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 Post subject: Earth Atlantis (XB1 - PS4 - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:38 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 250
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
If Blazing Star is "Metal Slug with Spaceships", then Earth Atlantis is "Super Metroid with Submarines".

Time to talk about something a little different from the rest of shmups, and this time is the submarine shoot-out Earth Atlantis.

The story of the game tells us about a global disaster called "Great Climate Shift" that occurred at the end of the 21st century. As a result, 96% of Earth's landmasses are underwater. Human civilization as we know it has fallen. Meanwhile, machines "evolved" in mechanical sea creatures. Now you, as a Hunter it's your job to clear the oceans of these mechanical beasts.

There's four submarines at your disposal.
NAUTILUS: The initial ship, this is what we can call the Frontal-Type submarine that fires in a straight line, it has also a Back Shot/Tailgun that provides rear fire. It has an Armor Level of 8/10, Weapon Level of 8/10, and a Speed Level of 6/10.

AQUANAUT: An unlockable submarine. This is the Multidirectional-Type sub. It fires strong "four bullet" shots in both vertical and horizontal directions, and adds two-bullet shots in diagonal directions for a functional 8-way fire. Has an Armor Level of 6/10, Weapon Level of 7/10 and a Speed Level of 10/10.

MOBY DICK: Another unlockable submarine. This is the Spread Shot-Type that fires a 5-Way shot in frontal and rear shots, kinda like the Seylen in Vapor Trail, but lacks the vertical shots of the Aquanaut. It has a surprising Armor Level of 10/10, Weapon Level of 7/10 and a Speed Level of 6/10.

MUSASHI: Third unlockable submarine. This one is the Laser-Type that fires a Laser stream in both sides of the sub, backed up by diagonal shots. With an Armor Level of 7/10, a devastating 10/10 of Weapon Power and 9/10 on the Speed Level, the Musashi is the "Force of Arms" of the game.

Along with your regular weapon, you have the option to use a secondary weapon. They can be powered up by picking the same letter multiple times (think of it as the powering up system in Raiden).
M = MISSILE: This is the basic torpedo that goes in a straight line, similar to the Rocket Launcher from Metal Slug (Rawkit Lawnchur for MS fans).
H = HOMING: Fires a torpedo that chases your enemies. As homing projectiles are quite slow, just like the Level 2 Homing Missile in Raiden and the Homing Torpedo from Megaman X.
B = BOUNCE: Shoots a bomb in a 10° diagonal angle that bounces after hitting the floor or a wall. It's firepower is very devastating on medium sized enemies.
E = ELECTRICITY: This weapon hits a target once your ship is close enough to your enemies. However, its uneffective against electric-based enemies.

One word of advice: If you pick another subweapon while having one at full power, you'll start in "Level 1" with the new subweapon, a very awkward power-up mechanic if you ask me.

To provide support during your mission, you can find these two items that will help you along the way.
+ = HEALTH: Recover a part of your energy bar if you took a hit.
P = POWER UP: Like its name implies, it increases the strength of your shots. Essential for take down the bosses.

Unlike other submarine games like In The Hunt and The Hunt for Red October, Earth Atlantis is more focused on a Super Metroid-like exploration and event-triggered path unlocking, although the path unlocking is more similar to Metroid Fusion since defeating bosses clear those paths. So, scoring points is non-existant in this game, as progression is based on destroying the bosses and exploring the whole area. Unlocked paths can also lead to dead-ends where an item container is obtained. This is very helpful when you need to power up a Subweapon. This explore and defeat a large amount of bosses is called Quest Mode which is your main game.

Ummm...nothing, nothing that we've did wrong, you know. Obviously GoodDive Subs aren't very good at missile hits.

Unfortunately, the Metroid-like exploration and fun factor goes down for three reasons: First, is the damage taking. Like in Turrican, there's no "after-hit invincibility" to allow a possible recovery from an attack. That means one single enemy contact could kill you by simply draining your energy. Second issue is the Power-Down after taking hits. You will lose power levels on both shot and subweapon strength with constant damages. Finally, the third problem is the "1 life and that's it". Die once and you'll be on the Game Over screen. Although you can continue as much as you want and restart on any Starting Point buoy you touch. Continuing will put your submarine back to its initial state of power, only with a few power ups if you selected "Yes" when the game asks you if you want to continue, otherwise, you're on your own. Despite this advantage, it's still frustrating to survive with this No-lives rule, specially when you attempt to do a no-death run.

