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- Blazing Star -




Blazing Star by Maddog
Game:Blazing StarCompany:Yumekobo

Blazing Star...A game to set your computer ablaze?This is for sure one of the most recent games that are available in any emulator (date in it is the rather recent 1998...) and a very impressive one,too,pushing the Neo-Geo system close to its' limit! Since I guess you are anxious to find out if it's worth anything, I will go on.
Blazy-baby is one of the most advanced -and yet classic in style- shooters around.The plot is the usual interplanetary fight crap, that always sums up to blasting anything that moves around you to tiny little pieces.Basically,the game is a horizontal scroller,much like R-Type.Similarities between them do not end there:The usual power-ups, big bosses and the powerful blast that emerges from your spaceship if you keep fire pressed for a little while,all bring in mind this Irem classic.Naturally,things have advanced in the in-between 10 years.You get a choice of several ships,all having different weapons and abilities,instead of the standard one in R-Type.
So,is Blazing Star a bog-standard rip-off?It's definitely a rip-off in style,but NOT a standard one.Starting from the great intro, that makes you yearn to play the game,Blazing Star shows its' teeth to the opposition.Graphics are really up-to-date,with large sprites,very beautiful backdrops,gigantic bosses and colorful explosions and blasts. The sonics in this game are an aural pleasure,with great music and fx. The only thing that keeps me from rewarding it full marks is the very annoying voice that cries "bonus","power up" etc. all the time,in pure Japlish... :) It is also a hard,challenging game,very suitable for the most bloodthirsty and agile shooters among you.At seven long levels,it is also a rather durable challenge for everyone.I really wonder if anyone is able to finish it at one or two credits!...Worse still,the game will mock you all the time,displaying messages like "Hey poor player", "Waking up?" and so on,to add a little to the frustration!
The sheer difficulty of the game may be considered as its' largest minus,too.As usually is the case,losing a life means losing all power-ups,resulting in a pretty useless ship,desperately needing more firepower,which is very hard to get back in the heat of the action. Result is,that after the first life is down,the others don't last long for the most of us and the dreaded Game Over message closes in rapidly. Sometimes,there's a squillion of bullets on screen,requiring pixel-precision flying to get you out of the situation intact.These cases also reveal how close to its' limits is the Neo-Geo system pushed by this game:You'll feel like your PC is dropping frames,but a quick look will show that the game is still at full FPS and the slowdowns are due to the poor Neo-Geo trying to cope with all these moving objects at once...Some obviously Japanese touches,like the large-eyed people in the intro and the weird pronunciation in speech may not appeal to gamers in the western hemisphere,too and,if you ever get to the final screen,please send me a translation of the (English?) message there! ;)
Still,the game is great and really up-to-date.It is emulated by Neorage and MAME.If you have a good enough machine,use MAME to enjoy the brilliant sound.Emulation is almost flawless in all aspects.Of course,you have to make sure you have the correct dump,which,btw,is a tiny 20,7 MB download :P so prepare for a long wait to get your hands on this baby!
If you think the technical advances in the game are worth this (I think they are...) or if you want an (almost) brand new game to play,go ahead and grab this.You won't regret it!If not,sticking with R-Type may be a good enough option for you... :)
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Replay Value
1999 EmuViews