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 Post subject: Anger Force Reloaded (XB1 - PS4 - Switch - PC)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:33 pm 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 355
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Mechas in the Wild West just like in Wild Guns. YEE-HAW!!

Part I of my Two-Part "Full Force" reviews (HINT: Part II at the end of September).
From the creators of AlienCruise comes this re-release of Anger Force known as Anger Force Reloaded.

This game features three modes: Campaign, Arcade and Practice.

But before playing, let's start with who is who in this game.

Your new, deadly shmup waifu.

SAMHILL: An orphan boy adopted by a man known as the Doctor until he was killed by the main villain. Vowing revenge, Samhill heads to the battle against the mechanical army and his mastermind, whoever he is. Samhill's main weapon is a full frontal 4 bullet shot that acts as your basic vulcan. His special attacks are Slash which is a short ranged sword strike attack that damages or destroys large enemies and Fireball, which unleashes three fireballs that deal average damages to an enemy before disappearing. His bomb unleashes a slash that crosses the screen causing great damages.

ASIMO: A robot apparently haunted by the "ghosts" of his past and capable of feel emotions. His confrontations with the past and finding the truth are his reasons to fight. His main weapon is a purple spread shot which comes in handy for those situations when the player has to take multiple enemies down. Its special weapons are the Laser Gun which releases a pod that fires a frontal laser beam kinda like the F-22's Twin Stinger in Strikers 1945 III, and the Chain Lightning that unleashes a fast paced chained lightning balls that go full frontal damaging anything on its path. For its bomb it uses a Laser cannon similar to Hien's Ninja Beam from Aero Fighters.

SHIN: A raccoon-like creature from Guruku Island. His tribe worships the gods of storms and thunder while they protect a meteorite they call "The Miracle" that fell on their island, until the main villain (called "the Demon" by them) stole it, and it is up to Shin to bring it back even if it means giving his life. His main weapon is a rapid green Spread Shot which is slightly weak than Asimo's spread, but still has some width to provide multidirectional support. His special attacks are the Leaf Shield which is an horizontal slash attack similar to Samhill's Slash and the Ancient Guardian which summons a god that fires a frontal gust of wind. His bomb unleashes several thunderbolts from both sides of the screen in a bottom-to-top succession followed by a burst of leaves which can best be described as a rip-off of the F-117's Thunderbolt from Strikers 1945 III and Junis bomb in Sengoku Blade / Tengai.

ECHO: The daughter of the president of Masck Industries. Her father was gunned down and she was taken away by her grandfather to live safe from harm, until he disappeared before the Robot Rebellion. His grandfather disappearance made people believe that her family has something to do with it and she will uncover the truth about the Robot Rebellion and clean her family name. Echo's main weapon is a frontal fire just like Samhill's, but in a reddish-orange color. Her special weapons are the Shotgun, which is a short ranged spread attack that causes great damages and consumes less energy, making it a very useful weapon. the Mine releases a single float mine that goes straight forward and generates a powerful explosion once it makes impact on something, good on bosses, but not on average enemies. Echo's bomb releases a bomblet drop.

Campaign is the Story Mode of this game. ONE WORD OF ADVICE FOR YOUR FIRST TIME PLAYING: At first you'll notice that there's no cutscenes and the game will end at the third stage, making you think the game was a demo of some sorts. But guess what?, The game started in "Noob" difficulty and once you've cleared those three stages then you'll unlock the 5 stages long Normal level and you'll have to complete it to unlock the Veteran level which is the full 7 stage line up of the game, playing in this mode will reveal the true ending of the game, and unlock a final optional difficulty: Expert.

For some strange reason, the character introduction cutscene only plays the first time you play with a specific character (For example, playing with Echo for a second time will send you to the game directly), which breaks with the common concept of Story Mode.

During your gameplay in both Normal and Veteran, the game will throw a "Mailbox" enemy which carries a story entry on the selected character's lore. This makes part of the "Collection" along with the game's opening cutscenes.

Combat evaluation.
Pizza and beer for anyone who gets Rank S and above. The rest gets water and hot dogs.

The first thing about this game is the score mechanic. This game gives you not one but two Special Attacks which are your sub-weapons. These are the key to reach high scores as they are the combo maker and adds a multiplier on the Special Kill Rank which applies to all the enemies of the game, including the bosses. The priority of this game is to keep that multiplier as high as possible (being x5 the maximum) as you avoid to get hit 'cos that will drop the multiplier, something that is not gonna be easy since the game relies on bullet hells. Also, the Special Attacks consume a certain amount of Energy points, which can be recharged by holding the Single Shot button. Yeah, this game has both auto fire and single fire for reloading purposes. You can also recover 1 point of energy by picking purple hexagons.

