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Trevor Wagner

Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury PAX Preview

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D3Publishers are the guys who've helped bring us Dark Sector, OneChanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad, and the cult favourite, Earth Defense Force 2017. Now, D3Publishers are bringing us Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury, a high-definition version of Bangai-O, which was a Treasure shooter for the Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast. The game, like all Treasure games, was fun, fast paced, and difficult. Keep reading to see how Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury seems to be shaping up so far!

Earlier this week, the folks at D3Publishers were kind enough to let me come meet with them at this year's PAX to talk with them about the game, and get a hands on demo for it. The game is a shmup (shoot-'em-up), where you try to avoid the massive swarms of enemy bullets while firing a larger swarm of bullets from a handful of unique weapons at your enemies, along with using counter attacks that get stronger the more bullets are on screen, and a dash move to avoid bullets, and damage enemies. The concept is fairly simple, but like all shmups, the simple, arcade, style of the games are one of their strong suits. This time around, Bangai-O sports the familiar dual-stick shooter control style (e.g., Geometry Wars, Super Stardust HD) and it's never felt more fitting and accurate. Both sticks respond well, and feel natural to use after just a few moments of gameplay. The left stick controls movement, as per usual, though it acts oddly at first, more as a jetpack until you click the left thumb stick, at which point you start to hover, and can move freely, essentially ignoring gravity. The same applies with firing and aiming with the right stick after clicking the right stick in, you no longer have to press a button to fire, the game activates an auto fire so that you can focus on aiming. The weapon switch, dash, and counter attack buttons all work as well as you would expect. You push the button, and something happens. I mean really, besides the fact that it's a dual stick shooter, there's nothing to say about it.

The game sports a very Treasure-esque look, which is a great thing. If you've played Mischief Makers or GunStar Heroes, you'll understand what I mean when I say that Treasure has their own style, and it shows in Bangai-O. The effects for all of the different weapons and explosions look nice, and to make matters even better, the game doesn't seem to have any slowdown, even with hundreds of missiles being on screen at any given point. It's a bit overwhelming at first to try to track your character while there are literally hundreds of exploding missiles and lasers on screen, but after a few minutes, it becomes a breeze to see where you and all of the enemies are through the massive waves of bullets. As far as the music and sound effects go, it really doesn't seem to stand out very much, but, with that being said, it was incredibly loud at the booth, so maybe I just couldn't hear the game well enough to make a solid judgment. I wish I could tell you more about the audio, but I can't say anything for certain.

Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is going to sport a large amount of levels (if I recall correctly, 100+), including a story mode, and challenge levels, which is a nice amount of content for the asking price. Bangai-O HD: Missile Fury is set to be available in November of this year, for 800 MSP; and honestly, it seems that you could do a lot worse than spending $10USD on a Treasure shmup, but I guess we'll see how it pans out later this year.

Author's Note: This is one of several post-PAX preview I'll be writing this week, letting you know how everything I had a chance to see was. Stay tuned to to see what else was at PAX, and how it was!

Trevor Wagner Writer

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