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 Post subject: Transcripted (XBOX One - PlayStation 4 - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:48 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 228
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
More multiconsole games, but this time let's try something a little different, and that means Transcripted.

Getting rid of the disease, one plasma shot at a time.

In this Twin Stick shooter, the main objective is to destroy the chain's metabolism to complete the stage, known in this game as "Sample". This is achieved by destroying enough Nucleotide Cubes on the chain. But before, let's talk about the shmup aspects of the game. As a Twin Stick shmup, this game is a vertical scrolling arena type where you can exploit the never ending wave of enemies until you finish the stage or get killed, and when i say "exploit" is because you can destroy the enemies and use the Experience points they drop as currency (I'll explain this later). Also, you can't keep firing your laser artillery all the time because it depletes, not like the infamous weapon overheating, but from battery depleting, reducing its fire rate. Although there's items to give you temporary unlimited energy your priority is to fire when its necessary and in a controlled manner in order to get a fast enough rate of fire to clear your path because the game will throw you more and more enemies as time passes by.
Your ship has both Shield and Life Bar. The shield only works against bullets and energy weapons, so if you get a physical collision with a cell you'll get damaged.

Puzzletherapy, if problems persists, call a doctor... A Shmup Doctor.

The puzzle element comes from the Nucleotide Cubes from the defeated enemies. To break the Nucleotide chain you've must stack the same color 3 times in a row (Red-Red-Red for example), this already sounds like Taito's Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move or even Nintendo's Dr. Mario. Also, if the chain triggers another 3 color reaction by stacking another 3 colors in a row you'll get a Chain Reaction, this is essential to get medals.
Captured Nucleotides have other benefits, like recharging the weapon's battery for a while, and makes you immune to cell collisions because they'll think your probe is one of them as long as you have a Nucleotide Cube, but they don't last forever. So you've gotta be quick and make sure you have enough space to move, throw the Cube into the chain, hope for the best and get out of there. Also, you can't stack a lot of Cubes to use them later in a non-stop volley of some sorts because if there's two Cubes nearby, the latest Cube will destroy the previous one and the stray cubes will disappear in time, so if you have the mentioned strategy in mind, better forget about it.

Don't knock the door, shoot blocks to open it.

During your mission you'll face more than just enemies and chain reactions. There will be instances where do you have to open gates using the cubes to activate the Receptor Nodes. That's an interesting thing about using the cubes to solve easy puzzles, making this Shmup-Puzzle (or should i say Puzzle-em' Up) much more enjoyable than Defenders of Ekron and its irritating puzzles.

Be a hero or a zero, but there's high chances of being the second thing.

Later in the game your objective will change from breaking the chain to defend it from the self-aware tissue itself by breaking the identical rows with other colors and even white Cubes. This is gonna be difficult since the game will throw you organisms that drop spider-webs that slow you down and more than three color matching cells at once. If the chain gets a lot of damage the sample will fail. Here i warn you, if you haven't maxed the speed of your ship with and without holding a cube (Quantic Propulsion and Nano Stabilizers) you will be sorry or even be pulling the plug on completing the game.

Your Mission Control Menu is now complete.

Once you've reached Sample 4, you'll gain access to the complete briefing menu where you can access Research and Replay Levels. Picking "Continue" will send you to the next stage, while Quit sends you back to the Main Menu. Strangefully, the game doesn't have an "Are you sure?" screen with a Yes or No option, the same thing can be said for the Sample Failed screen if you pick "Quit" when you die.

I can redo the stage AND get the missing medals. Thanks, dudes.

Replay Levels is the stage select where you can play the previous levels you've cleared for either get the Platinum Medals or just get extra Experience points. The best part of this option is that you can get a Platinum Medal and Keep it if you don't get the rest of them, resulting in a very less stressful and more player friendly reward system. Also, getting higher medals result in bonus Experience points, but this only works when you get them for the first time.

Health sells, and everyone's buying.

Research, also known as Tech Research is the store of the game, where you can buy upgrades and level them up using your Experience points obtained by killing cells. You can unlock higher powers and new weapons based on which stage you've reached. This is when the Replay Level comes in handy if you want to fully power up before unlocking something else.

Something that i've noticed is tht the game suffers from freezing and crashing, at least in the XBOX One port. During the briefings in Samples 7 and 8, the game freezes and you can't select any option, and when i died in Sample 8 and picked "Quit" the game made that "TRRRRRRR!" noise, sending me back to the XBOX Dashboard. I'm gonna assume the game didn't installed correctly, otherwise i'd conclude saying the game is somewhat unstable.
UPDATE: I've already reinstalled the game and it still freezes during briefings after Sample 8 onwards. So, the best way to keep playing is to skip the briefings by picking "Continue", "Research" or "Replay Levels".

