- ps1 - 2000
have the priviledge*
to continue this battle..."
Sanvein (simply referred to as Sanvein for the rest of this review,
and for my personal convenience) has to give you one of the most peculiar
ever in playing it.
this won't be a simple task, since it's rather difficult to class
Sanvein. To say that it feels like Smash TV on ice would probably
be somewhat accurate. But, unlike many reviews before it, I guess
I'll have to elaborate as much as possible to describe Sanvein in
it's full right, rather than write it off as simply a cheap shmup.
to German 101...
right, just like Einhander, Sanvein's title is Deutsch. As being such,
it's correct pronounciation is (zahn-fine). And yes, I know your next
question will be, "What the hell is a 'Sanvein'?" Well,
I haven't got a clue and couldn't find the word in any of my German
dictionaries (perhaps now would be a good time for any of our Deutsch
shmupping public to clue us in on what this means), but apparently
it's a very agile little craft with numerous possible combat modifications.
that I can say it... what does it do? Congrats.. you've landed yourself
the privilege to save these poor folks from their utopian (more like
dystopian) society inside the confines of St. Schutz. You must pilot
the Sanvein through 5 series of inter-connected rooms, each containing
various degrees of defense ships to complete your mission.
written as a Roman numeral in the center of the hexagon... ie; ii=
2nd level difficulty, while iii= 3rd and so on and so forth), as well
as rooms marked "BOSS"... Hmmm, I wonder what those could
inside a room, your ship will naturally seem to gravitate toward the
walls of the arena, plus firing your weapon and optional weapon will
push your fighter backward. Moving into the center can be difficult
unless you stop firing or swing from the outside toward the middle.
Hitting an enemy or a wall has the same effect: you bounce off much
like a pinball but sustain no damage. Needless to say, just kill everything
as fast as you can. As for your optional weapon, no need to save it
for a rainy day as it constantly recharges, just use it as soon as
it's powered up (a little meter next to your ship will give the current
percentage charge of your optional weapon, turning from red to green
when you can use it).
clear out a section, you simply destroy everything in each room, which
ought to take no more than a few seconds each, perhaps longer on bosses.
The reason why you don't want to dily-daly is because the clock is
always ticking, and anytime you get hit, a rather significant chunk
of time will be removed from your total time. You regain time by beating
the numerous bosses strewn throughout the maps, so there is always
a sense of urgency to your mission.
game's power-up scheme is rather unique: your weapon level will alter
based on how many adjoining rooms to the one you're entering have
been cleared. Take care to use this to your advantage when entering
a Boss room, be sure to have cleared as many rooms around the Boss
room as possible so you can enter at the highest level. Why? Because
you're score for beating a boss is multiplied by your ship's power-up
level after it's destroyed.
that the game's extra options are opened up according to score (with
the highest opening up at 30,000), it behooves you to attack bosses
at your highest possible strength since you ONLY get points for blowing
them up. The regular piddling drones littering the majority of rooms
give you no score. Destroy every drone and boss in a section and you'll
fight the true stage boss, which normally isn't much more difficult
than the standard bosses. Although, please note, the power-up level
from the last room you finish carries over to the true boss room,
so be sure to kill a boss (at preferably level 6) as your final target
for a map.
how can unique, high-pressure gameplay take only a 75? Well, because
Sanvein's major drawback is it's repetitiveness.
is another mixed bag, with the PSX doing some really beautiful and
trippy effects but being all rather bare-bones. Your fighter and the
enemies you square off against are polygonal, along with the rotating/cycling/moving
backgrounds and the transparent walls of the rooms. The only problem
I have here is that everything is VERY small!
talking Bangaio-small at some points, and with the game's bizarre
and dark colour palette, it can make important things (like enemy-fire)
hard to discern in the heat of battle. Anything else you see is 2D,
including the game's static-esque background noise which is present
on practically every screen. It's truly a strange presentation, but
I happen to like it. It seems to compliment the game's urgency-factor
of varied music tracks, ranging from jazz to rock to techno, all in
thier own way keeping with the sense of impending doom as the clock
runs down. Punctuated explosion noises coupled with the drone of your
different weapon systems overlayed with a voice-over from your commanding
officer make for honourable shmup sound-effects. As you progress with
scorring, numerous additional sound options can be opened, including
sound/music tests, sound balancing, and even a reverb option.
again, this game isn't earth-shattering and it's not going to redefine
the genre of shmupping. What it will do is offer a very frantic and
well-presented game at a low cost (it's a Simple SuperLite 1500 Yen
series game in Japan and an A1 Gamesrelease in the States, meaning
it's dirt cheap no matter where you buy it). So, if you're looking
for an inexpensive game that actually has some quality and difficulty,
I suggest you try Sanvein.