Reviewed by Malc
of all, this game is not completely emulated yet, so don't complain
if you download it and find there's no sound. Second, thanks to Richard
Bush [J3d!] for having the balls to release a multi-emulator in the
face of MAME. There's a lot of Nichibutsu and Taito shooters amongst
the games he has emulated, so I'm looking forward to the time when
they are all complete. Especially Terra
Cresta. (and please please, do UFO
Robo Dangar as well!!!)
Now that's out the way, let's find out about FAF: It's a vertical
shooter, and it's not brilliant. Despite it's 'averageness', FAF turns
out to be curiously addictive. Have you ever found yourself playing
a crap game far longer than you should, and nurturing a sort of pitying
fondness for it? Yes, that's what I found with this game!
The game itself is a bog-standard shooter, but with some pretty good
weapons. Enemies come from above and below, and using the direction
change button properly is helpful to survival. FAF can be unforgiving,
especially the blue rock blasts on level 2, which require smart timing
to navigate through. Collecting the most effective weapon for a particular
part is crucial, some of them have weak sideshots, which are nevertheless
much better than lasers for killing annoying slugs hanging onto walls.
You'll find it's a compellingly addictive affair, like in R-Type some
bits need copious amounts of practicing before you can progress, and
the fact that you can't continue (I think!) means you seem to play
a lot better. I've always advocated the use of only one continue at
the most, as a lot of games get spoiled by offering too many. Where's
the challenge with continuing? It's like legitimate cheating!
Unlike R-Type, the graphics really are garish, shockingly so in some
places. For a 1988 game, it ought to be a little bit more classy!
Still, it's got a unique look, and the levels are theme designed (space,
insects, mech etc) with fitting enemies and bosses to suit the designs.
For example, the explosions aren't your usual firey affairs, instead
it looks like someone spilt a tub of those wee sugary things you put
on top of cakes. What the hell are they called. Hmm? I actually thought
the colour palette hadn't been sorted yet, but I think I remember
it being like this in the arcade.
There's also a version on HuCard for the PcEngine, but it's a bit
of a mess. I know the PCE can do perfect shooter conversions, so I
really don't know why they faffed it up - it looks like a completely
different game at points!
Well, not much of a review, but it's just here as a wee taster. I've
also had a couple of lovely glasses of Bailey's Irish Cream and hence
am not very coherent, so you're lucky you're getting anything today:)
Here's the relevant bits you need to play it, give it a try!
Quite a nice title screen eh? Lots of action lines and lensflares.
Fillmore eh? wasn't that the first land you had to help in Actraiser?
Bloody great game that. Played it all night when I got it. Shame
about the sequel. Good music too, Yuzo Koshiro wasn't it? Wonder
what happened to him. Hic. Mmmm, I love Bailey's. Smooth n creamy.
No, it's not centipede for the nineties, but it damn well looks
like it. This is level one, the insect area, where eyes on stalks
and slugs and things attack you. Those purply spikey things are
actually my weapons, which are handy for the slugs, as they travel
horizontally and splat them.
End of level one, and this horny snail thing pops in and out of
the pipes. I'm sure the game is set on easy, as he only needs
a couple of good shots to kill. Maybe these lasers are quite powerful.
It's a relief to see some clear black space in this game. Not
much else to say here, just thought it was a nice screen with
those grassy twisty things.
These blue blasts are the cause of many a crash. Doesn't that
moon rock look like it's made up of lots of happy skulls? That
asteroid is also very reminiscent of one of the Pacman ghosts
I think Jeff Minter had a hand in the graphics. No, not really,
there would have been Rizla packets and Llamas around then. And
the gameplay would have been a hell of a lot faster and better
too. Still, I always died after about 0.0009 nanoseconds with
Sheep in Space for years, so I'll stick with FAF for a bit. Coming
up to level 2 boss!...
I feel sick. How many incompatible colours can you get on one
screen? Shoot the sticky arms off, and dance around in a slow
waltz, shooting the blobby bits off: you need to zoom around him
as he follows you, and watch out for enemies coming from the sides.
Level 3, and it's getting a bit mechanical. You'll find there
are different weapons to pick up as the levels progress, and getting
the right one for the right situation is paramount to continued
survival. I got the wrong ones, and game over malky...
I'll have a better game for you next time. A REALLY good one,
but we have to have the average ones to appreciate the classics