Reviewed by Malc

First 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!

Score 6/10

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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. Yum.

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 too.

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 don't we!


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie