Saturday, August 4, 2012

SHMUPS IX: Bought Battle Garegga 3: Ibara

I bought the most expensive Playstation 2 SHMUP available, Ibara. It got a nice score of 9.5 and I can play it in my Modchipped PS2. It was $150 and no region free Xbox 360 port! Shame on Cave for not making this beautiful game region free.  Battle Balkraid was Battle Garegga 2.
Fans of cult developer Raizing could only lament the end of an era in the year 2000, when the team was folded into sister company 8ing and ceased producing its own games. Some time down the line, though, former rival Cave decided to bring Raizing bigwig Shinobu Yagawa on board for a new shooter, and Ibara (“rose”, “thorn”, or “briar”) was the result of this once-unlikely partnership. As might be expected, in many ways this isn’t really a “Cave game”; it’s best-described as a spiritual sequel to Raizing’s iconic Battle Garegga. Once again the main keys to scoring (and, by extension, survival) are expending your bombs (which you must “build” by collecting shards) on specific score-rich targets, dismantling (and greatly angering) the bosses, and weaving through enemy fire to snatch falling medals. The game’s “rank” level, which bumps up the challenge, tends to increase quickly, and the only way to knock it back down a peg is to die, so you’d better keep racking up those points (and resulting extra lives) if you want to last very long. I pirated this game 14 months ago for modchipped PS2.

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