Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Mame Hidden Gems - C is for...

I'm fairly sure, after doing a little research, that if I described a game in the 'Cotton' series as a "Hidden Gem" in Japan I'd get some very curious looks.
Nevertheless, only two Cotton games have been released in the west, which makes Cotton 2: Magical Night Dreams a hidden gem in my book.

This 'cute-em-up' replaces the usual 'lone space ship in last stand to save humanity' with a young witch, on a quest for sweets.
It's a beautifully drawn and animated throughout. A fairly unusual twist is that it will occasionally will mix up the direction of scroll but a more important and notable distinction is the smart power up system - and as far as shmups go, smart power up systems are always worthy of note.
The particular one allows you to capture enemies if you defeat them with a charge shot. At which point their frozen sprite can be manipulated in a number of ways to increase your power/health/combo etc.
There's also the ability to reach out and grab them (and other items) and lob them at the bad guys.
All in all it's like no H.Shmup you've played before and well worth your time.

"How is this not better known!?" is something I find myself asking the TV quite a lot at the moment - but I don't think it applies to anything more than to The Cliffhanger: Edward Randy.

This game has the irresistible force and structure of a classic Saturday morning matinee, every moment of every level is a set piece. Whether that be fighting atop speedboats, aeroplanes or cars, the action is relentless and the style irrepressible.
Edward himself is an Indiana Jones-esque protagonist, not least in his use of a whip as a primary weapon. The whip is also used to attach to the scenery and to instigate a special spinning attack.
I'm a bit of stickler for challenge in videogames, you'll often hear me whinging that modern games feature too much hand holding and are more like movies than games.
In this regard Edward Randy make me a massive hypocrite. And I' couldn't be happier about it.

Good haul for C, because last up is Change Air Blade - something very rare indeed - an entirely unique game.

Change Air Blade combines the mechanics of a vertical Shooter with those of a 1-on-1 fighter - something I'm almost certain has not been done before or since.
As with vertical shooters you sit on the bottom of the screen firing upwards.
As with fighters the other half of the screen belongs to your enemy.
The controls get quite complex. Each basic attack has two levels and there are three types of collected specials. Furthermore, each of these has a different function if you collect the 'Change' power up which switches you from the bottom to the top of the screen (or vice versa).
The games party piece comes when you switch to the top of the screen and activate the massive, half screen filling, 'Super-move' that you can see in the image above.

#Retrogaming #MAME #Gaming