Fans of bullet-hell games and doujin (indie) shmups have a few new options to turn to over the holidays in order to sate their hunger for screen filling artillery and cool, transforming space fighters. Publisher Nyu Media, Ltd. and design studio SITER SKAIN brings ALLTYNEX Second to STEAM as part of the The Tale of ALLTYNEX trilogy. Blast your way through 5 intense levels of carefully crafted 2.5D vertical scrolling shooting action while taking on a menagerie of enemies with the powerful Blade Melee Mechanic that allows you to get up close and personal for maximum destructive combat. Long-range attacks can also be utilized to lock-on to enemies from a distance with the Homing Lasers or use the super-powered Buster Cannon to lance through bullets and enemies both. Points are awarded for playing smart and capitalizing on the Advanced Combo System by switching between fighter mode and melee mode at just the right moments.
There are many sections in the game where the screen will be full of bullets, so appreciate the low points when you get them.
ALLTYNEX Second is actually the third game in the The Tale of ALLTYNEX trilogy and has the player taking control of a space fighter that has the ability to transform into a much more powerful mecha. The fighter offers two modes for combat and each of those modes offers two unique weapons to beat back the enemy. In the basic fighter mode, you have an upgradeable spread shot that allows you to take out enemy fighters in a large swath. In addition, you have a secondary weapon to fall back on when you need to target a specific point on the enemy. The slow, yet very damaging Homing Laser, will track and home in on just the right locations on the enemies to ensure their total destruction.
The Homing Laser weapon can scan and display your enemies Weal Points.
If you need a bit more firepower for the more screen filling enemies, the fighter can transform into its mecha mode. In this mode, you can get up next to the enemies with a very short range but very powerful sword that is also capable of cutting through some types of the enemies bullets. The secondary weapon in the mecha form is the Buster Cannon that does heavy damage to the ALLTYNEX Systems battle mechs but only for a limited amount of time. Both of the secondary weapons in either form use an energy meter that will drain as the weapon is used. To fill that meter back up, simply charge it by destroying more and more of your enemies.
The Advanced Combo System allows you to earn points for maintaining continuous havoc and mayhem with multiplier bonuses.
The visuals in ALLTYNEX Second have a kind of retro feel to them, harking back to the days of the PS2. Environments are awesome to look at and take you right to a place in the near future where an Artificial Intelligence has rebelled against humanity and created an advanced, mechanical war machine to annihilate everyone and everything. Continuous waves of brilliant colored “bullets” and laser rays fill the screen from all angles creating the feeling of hopelessness but using your own dazzling energy weapons to your advantage is the only way to proceed. Sound effects and the soundtrack help to round out this spectacular romp through space. The music is upbeat and futuristic and helps to set the scene for battles that you will often only come through by the skin of your teeth.
Many of the sub-bosses take up the entire screen and pack a complete complement of firepower.
ALLTYNEX Second is accompanied by the two other games in The Tale of ALLTYNEX trilogy; KAMUI and RefleX. You can get all three on STEAM now for $19.99 or pick them up individually for $7.99 (RefleX is on sale currently for $3.99 until Jan 2, 2015). I should point out that these games aren’t for the faint of heart. While they are accessible for anyone looking to shoot up some stuff, the fun of this pack will really be appreciated by those individuals that learn the ins and outs of the various weapons systems and make the most of the Advanced Combo System to squeeze every point out of each level. Fans of Capcom’s Giga Wing Series or Taitos’s Rayforce series should definitely give these doujin shmups a try.
Take back the Earth!
Gameplay - 8.0/10
Challenge - 8.0/10
Design - 8.0/10
+ Cool take on shoot-em-up genre
+ Lighting fast action
+ Awesome visuals
- May be too hardcore for casual audience
- Only five short levels?