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 Post subject: Metamor Jupiter (PC Engine SCD)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:08 pm 

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Joined: 25 Jan 2006
Posts: 954
Location: Australia

Metamor Jupiter
PC Engine SCD
NEC/Flight Plan

Now this game certainly passes as one of the least known PC Engine shooters ever, and thats a pity because this is one of the strangest but most interesting shooters i've ever played.

First let me get one thing out of the way, this game is purely focused on creating an exciting narrative and intense atmosphere. There is no score in this game at all.

The game starts out with a nice fully voiced intro that introduces you to the characters of the game. You play as a red haired dude called Jupiter who pilots some kind of bizarre ship which is essentialy just a red crystal that morphs into various shapes. My Japanese isnt all that great so I couldnt follow the story very much, but essentialy you have to stop some kind of 'bio-spawn'

The weapon system in the game is quite unique. Pressing a button makes your ship transform into one of 3 different states, each one with a different weapon (wide shot, powerful shot, and a ceiling/ground attack) During the game there are little red crystals you pick up that power-up your current attack and also double as health items. Powering up one form of your ship also affects the attacks of the other forms, so if you power up the strong laser attack, then your spread attack will be enhanced with lasers, and so on. There is also another button that changes the direction your ship is facing (left or right) Also, you can change the speed of your ship by pausing and then pressing either up or down.

The levels themselves are easily the main attraction of Metamor Jupiter. You start out with a pretty standard stage, but as the game goes on the stages get wierder and more intense. The game uses many methods of creating lots of drama in the game, you will often see allies that fight alongside you, and there are many times while in a stage that there will be voice overs of the characters talking. It all adds up to make many of the stages feel much more dramatic and exciting than they would have been otherwise, especially combined with the music, which is a mixture of some upbeat tunes and lots of incredibly bizzare ambient sounding stuff that sounds like something out of a horror movie.

The entire tone of the game is quite creepy and unsettling. The dramatic elements I mentioned before, along with the music go a long way in helping this game acheive such an unbelievable atmosphere. At the beginning of stage 3, you along with a bunch of ally ships head into some kind of wierd enemy fortress, and it isnt long before a giant beam obliterates most of your allies. From this point on the game succeeds in actualy making you feel quite lonely and on your own, and the intensity of what lies ahead in the further levels is therefore greatly enhanced. The level designs add greatly to building the atmosphere, they are often very, very long and and have you going in all directions. Stage 4 for example has you starting on the surface of a planet, and then eventualy your ship goes down inside of it, and as the stage goes on you are slowly going deeper and deeper inside. Another stage has you going down a fairly standard looking industrial facility, but then suddenly you come across some kind of biological growth that has completely infested half of the facility. One of the most stand out stages in the game involves you navigating unbelievably tight corriders within a gigantic battleship. The bosses are also quite good and rather tactical as they sometimes require you to turn your ship around to attack a weak point at the back.

For a console shooter, this game is quite difficult even on the default 'beginner' setting, and if you die on a boss you have to go all the way back to the beginning of the stage and do it all again. The game is also incredibly long, but luckily there is an option to save your game.

So any type of shooter fan should really check this game out. Technicaly there is nothing really fancy, and the graphics are for the most part just average. What this game does provide is an incredibly atmospheric and story driven experience that you wont forget anytime soon after finishing it. Recommended.

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