Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Games Played 06/01/2009

Mass Effect - X-Box 360*

*I want to get my Ingrid Shepard to go all the way to level 60. By the time I finished the game a while back, she was at level 49. I also want to experience the "Bring Down the Sky" downlodable content that I purchased a couple of months ago.


Silhouette Mirage (1997)
Developer: Treasure
Platform: SegaSaturn/PlayStation
Purchase Date: 10/15/1997 (SS), 05/19/2001 (PS)

Despite all of its craziness, there is something deeply emotional about the game.

Silhouette Mirage is the most complex and abstract game from Treasure. It tells the story of a world that has been populated by creatures of two opposing attributes: silhouettes and mirages. You control Shyna, a little girl who is half silhouette (red) and half mirage (blue) - a powerful weapon who is tasked specifically to stabilize the world for what it has become. While Ikaruga's concept of duality is easier to grasp and much more user-friendly in its application, Silhouette Mirage's clever manipulation of this idea of opposites is more demanding in its approach.

I bought the PlayStation version to support Treasure. Publisher Working
Designs did a great thing by bringing this game to the North American market and
they would have championed more rarities if they still exist today. What a shame.

The game is a 2D platform-shooter and the basic idea behind it is for you to use Shyna's proper "side" to do the most damage to the two different types of enemies. Positioning your character is most important in the game because you switch between the two attributes by moving Shyna left or right in accordance to the side-scrolling nature of the gameplay. For example, you can use Shyna's blue side while facing right and her red side while facing left. You also have the option to change the assignments of the "colors" between the two sides but to do so will take time because she has to go through an animation routine to complete the process and this may leave you open to attacks. You can also deflect attacks and weaken your enemies by matching Shyna to the the enemies' attribute but the enemies can do the same thing to you. The first stage presents simplistic enemy patterns but later on, you will encounter many brilliant scenarios that really highlight how technical and deep the duality concept truly is. There are many memorable moments in the game like the "cooking" boss and the first time you meet a villain who not only can change attribute, but can also change sex as well. The Japanese version is heavy in biblical references - even Shyna's weapons are named after the 7 deadly sins. The U.S. PlayStation release is sadly a censored version and it's also missing some of the nice looking 2D effects from the Saturn version. Still, it does have additional bosses so all is not lost. The game's only flaw is its pacing - some of the levels could have been shorter because the game's quieter moments stick out like a sore thumb compared to the many awesome set pieces found within.

LIBRARY STATUS: 5 out of 5

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