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Posts with tag shooter

DS Fanboy Preview: The World(s) of Big Bang Mini

Studio Arkedo's Big Bang Mini is pure uncomplicated fun. It's a shmup with all the button tapping swapped out for frantic swiping on the touch screen. It's Pac-Pix's bow and arrow expanded into a whole game. Other elements are added as the game goes on, but the basic gameplay -- flinging projectiles at the top of the screen at top speed while dragging your little character around to avoid debris -- stays the same.

I covered the basics of gameplay in my E3 preview. This time, I'll focus a bit more about some things that I didn't cover as much: the visual styles, the bosses, and the bonus modes -- at least for the three worlds I've experienced.

Gallery: Big Bang Mini

Continue reading DS Fanboy Preview: The World(s) of Big Bang Mini

Fanswag: Bangai-O goes to ...

Our latest giveaway has come to a close and we've selected our two winners. If there's one thing that's hard to do, it's having to part with Bangai-O, let alone two copies. But, hey, it's our job! The winners are:
  • thebagel, who is a big Ikaruga fan
  • Noir, who enjoys Radiant Silvergun
Congratulations to our winners and better luck next time to the rest of you. Thanks for reading!

Game professionals create Bangai-O levels in the spirit of charity

IGN, D3, and The Guildhall have teamed up to host an exclusive Bangai-O Spirits level contest between game industry professionals. The winner will have a $10,000 graduate fellowship donated to The Guildhall in his name -- which means that some graduate assistant is going to pay the rent with one of these Bangai-O levels.

IGN has all nine levels, from designers at Infinity Ward, Infinite Interactive, and other such prestigious studios, available for download and voting. It's really interesting to see what people who think about levels for a living do with the Bangai-O rule set. Harvey Smith, lead designer of Deus Ex, made an arena for super-annoying FastBots; Infinite's Steve Fawkner replicated the Atari classic Warlords.

All of the levels -- many of which tend toward the baroque -- are great, but our favorite is the simplest one: Shane Hensley's "Pinball Wizard," designed to imitate a pinball playfield. It looks stark, but explodes into bullets in a way that is startling even for Bangai-O.

Gallery: Bangai-O Spirits

Fanswag: Bangai-O up for grabs

Hey folks, do you like free stuff? Do you like free stuff that just so happens to also be totally awesome? Then enter our latest giveaway, right here, which will be hooking up two lucky readers with their own copy of Bangai-O Spirits (retails for $30)! How do you enter? That's easy!

Simply leave a comment telling us what your favorite Treasure shooter is. Need a refresher? Hit up our latest feature looking back at their wonderful shooters right here. Or, just hit up the gallery at the below of this post. You can leave one comment per day, between now and 11:59PM ET on Monday, September 1st, which is when the giveaway ends.

There is a catch, though. This latest giveaway is only open to current and legal residents of the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec). Also, entrants need to be at least 18 years of age. Read up on the official rules right here.

Best of luck to you all and thanks for reading DS Fanboy!

Gallery: Treasure shooters

Gunstar HeroesAlien SoldierRadiant SilvergunBakuretsu Muteki BangaiohBangai-O (Dreamcast)

DS Fanboy Review: Bangai-O Spirits

If you've ever played a Treasure shooter, or almost any Treasure game outside of, say, Stretch Panic or Wario World, you know a bit about what to expect from Bangai-O Spirits. For years, Treasure has been creating incredibly strange games with overt humor and colorful graphics overlaid on top of complex mechanics and piles and piles of enemies. Each game has a "gimmick" that drives the gameplay and defines the player's abilities: swapping colors in Ikaruga, throwing in Gunstar Heroes, and so on.

Bangai-O Spirits has all the hallmarks of a Treasure shooter. It doesn't take itself seriously, but provides more than enough of a challenge for any gamer. It features the same gimmick as the other Bangai-O games, and will be instantly familiar to fans of those. In fact, it seems to be the ideal Treasure game. At the same time, it completely subverts the usual Treasure dynamic, with brilliant results.

