Sorry that I missed on making RA Invasion post last week. I’ve been spending some time piling up older stuff that I never finished in the past and I have to say, there is a lot of content that I could have put up in the past few years, if I was more consistent with my work. I’ll get to finish and publish a decent portion of it eventually, I’m just still quite amused at my own laziness.
This is a game way back from my childhood, which I didn’t own, but rather, had my friend lend it to me every now and then. Horizontal SHMUPS weren’t new to me at that point in my life, but man, did I adore this game for the fact that you get to collect machine parts and turn your ship slowly into a robot. What made me extremely upset though was the fact that my friend didn’t like this game one bit. Ah, how much I wanted to own this game myself, but I could never catch a sale where they would sell a cartridge that had it on. It is still killing me a little bit inside to this day that I never got to own this game, as silly as this may sound.
It is not really a very impressive game. It’s quite bland and it’s an arcade port with infinite loops. Additional loops add more enemies with slight increase to their fire rate, but it is still a child play in terms of difficulty. I really like the design variety of the enemies. There are a few sprite- swapped enemies, but overall, you get to fight your way through quite the unique competition. A lot of enemies won’t fire at you if you stay at the right half of the screen. It’s a good place to be when you are facing lots of enemies that tend to charge to the left side. Just be careful, as some do return to the right.
Solid obstacles tend to hide goodies if you destroy them with normal attacks, instead of using the laser from the front part. [Only applies for the above ground level.] The rewards go from Head and Front part to a bonus of 1000p. There are two levels – Above Ground and Underground, each with their own unique set of enemies. You can travel to each via the pound- looking teleports. Each level is composed of four sections and it gives you a unique set of weapons. Above ground you get single shot, ground shot and a front laser… sword? Underground you get two/three shots, one of which is replaced with a piercing fire bolt if you have the front part.
The only boss in this game is a three headed mechanical dragon, who is fairly easy, despite its attack which consist of a very silly projectile spam. You get to face the boss two times before the game loops back. Being above ground or underground doesn’t change that fact. Additional loops do make the boss shoot a bit faster, but it still the same silly pattern, which is really easy to deal with.
Do three loops and a MEIGETSU word will show up, which I think just means, “You’ve seen it all at this point!”. Nothing changes after the third loop, except for your score, which I took the time to set exactly to 1.000 000, because why the hell not? Extra Lives come by easily, given that you kill a whole lot of enemies to rack up enough points. I usually do the first half of the game underground and then I move above for the second. If anything, I tend to avoid the water part underground, as those air currents stun you for so long, it’s enough for any enemy to come by and murder you. You are just as good as dead!
RA wants from the player to kill said dragon boss on initial run and second loop, while having all of your parts intact. Each time, on each level during both runs. A fairly troublesome issue. For one thing, leg parts are hard to come by, as there are only that many you can find in certain areas. The underground level is quite harsh on providing you with spare parts in general and the travel time there is twice as slow compared to the one above ground. Using the teleports strategically is a must if one is to preserve their time and sanity. Take into consideration that the front part slows down your movement by quite a bit, so caution around the boss is required. Your hit box also gets larger with each additional part that you add to your ship, so be careful!
In the end, this game has left me with an emptiness inside, rather than fulfillment. It’s not a good SHMUP, but it can be quite fun to shoot at stuff randomly for a few minutes?
Also, if you find a part which you already have on, it can be turned into a full- screen clear bomb. I still don’t know how that is executed, all I know is that moving around it and shooting does the trick… somehow…