Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Mame Hidden Gems - L is for...

Well, it's been a while, things have happened, not particularly exciting things, and nothing pertaining to this blog... but things nonetheless.

So anyway lets get straight back into it, picking up where we left off with, you guessed it, a vertical shooter.

As with every shooter I've listed along the way Lethal Thunder offers something a little different.

And, as with most shooters I've listed along the way, that something is a power up system.
Yeah, truth be told Lethal Thunder isn't much to look at, and there's not masses of variety to the enemies or environments.

But, although it does feature standard power-ups, these only serve to affect the type of fire, the actual strength of the shot is related to how long you've been tapping the fire button.

Along the right edge of the screen there's a power gauge, it fills as you smack away at the fire button as fast as you can.

But this doesn't just relate to the power of your ammo.
Behind your ship is an orb that houses your special weapon. As the power builds so the orb spins faster a faster and it's strength grows too.
I'd love to tell you what happens when you fill the power bar to the top but I'm afraid I just don't know as I have not yet achieved this feat.
If anyone reading this knows then please share. But know that I never want to play you at Track and Field!

Next up is the sprite scaling shooter Lock On.

It's fast, it's frantic, and I honestly don't have much more to say about it.
I have a soft spot for sprite scalers, I think because I first started frequenting arcades at a time when Space Harrier and Afterburner were at the height of their popularity. The sights and sounds of those nailed-on classics will stay with me forever.

Lock On may not have the character and polish of Yu Suzuki's classic but it definitely falls squarely into the Afterburner category - some may even be uncharitable enough to call it a clone.
But that really isn't important.
What's important  is that Lock On is a hell of a lot of fun.
The 'Lock On' mechanic from which it takes it's name is a challenge to use well taking time and precision to line up before letting rip with a missile.

Moreover, everything else happens at such a riotous speed that it's pretty much impossible not to enjoy yourself.

Lastly we have Lethal Crash Race, another of the top down racers of which I am very fond.

This one differs slightly from 1000 Miglia and the like in two ways.
Firstly, you are always travelling up the screen or at a 45 degree angle.
Secondly, there's a few light elements of fighting game elements thrown in to liven things up.

As with fighting games each race is one-on-one and each participant has a stamina meter depletes as you take damage.
Unusually you carry any damage gathered into the next race - survival mode style.

Another similarity is the wealth of characters and cars, 10 in total, each with strengths and weaknesses.
They are all clearly based on famous sports cars, the characterful sprites ensure that each is instantly recognisable despite a total lack of licenses.

Of course, if you didn't recognise them there's always the deliberately, and hilariously, misspelt names to help you out...
Ever fancied a drive in a Lamborjini Daiblo? How about a Dadge Vipre or a Pharari 521TR?
They're all here, and more, in Lethal Crash Race. How could you resist?

Just one near miss for L, Last Resort is a NeoGeo H-shmup that is polished and fun but far too 'R-Type' for it's own good.

Finally, anyone following my budget Mame Cabinet project will be pleased to know that I should be getting the PC this weekend so an update is imminent (Spoilers: I blew up another monitor).

#Mame #Arcade #Hidden Gems