to survive this type of scenario seemed to be to make use of the freeze defensive move. Freeze stops enemies and projectiles dead in their tracks, effective within a targeting circle around yourself, allowing you to then use their quantity and proximity in launching a counter attack.

The final stage in my demo was all out insanity. Starting in a room divided into sections, things quickly went south once I started blasting, as a huge mass of enemies appeared out of nowhere. Sitting still for even half a second meant certain death, and it was all I could do to quickly hammer on the controller's triggers.

Bangai-O HD

Pulling the right trigger while charging a counter attack adds a multiplier to the number of missiles you fire when the attack commences, up to a maximum of four times, to release up to 4000 rounds at once. The massive attack that results pretty much stops the game cold and gives you a second in which to breathe before having to get another one going. But on this last stage, even that ability often was insufficient.

Based on the demo stages I've played, Treasure seems to have done a decent job of recreating the chaos that made Bangai-O so appealing to me. The dual-stick controls are easy and accurate, though I will admit that there's some part of me that thinks they did a better job shooting with the face buttons in the original game. 

One thing that I didn't see any of the demo was more puzzle-oriented stages that required you to find the right path or destroy specific targets. But with roughly a hundred levels to play, D3 Publisher has assured me that more cautious play than what was shown in the demo would be available. Saving that, I could always make my own in the game's level editor. 

Bangai-O HD Missile Fury releases on May 4th for Xbox Live Arcade.

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Conrad Zimmerman
Conrad ZimmermanMoustache   gamer profile

An avid player of tabletop and video games throughout his life, Conrad has a passion for unique design mechanics and is a nut for gaming history. He can be heard on the comedy podcast ( The mer... more + disclosures


 


 



Filed under... #D3 #HD #Previews #Shooters #Xbox Live Arcade

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