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 Post subject: Ice Cream Surfer (PS4 - Switch - PC - XB1 - Series X|S)
PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:40 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 403
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
A delicious shooter to make your day a little brighter.

Looks like there's more indie shmups on the horizon. This time is Ice Cream Surfer, which although it had some time in the PlayStation 4, Switch and PC, it made its debut on the XBOX One a few days ago.

To begin with, this game gives you five characters to select.

First image of Alex Heatburn before his MSS career.

ACE: Not the daring Air Operations Expert, but a kid who rides an ice cream cone. His main shot is a crossing ice cream balls shot supported by cones that wave up and down and increase their width as they move away from him. His Special attack is the Dream Team, which summons his other four partners in a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers-like combined attack.

The Diabetic Snowman

HIMA: Riding a foot-shaped ice pop, his main attack is another frontal fire like Ace, but at first starts as a short range projectile that melts, but gainst strength and range as you power it up. Its backup shot fires diagonal ice bullets that bounce on the floor and ceilings like the blue laser from R-Type. His special attack summons a rain of foot-shaped ice pops as if it was a parody of the F-14's Tomahawk from Aero Fighters.

The Super Heroic Tandem Sandwich!

SUPER CREAM: Since he's a spoof of Superman, he flies by his own power. His main weapon is an optic blast that starts with considerable fire rate, but decreases with its full power. It is backed up by lasers that go up and down as the Vertical Double in Gradius, but they'll run on the ceiling and floor for a mid-range distance, acting like both anti-air and anti-surface weapons. His special attack summons a gust of hurricane winds that damage everything on screen.

In the name of Candy Bars, I'll punish you!

SAILOR TWISTER: A Sailor Scout-spoof in a twirly pop. Her main shot is an erratic vulcan-like shot that fires diagonally up, front and diagonally down, once its fully powered, it becomes a three way Spread Shot. Not too wide, but addresses the problem of the rest of the characters which are full frontal fire based. Her backup fire is a blue heart fire that goes diagonally up and down, making the whole attack a 5 way spread fire. For her special attack she transforms into her "Moon Princess" like form and fires arrows that spread in 4 way diagonal shots.

The Noble Ice Cream Samurai.

REI TOU: The swordsman that flies on a twin-pop. His main shot is his sword strikes that generates a Wave-like shot, but he has the worst of all flaws: Its fire rate brutally decreases on his full power and is a short ranged fire, forcing the player to get close to the enemies, making them prone to get killed. His backup fire is a 3 way shot that covers up, down and back. For his special attack, he makes multi-slashes as he teleports. However, he's the worst character of the game due to its weapon flaws.

War on Shrimps, even Fried Shrimps.

The gameplay of Ice Cream Surfer is your basic horizontal scroll shooter that takes influences of early old arcade shooters as the game relies on fast reacting like a Toaplan shmup rather than using bullet hells, making a tough but fair challenge for old schoolers. The difficulty selected has its own rules, for instance, playing on Easy grants you unlimited bombs since they don't seem to ran out of power, while Normal and Hard does ran out and hard is fast bullet dodging reflexes required, hence the Toaplan reference that I've mentioned before. You're granted three different "Support Ice Cream Cups" options which are marked by a respective colored spoon: Blue is the "Shield" that allows you to take one more hit rather than dying, Green is a magnet that absorbs gems and yellow is the "Option" like cup that has backup fire support.
Picking gems is important in this game since they refill the Power gauge which is the Bomb of the game. You can fill the bar twice to have 2 bombs to burn. Also, the gems are collectable as you'll have to get an overall total of 8,000 to unlock the "Rich Man" achievement. There's also ice cream pops that spell "ICE CREAM" which act as the "LUCKY" bonus from Blazing Star, adding extra points and unlocking images on the gallery, but the unlocking seems to work when the game's played on either Normal and Hard. Toughness in this game can best be compared with the SNES port of U.N. Squadron more than Raiden, as continuing in any "Pre-boss" segment will send you back to the beginning of the stage while dying on the boss will send you back to the start of the boss fight.

Graphically, it looks pretty solid for an indie shooter, as it gets influences by early 2000's tv shows like Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, which is the most pre-dominant influence in this game, especially in the volcano stage with those Jake the Dog-faced volcanoes in the background. While everything is very colorful and there's times where the sprite art feels like an animated cartoon, the background is very overpixelated and that doesn't look good making it unfit the game. The major dominant theme in this game is food. From ice cream to coffee, cakes, vegetables, candies, even chinese and japanese food. So, if you're tired of the military or science-fiction, this game is a breath of fresh air for you.

The game's music is like the music score of a mid-90's Nicktoon as the "Space" segments are somewhat reminiscent of a Rugrats episode, while the title screen has a Mario-like style and the stages have joyful soundtrack that feels like an upbeat Fantasy Zone-like vibe that makes the game look, feel and sound happy and colorful, filling the requirements that a Parodius/Twinbee-like Cute'em Up have. There's voice samples in the game for the characters although they're for yell Power Up, Life Up, unleash their bomb attack and scream when they're shot down.

- The game's original name was Ace Cream Surfer.

Ripped off things, typical for indie shmups.

- One thing is cue pop culture elements like Sailor Moon and Superman and another is to rip off things, and Ace is who does exactly that. His full powered ice cream shots are basically a rip off of the Speed Burner from Megaman X2.

Ice Cream Surfer is basically a mix between Parodius, Silver Surfer and Captain Tomaday in an "Interactive Cartoon" attempt which while at first looks good, it becames quite boring in both Easy and Normal and quite tough in Hard, hellish if you're playing with Rei Tou. If you're in urge for achievements, then pick it, play it and uninstall it once you're done with the game.

Lea knew this game was another Gamerscore Milker.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

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