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 Post subject: Risk System (XBOX One - XBOX Series X|S)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:18 am 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 379
Location: Autobot City, Sugiura Base
Time for even more Indie shmups. This time is Risk System by Newt Industries.

Out along the edge is always where I burn to be.
The further on the edge, the hotter the intensity.
Hiiiiiighwaaaaay to the Danger Zone!, Gonna take you riiiiight into the Danger Zone!

What makes Risk System an interesting twist in shoot outs is the use of the Bullet Buzzing like in the Psyvariar series, but this time, it is both the power up and special weapon charger. As the power up it increases the strength and fire rate of your main weapon for a brief moment of time. As your special weapon charger, the amount of energy gained depends on how close you were to the bullet or laser beam, fully charging the gauge will allow you to use the Break Barrier which is your bomb and shield as it allows you to move through bullets and screen blocking fields for a short while, forcing you to utilize the vertical dashes so you can go up or down depending on which button you push.
A hidden ability of this vertical dashing is that while your ship is spinning while dashing, your fire rate will increase, combined with the buzzing it becomes a more damaging weapon, so you can try a maneuvering trick of "Down-Dash while holding Up on the stick" to reduce the movement trying to be on the same position or hold down while dashing for a faster fall and try to scratch more than one bullet without getting hit, this trick is useful for very, very expert players. Score multipliers are included in an unique manner: While killing enemies with your regular fire adds a "x1" to the multiplier, killing them with your Buzz-powered fire will give you the "x1" multiplier and a green cross item that grants you another extra point, effectively making your kill a "x2" worth. Also, the green cross replenishes a portion of a health bar if you've got hit.

Extreme boss battles that demand the best.

With a heavy power up that inflicts massive damages, the game grants the bosses large life bars that will slowly deplete with your normal fire, but will drop fast but not quick enough to ensure you have a reasonable battle with your Risk-powered weaponry.

まあまあってところね (Its pretty good).
- Margaret Whitetail (Ginga Force)

The ranking system makes emphasis on how good you are on racking a high multiplier and surviving without dying.
While you can die as much as you want without hitting Game Over, it will reset your score. Getting hit will take 100 of your accumulated multiplier total.

Screw it up thrice and death comes to you faster than you can say "Astrologist Mona Megistus".

While the Buzzing idea and the score multiplier are encouraging enough and might be attractive to the point of make you consider the idea of buying the game, it suffers from fatal flaws. Starting off with the ship's speed. A game that requires buzzing like Psyvariar obviously requires to have a reasonable speed either preset or controllable, is a matter of fine balance to make it fit for both beginners and experts which is a detail that Newt Industries apparently forgot in this game, as we have an "acceleration" feeling while moving the ship instead of the standard movement based on how fast is the pre-setting the player's ship.

If there's something worse than being sighted is being "Multi-sighted".

The difficulty curve on the boss battles escalates extremely high. Boss attacks are gonna be troublesome once you've reach Stage 2, where you'll have to be very, very, very familiarized with the ins and outs of the game's mechanics or else they'll kill you again and again and again. But must times a death doesn't feel like if was your fault. Some boss attacks pull cheap shots and multi sights with almost 100% chances of hitting you, becoming a test of "How far you are from ragequit?".

Sad to see Alys' go. She was one of the best.

After killing the final boss, the base reports the destruction of the target and what's worse: The RSK9's destruction along with Alys' death, making victory a tragedy as the mission took a high price to pay.
Makes me wish this game had a fake, yet brightful ending like the Zones L and N from Super Nova rather than this Hellfire S "The Girl has to die" trash.

Freyna, what's wrong with you? That was too cold.

Looks like Freyna doesn't care about how many lives have to die for victory, or is a cold-hearted bastard who gives two [EXPLETIVE] about Alys' survival with those words.
Calling you an "Acceptable Loss" is like being insulted as if your life worth nothing.

...In the last battle, armoring of "RSK9" have been destroyed, which was deathblow in high-pressured deep sea.
"RSK9" communicated slightly their last communication, and they falled away into the dark sea bottom.
The marine snow continued to fall as it would cover them.

After all the Ranks B and C, this is what you've got, a bad ending where the pilot dies and the RSK9 is underwater.

Rest assured Navy Command is still proud of you despite the results.
No further briefings will follow.

After the unskippable ending-staff roll cutscene you'll get your final results and a message telling you to get Rank A to unlock the 6th mission and get the true ending of this game. For most players, this means pull the plug and uninstall the game. However, there's a YouTube user who've made the impossible: Clear 5 of 6 levels with Rank S. Whoever he is, he must be a God of shooters. Better check it if you've already gave up on finishing the game.

Looks like everyone is having fun during the summer.
It's good to know that. They earned it.

The true ending, for those who are God-skilled enough shows the once infected pilots now recovered enjoying their newly found friendship, as they go to the beach and celebrate a birthday while Alys takes a "Sunday drive". Simple images, but they are nicely drawn and they show the former enemies and the protagonist alive and well enjoying their peaceful days.

Think the SFTI program was demanding?
The Trophaeum Tower will put you on your knees.

Trophaeum is the unlockable mode of this game. Unlike the main game where you take the role of Alys Matovia, you'll be playing as Idona Lutz, a trainee who needs at least a Rank A to pass the test. To do this you'll have to survive this mini-game until the time runs out and without taking a hit if you don't want to miss your precious multipliers, also, destroying waves intact adds more time to the default 90 seconds you're given.

