Sunday, 27 September 2009

Retro Lookback # 6: Zero Wing - Mega Drive

Yes, its the game with the iffy intro and even iffier engrish transration, Zero Wing. Its your standard horizontal shooter. Much like R-TYPE, ThunderForce, etc, You fly your craft from left to right on an ever scrolling screen, shooting the bad guys until you get to the middle of the level boss, fight some more bad guys then the end of level boss.

Like R-TYPE and Truxton (Tatsujin to our Japanese cousins), its converted from the arcade game of the same name. As usual, it's not going to have visuals like the arcade, but the graphics are great for a conversion. The ship you control looks a bit too cartoony. But I suppose thats the whole point. It has an upgradable weapon system, which you upgrade by collecting power ups of different colours. Green for a chaser, blue for laser and red for normal cannon, and gift you two additional cannons, which float in proximity of your ship and change colour dependant on your weapon. You also collect speed ups, which are valuable because your ship moves like its stuck in treacle. In addition to this, you also have a very nifty little tractor beam, with which you can reach out, grab a ship and use it like a temporary shield. Or you can press the button again and use it like a projectile.

The difficulty is pitched just right, with the first level easing you in, and then saying 'Right, if you can do that level, try this bugger, then!!' Yes, it does have frustrating moments, but then all games have them.
The game is good, no doubt about that. It plays well, even after all these years, and still sounds great. The only thing with this version is the fact that they added a graphic intro (not a nudey one, unfortunately, or gore filled one) and a story involving a band of space pirates, lead by the guy with a very terrifying name, and of course who can't speak properly, CATS (ooooo, that's really shit me up!!). But....its translated very piss poorly. This is the game that can boast of starting off a whole craze using the (very badly translated) phrase 'All your base are belong to us'.

Well, at least its a serious shooter with some comedy, ableit unintentionally.

To some up, if you're looking for a shooter with something different, try else where. This game doesn't go against type, and for that it suffers, as there is no originallity here at all. It just feels like you've played it all before. But what it does do, it does well. It plays great, looks great (apart from your ship) and sounds great.

And remember, All your base are belong to us, You have no chance to survive make your time...........what ever the hell that means!!!!!!


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