Monday, January 28, 2013

Tyrian 2000

So I installed Tyrian 2000 (and played it through again) to see how it was and how it compares to Jamestown -- was it as good as I recalled.

At first, Tyrian felt quite floaty control-wise compared to Jamestown. It might have something to do with running (apparently) a 320x200 resolution game in fullscreen, though. No wonder normal sized text looked so odd after playing the game for a while.

I got used to the floatiness quickly, however, and in Tyrian 2000 you don't need to protect your one-pixel hitbox to such lengths anyway. The hitbox is probably larger, too, but as long as your regenerating shields are up, you're safe. And after they are gone, the ship can still take hits till the armor bar is gone.

However, if that happens and you die, you have to restart the level from the beginning. It can be quite frustrating to play flawlessly through a lengthy level only to get instantly gibbed by the boss who decided to move right onto you. (Shields and armor deplete quickly if you collide into stuff.) I may have ragequit few times because of that.

Between the levels you upgrade your ship, its shields and generator, weapons, and side-kicks. Your highscore is your currency and determines how good much stuff you can have. As you never actually spend it, you are free to try different things. Albeit the available upgrades tend to switch between levels, and you might find your favorite gun not avaible anymore after completing a level.

Occasionally you can get upgrades during levels as well, though I'm not sure if they are permanent. There also seems to be some special weapon slot, which is activated from the same button as your main fire (which you are usually holding down). I had few different ones during my playthrough. Two of them didn't seem to even do anything, as far as I could tell. Such an odd mechanic.

There's a story but I have no idea what it is about. I didn't really bother reading the data cubes nor the story screens. I do know that you travel between planets accompanied by a groovy soundtrack to unleash a barrage of colorful projectiles on varying types of enemies. And like Jamestown, Tyrian doesn't take itself too seriously. There's all kinds of silliness going on. I guess it's a trope for scrolling space shooters. But a pretty fun game nevertheless. If the eyeball-mangling resolution doesn't bother you, that is.

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