one of the more interesting companies that broke away from Konami,
eschews the traditional shooter genre with ideas of its own. Their
last shooter, Axelay, is a classic, although I wasn't particularly
fond of it (insert comment here, "what! Axelay was the best!") ...
thought the mode7 was overdone.
Silvergun, which was an arcade release in Japan, epitomises these
ideas with a single concept - No Powerups. Usually the gamut of
shooters out there feature a shitload of powerups, used to make
your ship bigger, badder, and meaner to survive the onslaught of
enemies waiting to annihilate you. Instead, Radiant Silvergun takes
the unique approach - have all different weapons at your disposal
anytime, and pressing certain button combinations will unleash different
weapons. For example, button A unleashes a straightforward shot,
B unleashes tracking green shots, C causes a split shot with a mortar
effect. Combinations of A+B, B+C and A+C add another 3 weapons (Homing
lasers, Back shot and a lock on laser lightning thing).
The best one of all though is the Radiant Sword itself. Pressing
all three of these will cause a sword to swing around your ship,
which can nullify some enemy shots (believe me, you'll need this).
What might not be so obvious is the smart bomb mode this has. Collect
the floaty purple shots with the RSG, and it'll power up, enabling
you to do a special move - You'll fall off your seat when you see
What this entails is a blast happy time with a hint of strategy
- certain enemies can be attacked different ways, and experimentation
is a must to figure out how the hell to survive. The graphics in
this game are drop dead gorgeous. Transparencies, notably tough
as hell to program on the Saturn, abound. The polygonal bosses (as
opposed to your sprite ship) are menacing, using every damn trick
in the book to ensure your death. Portions of the game evoke anime,
as with the end scenes and cutscenes.
Difficulty: Okay, now to difficulty. This is one of the most difficult
shooters out there. Forget everything else, you'll need a damn miracle
to survive this one on a quarter. Believe me, i've played my share
of tough shooters in my lifetime (R-Type, Layer Section) but this
one takes the cake. What you'll be facing against is a shitload
of bullets, tons of flying lasers, and huge missiles hurling at
you. In some instances, you'll have to contend with multiple oh-shit
scenarios - i.e. bosses spew bullets at you, while simulatenously
launching a tracking laser, on top of that, little ships come kamikazing
toward you. If you manage to score a 100% killrate on the bosses,
without continuing, you are truly the master of the shooter genre.
tend to think the chances of achieving this is almost as bad as
winning a huge $40 million jackpot in the lottery. However, don't
be daunted at the difficulty - difficult shooters are a good thing,
and you'll start sweating buckets. After I played this game, i had
to lay down, take a tylenol, and watch the grass grow. There is
occasionally slowdown in this game (not alot), notably during the
scenes were you have 100 billion bullets and lasers hurling toward
you and the boss death scenes as they explode into million pieces
of scrap metal.
Gameplay: Extremely good. You get a percentage score based on destruction
bonus (some bosses can self destruct, which is good, but the points
are low), combination score multiplier, etc. To top it off, in those
oh-fuck situations, you have a gauge which allows you to unleash
the huge ass killing sword, which kills almost everything within
a 5 inch radius. This baby comes in handly, especially in those
above mentioned tight situations. There are only about 5-6 stages
in the game. This might seem low, but take in account that you have
4 minibosses in each stage, one big ass boss in each stage, and
stage segments are rougly long as Layer Section stages, you'll be
sitting on the chair for some time. Some stages took me 10-15 minutes
to complete, which is pretty long for a shooter. Also, you have
the ability to save your progress, which is absolutely essential
if you're trying to go for the one-quarter kill.
Quick menu explanation:
You have 3 choices - arcade mode, saturn mode, and options. Arcade
mode is no frills blasting action. Saturn mode has a storyline,
japanese speech, and anime characters. The options lets your configure
game layout, music, difficulty, lives, etc. After beating the game,
you will have access to options+, which allows you to have stage
select and various other goodies.
Overall, a great damn game. Those shooter fanatics who think they're
up to the challenge should do themselves a favor and pick up this
game - don't miss it. Hardcore shooters will love it, others might
not due to the insane difficulty level. I otherwise love it, this
shooter really tests my reflexes and hand-eye coordination. Most
of the game is in english, save for the storyline, which is in japanese.
Most amusing is the garbled messages that come up whenever a boss
blasts onto the screen. If the boss doesn't kill you, the messages
Treasure strikes it again with a winner...