Idinaloq - Namikaze Project


Reviewed by The Postman

Having been a shooter fan for most of my video game life, I’ve seen a lot of games come and go. There’s a limited library for the consoles, and with emulators such as Mame conquering the digital world, the thrill of finding a new shmup is going the way of the dodo. Sure, you can stumble across some Japanese treasure (no company pun intended) every now and then…..but once you hit the major players - SNES, Genesis, Arcade, PC Engine, you are almost at a loss for shooters. That’s why I’m turning more and more towards PC shoot-em-up software. And the companies are really improving the product. Not too long ago, all the PC had to brag about was Raptor. And I wasn’t too impressed with that…..but now it seems programmers have captured the “arcady” feel, and moved away from the typical PC formula (i.e. Kamui). Idinaloq impressed me enough for a write up, and not only with the game but also the Namikaze Project company.

First off let me say that NP gives you the option of downloading just the game (yes, it’s a full version) or adding on opening and ending movies. Those who can’t wait through slow transfers could skip the videos, but they would be missing out on some amazing Japanese anime scenes and vocals. Or those who are only interested in Japanese anime scenes and vocals could skip the game and just watch the movies (that’s missing the point). The opening has some CG scenes that paralleled Gradius 4, just breathtaking.

Idinaloq (as in, “oh no, Idinaloq the front door!”) is a short (4 stage) shmup that reminded me very much of the Sega CD game Silpheed. While blasting forward in a vanishing point perspective, lots of background motion and animation catch your eye. One thing Idinaloq has over Silpheed is that the action and the backgrounds blend better than Silpheed. After choosing from four characters (I just found one hidden: a ship with a hole in the middle that shoots hearts - make that five), you take on enemies with the ability to absorb shots like in Radiant Silvergun. After absorbing enough bullets, you can shoot a powerful front laser. Your absorbing shield does have a limit though, otherwise you could go through the whole game just sucking up shots.

My only complaints about this game are the controls and the length. Another case of a game being too short, cause this manic shooter needs just a little more. Also, both using the bullet absorb feature and the laser require two button actions, and they don’t always respond quick enough. And one of your regular shots is a back shot, which is really useless, since not much of the fighting takes place behind you. I’ve also had some display problems with the actual coding of the program, but I won’t complain about that much, because NP is an excellent company and very willing to help out. My friend emailed them with a tech question, and knowing that most Japanese sites just ignore English requests, Namikaze replied and even sent a patch for his system. And this game is FREE! That impressed me.

Overall I would highly recommend this game to any shooter fan with proper system requirements (I don’t remember off hand, but checking the homepage will tell you what you need.) Idinaloq is a prime example of where the PC shooter is headed, and what it can do.

Some of the nice eye-candy intro. Hope eye candy doesn’t use Nutra Sweet.

One of the ships you can choose from. Each one has a different front shot.

Ripping into the first boss, which breaks apart at the sides after some punishment.

Here’s one of those cool background scenes, watch as the huge ship rotates then fades out of view.

Second boss... looks hauntingly like the first boss. This game is all timing: your force meter must be full to use the absorb, and you must wait for attacks like these before you use it (like the Giga Wing series.)

There’s the fleet, why don’t they help you at all?

Check out that background as you fight the third boss. Yeah, it’s polygonal but I think it still looks great.

Here’s the last boss... some kind of machine that blends into the background in this pic. Get ready for a heated battle, as regular enemies continue to come out.

The REAL final boss, which doesn’t move but sure fires a lot. However, using the “unlimited continue weapon” , the most powerful weapon known to mankind, he doesn’t stand a chance.

The final ending pic. The ending has a nice song, but no graphics…(major disappointment)



shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie