Thursday, 26 February 2015

Gigawing - Arcade, Dreamcast

If it moves, shoot it, meh, shoot it anyway.

Also released upon the Dreamcast, Gigawing is definitely one of those Bullet-Hell vertical shooter spaceship games. While I have reviewed several in this series of ABC Arcades, it's something to behold and a very special game in that it's just so over the top and overblown with crazy and madness.

LOOKOUT! There's a hint of plot here.

Let's start with the basics. Gigawing has the lovely shooty button. It lets you shoot the bullets and beams at the naughty things trying to end your game prematurely. Tapping the shooty button lets you fire repeatedly and constantly, however, if you hold the button down, you activate a psychokinetic shield capable of reversing the polarity of all energy-based projectiles, inversing angle, acceleration and force to send the aforementioned projectile on an inverse trajectory towards the point of origin, causing impact and sustained structural damage to the recipient whilst spawning a collectible icon that increases and amplifies the point-based reward system implemented by the game. Or, it sends bullets back to enemies and turns into bonus points.

Score rating: Stupid. Soon to become, CRAZY AND DUMB!

You also get a wealth of bombs with Gigawing which regenerate upon death and can be picked up, these bombs (along with using the shield in the aforementioned paragraph) cause a huge level of damage to everything as well as a focused attack in the centre of the screen upon bigger enemies/bosses. This combination of bombs and regenerating shields, can help you survive most of the game with very little time actually spent on surviving the bullet hell parts of the levels. Until you run out of bombs.

Use your reflection shield to turn their bullets into your bullets. Try not to get confused.

Gigawing has the lovely choice of four different crafts and pilots. Each one with their own story and style of attack. What becomes more interesting is that the planes and characters will interact with each other to form new storylines depending on who plays as which character and whether you're doing well or not. Each character has their own reasons for getting involved, be it the loss of a loved one, protecting others or just for shits and giggles. Perhaps not the best reason but it's one I can happily subscribe to.

Between me and the boss, not sure who's firing more shots here.

The first 3 levels are determined by the character choice but levels 4-6 (and maybe 7 if you're good) are always in their respective orders. The display and visual aesthetics behind the levels are stunning. Bullets tend to come in blue and pink fluorescence while MOST gold coloured things are points (careful later on), the appearance and background of everything in levels is staggering. Regrettably you'll never see it thanks to the chaos going on within the level itself. It's really manic and if you manage to get a breather you can view some of the most intricate and detailed designs to grace a game, but as said already, it's a shame you'll only see it if you're dead.

The returning boss, and maybe the super last boss if you're good at this game.

Enemies are quite varied in Gigawing, ranging from spaceships to submarines, to medallion embued bosses and almost everything can spunk out a cloud of bullets and attacks that you can almost instantly return back to them but you will see times where EVERYTHING on the screen is a bullet of sorts and bosses are certainly no exception to this rule. Bosses, in truth, go one step further and seem to not only spam bullets left and right but also in curiously interesting patterns that leaves me wondering upon the mathematic formulae to create such patterns, while I'm trying to blow them up.

Because shooting everything needs context...

The music in Gigawing fits perfectly. Lead and Synths for industrial levels, serene and calm tones for the more picturesque levels, suitably manic mid-boss fight music and boss music that makes you wake up and take note "HERE'S A BOSS!" with a clash of synths worth of any video-game gladiator entering the ring for combat. Assuming the gladiator runs straight in for a kill rather than pontificating about the arena declaring their worth and self-value or just being a dick in general.

This thing will throw more bullets at you than you've seen so far in the entire game.

Overall, it's fun quick game that doesn't get too painful too quickly and with the incredibly ridiculous scoring system, won't cause too much of an issue in the fact that it's bright, colourful and fast paced on the action (so fast in some cases it suffers slow-down on account of how MUCH is going on in the game) but it's still worth while viewing or grabbing it on the Dreamcast.