Review by sheppyboy2000

"Mindless Run and Gun for pure Fun..."

Few and far between are titles like this that I find myself playing for days and day single player or multiplayer. The greatest tragedy is in the fact that this game will probably never see sequel nor praise. In fact, I knew not of it's existance until a freind told me to pick it up when I reinvested in Dreamcast (my first experience was a nightmare). And so I saw it at Gamers Xchange expecting it to help pass the time until the Samba De Amigo maracas I ordered came in. I asked to see the disc to try it our and within the death of the first boss, I was eagerly taking this beauty home.

Story
As typical of all shooters, it doesn't matter. But if you must really put reason to simple mindless bliss... fine. You were warned. I'll tell you what the game package tells you. All you really need to know is that there is a base and bosses, destroy them all....

The Future needs YOU!

Far in the future, a rogue group of terrorists robots wreak havoc on the world and it's citizens. The Anti-Robot Special Forces (laugh, damn you!) has been created to overthrow these radical robots (as I said....). With an arsenal of weapons and high-powered Motor Boots (funnier than JGR), you mist lead a courageous legion of seven members through multiple levels of robotic terror, huge bosses and other evils. Prepare yourself for the ultimate in speed, strategy, and firepower.


Abridged story for the gamers who actually play the game....

Choose you level of difficulty, and character. Charlie, Megaman, Cammy, Arthur, BB Hood joined by two new characters. Blast your way through 10 levels. Try to survive... the end.

As you can tell, story doesn't matter since the game is pure shooter bliss.

Graphics
Definately a plus...

Very few times did I notice slowdown which is very important in a shooter. But it should also be known that while the models are impressive, they are simple. The main bonus also comes from having famous Capcom style artwork available for viewing from the get go. This of course is only junctioned with the amzing explosion that just needed to be in the game. And of course the screens of bullets. be ready to test your metal here because.....

Gameplay
Pure shooting bliss! Your responsibilities shoft from shoot to run quite often which is why the marking feature is welcomed. Marking a target takes a simple recticle around the target and allows you to rotate or dodge while keeping fire on the opponent. While limited in time, it's very helpful. ANother major bonus is in the fact of melee style attacks. For far too long have players been expected to simply try to shoot that opponent away. These attacks ensure you can do that with very little distraction from your distance blasting. Some characters have distinct advantages in this way such as Charlie. Matching Charlie up with a heavy gunner like Arthur is often the 1-2 punch needed to bust bosses quickly before they have a chance to litter the screen with too many bullets. The game is played from a top down perspective and your taken from different zones to beat standard enemies before the miniboss shows up. After the Miniboss is toast, the main boss makes his presence felt in a hurtful way. Lather, Rinse, Incinerate....
This pattern remains until the very last two stages, in which case, it's miniboss then boss without the filler enemies....

While this is a simple in theory, execution is very hard. First time beating the game, I had to take it on child. Over many, many playthroughs at various setting, I'm finally on normal. This game is by no means easy, even if it is short (a shooter being short you say, blasphemy! That title screen cleary says press start!). The screen fills with bullets leaving gamers few evasionary measures against bosses. To top this aspect off, the levels you encounter seem to be in a psudeo random order until mission 7.

And yes, this game is short. I am not going to lie about it. Despite this major shortcoming, it still begs to be replayed over and over until you've burned a hole in the disc. Seven playthroughs in a row wasn't even enough for me. This game, while offering no rewards that casuals expect nowadays, is very replayable because of one foundation... fun! That's right, no flashy movies, no unlockable VMU tomagotchi wannabes, no hidden option that changes every enemy into a panda bear. None of that crap. Just fun!

I did, however, disliked how Capcom would not let you adjust the credits available. The default 3 shines in your face as if to remind you that strict numbers in that manner are things of old nowadays. That was the only complaint I had.... other than having to watch the credits but that's hardly worth mentioning but I did anyway...

Closing
If you are a true gamer and not a fly by night wannabe, you'll enjoy this game for it's perfected gameplay if nothing else. Expansive 3D worlds, 70+ hour quests, and a Camera controllable by shoulder buttons are nice and all, but sometimes you want gaming boiled down to it's foundation. And that's what Cannon Spike is. It's foundation of gaming with a new face.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/04/02, Updated 08/04/02


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