Review by Guile176

"Wow, Its Over Allready?"

Before Cannon Spike was released on the Dreamcast, it had a fair amount of hype surrounding it from a few gaming magazines. Come on, it was a classic style shooting fest, featuring several Capcom characters from games like Ghouls N Ghost and Street Fighter. Its gotta be cool right? I mean, classic style 2D shooters don't normally have much depth to them right? How could anyone let alone Capcom screw this up? Well, unfortunately they did thanks to the games development team Psikyo. Yep, the same Psikyo that developed the would have been great, if it wasn't so damn short Gunbird 2.

Ok, like I mentioned Cannon Spike is a classic 2D shooter. However, it is not a ship based shooter such as Gunbird 2, or Gradius. Rather, Cannon Spike plays more like the arcade classic Smash TV. The object is to wipe out all the enemies in a level, until you reach a mid boss and eventually the end of level boss. Those are very simple play mechanics that have been used for years, how can anyone screw this up? Easy, the same way Psikyo screwed up Gunbird 2. The levels in Cannon Spike, just like in Gunbird are far too short. At least 5 times shorter then they should be. It shouldn't take anyone more then 2 or 3 minutes tops to blast through each of the games 9 levels. Each level is pretty much only a screen and a half, to 2 screens big. All you do is blast 10 or so weak enemies, face a mid boss, then fight the level boss.

Now for the characters. This is perhaps the coolest area of the game. You get a nice assortment of Capcom characters here including Cammy and Charlie from Street Fighter, Arthur from Ghouls N Ghost, BB Hood from Darkstalkers, Mega Man and a few original characters. Each character has a standard and power shot, a close in attack and a super move which you can use a limited number of time. Each character has some slightly different attacks, but mostly all mostly feel the same. It all pretty much comes down to a matter of preference. You however, wont really want to use much else besides your close in attack, as its insanely powerful in making quick work of enemies.

You would figurer since the game itself is so short, and has so little depth to it, that there would be a few playmodes here to extend the games life. Nope, all your going to get here is the standard arcade mode, which can be played with 1 or 2 players and an art gallery. Wow! Nothing like giving the buyer their moneys worth. I don't care if this game was released at $30. Look at Le Mans, that was released at $30. That game was top notch in every way and I would have gladly paid twice the price.

Graphics 7: Graphics in Cannon Spike are very pretty. Lighting effects are great, animation is smooth. and the frame rate remains consistent and high with little slowdown. The textures are also nice and sharp and detailed.

So, why only a 7? Simply because the insanely small levels. This score would have been maybe a 9, if the levels were so damn small. One final thing is that this game looks spectacular running it through a VGA on a monitor. If you have one I highly recommend you try it on it.

Sound 7: Sound here is pretty good. Nothing spectacular. Music is pretty much a techno/rock sounding beat. Nothing you'll really remember 5 minutes after playing, but not bad and fits the game pretty well. Sound effects such as gunshots and explosions are all pretty well done. Not really much else to say on the sound here, since nothing in particular really stands out any.

Control 8: Controls are nicely done here. Everything runs nice and smooth, and responsive. Aiming can be a little tricky at first, but shouldn't be much of a problem after a few plays. Whether your a veteran or novice gamer, you shouldn't have too many problems here.

Overall, Cannon Spike is a massive disappointment. I honestly wouldn't recommend paying any more then $10 for it. The games insanely short length, with its lack of modes and low replay value, just don't make it worth it. Im shocked that a high key company like Capcom, could let this game out. The whole thing feels more or less like a $30 mini game found in a larger more in depth game. It's too bad too because like Gunbird 2 this game would have been spectacular if it wasn't so short.

Reviewer's Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Originally Posted: 06/09/03, Updated 06/09/03

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