SHIENRYU 'Purple Flame Dragon''
Warashi 1997 Sega Saturn
brought their popular Shienryu shooter to the Saturn after a
brief stint of exclusivity
in Japanese arcades. Like many recent shooters on the Saturn, Shienryu reproduces the
arcade version perfectly. Shienryu is a mega-shooter. The graphics are of the mechanical,
high-sheen metallic kind that sparkle when you have the lights low and the 30" screen blazing.
Your air-wings can power up to almost ludicrous power levels but the game is tough so it all
balances out. Like the arcade version, Warashi retains the two-player mode so that two shooter
fans can sit down and collaborate to blast through the levels. The weapon power ups are
pretty standard, with the de-facto vulcan cannon, lightning streams, crescent shots and
tadpole shaped laser shots.
What's probably most impressive about this game is the amount of onscreen detail
and complete lack of slowdown. For example, baddies explode into dozens of spinning shards of
shrapnel which fall to earth creating tiny dust marks or water splashes, and the amount of
moving particles on screen at some times rivals that seen in Battle Garegga.
Though not the best vertical shoot-em-up on Saturn, Shienryu is definitely one
of the most beautiful. Ported from an STV (Saturn board) arcade title, Shienryu is
really a very impressive amalgam of Raiden (earlier levels over land and water) and
Truxton (the later space levels feature some very familiar Truxton style attack
patterns and a very similar graphical style) and starts off a little on the easy side,
but the later levels become rock-hard. Plus the limited credits mean I still
have yet to complete it..
Left to Right: Big, bad, nasty squid-monster and equally nasty
but rather easy to dispatch robot doobrie