With the combination of multiple Special Attacks and bullet hells, one thing is extremely essential: Control, and that's what the game addresses with the inclusion of a throttle control by using the Left and Right Triggers on the XBOX One controller (or L2 and R2 on the PlayStation 4) LT/L2 is the slow speed and RT/R2 is the fast one. Learning this is also required to eliminate all the enemies in order to get the 100% Kill achievements for each stage. Something as simple as having a fully functional speed control also comes in handy when you're using a character with a full frontal shot.

You've earned the right to upgrade your skills.
Spend those points wisely.

Either if you die and decide not to continue or you've completed the game, you'll be in an Upgrade screen where you can spend the points obtained during your gameplay to unlock (or decrease the required points to unlock) permanent abilities like starting with more power (adding a slight spread shot to Samhill) increase your life bar, add 1 more bomb to the total capacity, etc. You can also unlock character exclusive skills. However, if you leave the screen with points left, those points will be discarded so you've better spend all you've get even if you don't unlock something.

To get those points, you'll have to pick blue-glowing "Soul"-like orbs, those are your currency for buying upgrades after completing a stage (Add 1 bomb, refill your energy and add both 1 bomb and 1 life point), but the worst part is they're also used as credits when you die, and to make things even worse, it doesn't request you one or two, the game will say "Spend 26 (or so) points to continue?", making more convenient to say no and start over more upgraded than spending points.


Arcade is the second mode of the game, this one lacks of the cutscenes from Campaign and you don't carry the upgrades you've unlocked with many sessions. Instead, the player's life increases as you collect life items on specific amounts when you're intact (2 for your first extra bar, 3 for the second, 4 for the third), since you can't carry your upgrades (including your weapon power ups), the game allows you to select one of a random choice of 3 pretty much like Steredenn. While the gameplay is virtually the same as the arcade, the game's hard point is the lack of a continue option if you die, making it more of an "Arrange Mode" rather than an arcade game.

It's you against Big, mean machines.

Unlike the common use of retro 8/16-bit graphics or pseudo realistic CGI, Anger Force Reloaded uses Cel Shaded graphics in the style of some present day anime series and mostly in the style of Radirgy at the point of feeling like its spiritual successor, despite being themed in an alternate 19th century which combines modern machinery with Captain Sky styled mechas. The character drawing style reminds me of the first Persona games as the shadowing is a simple black with no lighting applied.

Someone REALLY likes Strikers 1945 III a lot.

This game makes references to Psikyo's Strikers 1945 series in many aspects, from the concept of giant vehicles that transform into robots and even one of the characters bombs, which is Shin's summoning the "Power of Storm" (also called "Power of Nature") with a screen running lightning strike that rips off the F-117's Thunderbolt bomb from Strikers 1945 III.

*Points you with the gun* "Imagine me doing some sexy posing wearing a bikini."
Another of those dumb comments of yours and you will end up dead.

While the game features some partially animated cutscenes like a webcomic, something that bothers me is the decision of going almost sepia tone, it really kills the life on the cel shaded graphics of the game as it contrasts with its live, vibrant colors.

The music of this game relies on the Symphonic Metal which combines the heavy metal guitaring and drumming with orchestral instruments in the stlye of Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, giving an epic, yet fast paced rhythm that breaks with the oh-so-common electronic-techno and the always-good-to-hear Thunder Force-ish hard rocking. A small detail to mention is that the Main Menu music has a slight James Bond vibe as if we're watching a MI6 scene or something like that.
To increase the value in the sound department, there's voice acting as well, while their performance is very acceptable, it's quite disappointing there's no optional Japanese dub.

- This game was re-released on the XBOX One with AlienCruise as part of the Classic Arcade Shooting Bundle (A.K.A. AngerForce and AlienCruise Arcade Shooting Bundle) or how I prefer to call it "Buy 1 good shooter, get 1 trash shooter for free".
- Asimo is a reference to Isaac Asimov.
- "Shin" is a japanese word with different meanings: "new" (
), "true" (), or "God" (). It is possible that the character's name is a reference to a god or divinity since he can summon an Ancient Guardian.
- The word "Echo" has a lot of meanings. The most common uses of the word is to refer to the reflection of sound that arrives at the listener with a delay after the direct sound and its use on the NATO phonetic alphabet as the equivalent to the letter "E".
- The name Leaf Shield was used in Megaman II as the weapon used by Woodman.
- Turborghini is a wordplay on Turbo and Lamborghini.
- The achievement name "Can't Touch This" is a reference to the famous rap song by MC Hammer.
- Noob is a slang term for a novice or newcomer, or somebody inexperienced. Contemporary use can particularly refer to a beginner or new user of computers, commonly used on online gaming as "n00b".

Anger Force Reloaded is what I can call "Armed Radirgy Strikers" since the game looks and feels like a mix between Batrider and Strikers 1945 that will become a favorite for Milestone, Raizing and Psikyo fans.
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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