February 21st, 2006, 12:38 Posted By: wraggster
News from Lik Sang
It's a great week for PlayStation2 users and shooter fans alike, as there are two very worthwhile games coming up. Ibara is a collaboration of Taito and 2D-Shooter expert Cave comes dressed in an unique 19th century steam design, while SEGA is bound to release something extra special with their Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 25 Gunstar Heroes (Treasure Box), bundling three of the greatest Jump'n Shoot titles together in one fine package. Gunstar Heroes (Treasure Box) is fresh and just released yesterday evening, while Ibara is expected to be delivered to our warehouse within the next 24-48 hours. Preorders are getting cleared as fast as possible, new purchases are welcome.
Ibara - Classic 2D-Shooter Glory
Prepare yourself for a massive sprites attack in Ibara, a challenging old-school vertical shooter, developed by Cave (responsible for e.g. DoDonPachi and Yanya Caballista in the past). The explosion count is very high indeed and the pace of the game can be called turbo-charged, still what really makes this title stand out is its unique design, from small ships to sinister airborne bosses. Ibara's style creates a somewhat Steampunk-oriented world, where machines don't seem to fall into a high-tech category, but appear to be imbued with magical powers instead. Sort of enchanted technology, very cool to look at. Thus, a northern European country called "Edelweiss" was chosen to be the setting for Ibara, during the industrial revolution of the 19th century. Gameplay will reminisce shmup-veterans of highlights like Raiden or Shikigami no Shiro for sure.
Taito revealed a couple of days ago, that they will include an "Explosive Capture Collection" mini-booklet for Japanese gamers that pre-order Ibara. Apparently, it will include hi-res artwork and screen captures of every stage in the game as well as images at the main character on 16 full-color pages. While we can't guarantee that we'll be able to receive this bonus for all of our customers, we'll certainly do our best to obtain as many as humanly possible.
The PS2 port contains various arrangements compared to the Arcade original. In Arcade mode (straight to PS2), two player participation in each of the six stages is possible and two different main weapons are at your disposal, as well as seven options to use your arsenal. Arrange mode (PS2 exclusive) allows you to carry out a power shot, if the shooting button doesn't get used for a while, optional weapons can be changed in real time, as well as the plane's speed can be freely adjusted. Select bosses and stages individually to improve your skills in Practice mode, while Ranking lets you review your scores and rank and the Gallery mode offers illustrations and more. Pilot your plane through a storm of outright bullet-death and prove you can take on all merciless enemies of the Royal Special Forces in order to save your country from this peril. Taito and Cave definitely succeed in delivering high-speed, non-stop shooting action deluxe, wrapped in a sweet package of classic sprite-based design.
Treasure Games Box: Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy and Alien Soldier
In the Sega Ages series of classic videogames remakes, SEGA has just included Treasure highlights Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Headdy and Alien Soldier into one explosive package of gameplay goodness. Here, not just the original Japanese versions can be found, but the overseas editions as well, including digital English instruction manuals. Then, on top of this, not only the Genesis and Mega Drive versions of Gunstar Heroes are offered, but the Game Gear incarnation (basically a port of the Genesis original) also. Sit down, fire up your PS2 and slap Sega Ages Vol. 25 right in there to enter instant 16-bit bliss. Revisit these gems of the videogame past or (if new to them) learn what's so special about Treasure's history and the games that built the foundation of this Japanese multiplayer's fame. Herebelow is the gist of what each of the three games are about.
One of the greatest shooter titles from any generation, Gunstar Heroes set new standards for the genre with its incredible visuals and intense level of action. Sporting an adaptable weapon system, it offered some of the most amazing boss encounters of that time period. Art style and technological achievement let it stand out easily when compared to other titles released back in 1993. Gunstar Heroes is basically a horizontal Action Shooter, where two players can have a go simultaneously. Enemies, explosions and mechanical monstrosities fill the screen, and a fantastic soundtrack drives you ever on, while you blast everything in your way.
Released one year later in 1994, Dynamite Headdy is sort of a horizontally scrolling action platformer, gravitating to the comical side of things. There are lots of different puzzle elements included, which add to the outright fun of running around as a robotic ant shooting enemies with its detachable head. Graphics are smooth and colorful, but it's the weird humor that makes Dynamite Headdy so enjoyable. With its whacky style, lots of cool head upgrades and many surprises, this title is a must-have for fans of Jump'n Shoot games.
1995 saw the birth of Alien Soldier, another fantastic side-scrolling Jump'n Shoot title. Set in a Sci-Fi background, you pick from six different weapons and wage war on a string of bosses throughout the game. Gameplay-wise it's once more a title worthy of the Treasure stamp of perfect production value, as visuals, sound and pure atmospheric sprite-slaughter make for a truly remarkable gaming experience. Run-n-Gun your way, relying on cool teleport and jump special moves. Alien Soldier rounds this superb collection up good. Remember the Japanese start screen? Hilarious Japlish ("VISUALSHOCK! SPEEDSHOCK! SOUNDSHOCK!") greeted you, before you entered one of the most authentic titles of its age and genre.
SEGA has taken care to even slightly improve the visuals of the included games in this edition, doing away with flickering, by letting you choose to turn the original flicker on or off. A replay feature was also added, that allows you to save play sessions to memory card and view them again later. Nice also the new "super play" data, where you can watch advanced players clear Gunstar Heroes on hard and expert modes without continues and Alien Soldier on super hard mode in 12 minutes and 42 seconds play time. Gallery mode has 100 pages worth of illustrations and the paper manual offers commentary from Treasure's Mr. Maegawa, along with exclusive artwork of Alien Soldier. Sega Ages 2500 Series Vol. 25 Gunstar Heroes (Treasure Box) certainly is a work of love. Make sure not to miss this incredible collection, delivering countless hours of action game enjoyment.
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