Thursday, 24 November 2011

Banshee (Amiga CD32)

Low polygon 3d rendered text with a lens flare, how classy. And they haven't even bothered to fix those black pixels on the E. But I don't like to judge a game on its title screen... well actually I do, but I'll keep playing anyway.

Cool font, I like those lower case 'y's. It's reminds me of The Chaos Engine.

Damn! If the developers had an artist of this quality working on the game, then why is the title screen a blotchy low polygon dithered 3d rendering? With lens flares.

Very Flash Gordon looking.

I would use that as my character name in everything I play from now on, if I thought any game would give me enough letters to enter it.

I have to respect a guy who stands up to tyranny like that, but the microwave oven? It wasn't even a microwave super weapon. Then again these aliens probably had a more sinister purpose in mind than just wanting a more convenient way to heat their dinner.

The art is really reminding me of Chaos Engine now. In a good way.

Unless you're playing with a second player, then it's more of a two-man rebellion.

Damn, first thing the aliens did when they took over is give everything a very slightly different name. Just to mess with people.

These monsters must be stopped.

It's a reasonably slick vertical shoot 'em up. It seems a bit slow though somehow, a bit lacking in energy. It's a shame it has no music, that could have helped.

It also doesn't help that the guns are pretty wimpy and I haven't found any way to upgrade them so far. There's been a few pick ups floating down, as pick ups often do, but whatever 'B' does, it's not a weapon upgrade.

It's hardly bullet hell, but there's still more than enough of them flying around to kick my ass. My plane has shields, and they're tough enough to soak up a decent amount of damage, but not enough to save me.

I have no idea what the dots next to the shield gauge are for, but the 'loops' counter above it shows how many times I can do a special loop attack which makes me invulnerable for a few seconds. Sadly it's not a screen clearing attack, it only hits enemies directly in my path.

They may not have microwaves or colour tvs, but their ships are pretty impressive. Oh good, now they're firing homing missiles at me too. Delightful.

Two giant bombers at once was just too much. I did chip them down to half health though.

Okay I want another go. That was just a practice run, I think I can do better this time.

There we go! One plane down, and it was kind enough to drop a health pick up for me as it went.

I feel a bit guilty now, after blowing up such a nice piece of pixel artwork. Then again, it still looks great with all the holes and exposed framework. And a few tasteful explosions.


Is this land? Have I finally reached the coast?

No, this is just another ship. Damn, this level is huge. I thought I was finished with it after killing that boss, but apparently it was just a lowly mid-boss.

Here we go, the proper boss fight! I'm not sure submarines have gatling guns on them in real life, but it definitely seems to be working out for these guy. And as soon as I take that weapon out, a homing missile launcher pops up to replace it.

Typical. I take out one submarine, and two more pop up to replace it.

I decided to strafe across between them, taking out the gatling guns simultaneously. It seemed like a good idea before both their homing launchers popped up and started targeting me.

I knew it'd be a good idea to blow up the harmless lighthouse. Free health pick up!

Have I reached land yet? Nope that's just a bridge.

Wow, each of those bridge struts have slightly different art, this game is amazingly detailed. Damn, I need to focus. My attention keeps drifting away from the gameplay to look at the graphics instead.

Oh come on! I can't pick up the 1up because I'm in the middle of exploding? That's just mean.


Is this land yet? Nope just a wall. Okay then, carrying on.

Holy shit this level is long.

I'd rather stare into an open sewer pipe than play this game any longer, and for once that's not a criticism. The sludge rippling out into the still, reflective water is hypnotically beautiful.


A bullet? WEAPON PICK UP! Awesome, I finally get some better guns. I just have to be careful not to accidentally shoot the pick up and spin it around into something useless.

That's better. More firepower, plus a homing missile. It's a shame this game doesn't hand out the better weaponry more often. The extra weapon power lasts as long as I do, but my shield is already down to halfway so I doubt I'll be holding on it much longer.

There I go, blindsided by a tank driving in from off screen. My last life is gone.

But it's okay, I have credits! Apparently.

One problem the game doesn't have, is bullet visibility. These things stand out very clearly.

I'm starting to think this game is like S.W.I.V, with one long level that keeps going on until the end of the game, because I haven't had a break yet.

Oh shit! Now this is a real boss.

I'm doing a really crappy job of avoiding the ball and chain swinging across the screen. I'm really not sure how I'm supposed to do it, because the spiky ball can reach the corners and the going across the chain also hurts me.

I've been using up my loop attacks trying to hurt it, but it's not going very well. At this rate I'll run out of continues before it runs out of health. I'm not sure I've successfully dodged this thing even once.

I did it! And the game DOES have separate levels, they're just really fucking long.

Interesting looking trees. They look kind of mechanical. That grass doesn't look very natural either. I guess the Styx must have brought some robot plants with them from space.

Well this isn't fair! How am I supposed to dodge all this gunfire when I'm distracted by the art on those houses. Aww look at the little motorbike with a sidecar up at the top left.

Haha, when I shoot their parachutes out they plummet to the ground and go splat. I wonder what happens when I shoot their plane...

Haha! Look at their little burning parachutes. And that guy seems to have just exploded. It's okay, they're all EVIL. They're either exquisitely evil aliens, or traitors to humanity. I'd love to stop and arrest them all instead, but I've first I have to save the world.

Oh damn, my plane has exploded again. When did that happen? This is what I get for not paying attention.

Now they're doing drive bys on me!

I should probably say something about this weapon upgrade I found, uh... fuck, who even cares? Look at the cool rain effect and the pools of light cast by the streetlights!

That is an awesome looking church in my humble opinion. And there's a poor lonely soldier on top trying to take me down all by himself. I'll leave him be. Mostly because I don't want to fly into his line of fire to hit him.

ZOMBIES! Well, skeletons. What's important here is that even the undead are crawling from their graves to attack me. And they explode when I shoot them!

Cool looking statue.

I'm pretty much just playing on autopilot at this point, just flying around admiring the artwork and catching stray bullets more often than is good for me.

This guy can't be the level boss, I haven't been playing long enough, but he's still more than difficult enough for me. He keeps hitting me and I don't appreciate it.

You know, I probably could have taken the guy. If I hadn't already wasted all my lives and continues on that ball and chain boss on the last level.

I'm kind of glad it's over with to be honest, because I was really getting bored with it. I'm not really a shoot 'em up fan though, so others might get more out of it. It seems competent, though nothing amazing, and compared to bullet hell shooters it's pretty sedate. It's pretty though. Next game.

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