Armament 'Centralized' Shot Speed fast
Beta Type 'Gun
& Wide Range Barrage Shot
Feature by Jon Chang
ARCADE RELEASE EXAMINED!!
I just returned (4.27.01) from Japan where I enjoyed
Cave's latest shmup Storm
of Progear (incidentally this
months 'Arcadia' magazine has a great spread on it
including stunning production art).
As for the game it's a side scroller (except for
level 3, I think, which
is a top scroller though everything remains at a side
Controls. The game uses a two button system...button
A when tapped bursts projectiles across the screen
and when held down concentrates your fire(and
utilizes the lock on feature for your sub gunner).
The B button is super bomb which kills enemies and
projectiles(turning them into "rings").
The point system in this game is created around
reducing your enemies and their munitions (when you
destroy them) into rings and jewels which you then
aquire for points. These are tractored into your
fighter by holding down the fire button, or if held
down already releasing and then holding down again.
Scores and bonuses are dependent on how you kill an
enemy (with wide fire or focused attacks).
You can choose two fighter types; 'Gambler' and 'Military'. I
prefer the PBY looking Gambler though I'm not sure if
there are any differences in terms of gameplay
between the two.
You then supplement this with 1 of 3 gunners (each
with different rate
of fire, lock on, position, etc...). These gunners
enhance your firepower and cannot be destroyed unless
your craft is destroyed. The
different types of gunners definitely add a level of
customization and style.
The levels are standard Cave fair (zillions of
bullets) with incredibly beautiful art direction, it
is a very unique looking game if nothing else. Though
it should be noted the pacing of these bullets isn't
that fast and that even though the screen is
saturated with bullets I had little trouble dodging
them up until level 4 when Progear unleashes itself
in full from.
Level structure is linear standard waves of killing
capped by a boss. Bosses can be directly attacked
(weak points) or taken apart piece by piece,
obviously for more points, though I generally tend to
kill the weak points as fast as possible and get back
into the melee.
Bosses are beautifully designed and each has it's own
character (human) associated with the assorted
The designs of this game remind of "20,000
Leagues Under the Sea" with Kirk Douglas
encountering a steam punk World War 2 time period
Euro-America. If you've ever seen Disney's
"Tailspin" cartoon it's inthat vein but
much more stylized. Suffice to say the design is
quite beautiful and certainly different than anything
I have ever encountered in a game before.
The entire game is rendered in sprites. Enemies,
bullets and backgrounds clog the screen in their
pixelly beauty ^_^
However this game, despite all the things going for
it, seems to lack a certain edge that make games like
compelling for me. It might just be that the speed of
the game is a lot slower. You crank through levels in
DoDon and Mars wheras you almost crawl through them
Indeed I found myself much more interested in Metal Slug 3,
which I had never played before, than Storm of
Progear. I think what it comes down to is for 2D
games like Progear I expect furious speed, quality
design and nice animations. Progear delivers on the
design part but the animations, bosses included,
really aren't that spectacular.
The backgrounds feel devoid of life which wouldn't be
so bad if the enemies in the foreground had nicer
animations but... Just like in DoDon, enemies simply
swarm against you but in DoDon you're moving/fighting
so quickly the backgrounds are just a blur.
If they had fleshed out the world of Progear a bit
more it would have helped this title a lot.
I also haven't figured out the entire scroing system
which ranks your performance at the end of each level
All in all it's solid but I ended up playing Metal
Slug 3 quite a bit more...that'ss
not to say I won't by a DC port if they make one ^_^
Up next is Night Raid and Zero Gunner 2 (both due in
the arcades in May 2001 if I'm not mistaken).
TYPE- A Fighter
Armament 'Wide' Shot
Alpha Type 'Gun
Armament explosion missile &
Front direction Centralized Shot
Gamma Type 'Gun
Armament Homing Missile
& Targeting Shot