Xevious

The graphics have no retro wow factor either – patches of grass look like they were sketched by a five-year old in a more restrictive version of Mario Paint – it makes you wish for a simple but effective black space background. I’ve not managed to get very far in the game (the screenshot above is of a level that I will probably never get the chance to play through) but I still think most of these criticisms still stand. So don’t bother with Xevious. Just let it quietly pass away, and hopefully the game’s developers will do the same.

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Namco Museum: 50th Anniversary Arcade Collection

Anyway. Namco’s Museum is an almost decent (budget) collection of some classic, some not so classic and a few pointless games, hoping to please retro gamers, to teach new gamers some old tricks, to teach young dogs strange tricks or to please the average casual gamer. There are 16 games on offer, two of which (PacMania and Galaga `88) are unlockable by attaining (pretty low) highscores in PacMan, Ms. PacMan or the original Galaga, which are actually three of the best titles available in this compilation, and are decently emulated.

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Thunder Force Series

Although now known as a horizontally-scrolling shooter series, the Thunder Force games didn’t start out like that. Sure, TF2 featured both overhead and side-viewed levels, the overhead ones were dropped for subsequent games. This game, however, features overhead levels exclusively. The looping landscape is free-roaming, and scattered liberally over it are a large number of gun emplacements. Luckily, your ship is equipped with bombs to destroy these with, as well as a standard forward shot for taking out the periodic airbourne enemies.

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What is the best classic space shooter and why?

I can’t help but to re-iterate how significant the first accomplishment was. This was in the days before DirectX, before any abstraction layers, back when Men were Men & Women were Women & game programmers had to write universal binaries for what hardware MIGHT be running their code. That feat is the equivalent of walking into the UN Building and trying each language until you’re talking to everyone.

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