Sunday, 29 May 2011

Stellar Assault SS (Saturn)

Surprise! It's Stellar Assault again, only this time on the Sega Saturn. Lets see how it compares.

It looks like basically the same model as in the 32x version, with some texture mapping on it. I can't honestly say which is nicer to look at.

Here's the situation. There is an Accelgate, and it's coloured red on the map so it's bad. It's sending a red arrow to Earth, and we've gotta do something about it.

Sorry, the game's in Japanese so I can't understand a word of the briefing. Though I did hear 'Support Device' mentioned a lot. There was a jumpgate looking thing in the other version too, so this Accelgate is probably the same thing.

No launch in this one, we're getting towed into battle by the Support Device on autopilot. How embarrassing.

Oh shit, the enemy fleet just one-shotted my Support Device, enemy fighters are swarming, and I'm still on auto pilot. C'mon give me control back! Please?

Yes, I got control back! I'm engaging the fighters that were sent after us. There's a separate missile button in this one, and it seems my ammo goes a long long way. So I'm just spamming homing missiles at every target that crosses my screen.

Man, I love the look of the missile trails as they manoeuvre to hit their prey. It seems a bit cheap, but piloting a ship isn't that easy with a d-pad, so it's nice to have a bit of computer targeting assistance. Reminds me a bit of the Ace Combat games.

The radar in this one is MUCH better, instead of a tiny little disc on the dashboard I've got red markers around my hud telling me which direction the enemies are in.

Oh darn, it seems that although we escaped with our lives, we were unable to stop the Accelgate launching the red arrow. Which turns out to actually be a giant asteroid.

That gate seems a little... spikier than it did in the other game, but this whole game feels more like a sequel than a port. For one thing, the music is good in this one.

Asteroid chasing isn't as entertaining as hunting fighters. Sure I've still got my pretty missile trails to watch, but trying to keep up with a speeding rock, while shooting stuff off it is just not that much fun. Shooting a big rock is much better than having to shoot down a thousand tiny torpedoes in other space sims like Starlancer though, so I'll live with it.

Damn, I have to race ahead of the rock to get a clear shot at these last few targets.

If this fighter has a stop button, I haven't found it yet, so I have to keep getting ahead and doing strafing runs. Trying not to collide with the damn thing each time.

Soon a friend turns up with an asteroid busting torpedo, and we can get to work shooting the bits into smaller bits and then shooting them too. Yay it's DarXide all over again.

Fortunately the homing missiles still work here. What happened to my other dudes anyway, aren't they going to help out?

Okay I've got a new Support Device, and I'm back for round 2. Time to wreck this Accelgate.

But first, capital ships! These guys keep firing purple balls at me, but they're not that hard to dodge. It takes a couple of strafing runs to finish one off though.

I decided to clear out some of the fighters too, but the damn things are apparently infinite. I thought taking out the cap ships might put an end to them, but nope. Fortunately they're pretty much just a distraction rather than a threat.

And now we take apart that Accelgate, piece by piece! It takes AGES, but I've got the ammo for it this time.


Team Awesome is successful, the Accelgate is destroyed and the world is saved! Time to go home and do our victory walk.

Base says that's a negative on the victory walk. We've got to take out the other modded asteroids. So shooting more stuff off the side of a rock, yay. These things have the decency to stay put this time around, but they don't show up on the radar!

Which asteroids have stuff on them we need still to blow up? Which ones have we already done? Those red markers are no use, they just point to the latest batch of infinite enemy fighters.

I guess we just keep flying to asteroids until we run out of stuff to shoot. Awesome.

We've found an enemy base in the asteroid field, but it's protected by a whole fleet of capital ships!

I tried to just fly through them and go to the asteroid, but apparently that's not how we do things in this spaceforce, so instead it's strafing runs again! But can our tiny wing of fighters take out an entire fleet?

Of course we can, onwards to the enemy base!

Okay, we're flying through a narrow corridor into the heart of asteroid to destroy the enemy facility. OH SHIT A SCREEN FULL OF PINK BALLS, BREAK OUT!!

I immediately dodge downwards, evading the enemy fire in the nick of time. But that floor is a lot closer than it appears. I collided with it and lost control, bouncing upwards to ricochet off the ceiling.

After a couple of seconds the deadly ping-pong game was over, and my ship was a wreck. I consider quitting right there, in protest at the stupidly narrow corridor I was expected to fly down, but I decided to continue for a little longer. This game may have some crappy levels dragging it back, but everything else about it is great.

And then the game brought me back all the way to the start of the fleet destroying mission. So fuck that, next game!

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