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 Post subject: Air Attack by Comad (Arcade)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:07 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 228
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base

Plagiarism is everywhere: Songs (Eclipse's "The Masquerade" which rips-off Timo Tolkki's "Revolution Renaissance"), movies, TV Shows, local TV commercials (a local bed store using John Williams' Superman theme), or even videogames.
Sadly, gaming is not excent of plagiarism and the following shmup that I'm about to review is one of those. I'm talking Air Attack by Comad Industry.

SimCity 2000 STG Add-on, available only in bootleg stores.

Based on the nmk.16 driver, it is a shooter that uses the Thunder Dragon engine (Rip-off of a "Raiden Killer", mother of irony). Many games used it too, Banpresto's Macross shmup for instance.
Air Attack uses the same weapon system as NMK's Thunder Dragon and uses 75% of its weaponry.

TYPE 1 - SPREAD VULCAN: The default weapon of your ship. It fires 5 rows of bullets in 4 directions while keeping the regular twin shot for frontal attacks.
TYPE 2 - RAPID FIRE: The Machine Gun/Laser type.
TYPE 3 - MULTIDIRECTIONAL SHOT: Unlike Thunder Dragon's "Bouncing Lasers", this game replaces it with bullets that fire in multiple directions for frontal and rear attacks.
TYPE 4 - MISSILES: The Rocket Launcher type. Fires a frontal volley of missiles with devastating power. Its width makes them more useful than the Type 2 weapon.

For the ship's bomb, it summons a giant Phoenix that flies across the screen, destroying everything on its path. Also, if you die you'll get a "P" item which is the Special Item that Maxes out your Power level and grants you the maximum of bombs.

The gameplay of this vertical scroll shooter is basically the same as Thunder Dragon, but even with less features. The score medal mechanic that was also the key to obtain a 1up was removed, making this clone of a Raiden clone more difficult than we expected and less fun since Thunder Dragon at least pulled a challenge with the "Pick the bonus stars without missing once or dying" to get the 1up. Also, the game lacks of an ending. While Thunder Dragon had your pilots coming back and being portraited saluting the American Flag, Air Attack simply sends you back to stage 1, resulting in an unrewarding shmup that loops forever until you ran out of credits.

That explains the "Oh, why this boss is so familiar for me" feeling.

The graphics are mostly plagiarized from a lot of games. The first stage was taken from SimCity 2000, there's enemies from Tyrian, Raiden and Viper Phase 1 being thrown at you. The original graphics are a subject of debate in this game. While the CGI render of your ship in the title screen looks quite OK and the title screen, Game Over and the cloud backgrounds in Stage 2 uses digitized images, the rest is your average arcade pixel art, and sometimes they don't scroll out well, the clouds in Stage 2 disappear as soon as they hit the bottom rather than scrolling away.
While your ship is original looking, and is very well animated as it has ligthing effects when it fires and even recoiling cannons, some the original aspects of the game make things go down the waste bin. Stage 2 boss might look menacing, but it behaves exactly like the 1st boss from Thunder Dragon. The SimCity 2000-rendered Stage 1 looks terrible and doesn't fit with the rest of the game, and the space stage looks completely unrealistic with three Earths and two Moons on the same screen. And to make things worse, the boss health bar blocks part of the enemy, making everything about this game a scrambled mess.
By the way, the game breaks with the Raiden-esque pattern of "Player 1 is red and Player 2 is blue", reversing the colors: Player 1 is blue, Player 2 is red.

This pic is a testament of "TEST YOUR GAME BEFORE RELEASING IT!"

If a boss has multiparts like a hatch or a rotating cannon, like the Raiden/Viper Phase 1 enemies, then the multiparts will "separate" from the main sprite as if they're glitched or something like that. A proof that nobody tested this game.

The music is the quite decent point. The "Press Start" screen after depositing a coin and the first half of Stage 1 are quite catching in the tune of hip-hop of the early-to-mid 90's, so we can say this game "Pumps the Jam". The 90's style continues in Stage 2 with a fast Pop-Dance beat, the first half of Stage 3 is like a mix between Latin and Dance with the "Salsa" guitar and the La Bouche-esque dance beat. Stage 5 breaks the habit bringing a Raiden-esque space stage styled song. The boss music seems to hit at halfway stage, and it becomes annoying as we're trying to enjoy the music and then the boss theme begins to play even before the big ship appears, this happens in all the stages, with the exception of Stage 2. Stage 2 and 7 uses the same background music.

- The kanji on the title says
空襲 (Kuuchu) which means "Air Raid".

Three Earths, but which one is where my home is?

It's a shame that a company relies on plagiarism. Comad had the idea of making a Raiden clone, but they went lazy and made the game on the cheap by ripping off things. I can understand the plagiarized things if we were talking about a game made as a short time developed Game Maker demo or even the homework school project of the computer classroom 'cos a student doesn't have the budget of a programmer, but not on a commercial game where you need to rely on originality, professionalism, quality control and maybe borrowing some pop culture elements. Something that Air Attack fails to do. At least the music is quite worth to listen if you're into the 90's dance club era. Otherwise, don't bother playing this game.
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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