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 Post subject: Battle Garrega (Saturn)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 8:25 pm 


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Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 241
Location: Nantes
Let's go for my first 1)shmup 2)English-only mini-review! Ta-dah!

Battle Garegga - 1996 - Raizing

Battle Garegga (BG from now on) is probably the most discussed shmup ever released (well, if Ibara's put aside). Its scoring system as well as its gameplay make it a totally unique game in the shmup landscape. I won't detail every aspect of the game because this has been much debated and (greatly) described by Icarus in the Strategy section so let's talk only about if it's good or not.

Gfx: 9/10

BG has great graphics to put it short. The pixel art style is very well done. The Raizing's touch is easily recognizable and every sprite is detailed. I particularly like the GREAT attention that has been put into the ships and stages designs. The ships are quite different from each other and really in the atmosphere of the game. Actually the whole game is a WWII-based shmups with beautiful steam-punk engines and autumnal colors. This makes the game particularly nice-looking. We're far from the colorful latest manic Cave shooters. Each stage is really shifting from the previous one, making them easily recognizable. Believe me, you won't be bored to see them again and again.
The only thing that is more or less negative (depends on your opinion) is that some bullets are kind of hard to see among the numerous explosions and the insane shrapnel left by the wrecked eneny ships. I bet you will just cry out in anger as you die whereas you didn't see nothing threatening on screen.

Music: 8/10
This is another great job done by Raizing actually. The sound is discrete but well-made. It's never too loud and I really like the old-school feeling that it gives. You'll never be surrounded by the sound and it seriously helps in some situations. The boss tunes are really stressing and points out well that you don't wanna die there whereas you have only one life left!
The music generally is something I don't pay attention to in shmups but this always is enjoyable when there are nice tunes to entertain you during the game.

Gameplay: 2 or 10/10
The main and much argued BG's element. The gameplay is -as I previously said- unique and not everybody will enjoy playing the way the game is supposed to be played. I'll decribe the system as simple as possible, first because everybody here knows it and there's a guide for it secondly. The main stuff which is shocking is that you have to die to survive. Seems dumb but it's true. The rank system in the game, affecting the game and increasing the difficulty as much as you go through the game, can't only be decreased by suiciding. This is strange, but this is it actually. So it's perfectly understanbable that some of you just don't get it and play the game whatever it takes. But you're not alone in your quest. Your ship can be first powered up to help you to survive and there are also some "options" that come whit your little plane. There are up to 4 options that you can take and you can set them in the position which is the most convenient at the moment. There are 5 position to choose from.
And don't forget the bombs, that can be stocked by collecting small items along the way. Each ship has a very different bomb so try to find which one is the most convenient for you.

Overall: 9,5/10
This game is now 10 years old (happy birthday) but it's a pure blast to play. Whether you play it the aggressive way, shooting all the time and bombing as you can or either very technically, this game is good as it gets. You just won't stop playing it. I have it on Saturn and I played it ever since I bought it 1 year ago. This is one of the most interesting and simply best Sega Saturn shmups (if not games) you'll ever be likely to play along with Radiant Silvergun so buy it. I know it's not cheap a the moment but this is worth every cent you'll put into.
No need to say it has been hard for me to stay fair because it's my favorite video game but this doesn't count; it's just a milestone shmup-wise.

Buy it.


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