News and Recent Shmups

As the weeks continue to wash on by our lives, and the year almost comes to a close, my list of anticipated games becomes less anticipation, and more realization. Most of these games have come out and i have had a great time with ^_^.

Yesterday, another one of these gems finally came out: Chaos Field for the gamecube. Chaos Field is an updated port from the Dreamcast version which came out exactly one year ago.

Like most modern shooters, Chaos Field has it's own little quirks and variations on the genre. Many of these quirks are reminiscent of Ikaruga. After destroying enemies, energy cubes with fall from the foe that will fill up your energy meter to the side of the screen. You can use your energy meter for 2 different types of attacks. One attack will lock onto your enemies and attack them with a seeking ray. The other one, though, is shield that will absorb bullets around you.

One of the more basic maneuvers of your ship, besides firing bullets, is using your sword. The sword can attack your opponent, but also absorb all standard bullets around you, which doesn't make bullet dodging particularly easier.

The real joy of Chaos Field is change. When beginning a level and in standard combat, you are fighting in the Order Field. At, roughly, any point in time, you change this from Order to Chaos. All of your attacks and defenses become more powerful, however the enemy's attacks become far more rampant. Attacks are more various than in order, hence the name.. chaos. With this addition to the gameplay, you are really playing two different versions of the game.

You can choose between 3 different ships with very different attacks. Hal's ship is the standard bullet firing ship, which has a static shield for defense. Isumi's ship has some very weak homing lasers, and rotating fire balls for defense. (and) Jinn's ship has a very powerful yet infrequent energy blast.

Much like modern shooters, Chaos Field awards big points to those who use the combo system correctly. In order to rack up combo points, you must use your energy defense and attacks very frequently to destroy your opponent.

It's pretty fun, but what really annoys me about the game is each stage is just a solitary boss. For each part of the stage, you're just damaging the boss, bit by bit, until it's completely destroyed. There are no lackies that you can easily destroy, or difficult stage that you must venture through in order to reach the boss. It just all boss fights. oh well.

The graphics aren't really mind-blowing. In fact, they aren't really mind-blowing for Dreamcast graphics.. They are pretty standard graphics that the Nintendo 64 could probably handle. In one instance, during the second part of the first stage, you're flying right next to a building while battling another ship. The textures for this building is black with bright blue lights indicating windows, which considerably gets in the way of dodging bullets of the same color. I almost get a headache trying to focus on the bullets in front of this background.. luckily i'm not seizure prone.

but.. as stated above, it's pretty fun and quite challenging. I wouldn't recommend this anyone, though. I'd give it a 3 out of 5. If you want a shooter on the gamecube, you need not look further than Ikaruga. However, if you're a fan of shooters, be sure to check it out. ^_^ It's a mere $30 at your local gamestop.

I'm pretty satisfied with it. In most instances, a Shooter is a Shooter is a Shooter.

As mentioned above the original Chaos Field came out on Dreamcast on Dec 14, 2004 in japan, which might be surprising.. The dreamcast is pretty well dead, but thanks to hardcore shooter fans it still breeds new life. Chaos Field is not the dreamcast's final game though..

Just this past April, Trizeal was released on the dreamcast as well. Ironically enough, it's limited release outsold a very bad PSP game released on the same day.

News from a few days ago, indicated that even Trizeal will not be the dreamcast's final game.. Milestone, the creators of Chaos Field, have another shooter coming to the short-lived system. Radilgy will be released on February 16th, 2006.

Unfortuantely it's very difficult to find information on this game, but from a few screenshots it looks cell-shaded?.. :shrugs:

This news was pretty neat ^_^ and it reminded me of an article i read several weeks ago that caught my eye.

Alfa Systems announced that Shikigami no Shiro III (Castle Shikigami III) has been in development for a while and will be released in Japanese arcades by February 2006. Alfa Systems has developed all 3 shikigami no shiro games, and also developed Elemental Gearbolt.

Shikigami no Shiro is a pretty standard shooters with it's own little quirks as well. It has coined the phrase Bullet Hugging, where if your character comes within a certain range right next to a bullet, their attacks become twice as strong.

The shikigami series is probably known to have the worse localization of any game to date thanks to XS games. Back in 2003, they got their hands on the NA distribution rights to Gunbird and Shikigami 1. They completely gutted the games and slapped on a new title for these completely unrelated games. Gunbird was now Mobile Light Force on playstation, and Shikigami 1 was now Mobile Light Force 2 on playstation 2. In Shikigami, all the cutscenes and character defining traits were taken out of the game, leaving only the core gameplay. With a new name, the game was given an "appriopriate" cover art...

compared to..

horrible... ugh.

but XS games had learned the error of their ways when getting the NA distribution rights to Shikigami 2 and released it with everything in tact, including horrible voice acting.

anyways.. i'll bring Chaos Field to the LAN party tonight for people to check out.