Friday, August 7, 2009

Retro Game of the Month

I'm going to start a "Retro-Game of the Month" feature to justify my recent obsession with buying old games.

The first game (or series I suppose) is Gunbird.

For those who don't know (I was one of them), Gunbird was released here in the states for the Playstation called Mobile Light Force. It is infamously know for being one of the sloppiest localization efforts of all time.

Basically the American distributor didn't want to bother with translating any Japanese text, so they cut out ALL the Japanese text. This included cut scenes, animated openings, and, to my horror, all the endings.

Let me explain why this is so horrifying.

If you are a fan of vertical shumps, like I am, you know they have the stigma of being hard as hell. I recently took to Mobile Light Force because, after playing Ikaruga, it was a lot more forgiving. It had it's hooks in me. And while it never got impossible, it did get frustratingly hard at times, so you can imagine how I felt that after beating it, all I got was giant white text on a black background that said: "The End".

I was even more upset to learn that Gunbird has not only one ending, but a different ending for each character and endings for each paired up characters (If you are playing it two players). That is a lot of endings, for them to just wipe their hand across the board and so, "No thanks!"

However, you can go to the vgmuseum and look up all the endings. But I advise you to do this ONLY if you have beat it. You are cheating the rest out of accomplishment if you look at them without feeling the need to bash your controller on the ground.

That beings said, I instantly fell in love with the game play of it. I've been looking hard for a good vertical shump lately and haven't found one that stuck until Gunbird. Luckily they made a sequel for the Dreamcast, actually called Gunbird 2 with everything intact. At least I hope so, I haven't beaten it yet.

Which brings me to my next issue. I took to the first one because, while still challenging, it is a lot easier to beat with just one person then a lot of other shumps out right now. Gunbird 2's difficulty is a lot more in line with more modern shooters. Though it is still accessible and still within the realm of possibility to beat.

In any case if you are a fan of shumps I can't recommend this series enough. I haven't even gotten to the humor, which comes in spades. Fans of Parodius will most likely love this game.

Also if you are a Darkstalkers fan (like me), Morrigan is a playable character in Gunbird 2. Thanks Capcom!

Next time I'll keep with the shooters theme and review a game with some of the Gunbird characters in it, though horizontally this time called: Sengoku Blade