Unlockable text! ¿Is good enough for you?

The game has unlockable content to keep you playing kinda like Thunder Force V: Perfect System and Ginga Force, but in Risk System's case, it leaves a lot to be desired as the Personnel Files are just text that will "decensor" the profile depending on the ranking you've got on the boss character stage, and you'll have to reach Rank A to fully unlock the profile. I hate to say it, but this is even more pathetic than the unlockable "Character Profiles" from Ginga Force which at least they had one of the "Dialogue mugshots" for their respective character. Honestly, Newt Industries could have done better to justify the insane difficulty of the game.


While the gameplay is a broken down mess, the graphics department is truly an accomplishment. Just take a look at the opening, it is on the same league as any commercial game you can find and I dare to compare it with the Neo-Geo's big titles like Andro Dunos and The King of Fighters 97, as the opening cutscene has impressive ship detailing without the need of 3D rendering like Blazing Star and the character illustrations are reminiscent of Windjammers and Metal Slug 4.
In gameplay, the 2D sprites and scenery are extraordinary, with smoothly animated ships and enemies, the sprite art is basically the CrossCode of shmups as the game features an anime influenced style in the ships and stages, combined with parallax scrolling increasing the sense of depth and even speed just like in Zanac A.I. and Blazing Star.

Hope we can finish this soon.
I was going to have my vacations in 3 days!

The game features a western-euro animation style that combines anime elements resulting in more expressive characters, but for the whole game it is limited to these Metal Gear Solid-like conversation icons. Despite that, they're still expressive enough to make them look more "alive" and go beyond the usual "eye-blink, mouth moving only" animations. In the promotional video you can fully experience what I've mean with their expressions along with the mecha action that borrows elements from Masamune Shirow's works. Making it a great accomplishment in terms of Indie games.

Nostalgic, simply nostalgic.

This game along with the Psyvariar references, it also nods Thunder Force. These flying enemies make an appearance in the exact same way as those Daser stage ships from Thunder Force IV.

There's a Human Road on Risk System.

Another Thunder Force nod can be found in Stage 4, the towers are very reminiscent of those of Human Road from Thunder Force V, along with the Federation stage of Thunder Force VI.
It's good to see there's people who care for Tecno Soft's legendary shmup series. Hope Sega take notes of this so they can bring Thunder Force VII someday.

They had to ruin the beach pic by giving the whole shot to the big guy?
Damn you all to hell!!

Just when the game wants to pull fan service showing the girls wearing bikinis, they've had to make a screw up of babylonical proportions. ¿How? Simple, Volsh takes the whole shot leaving Ashley and Fal behind.
NOW I'M EVEN MORE UPSET! I mean, If you're gonna pull an effort of biblical proportions to get the true ending of this game, then having Ashley and Fal showing some skin in full body shots would be at least an acceptable compensation for all your troubles. Putting Volsh on the pic was Newt Industries shooting themselves on the foot again.

Let's calm down and move on the sound department. The music is also another positive aspect of this game, as it pulls a simple, yet enjoyable electro-beat style that fits quite well on the game as it has the rhythm and tempo in the right paces to make it fit with the game's atmosphere. Stage 5 is perhaps the best due to its pulsing rhythm. The voice acting is very acceptable for an Indie shooter as it doesn't feel overacted or poorly acted.
For a final surprise for those who were able to finish the game with the true ending, the game credits will play with a closing theme sung by Hatsune Miku. Yes, they've used a Vocaloid in this game, which is really a surprise 'cos I've never expected that move from an Indie shooter.

- "RSK" is a nod to the word "Risk".
- Sometimes the ship is called RSK-9 and RSK9.
- This game is the first instance where a Vocaloid is used for the game's theme.

In conclusion, I can only say that Risk System had the potential to be "Psyvariar meets Natsuki Chronicles", as it combines the fast-paced, plot filled horizontal shootout action of Qute's masterpiece with the Buzzing feature of Psyvariar 2: The Will to Fabricate, along with incredible 16-bit/Neo-Geo like grahpics and fantastic music, but it failed on its purpose with their difficulty and control problems. Is a complete failure since they've put a lot of effort on the audiovisual department, along with the anime-influenced promotional video they've made. This game was meant to be among the "Indie Classics" but instead they've blew it up.
There's a huge dividing line between Top Gun and Gods. So, unless you are a God Level R-Typer who doesn't need a Speed Up item and has Quasi-divine mastery in Psyvariar's mechanics, then pick it. Top Gun level players, Average pilots and ordinary shmuppers, stay away from Risk System. You'd be OK with Natsuki Chronicles, Thunder Force V and VI, Gradius V, Blazing Star and Boiling Bolt. Leave Risk System to the God-tier players.
This is what I get for embarking myself on this "Find another Thunder Force V-level of good shmup" quest.

Lea hates you.
Now get out of her sight.

I hate when these things happen. I was planning to help Alys to save the day and have fun with a new XBOX One shmup.
But right now Newt Industries, Alys Matovia, Freyna, Volsh Walsh, and whoever gets in the way they can go straight to hell. Screw them.

Don't come crying, Newt Industries.
You've brought this upon yourselves.
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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