> Now a days when you hear about a new shooter (all three of them), you
hear about innovative things like "jacking" an enemies technology, multiple
pathways through a level, and other such nuances. Magazine editors vomit
all kind of catch phrases and praises, like Einhander was just SO ground
breaking. Let me tell you about a game that broke that same ground on an
"inferior" system about 8 years before that game came along. It's called
Gaiares, and if you've never played it, you are missing out on something
big. The storyline is incredibly weak, so I won't even bother going through
If you've played R-Type, Thunder Force (2,3, or Lightening Force), or any
other shooter, you know the deal. Go ahead and sit through the opening
cut scene. You'll only want to do it once I assure you. It's
> You start out with a weak pea-shooting laser, but that's ok, because
you also start with TOZ. What is TOZ? A weak name, but a cool weapon. You
send it out and it attaches itself to an enemy. It copies that enemies
firepower, and grants it to you. You can then power it up two more
levels for some real Alien stopping power. Different enemies give different
weapons, and seeing who will give you what is only a small part of the
fun in this game. The best part is you don't lose it all when you
die. You'll start out with your weak lazer again, but when you jack an
enemy, if you were level three before, you'll get the level three weapon
this time as well.
> This is Renovation/Telenet here, so we can't expect too much in the graphics
department, or can we? While there isn't much in the way of extraordinary
parallax, what is there is pretty cool. There are tons of wavy, warping
effects, making it that much harder to see what the enemies are doing.
One level is littered with atomic purple black holes, which try to suck
you in, and usually get most of the bad guys. The explosions are limited
to "big, orange balls of fire" or "little blue discs of electrical death".
The level design is fairly amazing as far as shooters go. The levels
can be multiple screens high, and
tons of stuff that'll kill you. The bosses mostly take up one third of
the screen, but their patterns are easily figured out.
> This is usually what can make or break a decent shooter. Great graphics
aren't fun to look at if you always die before you can see them. Your ship
has three levels of speed, but to be honest, to make it through the game,
you better learn how to maneuver with max speed, without crashing into
a wall. Controls are pretty responsive, you are only bogged down if you
want to be.
> "Well, it's got a great beat, and you can dance to it!" One thing I must
say about Renovation/Telenet, I've yet to come across a soundtrack in one
of their games that I didn't like. Most of their games may be below par
in gameplay, but they know how to make some decent music. They may have
only built a couple of sound effects into it, but what's there is decent
and gets the job done.
> I love shooters. Always have, and since there seems to be very few being
made anymore (we need more fighting games! PLEASE!), one must head back
to the not so distant past to gain shooter relief. Gaiares ranks up there
as one of the most fun and most difficult shooters on the Genesis. The
easily frustrated need not apply, but if you can hang, a fun experience