Friday, March 2, 2012

Game of the Day - Vasara 2

Vasara 2 is a modern shooter with style to spare.  The graphics are very nice (but not quite as nice as Esp.Ra.De or Gunbird 2) and the action is everything you'd expect from an arcade vert shooter from 2001.

You choose your character (and there is a hidden one) and off you fly.  There are three main modes of attack that are accomplished with the two buttons.  Your first button is for your normal shot and your charged shot (hold it down).  Actually, the charge shot isn't so much a shot as a closer-up sword-like slashing.  The second button is for your "bomb", or in this case your "Vasara" - which is essentially a super-duper version of the charged shot.

The way you earn power-ups for your weapon is a little different than how you earn Vasara attacks.  The power-ups for your weapon have a little "P" written on them and make your normal attacks more profound.  On the other hand, the Vasara attacks require you to fill a meter to earn one (just like bombs in other games of this genre).  You collect the blue gems floating around to build up your meter and earn Vasaras.  Unfortunately, the max you can have at any time is three, so use them frequently as there are always more blue gems floating around.
There's some interesting scoring in Vasara 2.  You get increased multipliers and score for stringing together consecutive kills with your charge attack.  So use it as often as you can despite the obvious fact that since it is melee style, it is obviously more risky.  Also, there is a neat bonus system that I barely understand as it is in all Japanese.  There are certain enemies that you kill during each round that are higher value targets.  At the time that you kill them, a little banner with Japanese writing pops up (their name???).  At the end of each level, the game counts off and bonuses you for all the banners you collected.  I think it's cool and I don't even know what the fuck it's saying.

So with nice graphics, tons of action, good controls and interesting scoring, Vasara 2 is another great example of a modern shooter - one that doesn't have the wide acclaim it deserves.

There's a nice, detailed write-up on this game over at shmups.com.

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