Active Time Remaining: 015:59:03

Hunter Mode is the second game mode. In this mode, your objective is to destroy all the monsters you can take down within a time limit. Killing monsters and picking items can increase the time limit. Like in Quest Mode, you only have one life to accomplish the job.

Graphically, the game offers something different, but very unusual in videogames: XIVth Century-like sketching, even the ships and enemies look like pencil drawings, but animated in CGI-like graphics, pretty much like any vehicle in anime and cartoons nowadays. The game is completely done in a Sepia tone, very reminiscent of the Gekioh Shooting King's "Ancient Mode" ("FuruiRyu" in the japanese version) where Shienryu was played in a "old-like" monochrome screen. However, Earth Atlantis lacks of the simulated screen cracks or the muffled music like Shienryu's FuruiRyu did.
Like in the Furuiryu Shienryu, the monochromed scenery can "camouflage" enemies, so it requires memorization and a well trained eye to deal with this situation during the gameplay.

While the graphics are a new, refereshed thing, i can't say the same for the music. Having a repetitive calmed-ambient tune could be boring as you explore the depths of the old world.

- Its impossible to submerge the continents with a climate shift regardless of its magnitude since the water on Earth returns to the ocean in one way or another. In reality, if the ice caps melt, the continents will be submerged around 15-20%. This fact is also used as the "Hole in the bucket" on the story of Noah's Ark and the Genesis flood narrative of the Bible.
- To make the 96% submersion possible it would require a massive amount of water coming from outer space like an ice comet big enough to duplicate or almost triplicate the Earth's volume of water. This was explained in the Evacuate Earth episode "Flooded Earth" where a Moon-smashing ice comet causes a 320 year long rain covering the continents on its entirety under 29,135 feet of water (8,880 meters to be exact).
- In Earth Atlantis' case, it will require 8,524.8m/27,968.50ft to achieve te 96% submersion.
- Some of the game's promotional pics features old 1780 "Raynard and Boone" Mercator world maps in the background.
- The name "Aquanaut" is a term used to refer a person who remains underwater breathing at the ambient pressure for long enough for the concentration of the inert components of the breathing gas dissolved in the body tissues to reach equilibrium, in a state known as saturation.
- The name was also used in the 1960-1961 TV show The Aquanauts, the 1980 soviet film Aquanaut, and the name of the protagonist faction of the LEGO System Aquazone line released in 1995.
- "Nautilus" is is a pelagic marine mollusc of the cephalopod family Nautilidae, the sole extant family of the superfamily Nautilaceae and of its smaller but near equal suborder, Nautilina.
- The name "Nautilus" is mostly remembered as the name of Captain Nemo's submarine in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the spaceship of Nemo's futuristic descendant from the 90's Sci-Fi cartoon Space Strikers, known in France as 20,000 Lieues Dans L'Espace (20,000 Leagues in Space).
- "Moby Dick" comes from the 1851 novel Moby-Dick written by Herman Melville.
- "Musashi" is a Japanese name which was used in places, games, people, fictional characters and battleships, an example is the Musashi ship from Xenoraid.
- The combination of powerful laser shots and incredible speeds of the Musashi is very reminiscent of the TH44 Faintear from Triggerheart Exelica Enhanced.
- The name of the Electrophobia fishes means "Fear of electricity".
- "Apollodon" means "Apollo's Teeth" in greek.
- "Takodon" means "Octopus Teeth", and is a combination of the words "Tako" (Octopus in japanese) and "don" (short of "odonto" which means tooth in greek).
- "Rotodon" means "Revolving Teeth", it comes from the latin word "roto" (Revolve) which is the perfect passive participle of "Rotatus".
- "Tridon" means "Triple Teeth" or "Three Teeth".
- "Sailor's Moons" could be or not a reference to Naoko Takeuchi's Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon franchise.
- This game won the "Vermillion Gate" award as Best in Show at the 5th BitSummit 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.
- Earth Atlantis also won the "Excellence in Art" award at the BIC Festival 2016 in Busan, South Korea.

Earth Atlantis brings something new from the traditional aerial/space battles. Despite the Turrican-esque damage thing, monochrome colors and the repetitive music which could disappoint some players, i'm sure fans of Darius and In The Hunt will enjoy this game just for the sake of some good underwater shooting.
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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