Gallery: Bangai-O Spirits

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Bangai-O Spirits

Visualshock! Speedshock! Soundshock! A look at Treasure's shooters

We knew immediately when we heard that a new Bangai-O game was coming out that it would be something special. How could we be so sure of an unknown game? The answer lies in the history of its developer, Treasure, an offshoot of Konami who has been making idiosyncratic action games for years (as well as the occasional McDonald's game to fund said action games, but that's a story for another time).

They've made very memorable brawlers and platformers, but Bangai-O Spirits is part of a long tradition of innovative shooters with insane storylines and unique rulesets, which is why we've chosen to look at Treasure's body of work in that particular genre. If you don't consider run & guns like Gunstar Heroes shooters ... well, we debated that, a lot, and decided that since they're games primarily about firing projectiles at enemies, they belong in the same discussion as scrolling shooters. Of course, if you think enough about shooters to make that kind of distinction, you probably know all about Treasure already.

Boss is approaching!

Gallery: Bangai-O Spirits

Space Invaders Extreme: DS vs. PSP

Space Invaders Extreme has been out in the U.S. and Europe for about a month now, so if you haven't bought this gem yet (and according to certain chartz, most of you haven't), we can only assume it's because you're still deciding which version to pick up.

As you probably know, the game released for both the DS and the PSP. One of the reasons that certain bloggers (namely, this one) were so excited for the U.S. release of Space Invaders Extreme in the first place was because its downloadable demo for the PSP was nothing short of awesome. You can imagine, then, how torn we were when it came to choosing between the DS and PSP versions of the game. We only figured that some of our readers were going through the same dilemma, and thus we ended up trying out both just so that you don't have to.

If you want to see how Space Invaders Extreme DS and PSP stack up against each other, just click on past the break for a pretty chart and in-depth category breakdowns.

Gallery: Space Invaders Extreme (DS)

Continue reading Space Invaders Extreme: DS vs. PSP

Metal Slug 7 bombarding Europe this year

The unsourced rumor of a 2008 European Metal Slug 7 release date must be acknowledged. It turns out that Europeans will not only get Metal Slug 7 in 2008, but they will also get it pretty much the same time as everywhere else. A press release has come through and announced an "Autumn 2008" release. Yes, that means Fall -- Autumn is for those lame Europeans and non-lame Australians.

To accompany this timely news, five new screens of the kill-o-rama have been updated in our gallery. With seven brand new missions six playable characters and apparently the biggest SLUG vehicle ever, this is exactly what hardcore Metal Slug fans need.

Gallery: Metal Slug 7

[Via press release]

E308: Not the right place to try Bangai-O Sound Load

I went to D3 Publisher along with Joystiq's Justin McElroy to look at Bangai-O Spirits. Justin brought his mysterious space phone along, and I saw an opportunity. After I looked at the new Treasure stages (which include detailed pixel images of the Bangai-O robot and other things made out of stage elements), I asked if we could try out the Sound Load feature -- live.

Justin loaded up a level on YouTube, stuck an earphone up to the mic, and the D3 rep started the Sound Load, but to no avail. "Transfer failed," "Too quiet," "Too loud." That doesn't mean it's a finicky feature, necessarily, just that it's not the ideal feature for the loudest place ever. Owners of the Japanese version haven't really reported problems. I have full faith that it works great in regular noise situations.

I asked the D3 rep if there would be downloadable stages on the US website, and he told me that they were planning a YouTube channel. Furthermore, I was told that Japanese stages would work in the U.S. build.

Gallery: Bangai-O Spirits

E308: What an awful, awful Duke Nukem trailer

So ... huh? After sitting through the above four minutes of explosions, nuclear symbols and flashing lights, we have learned nothing about the upcoming Duke Nukem Trilogy for the DS. Quite frankly, this isnt the kind of trailer you want to show at E3, when countless other videos opt to show gameplay footage and new details. Also, four minutes long? Sure, there's a bit of metal rocking out there, but wouldn't we rather watch a music video instead of the words Critical Mass and Proving Grounds blasting all over the screen? You bet.

The rest of the Fanboy team thinks this irritable blogger is missing the joke of the (clearly satirical) trailer. They are probably right.

E308: More Bangai-O shots fired off

For the past few months, we've bombarded you with regular updates on Bangai-O Spirits like so many missiles. You might even say that we have an obsession, and you'd be right: we adore -- nay, love -- Bangai-O. If we were in charge of this scummy joint, it wouldn't even be DS Fanboy, but Bangai-O Fanboy. All employees would have to work while dressed as Riki or Mami. All readers would have to provide photographic proof that they owned the original, Japan-only N64 game.

