Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Night Slave (PC-98)
Wikipedia tells me that Night Slave on the PC-98 is an eroge game, warning that it's gonna have naked anime ladies in the cutscenes in place of an actual storyline. But it also comes with an option to turn the cutscenes off in the menu and play it as a pure action game about giant robots shooting things. No sex, just good clean violence.
So I'll assure you upfront that this post is going to be entirely safe for work, for so many obvious reasons.
Wait, no it doesn't.
They've given me the ability to choose my own gun and sub-weapon, and have thoughtfully made the process simple by only giving me one of each to choose from.
Honestly I was expecting it to look a little better considering it came out in 1996, but then I barely know anything about the PC-98. On the other hand I wouldn't really call it ugly and the mechs are well animated.
Plus I can aim my gun by pressing up and down, a bit like in that Metal Warriors game I played a few weeks ago on the SNES, and I can fly around with my jetpack for short bursts... a bit like in that Metal Warriors game I played a few weeks ago on the SNES.
Actually this is a lot like Metal Warriors so far and there's apparently a good reason for that. I did 30 seconds of intensive internet research and it turns out that the two games both take heavy inspiration from similar shooters in the Assault Suits series, such as Cybernator on the SNES. Man, try saying that last line out loud.
Whatever I do I've got to choose fast, as these orbs blink out of existence ridiculously quickly.
Then I decided to invest my next few orbs into 'Gun-W' upgrades and health (Energy), and made a disturbing discovery. Selecting 'Gun-W' doesn't actually upgrade my weapon, instead it gives me a single point towards eventually upgrading my weapon. I've got 2 out of 4 points so far, so I'd need four more orbs for the upgrade.
This is my new and improved upgraded rifle by the way. I spent eight orbs on the this thing in the end and they're not that easy to come by. But then made another disturbing discovery. Each time I level up my weapon, the points I need to get another upgrade increase dramatically. To receive my next level of firepower I'll need to send away 12 tokens this time, meaning 24 orbs in total.
And the way I play, most orbs I pick up are going to immediately get spent on health.
Still, it's probably worse for him than it is for me. I've played Walker, I know how bloody annoying it can be to try to shoot down a tiny little guy a fraction of my height when he won't stop moving around.
SIXTY SECONDS OF SUSTAINED SHOOTING LATER.
The things stomps back and forth, drops floating mines, fires off missiles, and all I can do here is keep firing. It would be nice to see his health bar at least, so I could have some indication that I'm making any progress here. I mean damn, for all I know I'm supposed be shooting his shiny metal Achilles' heels.
Now I'm back outdoors on level two and I have a Harrier for a sidekick! I would have thought these old jump jets would have been phased out long before we reached the giant robot era, but nope the thing's still around and it's kicking ass.
I miss my super powered melee attack from Metal Warriors, that always got the job done if I could ever get it to connect. Not that I'm absolutely certain I don't have one in this.
Actually though I'm thinking I might just let them off, as revenge is taking forever. I have to blow up each section and turret at a time and they're taking a fair few rounds to demolish. Kinda takes all the fun out of mindless destruction really.
Oh damn I just noticed that the explosion isn't fading away and it's been constantly draining my health! Crap, I might be in serious trouble here now.
HOURS PASS, TURNING INTO DAYS AND THEN WEEKS...
You know, somehow this gif feels like a metaphor for how the fights in this game have been going lately.
So what did I think of Night Slave's gameplay? I actually thought it was pretty good, or at least it could have been if bigger enemies didn't take so long to explode. Also even with the story turned off you still have to skip through some in-game dialogue boxes, which can be annoying if you don't understand a word of what they're saying (and possibly annoying even if you do). I'm not entirely sold on the weapon upgrade system, as it seems like you'd need to diligently hoard a ton of those orbs to get anywhere with it, though I do like how the upgrades are permanent.
But I think I'm done with the game now, I don't see myself playing it any further. I'm tired... tired of all the shooting, and if a game's managed to make me bored of guns then it must be doing something wrong.
Want to talk about Night Slave, or share your own opinions on the opinions presented above? Comments are always appreciated, as long as they're awesome.