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 Post subject: Giga Wing (Arcade)
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2006 4:34 am 


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Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 927
Location: Youngstown OH, USA
I'll be the first non-staff to dive into this one. Originally found here, please mock me as you see fit. And yes, I know there's a typo somewhere in there I haven't bothered to clean up.



Too many reviews based on 2D shooters end up having paragraphs about how shooters are a dying breed, that they are these archaic dinosaurs from long ago...Giga Wing is a 2D shooter from 1999 and many of its reviews had said the same damn thing or even worse...I recall a few folks saying how easy it is to beat using credits, which is rather retarded as that would mean anyone can walk up to a Giga Wing machine or a DC version of the game and beat it by pumping it full of credits. Congratulations, you can press the start button when a counter appears on the screen. That is a rant I've done before, though...so we'll just move along.

Giga Wing was released originally on Capcom's CPS-2 hardware, and was developed by Takumi who went on to do...three other shooters that involve refecting (including two sequels to Giga Wing). At the time, more manic shooters like DoDonPachi with hundreds of bullets on screen started to litter the scene, but the main focus of those games were to weave through these intricate pattern unscathed. Giga Wing takes these insane bullet count numbers and lets you reflect them at the enemy by holding the shot button, enabling the 'Reflect Force'. Of course, there is a catch...otherwise the game would just be you holding the shot button reflecting everything that comes your way. No, the actual reflect only lasts a second or two, and there's a few seconds of charging required between each use. So if you were to use the RF at the wrong time, another enemy could appear and bathe the screen with pink bullets and, well...you'd either have to do the best dodging ever, or die. Or, you could use a bomb, which deals damage to everything on-screen and removes all bullets...but if you didn't suck, you'd just save those for when you really need them, and learn how to use the Reflect Force a tad better.

GW's scoring system is based on a multiplier that increases as one collects medals, which are dropped from fallen enemies. Each medal has a value ranging from 1 all the way to 100. Everytime you collect a medal, that medal's value plus the entire amount of multiplier score you've earned thus far is added to the total. So if you have 1,000 worth of multiplier, and grab a medal worth 10, your new multiplier total is now worth 2,010. It's pretty simple, and when used in action it gives some really ridiculous scores...having a score of xx,xxx,xxx,xxx is not uncommon in this game. The above-mentioned reflect system also adds in on the insanity...every time you successfully reflect a bullet back at an enemy, it drops a medal worth 1. So if you reflect about 60 bullets into a crowd...get the picture?

The storyline of the game involves four protagonists fighting a...medallion? And it...you know what? Let's skip the story thing...there's four characters to choose, with banter between each stage, a bad ending if you credit-feed, and a good ending (with secret boss) if you make it all the way through on one credit. Neat.

Giga Wing is a 2D shooter that features graphics that were drawn by hand. This statement will perplex many young folk, who will then ask as to why this game isn't available for the Game Boy Advance. The backgrounds are decent, as there really is nothing mind-blowing going on in them...you fly over aircraft carriers, train tracks, floating continents...nothing you probably haven't seen before. The playable ships, enemies, bosses, and character portraits...they're passable. It's all steampunk-type stuff, and if you're really into that then you'll be pleased. Or play Progear instead. What really sets Giga Wing apart graphically, is the sheer amount of crap on-screen. Once you reflect a gob of 300 bullets and watch a fountain of medals pour out of enemy, you'll begin to understand...and then the slowdown kicks in, as the CPS-2 begins to burn. But the slowdown doesn't hinder the game that much...hell, you might think it helps out.

The music in this game is pretty hit or miss, depending upon the listener. If you can sustain listening to the aircraft stage's song (a tune that features a sample of a guy yelling 'COME ON' every other bar) without gouging your eardrums out, then I should award you a multiplier medal worth about 200. The rest of the tunes aren't as grating, but they're definitely lacking. Sound effects are your standard fare, lots of explosions and guns shooting. Oh, and every time your Reflect Force gauge fills up, a computer voice blares 'OTAY'. I find this amusing.

To be completely honest, I never cared for Giga Wing when I was first introduced to it. The graphics weren't my thing, I hated the music...plus I was too busy being enthralled with Ikaruga and Gunbird 2 to bother giving a crap. It wasn't until after witnessing a friend do an impressive scoring run, that I got into it. Giga Wing's gameplay is quite solid, and it's hook (reflecting bullets) works rather damn well in context of the game. It is a game that has a sum which is greater than the parts it is composed of, and I keep coming back for more of it. Those who shrug it off after initially seeing or playing it, should definitely give it a second look. I'm quite glad I did, as it's become one of my favorite games ever.



9.5/10
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