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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: Sega Dreamcast: Psyvariar 2 Review
[Image: http://nfggames.com/games/psyvariar2/title.jpg]

Modern shmups are all about the few who still play them.  Obsessive geeks who refuse to let go, who can't stop fighting for that extra point, that elusive top score, a place on the board.  This isn't an old-time shooter, it's all about gimmicks - in this case, you can concentrate your fire by spinning and you can graze bullets for 'buzz' points.  That's more or less it.  The game provides lots of bullets to buzz, more like lengthy strings of neon candy than fields of bullets. 

I prefer the shooters of old, where soul crushing difficulty and relentless waves patterned attackers were the enemies faced; where I could actually shoot things when they entered the screen and get more points, not less.  The very idea of waiting for an enemy to spew bullets is anathema to me.  Psyvariar 2 is all about the gimmick, about working hard to play one way, and only one way, to get the maximum points possible.  There's no room for improvising here.  If you're not playing exactly how the designer intended you're not making points, and there's no other reason to play this game 'cause it's over in 15 minutes and the levels, while pretty, aren't as fun to watch the third time.  And every boss explodes in exactly the same spectacular way. 

This is a top notch production with above average music and graphics, and very tight control.  But it's not hard to beat when you're granted unlimited continues.  Even though you start at the beginning of the stage when continuing the stages are only about forty seconds long and you can clear them very quickly.  And there's only five or six stages...  Great ride, short ride.  If you're a score player there's more than enough here to justify the purchase. 

Like a fighting game's one player mode it's fun once or twice, but that's not the reason you play.  You have to play Psyvariar 2 for score, not at all.  Find the safe spot, keep the focus, max the buzz, and swap scores with your friends.

I don't care for it.  As far as I'm concerned shmups died after Raiden DX, tho I have a soft spot for Dangun Feveron's disco men-catching frantic pace.  I'd rather play something that makes my knuckles white with tension and my arms sore from pounding the buttons.  If you dig fancy score mechanisms and newfangled whatsis and all that foofaraw, this is the greatest game to hit the Dreamcast since Gigawing 2.

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BLEARGH
This post was edited on 2011-05-09, 22:49 by NFG.
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