But we're not in charge -- we're snivelly, subservient slaves to our paymasters. So the most we can do is upload these ten new screenshots and hope that you view them.

Gallery: Bangai-O Spirits

[Via press release]

Quantum of Solace screens look pretty bad

Yep, pretty much. Bond games have never lived up to the astronomical heights of GoldenEye 007, and we weren't really expecting a DS game to pull through and take the crown. Action games in general aren't the best for the touchscreen -- but we want to be proven wrong. Will Daniel Craig's portable outing be an exception to the laws of crappiness? Unnnnnlikely.

Using your keen spy senses, examine the gallery and predict the fate of Quantum of Solace. The movie will be undoubtedly cool, but that might be all we can hope for.

Gallery: Quantum of Solace

[Via press release]

E308: A mini hands-on with Big Bang Mini

Studio Arkedo's Big Bang Mini is a very simple game, and I mean that in the best possible way. Like the other recent retro-style shooters on the DS (Space Invaders Extreme immediately comes to mind), Big Bang focuses entirely on making you shoot almost everything on the screen. Unlike Invaders, it uses a totally stylus-based control scheme -- which is surprisingly okay! Usually, classic, frantic game style plus touch equals problems!

You control a little icon of some kind (in the first level, a wireframe pyramid thing -- it changes with the theme every level) who shoots fireworks at stuff flying around on the top screen. You have to drag the little avatar around with the stylus, and then also swipe upward to shoot fireworks. If you hit the enemy, it blows up; if you miss, your shot explodes into fireworks, whose sparks then fall down towards the bottom screen and must be avoided. You can aim your shots by drawing lines at different angles, and you can shoot about as fast as you can slash the screen.

Gallery: Big Bang Mini

Continue reading E308: A mini hands-on with Big Bang Mini

Duke Nukem killing his way to a new trilogy [updated]

The word "badass" means many things to many people. It could be an idea, a concept, a frame of mind. It could be the way Reggie Fils-Aime talks. So many definitions, each of them slightly incorrect. The only universally accepted definition of "badass" can be summed up in one name: Duke Nukem.

Apogee Software is kicking into gear and throwing three hard-fightin' missions together in one package, known as the Duke Nukem Trilogy. We had an inkling that Duke would be arriving sometime soon, and it probably wasn't going to be some port of Duke Nukem 3D. The press release is annoyingly light on the details, merely making the announcement and philosophical tirades about "what's old is new again."

Does this mean the Trilogy will be just a collection of the old 2D shooters, or perhaps a batch of new levels? Apogee isn't telling, or they're being extremely hazy about it. We'll let you know, because the Duke must be acknowledged in all his forms.

Update: Turns out Apogee is telling just a little bit. On their official website, a few details have surfaced about the three missions in the Trilogy: Critical Mass, Chain Reaction and Proving Grounds. The game features 9 worlds, 36 levels, 3D "accelerated" graphics and 3D characters. Meaning, it'll probably be a side-scroller, but it'll look snazzy. Nothing wrong with that at all. Finally, we can look forward to five different styles of gameplay, a multiplayer component and "Total Ass-Kicking Weapons." Right on!

[Via press release]

The Expendables: Guns blazing, everything exploding

Following Most Wanted Entertainment's unveiling of Mechanic Master, IGN investigated the Hungarian studio's site and dug up an interesting squad-based shooter in development -- The Expendables. Using the touchscreen, players guide "the world's lamest international private army" through 35 missions, blowing up almost everything in sight.

As you can see in the trailer and screenshots, this doesn't look like the most polished game, but the character sprites (and the buzz-saw tractor) definitely have some charm to them. The Expendables actually reminds us of a faster-paced Syndicate. You remember Bullfrog's Syndicate, right? That series was tight.

MWE hasn't yet announced whether it has managed to pick up a publisher for the title. We have a feeling that if the studio ever does find one, it will have to find a more useful implementation for the top screen. Not that skulls laughing and machine guns spitting out bullet casings aren't totally awesome.

Gallery: The Expendables

[Via IGN]

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