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Triggerheart Exelica review
Topic Started: Mar 11 2010, 12:38 PM (319 Views)
Digital Delirium Staff
Triggerheart Exelica

By: kknd
Game title: Triggerheart Exelica
Genre: Vertical Scrolling Shooter
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
ESRB Rating: E10+
Developer: Warashi
Release date: February 27, 2008
Overall rating: 8.5/10

Unlike in the US, Dreamcast games still being made in Japan up to early 2009. Most of those “post-Dreamcast era” games were arcade shooter games (It was easier to port those arcade games to Dreamcast since it has a similar architecture to the Naomi arcade board). Fortunately, the American fans who do not own a Japanese Dreamcast can play most of those games for a fraction of the cost of the Dreamcast version if they have a Xbox 360 or a Wii. Those games cost around 70$ to 80$ when they came out, which is pretty expensive for Dreamcast games. The game is also ported to the Playstation 2 recently with added features for those of us who owns a Japanese Playstation 2.

Gameplay – 8.5

This game is a vertical shooter similar to games like Xevious and TwinBee, which means that your character is situated at the bottom of the screen and you have to shoot the enemies that comes from the top of the screen. Every enemy that you destroy will drop some kind of yellow chip that adds to your level’s score (a large blue number on the top left of the screen, let’s call it blue score from now on), that score will adds up to the total score at the end of the level. You also have a limited amount of bombs at your disposal when things start to get hectic. When you use the bomb, your character becomes invincible for the duration and all the enemies on the screen suffer major damage. What sets this game apart from the rest is the anchor attack. You can basically capture an enemy when you hit it with the anchor (there is a percentage that appears once you hit an enemy with the anchor and the enemy will be captured once it reaches 100%, the process usually takes less than one second for the average enemies and longer for larger ones). The anchor then pulls the prey toward your character. By holding the anchor button, you can keep the captured enemy spinning around your character like a shield, and you can also swing it towards another enemy or release it like a projectile. By killing a lot of enemies with that projectile, you will receive more yellow chips which in turn give you a higher score at the end of the level and the ability to unlock different forms of the stages boss.
The game’s beauty is when you start hunting for high score. High score is awarded to the players who manage to unlock every forms of each level’s boss. Each level’s boss has multiple forms (usually four to five), and each form is harder than the previous, but they also give more points. You get to unlock them by achieving a high blue score, by collecting as much yellow chip as you can without getting hit. Each time you get hit, not only you lose one life, you also lose a percentage of the blue score which almost guarantee that you will not get the stage’s boss last form.
You have the choice between two characters in this game, Exelica or Crueltear; both plays almost the same way except one’s bullets are more spread out than the other. Only a page of simple information has been given for each of the character. Pretty much the only reason to choose one over the other is for the achievements.
The achievements in this game is really good, they are very challenging and actually test your skill instead of you patience. They also added an alternated ending to give players more goals to aim for.

Graphics – 7.0

The graphic is decent for a Dreamcast game, nothing has been modified when it got ported to the Xbox Live Arcade. The background is kept simple to avoid blending the bullets and the enemies in (one of the things I hate the most in Contra: Shattered Soldier). There is not much to complain especially when it costs only 800 points. Here is a screenshot of the game as an example. The character is capturing an enormous enemy plane on the right hand side of the screen.

Posted Image

Sound - 8.5

The music goes really well with the game in my opinion, you have a different background music for each of the stage and one for the boss. The characters’ voice over are also pretty good, for the few word that they shout out. (They decide to keep everything in Japanese)

Story – 2.0

Story is never a huge part of a shooter, very often the story is there to justify the purpose of the game, usually involving earth being invaded by alien and the sole survivor becomes humanity last hope. This one is more or less similar, it talks about the two characters (Exelica and Crueltear) that got sucked into a portal during a war in another part of the Milky Way and they found themselves on Earth. Their sworn enemy happens to plan on building a base on Earth and Earth’s defence force is no match to them. Now Exelica and Crueltear becomes Earth’s only hope.

Replay Value – 9.0

Replay value is important in shooter game considering most of them can be completed within one hour, aiming for high scores will keep you playing this game for hours and hours. The game also offers three difficulty setting that improves the replay value. The achievements and the alternated ending also add on the replay value.

Final thoughts -

This is one of the Xbox Live Arcade games that shooter fans should not miss. For 800 points, it’s a steal. The game itself is also pretty difficult, but they added infinite continue to give a chance to the new players to familiarize with the game and each of the levels. It offers a great experience and a good replay value if you are willing to dig deeper inside the game. Otherwise, it’s just another arcade shooter with impossible achievements.

Gameplay - 8.5
Great gameplay, the “anchor system” sets this game apart from others.

Graphics – 7.0
It served its purpose

Sound - 8.5
Good music

Story – 2.0
Forgettable story

Replay value – 9.0
The achievements and the alternated ending will keep you playing this game over and over.
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I will get this posted up on the site :D
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