Sunday, May 27, 2012

Game of the Day - Air Gallet

Not sure whether Air Gallet rhymes with "ballet" or "ballot", but I know is should rhyme with fucking cool!  It's from Banpresto, 1996 and if you know shmups, that's all you need to know.

Air Gallet is a great-looking vertical shooter with all the standard bells & whistles and a great balance in gameplay.

You have your joystick and two buttons, fire and bomb.  There are indicators on the bottom left of the screen to show how many bombs you have left (and which type they are) and the power level of current main weapon type.  Both the bomb type and weapon type can be changed with the floating letters you can snatch during the game.  The bombs come in two varieties (green and blue).  Blue is more of big, main explosion and green is more of a sporadic exploding of fireworks all around the screen.  The main weapn comes in many types.  Laser, fire-like, homing missile, etc.  There is also one weapon that comes with a satellite/pod that flies in unison with you and fires out its front and back - thus you can be firing in three diff directions at once.
When you have the pod as your weapon, you can operate it two ways.  One is by holding down the fire button - your shot will continue firing and the pod's position/firing angle will be locked as you move around the screen.  If you let go of the button, then when you move your ship, the pod will rotate correspondingly around your ship - thus you can achieve almost any angle of fire when you fight the baddies.

You can also (of course) power-up your weapons.  It takes four "P"s to increase one level of weapon power.  Sometimes you get these "P"s one at a time.  Sometimes (after you continue) they come in clumps or blocks.  Sometimes you even get Max Power all at once.  Anywho, there are indicators of what level you are at and how many "P"s you have for the next level on the bottom left near the bomb stuff.There are bonuses to collect.  Little shield/medal looking things,  They come in diff colors (gold, silver, etc) and I think what color they are MAY change and be related to how fast you scoop them up.  Not only do you get increasingly more points for each one as you collect more, but at the end of the round you get a bonus based on how many of each type you collected.  Thus, a scoring double-whammy for collecting them (especially, the best colors - gold first!).

All I've written above is quasi-standard stuff for this era of shooter.  And like others in the era, the graphics are awesome.  They straddle the line between cartoon military and quasi-realistic.  There are some levels with very detailed cityscapes that look like they were created in SimCity.  Everything is sharp, and the enemies are colorful and interesting.  The explosions rock (literally - well, almost).

There's not much to dislike here - just a great shooter from very competent programmers.  In fact, if you hadn't heard of Air Gallet before, I apologize for not introducing it to you sooner.

No comments:

Post a Comment