Sunday, January 1, 2012

Game of the Day - Explosive Breaker

Explosive Breaker is the best vert shooter you've never heard of.  It's also known (in Japan) as Bakuretsu Breaker.  It's from 1992, an era where graphics were getting better, but the backgrounds were still mostly space themed and simple - not filled with colorful graphics.  I like this era as you don't usually have trouble seeing all the crap you need to kill or avoid.

Speaking of graphics, you'll notice from the picture above that while they are extremely well done, they are a strange mixture of artistic types.  They switch from an awesome, colorful, mech kind of theme to quasi-realistic helicopters and airplanes as mid-level bosses.  While the theme isn't necessarily unified, the eye candy factor is undeniable.  This "kitchen sink" theory also is employed for how the enemies attack...  There is a great mixture of behaviors.  Some of the enemies are fast, slow, large, small, easy, difficult.  Some fly in and hover, some dive at you, some float just over you, some "touch and go", then disappear off the screen.  So, what makes the game great is a wide variety of beautiful stuff behaving in all sorts of different ways all over the screen.  It keeps you very busy, but not so much as to create too much chaos.  Even with all the activity, you can stay in control and aim at what you want.  I'm not a great fan of games where you spend all your time avoiding enemy fire - just hoping that your own bullets/missiles are hitting their target.

The controls are simple and have a little bit of a twist.  There are two buttons, fire and bomb.  The little twist is that if you hold down the fire button, you get rapid fire, BUT only for a few seconds.  Then it runs out.  No gauge or warning, you just learn how long the rapid fire lasts by repetition.

So, go play Explosive Breaker - it'll be your favorite new game of 2012 so far.

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