Today's score: Mission 660 12
Mission 660 is a quasi old-school (semi mid-school) vertical shooter that gave me fits and yet is tons of fun to play. You shoot at aliens of all different kinds of types and abilities - in a somewhat Galaga/Galmedes style. They jitter/stutter/scramble and juke across the screen and generally make your life difficult.
You have a few things in your arsenal to fight. Along with the joystick there are two buttons: shoot and laser. You can only use the laser once you have collected the little "pop cans" floating around that power your laser up. I don't know what these are supposed to be, but they look like beer cans/coke cans to me. Anywho, grift them to build your laser ability. However, I'm not sure wtf good the laser does. It seems inept and immune like it needs a dose of Viagra. So, mostly the regular shot is what I rely on.
The regular shot can be powered up also. You collect stars to make your ship powered-up and give you a DRASTICALLY better and more powerful shot. This is completely necessary for you to continue.
The messed up thing about the power-ups is that they are only on the screen for fleeting moments and then disappear again. So you need to learn where the first few come out and when to be in position to scoop them up. Otherwise, no power-ups for you. It also seems that how long they are on the screen is relative to how many enemies you have blasted - it's not a fixed amount of time.
Speaking of variability, the game does a great job of randomness. One of the first mini-bosses that you face tosses out lots of stuff at you quickly. Yet, if you die and face him again, the stuff he tosses at you looks and behaves differently than the last battle - an extremely cool touch that gives the game more long term playability.
The final boss of the first stage is virtually impossible to beat without being powered-up. It just takes too many shots. This is where I got beat 12 times in a row before finally finishing him off (thus the score at the top of this post).
I do have a few tips to help:
1. Luckily, your fire destroys the enemy fire. So you don't have to evade the enemy as long as you can blast his incoming fire. This is especially important with the boss. If you try avoidance you will never hit him. You need to stay under him and blast away, making sure you hit all the incoming fire.
2. There is a mini-boss halfway thru the first stage. It has a number above it that counts down when you hit it squarely. I've never gotten the number below 50, and eventually the mini-boss flies away, but I am suspicious that somehow this number relates to how many times you have to hit the boss at the end of the level (the more you get now, the less you have to hit later).
3. Unless I'm missing something, the laser sucks ass. Just make sure to get all the stars to power-up your normal shot. Watch for them closely, they come and go quickly but usually appear in the same places over and over.
4. There are many special objects, animals, mouths, asteroids that give BIG bonuses and precipitate (I think) power-ups appearing. Some (like the asteroids) take tons of hits. Make sure to get all these things that you can.
Good luck, it devilishly hard, and thus is immediately being inducted into the Rage-inducing Hall of Fame.