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Platform

Dreamcast

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Crave Entertainment

 

Developer

Treasure

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q1 2001

 

 

- Very easy to get into

- Intuitive gameplay

- Charming interaction between the characters

- Nice tunes

- Nice level layout

 

 

- Very rare cases of slowdown

- The simplistic visuals aren't for everyone

 

 

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Bangai-O

Score: 8.7/10

Game developers must look at the people who buy their titles as an odd lot sometimes. We can be so darn polar when it comes to our taste in games. On the one hand we complain that a title is too simple and that there needs to be more gameplay features, combos, subtle maneuvering abilities and so on. On the other hand we’ll praise a title that is fiendishly simple in premise and execution, where players need only be concerned with the direction pad and the Shoot button. Yes we are a fickle bunch. Treasure really seems to understand and appreciate these straightforward concepts, as that is exactly how Bangai-O, a 2D shooter, plays out on the Dreamcast. It is very simple to pick up, but the way the game plays out there are so many obstacles and challenges to overcome that those who pick up the game will get hours and hours of fun out of it as they work their way through the levels.

 

Bangai-O Review          Bangai-O Review

 

The games heroes are Riki and Mami, the pilots of Bangia-O. They’re out to stop a marauding band of space pirates named the SF Cosmos gang from stealing valuable fruit that are then sold to fund their evil pirating deeds. The story unfolds through a series of brief cutscenes where the dialogue can get quite awkward, but instead of becoming agitating because of this it is in fact quite humorous the directions the conversation between the heroes and villains go.

 

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Control in Bangai-O is very straightforward. Players need only worry about which direction to move in, shooting, and occasionally firing their super weapon. There are a couple of different control configurations to choose from, but the best one by far is one that mimics that of the Smash TV games. The direction pad controls the direction that Bangai-O flies in, while the 4 buttons on the right-hand side of the Dreamcast gamepad control which direction the giant robot shoots in. On top of this players can switch between using Riki 

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and Mami as the pilot. When Riki is at the helm Bangai-O fires off homing missiles, but if Mami is the pilot then the mecha blasts a reflective laser beam, adding another dynamic to the game. The overarching theme of each level, though, is more or less to blast everything in site and defeating the end boss before the time limit runs out. To add more depth to this Treasure has other puzzle solving elements in the levels to keep players thinking, not just mindlessly shooting.

The presentation of the game is not all that detailed. The enemies are tiny and so is Bangai-O. It makes sense though, because if Treasure were to have big, lavishly detailed characters roaming the screen there would be a ton of slowdown in the game. With the characters being small, and the overall look simplistic, players needn’t worry about dealing with this age-old irritant. Audio-wise there are plenty of great arcade-like sound effects like the "peew, peew" laser beams, the roaring rockets, and the lovely and abundant explosions. The high-pitched yells and screams from Riki and Mami are also a nice touch. Rounding out the aural experience are some wonderfully peppy tunes for the soundtrack.

Bangai-O Review          Bangai-O Review

While so many developers are trying to woo the gaming masses with slick visuals and little more, Treasure has remembered that it’s the gameplay that is what is important and that is what Bangai-O is all about. If your in need of a new 2D shooter, or are just in the mood for an insanely addictive, engrossing game that will eat up countless hours of your life then Bangai-O is definitely a game to check out.

Reviewed by Mr. Nash

 

(May 7, 2001)

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