Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

Archive for the ‘Vertical Scrolling Shooter’ Category

Bleed Out Sakuretsu

Posted by Tracy Poff on April 5, 2015

I don’t believe I’ve written about any remotely popular games for at least two years… and I’m not about to change that. But I am writing about a good game, at least: Bleed Out Sakuretsu, a vertically scrolling shooter for the Sharp X68000, by Gold Cats Project.

Bleed Out Sakuretsu - title

First: yes, the title screen says ‘sakuretu’. But the common romanization of this game’s title seems to be ‘sakuretsu’, and as goes TOSEC, so goes my nation.

Bleed Out Sakuretsu - ingame

Bleed Out Sakuretsu has a powerup system reminiscent of Gradius. As you continue scoring points, you can purchase a shot upgrade, a barrier, or other, even more powerful powerups. The opposition is a variety of ships, small shots, and guided missiles.

Bleed Out Sakuretsu - boss

The boss sprays out bullets danmaku-style, and periodically fires a pair of front-facing lasers. You’ve got to deal with this while avoiding guided missiles, and since you are destroyed in one shot (unless you buy a barrier), this, like the rest of the level, provides a good challenge.

Here, an unfortunate revelation: the boss is, as far as I can tell, invulnerable, because the available version of Bleed Out Sakuretsu is a trial edition, and I can find no evidence that any full version was ever created. I would love to hear otherwise, if anyone has better information on old doujin games than I do, because it’s a very fun game.

It’s hard to do a shooter justice with just words and screenshots. The video above shows (I believe) the entire game, which should give a much better picture of it.

If you like shooters, I’d say Bleed Out Sakuretsu is worth a try. It’s only about two minutes long, but it’s fun, and I believe there’s a place for brief games, too.

The Touhou series looms largest on the doujin shooter landscape, of course, but there’s a huge and fascinating variety of games (of all genres) stretching back decades, which I think could use some more attention from the English-speaking web. I’ll probably be looking at a few more doujin games in coming weeks, so I’ll try to shine a light on whichever titles catch my eye. Maybe there will be some hidden gems, or maybe just hidden failures. We’ll see what comes.

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Posted in 1996, Full Review, Good, Vertical Scrolling Shooter, X68000 | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

First Impressions: Tasac

Posted by Tracy Poff on September 24, 2006

Tasac is a vertical scrolling shooter by Sachen, and it sucks.

Tasac_01

The title screen looks pretty cool, so one might expect the game to have decent graphics, or something. Most of your in-game time is spent in a position like this one:

Tasac_04

There’s no real challenge in this part, except that the laser-like weapon you start with sucks, and the upgrades suck even more. When you get to the end, the boss appears.

Tasac_07

But you can’t kill it yet. In fact, you can fly right over it. Why is the boss there before you’re able to interact with it? I don’t know. But the game carries on just as if the boss weren’t there. In fact, it carries on the same way even once you can fight the boss–the random enemies keep appearing, there’s just a boss on the screen at the same time.

Tasac_09

Although the boss shoots a pretty large number of projectiles at you, they’re not hard to dodge. If the weapon weren’t so stupidly slow and hard to use, they boss wouldn’t be even slightly difficult. As it is, the boss just takes a little longer than it ought to.

The second level was just like the first. I think that the boss was slightly rounder, but I don’t really care to recall.

Verdict: Pointless. It’s just a below average vertical scroller.

Posted in 1992, Bad, First Impressions, NES, Vertical Scrolling Shooter | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

First Impressions: 1944

Posted by Tracy Poff on September 24, 2006

It’s a pirate version of 1943:

1944_01

The only change that I noted between this and 1943 is that holding down the fire button, rather than charging the weapon, yields a very fast auto-fire. Otherwise, identical:

1944_08

Verdict: Play 1943 instead.

Posted in First Impressions, NES, Pirate Game, Vertical Scrolling Shooter | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

First Impressions: 1943 – The Battle of Midway

Posted by Tracy Poff on September 24, 2006

An excellent conversion of Capcom’s vertical scrolling shooter:

1943 - The Battle of Midway (U) [!]_01

This one has more features than its predecessor, such as the ability to configure your plane before you start:

1943 - The Battle of Midway (U) [!]_02

Also, when you start, it tells you briefly what your target is. In the first level, it’s Rikaku, the Japanese Heavy Cruiser:

1943 - The Battle of Midway (U) [!]_03

As is 1942, you’re piloting a P-38, which you can improve as you play by picking up better weapons and energy bonuses. The gameplay is the same, too: fire at the enemy planes (and ships) while avoiding being hit:

1943 - The Battle of Midway (U) [!]_04

At the end of the level, you fight Rikaku, which is heavily armed:

1943 - The Battle of Midway (U) [!]_08

If you win, you move on to the next level. There are a total of 24 levels in the NES version, as compared to 16 in the arcade version.

Verdict: 1943 has excellent sound, good graphics, smooth controls, and addictive gameplay. Definitely worth playing.

Posted in 1988, First Impressions, Good, NES, Vertical Scrolling Shooter | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

First Impressions: 1942

Posted by Tracy Poff on September 24, 2006

The famous vertical scrolling shooter:

1942 (U) [!]_01

It’s not too bad. You control the plane, which moves pretty smoothly, and shoot the enemies. A rather basic idea, but workable:

1942 (U) [!]_04

Unfortunately, this one just doesn’t measure up to its sequel, 1943. I can’t show it in a screenshot, but the sound was annoying–there was a beeping sort of sound going on while playing. The graphics, too, aren’t as good as in 1943.

Verdict: Play 1943 instead.

Posted in 1986, Decent, First Impressions, NES, Vertical Scrolling Shooter | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »