Here we go with the first Shmups! 'double' review...
I always liked different opinions before buying a game, but in this case both Chuck and I think you can't go wrong with Battle Garegga:

Get ready player 1


Hey, my first review for Shmups!!!! I am a huge Shmup fan! So what better way to start off my first review than with an awesome game, Battle Garegga. Created by the wonderful team that did Soukyugerentai, Eighting/Raizing, Battle Garegga is a players dream come true. Where talkin' fast and furious! You've probably never seen so much going on the screen at one time(at least I haven't!!!) The Saturn handles this arcade conversion flawlessly; although, of course I've never seen the arcade game. But still 2D is the Saturn and it is the KING!!!

So, what's it all about. Well, first of all, there are eight different ships to use. Although I use "ships" lightly...Each of the different ships have different standard weapons and super weapons. The first four standard ships are basically just souped-up planes. You've got your G-1010(Silver Sword), G-130(Grasshopper), G-1026(Flying Baron) and G-913(Wild Snail). But, you've also got some very cool and very different ships that you can use. These look like some anime characters...Although I'm not sure and I can't pause the screen long enough to look at the names. One is a warrior, one is a magician, one is a dragon, one is a necromancer. These make the game even better because each of these four ships has unique weapons too and in my opinion that's what a shooter is all about. The kick-ass weapons!!! Trust me, Battle Garegga has some excellent weapons to look at and to blow the living hell out of stuff. My one favorite is for the extra ship that I believe is the necromancer. He has little bats as multi-bodies and his super weapon is a big skull that is animated and he says "Hell to you..." While all this is happening all these little skulls are flying out of the big skull...Very cool!!! I also mention that each ship has its own multi-bodies. Well, you can four of the buggers and you can make them do all kinds of great things. They can circle your ship, they can home in on the enemy, they can be straight ahead of you, or they can be at an angle at your side too. Kinda' reminds me of M.U.S.H.A....remember that one!!!

So, what about the graphics. At first, it doesn't seem as colorful as say Shienryu; but that game was designed on the STV hardware which is basically a Saturn; so Battle Garegga does kind of have that brown/green color to it, but you'll be to busy to notice it anyways. But still, the graphics rock. Each level(7 in all) has a very distinct look and feel. They range from the rolling acres of the Valley to the bustling Air Port. There is some parallaxing in some of the levels...although it is subtle; but it works great. Enemies are plentiful and varied and animated very well. You can see little wheels turning or little gears moving which just makes the game and makes me think that Raizing/Eighting really cared about their game. Everything smokes and blows up with graphical perfections; there are tons of what I call "hit sparks"...ya' know, when your weapon is hitting the boss and little sparks fly off of his skin. I love that! Enemies die nicely too. Some just blow up, some explode in a ring of fire, while others shoot off a huge flame finger. As I said earlier, this game throws more sprites at you than anything I ever seen. There are just millions of objects moving and animating at all times. Shrapnel from the enemies is all over the place too and the Saturn just handles it beautifully. The Saturn people, just smokes as a sprite monster. I've heard that can do virtually unlimited sprites and this game might attest to that. Bosses are big and mean. They are all your basic war machine type which is totally fine for this type of game(no throbbing brain Malc!!) Some are a real bitch too...

Music is such an important part of the whole game experience for me. I'm not one of those people who turn the game music off and listen to "other" music whilst playing. I have to have the ingame music or nothing at all. So, what is really neat about Battle Garegga is that it gives you the original arcade BGM or the arranged BGM. Both are super and I actually just switch back and forth between the two when I'm playing. The music is very techno/dancey sounding. So I love it!..I've always been a huge fan of electronic music

This is such a great game. Before I bought it people in the Sega Newsgroup were kinda' making it out to be crappy. But I didn't listen(do I ever and picked it up and it is one of my favorites. I don't think any Shmups fan will disappointed...


     Get ready player 2

Malc's Opinion:

There's one thing that always amazes me with shootemups. I think it's something to do with the whole concept of just one (or two) earth fighter versus the universe. I know it can only really be this way, for the sake of the gameplay. But you think they might give you a really modern spacecraft to do it in.

The powers-that-be in Battle Garegga have no such ships at their disposal, in fact some of the ships you get look as if the A-Team knocked them up in ten minutes with only tape, a toothbrush and an airfix kit. However, Chuck Banevich informed me that if you go onto the options screen and switch EVERY option on, you get another 4 ships to play with, one of which is a dragon! How ace is that! So I can't really complain at all. Nice one Chuck!

This game is a bit of an anomaly, being such a classic design, and coming out as late as 1994 in the arcade. It's no small wonder that I haven't heard of it before. Raizing, the people responsible for releasing Soukyugerentai and Kingdom GrandPrix amongst others, have got a really nice line in shooters, in fact I've yet to see them release any other type of game. I'm not sure if Raizing are the developers, or just distributors with some good taste, but I hope so see more from them soon!

It's a vertically scrolling shooter, with all the usual baggage that this format commonly employs. You can't bash into any scenery - which is one thing I don't like about some shmups, it's nice to interact with the trees sometime. However, it's probably a very good thing, as BG is one of the busiest games I've ever seen. I can't get past level one yet without dying at least once (how are you getting on with it Steven?) much less complete the game without resorting to credit feeding. There's just so many bullets on screen, small ones at that. The only way to play it properly is to turn your telly so that you can play in in the original 'tall' arcade mode and everything opens up a bit.

As for graphics, you can see them below, lots of multipart highly detailed huge bosses to waste, each with pleasingly varied attacks. At first the game seems a bit rough graphics-wise, but astounds the further you get on, except there's no way you can stop and admire the design! A highly recommended game, nab it if you see it!

Malc's Score 8½/10

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