Friday, December 28, 2012


I have played a few shoot 'em ups in my time, and decided to give a go to Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony, which had apparently been included in some humble bundle. Unfortunately I found it lacking in the parts I like in these kind of games.

Jamestown isn't too heavy on content; the campaign has only five levels. Instead, the game relies on completing unlockable challenges and finishing the story missions on harder difficulties. In fact, you are required to do the latter if you want to see the last levels. You might as well start from playing on Legendary right from the start if want to avoid replaying them for just getting to the last level.

What I would've wanted to see in addition to more levels, was purchasable gun and ship upgrades and/or power-ups dropped by enemies. Sadly no such things exist in the game, although there are three unlockable ship types, each coming with different weaponry. I think at least two of them are meant for co-op, though. The one with redirectable secondary fire might work for solo as well but I found myself to be rather bad with it and just finished the game with the ship you start with.

I guess Jamestown comes from a bit different branch of vertical scrolling shooters than what I prefer. These difficult bullet hells are not really my thing. I don't fancy chasing after highscores and seeing myself in online leaderboards that much.

The game is pretty, however. And it has a splendid soudtrack. The story is as silly as expected from a shmup, set in an alternate 17th century where Mars is being colonized by Brits and Spaniards. It's a shame Jamestown doesn't deliver in all aspects. Even the controls are fine. Just give me those upgrades! (And more levels.)

A similar game and much more to my liking, Tyrian 2000, is available on GOG for free. I actually might replay it to see if it was as good as I recall.

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