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 Post subject: Gridseeker: Project Storm Hammer (Arcade / PS2 / XBOX / PC)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:44 pm 


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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 268
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
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The everyday routine in the Middle East: Take off, shoot down the bomber, get rid of a quadrupedal machine,
try make sure your support unit comes back alive and head back to the carrier.


Time to review another Taito shooter, this time is Gridseeker: Project Storm Hammer.



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An F-14 takes off from the USS Langley.

McDONNELL DOUGLAS/BOEING - HUGHES HELICOPTERS AH-64 APACHE: The GRID-Improvisation upgraded the Apache as the AH-64F. The All rounder, balanced type aircraft with average speed and power. Its main shot fires an 8 Bullet spread shot. Player 1 is a blue helicopter, and Player 2 is a red one.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN F-14D SUPER TOMCAT: GRID Enhanced as the F-14X, This ship is the weak but fast. It uses a full frontal row of bullets as its main weapon. Player 1 is a blue Tomcat while Player 2 is a pink one.
NORTHROP GRUMMAN B-2 SPIRIT: Modified to become the B-2AT, this is the slow but powerful type of ship in the game. Its main weapon utilizes a 7 way Spread Wave Shot. Player 1 takes control of a gray with orange B-2 and Player 2 is an reddish-orange one.


The main feature of this shooter is the utilization of a new technology known as the GRID, the Gyrodrive Reactive Intercept Device, which is your pod and sub-weapon at the same time. GRIDs are weapon changeable.
HYPER VULCAN (RED): The default GRID weapon, it fires a standard straight vulcan shot. Its bomb is the Nuclear, which is a massive explosion that releases a spiral of fireballs, causing damage to nearby enemies.
CUTTER LASER (BLUE): The energy type weapon. Fires orbs of energy on a straight direction. Its bomb is the Gigavolt Laser, a powerful twin laser blast that causes great damages, but pushes your aircraft back.
MULTIPLE SIGHT (GREEN): The "Homing" type one. Shoots green gas clouds that chases enemies. Its bomb is the Twin Dragon, which releases a large gas cloud that chases the enemy at high speed.
FIRE BLASTER (YELLOW): The "Explosive" type. Fires bullets that explode on impact. Its bomb is the Chain Reaction, a blast of energy similar to the "Nuclear" minus the spiral of fireballs.



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The enemy lurks everywhere: on ground, air, sea and walls!

The gameplay is a vertical shooter in the style of Raiden as it features the weapon switching system, but this only applies for the GRID, while the Power-up is for the aircraft. The GRID is more than just the Sub-Weapon, it is the shield and even the bomb generator of this game. As your shield, you can adjust its position by holding the fire button while moving up or down, moving the GRID to the bottom will make it a back-shooting weapon, useful for those instances where the enemy tries to strike from behind. The bomb generating gimmick works like this: Each bullet adds energy to the Power gauge, once its full it is transferred to the Bomb stock. Once the bomb stock is full, the gauge will stop at 90% until the player uses a bomb. Along with the GRID function, in some stages you'll get an "H" (Helper) item that will summon a support vehicle like a helicopter or a bomber that will provide you some extra firepower along with an initial screen pelting attack (like a "Free Bomb"), becoming a very helpful item, even if its for a while until it gets shot down.



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Remember when they said "Making it out alive is a reward"?
There's some reality on those words.


To obtain all the bonuses of this game you've got to shoot down all the enemies you can, keeping all the bombs you can, survive on each stage without losing a single life and keeping the Support Aircraft alive until the boss is destroyed, the Support unit is the Special Bonus, and the best way to keep it alive is by picking the "H" item around 10 or 20 seconds after it appears to reduce any damage to the Support.

The game was released on the PlayStation 2, XBOX and PC as part of Taito Legends 2, where the emulation is arcade perfect.



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The city lights are a beautiful sight, so take that helicopter out so we can take a break on Dubai's streets.

Graphically, the game is incredibly vibrant and metallic, with those gradient colors on the fonts and bright palette used by Taito on its shmups, combine that with the 3D-like perspective effect on the walls and sometimes on the whole screen and we've got an incredibly stunning shooter that will delight your eyes. The game relies on the modern military theme and also in a "Speculative Future" scenario, although today is "Alternate History" where the Second Persian Gulf War erupted in 1999 and basically all the world is fighting against a recently formed Middle East nation. It was 1992, back then it was one year after the Persian Gulf War and Operation Desert Storm and the usual question of "What would happen in the future" after the war was in the air. Back to the use of the military, the designs reminds me more of Kuhga: Operation Code "Vapor Trail", only with the use of real world aircraft, even the metallic blue-white-yellow gradient has a Data East feel, call me crazy but i think Gridseeker is a letter to Vapor Trail at the point of feeling more of a sequel than Rohga Armor Force.



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Something's gonna be blown away.

Unlike Metal Black, Gridseeker's lone instance of digitized imagery is during the opening scene where we saw a "Missile view" of an armed building about to be blown out of existence.

In music, Gridseeker provides an array of varied style soundtrack, differing from the spacey things we've heard on the Darius series. Starting from the military show-style tension scene heard in the Player Select screen, the upbeat and cheerful theme of Stages 1 and 4, the tense, yet solemn ambiented drum play in Stage 2, the rapid paced beat in Stage 3, or the calmed ambient in stage 5, it is calmed but without lacking "force" on the melody, fitting well with the night setting of the level. There's voice samples in the game which can be heard everytime you pick an item or change the GRID weapon or use a specific bomb.

The Boss themes are quite unique, like the Submarine boss and the helicopter in Stages 3 and 5 that combines a fast piano sequence with drum play, an unusual combination, but well executed to provide action to the battle.


If Gekirindan is a homage to Toaplan, then Gridseeker: Project Storm Hammer is a letter to Data East, specially Vapor Trail due to how the game uses the modern military with innovative features (along with the Sci-Fi mixture) at the point of feeling like a spiritual successor of Data East's classic shmup rather than a Raiden clone. It's too bad Taito didn't made a sequel for this one (But a Gridseeker II with the Super Hornet instead of the Tomcat doesn't sound good).
The only way to play this one nowadays is if you have a PS2, XBOX or PC with the Taito Legends 2 compilation.
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