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 Post subject: Overdriven Reloaded Special Edition (XB1 - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:46 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 250
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Still more multiconsole madness. This time: Overdriven Reloaded Special Edition.

When they said there's gonna be days like this, they mean it.

The game features not one or two, but four modes: Story, Arcade, Manic and Minigames.

Story is the main feature of this game. For a vertical scrolled shooter, the structure of this game mode combines some requirements like picking from 5 to 10 Alien Artifacts to unlock the last levels. You are also given the option of selecting the starting difficulty of a selected level. To "fully" complete a level you have to obtain all the Alien Artifacts, Space Cows and clear the level in Hard and Nightmare.
As soon as you select your stage and difficulty, you're given the option of picking one of the three available ships.

Three ships, back to the basics of gameplay.

Prototype 1: This is the "Spread Shot" type ship, good for beginners as it covers a wide range due to its multi-way fire.
Prototype 2: The "Linear Shot" type for more advanced players as it uses full frontal fire.
Prototype 3: The "Lock-On" type as it uses companion ships that lock on an enemy. This ship is unlocked by game progression.

The gameplay is basically a clone of DonPachi that involves the use of a Beam to inflict greater damages or rapid fire to climb the multiplier. Although the Multiplier doesn't influence too much in the overall score, what really influences on it is the golden stars that fall from the top of the screen. Those are the hi-scoring factor in this game as some large clusters of stars dropped by destroyed mines can give you a big amount of stars when they're destroyed by the Beam gun.
To increase the gameplay factor, the game adds the Alien Artifacts, which are "keys" hidden by a specific enemy. There's 5 of them on each stage. Also, the game adds another feature: Space Cows. Unlike the Alien Artifacts, picking Space Cows are only useful to mark you've found the cow in that stage, Getting all Artifacts and Cows are only a requirement to unlock their specific gamerscore achievements. The same can be said of completing the levels in Hard and Nightmare.
Also, the game makes focus on "Color Polarity" just like Ikaruga, focusing the color change feature of your ship and beam to solve crystal puzzles to clear your path to obtain an Alien Artifact or simply, clear your path.

There's also negative aspects in the game: Starting off with the unnecesary "Nightmare" level that pelts you with bullets. This is where the Color Polarity's potential is wasted. Anyone who played Ikaruga will remember that color changing was crucial to avoid a hit from a bullet, in Overdriven Reloaded, you'll be hit or even killed by a blue bullet if your ship is blue. Also, if you die in a stage you'll have to start the level back from the beginning if you continue. But the worst part of the game is the life consumption for using the Beam Gun, ¿Who on Earth thought it was a great idea to expose you to a near-death predicament just for using a special attack? The least thing that you want is to get killed because you've used a special attack as your last resort, even if the life bar has a fast recovery time. I've could also criticize the speed slowdown while using the Beam, but being this a common condition in the DonPachi series, i'm sure any modern gamer will be familiarized with it and even learned to use that on his/her favor like using the slow speed for tight spot navigation.

Arcade-stlyed Space Shooter! (Manic mode depicted)

Arcade is basically the same as the Story mode as it have a plot, but the gameplay limits the player with a certain amount of credits and continuing puts the player right where he/she left off rather than starting over.

Manic is a variation of Arcade that makes focus on difficulty. Instead of using more bullets, the game simply removes the life bar turning the game into a one-hit death shooter, making it more like traditional DoDonPachi. You can add more credits to this mode by completing challenges in the Minigames.

If Ikaruga was a puzzle, this is how it would look.

Minigames features a series of challenges that breaks the routine of Arcade and Story.
CHALLENGES: This option features a series of predeterminated objectives to accomplish within a time limit, surviving a stage without dying or setting a high score in a game section. Each completed challenge adds 3 more credits to Manic mode.
THE LINE: A minigame with one purpose: keep the enemy from reaching the bottom of the screen.
COLOR REFLEX: Divided in 4 segments with 14 levels each, this is the game mode where do you have to use the color polarity to clear your path in 56 crystal blocked corridors.
BOSS RUSH: The classical mode where you're pitted against the bosses.

With a total of 70 achievements, this game aims high like the big ones. So, better start shooting down those aliens, clearing levels in all difficulties and get all the Alien Artifacts and Space Cows you can find, and solve all the Color Reflex puzzles.

Graphically, the game while it brings colorful and vibrant scenery that varies from the traditional ocean or lava scenes to the surreal dark backgrounds with hexagons and a very smoothly animated Beam gun blast in pure DoDonPachi style. As for the ship and enemy designs they remind me a lot of FREAMS/Section S Rayging Blue games, mostly Rayging Blue II and Rayging Blue's Conflict Warred, as we have these ship graphic models that look from the mid late 2000's Windows XP-Vista era. Later in the game the enemies change from mechanical to insects and bacterial-like creatures in a Salamander-like stage. As an extra detail, the "blue" coloring of the ship looks very RVR-esque in the style of Thunder Force V and VI.

Nintendo is not gonna be happy with this.

WAIT A SECOND! ¿Is that Samus?, Believe it or not, Terri, the operator who gives you the tutorial and the objectives looks A LOT like Samus Aran from the Metroid series, take out her glasses, the lipstick excess and there ya' have it. Just hope Nintendo doesn't get upset with TOMAGameStudio for this. ¿Remember what happened to AM2R and Pokemon Uranium?
Yeah, the game features one human character, and that's her. Well, it's not an anime styled character like Specia or Crueltear, but at least is not a dull, lame character like those dudes from Solar Shifter EX where i said what i had to say about the character designs.

The music is quite good, specially the themes "Space Station", "Mysterious Place", "Rock'n'Roll Destruction" and "The Stress Zone", which can be describes as influenced by Thunder Force and Metal Black due to the use of synth-rock and obscure calm with percussion drums. The theme "Asteroids" which is used in some boss battles is a short theme that loops like those early CD based games.
Voice acting ranges from bad to lame, specially Terri's voice which sounds like a vocal program like Loquendo since it lacks of emotion and sounds synthetic.

To put it simple, Overdriven Reloaded Special Edition is what you could call "DoDonPachi meets Ikaruga", as the game features bullet hells with color polarity features and plenty of challenges to keep you busy.

Oh, i almost forgot. The ending sucks since it turns out that the enemy is still alive after defeating their leader and Terri is kidnapped once again, making this ending a "Thank You Mario! But our Princess is in Another Castle." But even with that crap, the game is still a good Cave shmup clone.

How 'bout?... [Expletive] NO! Now go find someone else to do the job.
I'd rather spend time having lunch with Natsuki Sugiura than rescuing "Bootleg Samus" again.
Fan of Transformers, Shmups and Anime-styled Girls. You're teamed up with the right pilot!
Bringing you shmup reviews with humorous criticism.

STG Wikias: Thunder Force Wiki - Wikiheart Exelica - Ginga Force Wiki

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