Android Assault - Sega

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Android Assault - Sega MegaCD

Reviewed by Jacob Shaw

It's amazing how fast emulation has progressed. With the advent of the new Sega CD emulator, Ages, I thought it'd be appropriate to look at some of shooters on this system. Thankfully, one of the playable games on this new emulator just happens to be a little shooter that kicks lots of butt. I never thought that the Sega CD was good for anything other than Lunar. Shows how dumb I am:)

Bari-Arm is an intense shooter that seems like a great blend of Thunderforce and Gates of Thunder. While not quite as good as either, it still holds it's own when compared to some of the genesis and snes shooters.

This game has some damn fine graphics. The game begins with a cool intro in Anime, which shows some of the baddies and the hero. It's not the typical FMV intro, but more like the still shots of the Turbo Duo's Thunder series. After the pretty lengthy intro, you set up your options, and it's time for some action.

Most of the enemies have a great Mecha look to them that suits the genre well. The game is full of giant robots, multijointed bosses, great background depth (something lacking on the Duo shooters), and even some cool effects like line scrolling. While it may not be XEXEX, it's still a great looking shooter, as you'll see in the pics.

Bari flows at a pretty nice pace, too. The game moves much like Thunderforce 4, with multi-tiered levels that take up 3 or 4 screens. There are also sections where the game moves super fast, as well as vertically. Enemies fly out of the backgrounds in some sections too, which, despite the fact that it has been used forever now, still looks cool. There are always a lot of enemies on the screen, but never so many as too seem cheap; something I can't say for Lords of Thunder :(. In fact, nothing about this game seems cheap. It actually controls flawlessly, with the ship having 5 different speed levels, and a basic control layout (2 buttons).

The weapons are pretty damn generic, but they get the job done. Your weapons may be powered up four times. When the fourth powerup is found, your ship transforms into a side-view Musha Aleste wannabe that in no way offers any benefit to the game. While this mode does let you take an extra hit of damage, it pretty much ruins things because the mech is just too big. It's about the size of 3 ships: (

Because of that, you're pretty much only going to be running in ship mode, which is more than enough for this game. The weapons consit of homing missiles, a four-way laser, straight missiles and a spread shot. If you go for about 5 seconds without shooting, your ship powers up, allowing you to fire a special attack, which changes depending on the weapon you have. Not too shabby.

The difficulty is adjustable, allowing you to pick from normal, easy, and hard. The wimp...err, easy mode is pretty much explanatory, giving you the option to blast through the game without breaking a sweat. The other two modes change accordingly, and offer more of a challenge. Still, the game's not too hard. The challenge level is just about are Gates of Thunder.

In fact, this game, at times, reminds me a little too much of Gates. The game flow just seems very much alike. It's hard to explain game-flow unless you see it in action, so I won't even go into that. Just know that this is pretty much the Gates of Thunder of the Sega CD. That's a pretty great compliment considering what a classic Gates is.

The only thing lacking is the music department. It's not that the music is bad, but more like...err...ummm, I couldn't hear it: (The Ages emulator just doesn't play sound yet. However, the back of the box does say that the game has an intense CD soundtrack. You never know. I doubt if it's anything memorable though. Probably not even close to Gates in that department.

Bari is just very enjoyable. It's not a classic by any means, but it is one of the best 16-bit shooters that I've ever played. As a CD shooter, I'd put it right behind Gates and Lords. It's good, but it's not that good. Still, if you have the time for a good game, and don't mind the missing sound, try to find the ISO. It's worth it. If you have a Sega CD, I recommend you pick this little gem up. You won't be disappointed.

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This is part of the intro. This must be the kick ass Bari-Arm

More insanity than a David Lynch Flick, wouldn't you agree?

[ And more insane than Clockwork Orange - Felix the Cat ]

And all this time I thought Laser Eye Surgery was just a gimmick. Shoulda Listened to Tiger.


Typical space station, full of space age barbarians. Could this be the sequel to Glaidator?

Pretty damned cool considering that this is basically still a Genesis at heart.

I'll tell you how it soon as I figure out what it is :(

[ A three legged samurai mecha? - Felix the Cat ]

Oooooooooooh, are you scared yet? Me either.

Pretty Gate of Thunderish, wouldn't you say? Whoever said rip-offs couldn't be as good?

Pretty quiet...better charge my Super Weapon of Mass Destruction, just in case.

This game just continues to impress me. This is the Space armada level, complete with ninja mechs and ships and doom.

No, this isn't Section Z 2, it's the ships powered up Mecha Form. Too big for my tastes.

Somebody played a little too much of Thunderforce 3's sixth level before making this boss.

One of the vertical sections. This game just kicks ass. Wait until you see all the layers of 3d on this stage.

Wow, that's pretty unfair. I get stuck with a measly two-missile attack, and he gets a thick, nasty laser. Life sucks.

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Thanks to Jacob for this fantastic review! And it's our first Sega MegaCD review too!

I managed to track down Bari-Arm myself, and after parting with some wonga I settled down to some heavy duty shmupping. Bari-Arm is a very impressive shmup, with graphics like Gate of Thunder, and gameplay like Macross. Although the huge Mecha you transform into can be a little huge at times (like one of Roger's screenshots in the Blazeon review) it looks damned fine, and it's one of the more impressive Sega MegaCD games out there, with Sol-Feace and Lunar... and plus the mech looks like a cross between Gundam Wing and Guyver :)


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie