Zero Gunner 2

While I'm preparing my first DCJY-exclusive write-up, Father K suggested that I could repost stuff I had written for my personal blog, the badly titled NebachadnezzaR's Place of Awesomeness, which is a rather great idea since here my posts will have a much broader audience. So, what follows is a copypasta of my ramblings regarding Zero Gunner 2, exactly like you can read on my blog (no changes made). Enjoy:

"After the blast I had while playing Zero Gunner, I couldn't wait to try out its sequel, now on a real console instead of an emulator, so I popped the game in, turned on the Dreamcast, and...well, I liked some things but there's also some stuff that I really hate, so in the end I guess I have mixed feelings about this one.

To start with the good things, this game is beautiful. Really. Sometimes I end up forgetting just how powerful the Dreamcast is, and when I see it in action it blows me away. The textures are very detailed, the models have a great design to them, in that arcade fashion that only the Dreamcast seems to show, and the stages are really unique and impressive.

The gameplay is also very enjoyable for the most part, but the rotation system just fucks it all up. Unlike in the original ZG, where you would first lock onto an enemy and then rotate around him, here there's no lock-on system and you freely rotate your choopper. So far, so good. The problem is in the way this is done. To rotate you have to hold a button (thus stop firing) and then use the d-pad to rotate your ship. Now imagine doing this when all hell is broking loose around you! It's confusing, unintuitive and worse, it will most certainly make you loose lives, because you'll get so disoriented you'll loose any sense of direction and invariably run into enemy fire.



Unfortunately this is necessary, since enemies (and sometimes bosses) come from all directions, and sometimes the screen moves sideways or down instead of up. Shit... To make things worse, although this game offers many difficulty options, even the easiest setting is hard as hell. After two unsuccessful tries where I would always end up running out of credits in the last level, I thought "fuck it" and resorted to my life-saver, the Code Breaker cheat disc. With unlimited lives I eventually was able to beat the fucking game, but I immediately put it back in the shelter, since there's no extra modes to keep you busy, only a replay mode where you watch a previously saved game.

I may seem angry at this game for being so hard, but that's not the case. Hey, Under Defeat it fucking hard, I was never able to beat it, and I still love it. My problem with Zero Gunner 2 is that it's not only hard due to unforgiving enemies, but also due to a fucking control scheme that makes no sense! You don't loose because you suck, you loose because the control scheme to rotate the damn chopper is insanely unintuitive and impractical, and that's basically my major complaint about this game. Of course you can eventually get the hang of it you practice enough, but I doubt it's worth it when the Dreamcast as such an awesome library of shooters.

I would still recommend it to shmup fans, but be prepared for a challenge."

PS - As a bonus here's a picture of my (somewhat) customized Dreamcast. The picture is a little old, and right now the console looks a little different (I won't say exactly what I did to it because you would call me crazy...), so maybe I'll take another photo sometime, if you guys are interested of course.

12 comments:

fatherkrishna said...

Great post Nebacha, and good to know others have resorted to the codebreaker too (somehow it feels like a confession of somehing sordid...)LOL!

I will be seeking this title out in the near future...

NebachadnezzaR said...

That disc is my life-saver, without it I wouldn't have completed half of the games I have...

DEITRIX said...

I would never make it through a game like this...
My patience wears thin these days.

Even tho it looks pretty good. Like some of the xbox live games I've played.

NebachadnezzaR said...

Speaking of Xbox Live, Ikaruga is already out, isn't it?

Bongle said...

Yes it is. Ikaruga is a great game. Also nice review. Is Zero Gunner a Japan only game?

nick944 said...

I would love a copy of Zero Gunner 2. I've recently started liking shmup games a lot, so I'm trying to get all of the DC ones. I've got Under Defeat and Karous so far, trying to find Trigger Heart Exelica. Anyone else notice that every DC shmup is over $3? (cheapest is Bangai-O)

nick944 said...

sorry, in my last post I meant $30

NebachadnezzaR said...

Bongle, unfortunately yes, it was only released in Japan, but if you find it too hard/pricey to get you can always search for a backup.

Tomleecee said...

I'm not a fan of those 2D shooters myself. I've got Gunbird 2 but I really don't see the attraction. Last one I actually played for any length of time was Sol Feace on the Mega CD! And 50+ quid on eBay for Under Defeat etc? You'd have to be fucking barmy to pay that.

fatherkrishna said...

I actually like Gunbird 2 and for that matter Ikaruga. I also payed a significant amount for Last Hope not too long ago (just chuffed to see new Dreamcast games for sale) and I liked that too - although I'm bloody rubbish at it!-

I quite like the genre, although I suppose its quite a retro-love, as games for the Saturn and even earlier systems are equally as good.

I was interested to see that Karous has an iminent release on the Wii, showing that Dreamcast shumups still have a market appeal even today...

nick944 said...

@Father K: Actually it is a milestone shmup collection on the Wii, only for Japan of course. http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-z3-49-en-15-Karous-70-2hbi.html With Karous, Radilgy, and Chaos Field for $50! I need a modded Wii now.

bcce0936-a6ac-11e0-bf1b-000bcdcb471e said...

What do you mean you have to stop shooting when you rotate? No you don't.