Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Mame Hidden Gems - E is for...

I've made a bit of a rod for my own back.

I keep finding games I've never heard of that, after a little research, turn out to have been fairly recently re-released in classic collections or on XBox Live or PSN.

This means, by my own rules, I can't include them, and unfortunately there's a whole bunch of games that fall into this category in the E bracket.

So a quick recommendation for Esp Ra.De. and EspGaluda from Cave, Eco Fighters from Capcom and Exzisus from Taito.
You should find and play all of these games if you haven't done so already. They are excellent.

With that out of the way, on to three real hidden gems, the first of them being Equites.

This vertical shooter from the dark days of 1984 is an early example of mixing up the genre a bit.
Your robot fighter guy walks up the screen blasting all in his path as you would expect.
The mix up comes by giving you the ability to jump or hover to defend against attackers from a higher plain.
Certain parts of the levels require you to do this to clear dividing walls, other areas use the two tier element to turn levels into a simplistic kind of 'canyon run'. 

As well as the two above ground tiers there are occasional tunnel entrances marked on the landscape. Walking into these take you to a third tier; underground corridors. 
These sections don't actually change much from the outside environments aside from removing the ability to jump, but they do offer the opportunity to enjoy some fun enemy destructions.
It's a great game and, for it's age, the attention to detail imagination on show is pretty impressive.

Next up is Enforce from those prolific boys and girls at Taito.

It's a bit basic this one, you walk into the screen (I think you're in control of a mech, although it's never really made clear.) blasting everything in sight with one of two weapons. A standard chain gun on the right and a more powerful plasma type thing on the left that has to charge between volleys.

It is simple and a little repetitive but it has a balls-out mania to it that I can't help but love a little.
It also features a hilarious example of that old Video Game trope; the damsel in distress. 
Simpler times, happier times.

Finally, Explosive Breaker, fairly standard v.shmup fair, you head up the screen, flying through space, shooting the alien bad guys. So far, so average...

No I didn't just photoshop a picture of an Apache Gunship onto a screenshot of Axelay. that's the first level boss of this shooter set in deep space.
It's like they did a whole game and then, when it came to designing the bosses, they couldn't be bothered and just scanned in a bunch of images from Warfare Magazine.

You only have to play the game for about ten seconds when this happens...

That, if can't quite make it out, is an aircraft carrier.

It's not always an aircraft carrier, oh no! 
On one play-through I saw a Jaguar jet at this point in the game, on another it was an eighteenth century sailing ship. 
And they all move about the level as if they have been cut out from photographs and are being pulled across the screen by an invisible thread.

They say it's a fine line between genius and madness, and I'm not sure which of those two things best describes this game, but you should certainly find out for yourself.

#Gaming #Retrogming #Mame #Hidden Gems