Review by PUhler

"A Great concept... but a botched effort"

Sometimes, good ideas go bad (too often, actually). Sometimes good ideas turn out to be great (quite rare). Sometimes (the norm, actually), good ideas just sit, and don't evolve into anything bad or good; Cannon Spike is one of those times. The concept behind Cannon Spike -- a Smash TV-esque shooter developed by Psikyo, replete with famous Capcom characters, blasting everything in sight -- is absolute gold, but the final product is merely a cheap, gold-plated knock-off of what could've been.

''Jesus obviously does not love shooter fans''

The shooter is dead. Sad, but true. Capcom is the only company left with the balls to publish 'traditional' shmups, knowing they sell in horrifyingly low quantities (I've no hard numbers to display, but trust me on this one). So Capcom decided to team up with Psikyo, and in this dream relationship, a child was born, and it's name was Cannon Spike. There were problems though, namely Cannon's club foot (incredibly repetitive gameplay) and it's horrible claw hands (the utter lack of difficulty). What was expected to be a child prodigy now sits in front of his computer, spending all his free time on the GameFAQs message board, pretending people like him, and wishing that his older brother, Gunbird, didn't beat on him so badly. It's a damn shame...

''Smash TV would be ashamed''

The gameplay that's found in Cannon Spike is glorious fun at first. I mean, pick a famous Capcom face (be it Megaman from the Megaman series, B.B.Hood from Darkstalkers, Arthur from Ghosts n Goblins, Cammy and Charlie from Street Fighter, or Simone and Shiba, who make their first prominent roles in a video game c/o Cannon Spike), gliding around enclosed environments, blowing up everything you see. Things aren't always what they seem, however. Sure, it's fun at first, but it gets old real fast (as in twenty hours fast). Why is this? Well, part of it has to do with the length of play; there're 10 levels, but everyone is very short, making for a game which is over before it starts. I'm not joking when I say Cannon Spike is approximately ten minutes long. Now, that'd be okay if the game had some blazing difficulty... which it doesn't, at all. You can crank up the difficulty to very hard if you want, and still complete it with relative ease, with a little practice. I'm glad Capcom didn't put in unlimited credits (you only get three lives), because Cannon Spike is one game where you WON'T need it (but who would wuss out and use those anyways, right?). Length and difficulty issues aside, the Cannon Spike is also painfully repetitive. You have a fairly decent number off attacks to choose from (shot, heavy shot, melee, heavy melee, an super attack), but each stage feels like the last, and the overwhelming ease of play makes the repetition hard to stomach. It had so much potential too... if only Capcom let Psikyo go all out, but no, they had to make it so people without an ounce of gameplay skill could hop on in and beat the game with minimal practice. Ugh.

''Two goods don't make a great''

The graphics in Cannon Spike are very clean, and impressive. Beautiful textures and ripping special effects are the order of the day here. That's not to say that the character models aren't impressive either, especially the bosses. Just like the visuals, the sound is solid. Sound effects are more than capable, and the music is sumptous. If only the gameplay was done right...

''Cannon Spike can be best described as a handjob''

It's short, cheap, and fun (hmmmm... like Midget Handjob!), but you really don't get anything fulfilling out of it. If you're just looking for a handjob, however, Cannon Spike will fill your needs.


Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 04/03/01, Updated 04/03/01


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