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Ray Crisis
"Requires little in the way of strategy and nothing in the way of intellect. nope this baby is a pure arcade shoot-em-up in every sense of the word"
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Developer  Taito Game Type  Shooter
Distributor  Working Designs (USA)
                       JVC (EUROPE)
Review Date  Oct 00
 
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Review:
 
There can't be too many red blooded males out there that have not felt the need to grab a joypad and blow the living daylights out of everything that moves on the screen..!

Ray Crisis requires little in the way of strategy and nothing in the way of intellect. nope this baby is a pure arcade shoot-em-up in every sense of the word.

Graphically the game moves the 'twitch' shooter forward a little by making all of the backgrounds move around in a very three dimensional way, even though your ship is always restricted to the traditional up, down, left, right (2D) movements.

As the game has been produced in one of the PlayStations lower resolutions, the quality of the visuals isn't state-of-the-art, but it should be noted that the designers have succeeded where many others have failed, in that its easy to see approaching missiles and so unsuspecting deaths are not much of an issue.

All of the end of level 'Boss' monsters are huge and each of them have a massive amount of firepower at their disposal. Screen slowdown becomes an issue in some of the later levels, but this actually works to your advantage when it comes to dodging up to 100 on-screen missiles that are all heading your way.

Weapons and explosions all look fine, but I couldn't help wondering why there was such a lack of variety - especially as you obtained power-ups for them.

The type of game obviously limits the sound effects to bangs and crashes but it would have been nice if Taito had just their imagination a little more - especially with the background tunes.

The gameplay its-self follows the tried and tested path of many shooters before it. Blast everything on screen and you will be rewarded with power-ups that make your weapons better and give you the edge against the enemy. Each level can't be completed unless you defeat a huge guardian (or 'Boss') that fires so many weapons that you will need to 'use the force' to have any chance of defeating it without using a handful of lives.

Where Ray Crisis tries to be a little different is that each craft have 3 different types of weapon. The most basic is an auto-firing missile/laser unit that generally fires straight ahead taking out many of the weaker ships and missiles instantly.

Next comes a targeting weapon which is far more powerful than the first but needs to be activated by moving a crosshair that hovers ahead of your ship over what you want to blow up. Up to 24 items may be targeted simultaneously making it a fantastic tool if used in the right situations.

Finally there is the good old fashioned 'Smart Bomb' that pretty much wipes out everything on screen and is therefore limited in how often it can be fired.

Two modes of play are available, the first allowing you to bolt together any four levels in any order to make up your own personalized game, while the second is a regimental 6 level traditional blaster. The number of power-ups seems to vary between the modes as is the quantity of lives you will be given to complete the game.

Difficulty ranges from the 'so easy the dog could play' to the 'just close your eyes and prey'; although I noticed that many of the trickier enemies that at first seem impossible to defeat, have some form of weakness that can be exploited.

Features:
 
New weapons system allows you to take out up to 20 targets at once..!

Play Levels in any order your choose

Choose from infinite or limited number of lives

3 very different craft to choose from

Huge multiple 'Boss' characters with devastating firepower

Options:
 
• Number of Disks: 1
• Number of blocks used on Memory card per save: 1
• Maximum number of Players (without a multi-tap): 1
• Multi-tap compatible (max players): No
• Link-cable compatible (max players): No
• Split screen multi-player option (max players): No
• Other accessories: None
• Dual Shock Pad Digital Button compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Analog Stick compatible: Yes
• Dual Shock Pad Vibration compatible: Yes
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Summary
Steve   "One of the game modes allows you to play the levels in any order and with infinite lives. This may be fine in the arcades, or if you have younger kids, but should be avoided at all costs if you have bought this game and want to get the maximum lifespan from it. Shoot-em-ups survive or fail on the "Just one more go" and "I wonder what's coming next" factors both of which are completely ruined by this mode.

The gameplay is so simple that you will either love or hate this type of thing within a few minutes of playing it, so if at all unsure then try before you buy or rent it for the weekend first. "
Graphics  17/20
Playability  42/50
Sound  6/10
Lastability  14/20
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