Over Horizon - Hot B

Over Horizon

Reviewed by Postman

Here's another little gem of a shooter that I hadn't ever heard of until browsing through some obscure page on the web. Over Horizon, from Japan, is one of the top NES shooters, along with Crisis Force and Life Force (should have called it Over Force!). But of course, to my knowledge, this game didn't even come close to making it to the United States. But oh, what we Westerners are missing…..if you can get past the graphics, which are VERY dated, OH offers a very fun and innovative trip through level designs similar to R-Type. I think if Hot-B redid this game for a more powerful system, with updated graphics and marketing, OH would do very well. This game is fun to play, and offers new surprises in the bosses and levels as you progress.

Over Horizon starts you out with edit choices on the menu screen. Edit weapons? What's this, I thought? Before taking off on this adventure, you can change the setup of your weapons and options (called Bombars…heheh). I remember an Amiga game sort of like this, where you customize your ship. This is a little more freestyle than the Gradius weapon selections, too. If developers take this to the next level, where you can really "build your own ship", that would make a great game too….choose to level up your main weapon or options, then custom place your options and tell them how to move during the game! This was something really new, and really neat.

Even without that feature, this game still keeps you wanting to finish it. You have a front and back shot, using two buttons so they are available at any time. Speed is adjustable, options are twofold, and pressing both fire buttons at once causes your options to rotate in the direction you programmed in the options screen. There are three types of weapons: laser, homing, and bomb. The laser is my favorite, because it bends towards enemies, and is soft of homing itself. But the best part of OH is the gameplay. Level designs (as I said similar to R-Type) are near perfect, and the bosses impress more as the game goes on. Rather than just a blast-fest, each boss offers something new to keep the player busy. And most of them speed up their pattern as you get near to defeating it. Check the pics and comments for more on this. The only down side are the graphics. They are very dated (your ship looks kinda stupid too….). However, the fun factor highly outweighs the lack of eye-candy. Even the difficulty is just about right. Bosses will take a couple of "mistakes" to get used to. Unless you are one of those people who demand top notch graphics, be sure to check out Over Horizon.

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I never played this one. Roger is da man when when it comes to find strange, obscure shmups. =) And it looks like he always discovers jewels! You are something like the "Jacques Cousteau" of shmups =)

- Akira


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