Friday, 14 March 2008

Love it or hate it

The next shmup I'm going to talk about is the rather controversial Battle Garegga. Why is that so, you may ask? Well, I actually didn't know anything about it but after a quick search through the internets I've found out that apparently this game is the centre of much controversy due to it's rather unique adjustable difficulty system. I'll let Wikipedia explain:

"The game features an adjustable difficulty system that will increase difficulty based on the actions of the player(s). Firing and powering up the main weapon, as well as destroying combustible bullets, will increase the difficulty of the game. Losing a life will decrease the difficulty (rank) of the game. The less lives a player has when he or she dies, the more rank is decreased, thus, the game rewards a player who doesn't stock up many lives at a time. Players thus were forced to keep themselves powered down, conserve shots, and lose lives on purpose in order to keep the last few stages of the game playable. However, in spite of the common opinion that suiciding to decrease rank is needed in order to make the last several stages possible, the game was recently completed using only one life, disproving this theory. However, the game is much more easy to finish using only one credit if one takes time to master the strategy of suiciding to decrease rank."

Don't feel like reading all that text? Then I'll sum it up for you. Basically, as you get more powerful due to power-ups (or accumulated lives), the game gets harder and harder, ultimately becoming almost impossible (trust me, the last levels are HELL). Now, I don't know about you, but for me this is fucking stupid! Come on! These type of games are fun because of 3 things: destroying enemies, dodging incoming bullets and slowly becoming more and more powerful until we have a ship/plane/something that when it shoots it looks like all hell is breaking loose, and they just took that last part away! What were they thinking?!

Anyway, who knows, maybe some of you will find it fun... Also, don't get turned off by the difficulty. In the options menu you can select infinite credits, so no matter how often you'll die, you'll be able to finish it as long as you're patient enough. Talking about the options menu, at first everything's in Japanese, which can be very confusing/intimidating, but fortunately there's an option to set it to English. Oddly enough, in order to activate it you'll have to make your way through kanji-filled menus, which leaves me thinking. If we want to set the menus to English is because we can't read Japanese. Well, in that case, how the fuck are we supposed to activate that option? By guessing??? I had absolutely no idea that such option existed until I stumbled upon a website explaining exactly how to activate it. Also, not only the language changes, but also the very layout of the menus, which left me with the impression that one or two options were missing from the English menus...

But I digress. To conclude my little rambling, this is one of those games that you'll either love or hate, due to it's unique gameplay mechanics. I, for instance, hate the idea of having to keep our ship powered down in order to prevent the game from becoming impossibly hard, so for me this game was not that much fun. Still, it has its qualities, and I'm pretty sure that someone out there will find it appealing, not to mention that there's a lot of people on the web telling great things about it.

On a side note, I want to gather some feedback about my last posts. What do you think of this "posting spree"? Should I calm down or keep them coming? I'm just asking this because I don't want to flood the Saturn Junkyard with possibly irrelevant content. After all everything I write is for you, not for me, so hit me back with your thoughts. I have a couple more games on the way, so tell me if you're interested in reading about them of if you're already full of shmups.

PS - If I keep on going like this, maybe soon we'll have enough material to make a "Saturn Junkyard Shmup Reference Guide" or something.


elend said...

Irrelevant content? If there's "Sega Saturn" on it, it belongs to the yard, imho. Even if it has only remotely to do with the Saturn (like a Dynamite Deka Port for the PS2). So, I like your posting spree.

About that Battle Garegga: I love it. I can understand that many people have problems with the realistic bullets, which ARE hard to see at times, but I dunno why so many people weep about the difficulty system. You can actively influence the difficulty system. So if it's too hard for you, try to die more often. It's one of the games mechanics and not like a bug or something.

Battle Garegga is imho one of the greater shooters for the Saturn.

NebachadnezzaR said...

If that's the case I'll gladly write another post today. Stay tuned! :D

fatherkrishna said...

I'm stunned by your posting spree and thoroughly impressed by it! post as many of your quality posts as you want, however tenuous the link, we love it!!!

BTW, may I apologise for my lack of posts recently. There have been a number of reasons, which I won't bore you with, and unfortunately it's gonna get worse before it gets better, as I'm off to Cyprus for a week on Sunday... (Yippee!!)

I'm going ot be best man at my friends wedding. Just me and Mrs. K with the kids despatched to various relatives in good old blighty! Hurrah!

As for Gunbird, I too have (and love) it's Dreamcast successor. I play it on baby mode ('cos I'm crap) and will definitely be purchasing it's Saturn incarnation!