Review by SBrainfreeze

"Now I love shooters, but...."

......this game just outright sucks. I'll get it out of the way right here and now if you need a quick, concise review. SUCK. Even for 20 bucks. This is why.

First, I'll get to the gameplay. This is a 2D vertical-view shooter, personally a favorite genre of mine. It's a genre based around skill, reflexes, finding just the right line through a hailstorm of bullets while darting frantically for items that you shouldn't even be risking your life over, but you are anyway. It's entertaining, highly involving, and highly challenging. Giga Wing 2 gives me no such feeling. Instead, I feel like I grabbed a controller, had a strobe light flashed in my face repeatedly, died through no fault of my own about 10 times out of 15, and greeted with ending credits about 20 minutes later.
Firstly, the weapon system is a novel gimmick that wears its welcome and becomes a monotonous, flashy bore for the rest of the game. Your regular weapon is actually quite useless by comparison to your reflector, which absorbs enemy fire and shoots it back at them. The thing is, the screen is nearly always full of enemy fire, and you can't really move around it too often. So you just don't bother, and use the reflector. Now the game turns into you running around the screen actually -grabbing- enemy fire like powerups so that you can launch it back. For a brief interval after using the reflector, you cannot use it again, so you'll have to wait if you want to do it again. In this interval, it's likely that the screen will be filled with enemy fire yet again. This is why the game gives you the standard-issue kill-everything megabomb, so that you don't die when you're vulnerable and can't do anything about it. But what happens when you run out, you ask? You die. Through no fault of your own, more than likely. It becomes obvious that the designers really just didn't know what to do with this game design to prevent automatic deaths. The game is hardly a matter of skill, and only slightly a matter of timing. This is what you do for the entire game and it does grow quite, quite tiring. The 7 levels never vary in any way. In fact, they're not really seven levels, since the last three are just long boss encounters during which you do what?-- yes, exactly what you think you'd be doing in this game. Meanwhile, you're receiving several million points for shooting five ships and many hundreds of billions for god knows what. The game very freely throws points at you, and I can't feel all that good about the difference between a 10 trillion point score and a 30 trillion point score. Speaking of which, there's a score attack mode that can easily lead you into the 600 trillions through cheap multipliers, that is if you're into that sort of thing. The game attempts to add replay value by giving you the ability to look at artwork you've already seen in the cutscenes by playing the game repeatedly with each of the five characters, four of whom are utterly inferior to the first. Ugh. The gallery mode gone too far, and far too stupid at that.

That said, the presentation's incredible. An audiovisual trip in every way, from the sci-fi/WWII theme, to the 3D backgrounds, [naomi board game, dontcha know], to the explosion effects, to the dramatic, epic orchestral soundtrack. But honestly, does that matter anymore when you're playing -this- game? The only fault in the game's presentation is the cookie-cutter storyline as presented through a series of All Your Base-esque pictures and dialogues. The dialogue admittedly doesn't match that infamous intro's level of awkwardness, but it's bad just the same. I need only quote ''with shining peace!'' to evoke the memories.

So, to put it all together, I still can only tell you one conclusive, defining statement about this game, and that is.... SUCK. Takumi has succeeded in putting together a series of monotonous levels with no design inspiration in the least, attaching them to a fantastic audiovisual show, and taking a good 20 dollars off my hands. Done right, developers like Treasure and Raizing have made the shooter something exciting, varied, challenging, and most importantly, fun. Treasure, unfortunately, these fellows are not.e


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/09/01, Updated 06/09/01


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