Messin' up Mr. DNA for the sake of high-scoring.

Challenge Mode is the second mode of the game, where the objective is to reach a high score and completing a series of challenges where you're given different weapon status on each stage. Unlike the main game, filling the completion bar doesn't end the stage, it just gives you a massive 10,000 score bonus and even heal you in some of the challenges, the objective is to reach the Diamond Medal on each challenge, by hitting 100,000. Something easier to say than done since the game will increase the difficulty after destroying an enemy, filling a hazard icon increasing the stage's difficulty. Once it reaches "9+" that's the highest level of difficulty on that level. So feel proud of yourself if you reach the Gold Medal in these stages 'cos hitting 100,000 points is basically impossible.

Apparently, the patient is suffering the Bydo Syndrome.

The main theme of this game is the human body, just like in X Multiply. But this game is more of a cellular level as we have bloated cells, pathogens and ovocytes, unlike X Multiply, your ship is a nanomachine called "Probe". Unlike X Multiply's bio-cave organic like scenery, Transcripted aims to something more realistic as the action take place on a patient's mutated tissue. Not to mention, some of the bosses have a Bydo-like appearance, proper of an R-Type game. Dark colors are also a common detail on the game, probably to deepen the corroded nature of the inner-universe within the mutated tissue, and this game does that perfectly well. My only complain is that the cells could be of more colors than just purple tones.

The Nerd of the Class and the College Math Teacher. Not the shmup team you wanna work with.
Give us girls, anime styled girls for God's sake!

Looks like i'll have to bash this ONCE...THE HELL...AGAIN... but before, you'll probably be asking if i have something against western-realistic characters after all these reviews. Well, the answer is "NO", its just I've been submerged on the Anime style for too much time at the point of being disconnected from western style and feeling unfamiliarized with it, even when I've spent most of my childhood watching american cartoons on TV. Then anime series came into my life and it was when I was plugged off from american animation. Yeah, I was into anime since I was like 6 years old.

Back into the review, For some reason the game designers decided to use realistic characters, but the character choice has to the be worst I've ever saw in a shmup: The least, VERY LEAST thing you'll want to see or have in your shmup team is the Nerd of the Classroom and someone who reminds you of your high school Algebra teacher (or Biology or Chemistry, whatever class you've hated the most), is just no.
Why they didn't follow the example of most nowadays shooters?: Giving us anime styled girls. For instance, Natsuki Sugiura, Triggerheart Crueltear and Asayuki Kizuyomina are the kind of girls that you would invite them the drinks and even the breakfast, lunch and dinner altogether as much as you want regardless of how much it might cost to you (and your wallet), while Adam looks more like the Math-loving, Literature enthusiast, Lord of the Rings geek and Star Trek "Know-it-all" type of guy that you'll prefer to stay away from him, and Philip Dahl looks like that school teacher you hated the most because of the plethora of after-school homework he gave you. The only comforting thing about Transcripted's character cast is that at least they're not unbearable nightmare-inducing abominations like those from Sine Mora EX and Straimium Immortaly.

Speaking of characters, i've noticed that the game has some reminiscence of Nintendo's Dr. Mario as we make puzzles with colorful cubes and destroy viruses. I can imagine the plot of a Dr. Mario shooter: The viruses are back, and Mario's friends are infected. The only thing can stop them is Mario's new probe. Dr. Mario Returns would be the name of the game. Well, I've could also think of Ozzy & Drix, but I think Mario would fit well.

The music of this game features a very calm use of piano keyboards and very few "epic" swelling to create a tense atmosphere, that simply makes the game boring and sound more like the music score you'd hear in a medical documentary rather than a shmup. There's not too much sound effects either as they're on a very low volume. So, grab the tracks "Fever" and "Chill" from Dr. Mario and you're set.

- There's a Galaga reference in the prologue "Well, I played the hell out of Galaga when I was a kid. What could go wrong?"
- Nadia's quote "That there's one awful high gamble, Mister Maverick" is a reference to Charlotte Blackwood's quote "That's a big gamble with a $30-million dollar plane" from the 1986 film Top Gun.
- The game was re-released as part of the Indie Gems Bundle along with Steredenn (Binary Stars updated) and NeuroVoider.

If Dr. Mario was a shooter, then it will be this game, minus the Mario license. If you're into stacking three blocks of the same color as you shoot things out of existence, then this could be the game for you, and I say could because of the flaws in the XB1 port, it's a shame that there's no quality control in the XBLA store to prevent malfunctioning games from reaching the XBOX Store.

A few words to conclude: Too bad Nintendo didn't made a character edit for the Switch port of this game, it would be a great Dr. Mario shmup.
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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