Friday, August 31, 2012

Game of the Day - Finalizer - Super Transformation

Somebody once told you not to judge a book by its cover.  Finalizer is that book.  It is a much better game than it looks upon first glance.  Finalizer-ST is a not-quite-so-old-school vertical shooter with some evil enemies and several cool power-ups.

You play with the joystick and two buttons.  The first button is fire.  And the second button is fire or the second button is shield or the second button...  You get the picture, the 2nd one is context sensitive based on your power-up.

You actually play the whole game while flying over a map of the world (starting with the U.S., launching just north of Cuba).  While this is a cool and unique concept, hardly any of the map is marked and so it just looks like a generic map of land and rivers and lakes for most of the time you are flying.  Could've been better.  I wonder how accurate they tried to make the maps...

The thing that make this game great is the behavior of the enemies.  As I've described in other games, the fun of many mid-school shooters is directly tied to the variety of behaviors of the enemy ships.  In Finalizer, they come in all forms:  Fast, big, multi-hits required, bouncy, break into shrapnel, in big formation, in random formation...  It's just plain fun to do battle and stay on your toes all the time.  There's always something new or different or some combo of ships that are terrifyingly hard.

Of course, to combat this, you get power-ups.  They come from a little oblong thing that flashes and then appears.  As you hit it with fire, it changes what the power-up is.  Then, you catch it to power-up.  There are many different things here... Some power-up your own ship, turning you into a bigger mech looking thing and giving you a shield to carry.  Use the 2nd button to move this shield in front of you to block incoming fire.  You can continue to add pieces to become a bigger and more effective badass (mech).  There are also power-ups that make you temporarily fast and invincible and you can kill the enemy by crashing into them ( a la Vanguard!!!).  Also, there is a power-up that freezes everything temporarily so you can go blast everything with no worries.  All the temporary power-ups display a countdown timer on the screen so you know how long you have left.

It's not very complicated and again, the graphics are uninspired, but Finalizer - Super Transformation is a fine game that'll give you lots of fun and challenge for an extended period of time.


  1. Just when I think I've played every SHMUP you find one I kick myself for not knowing about. Cheers, harveybirdman

  2. I've been searching for this game for 2 days because i had forgotten the title. Among the best games i had ever play 29 years ago when i was 14 then.