Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Recommended Gaming: MAME GP32

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Gyruss was a really popular game back in the day. Super-playable and with a killer soundtrack, I think everyone got at least reasonably good at it. Your ship is trying to return to Earth from (presumably) Pluto. You have 2 levels before arriving at Neptune, where you encounter a challenge stage, then 3 levels between planets (each with a challenge stage) before Earth, after which you'll start over with 3 to Neptune. I used to be able to get to Earth a few times but it took a lot of practice to get to that point. It's definitely a little harder playing on the small screen of a GP32, but it's still such a fun game that it's worth every minute. In earlier incarnations of MameGP32 it would slow down at times, but thanks to Franxis' latest version sporting auto-frameskip it's very playable. I run it with sound at frameskip <=2, but it runs far smoother without sound. There's not many tips to impart, watch where the formations enter the screen, zip around to that point and blast as many as you can as they come towards you. You'll get a nice bonus for destroying complete formations. Try to keep movement to a minimum, small changes are all that's needed to avoid most obstacles/ships. When the final formation has settled into the central 'ring' formation, a small formation of 3 enemies will appear directly in front of your ship. The 2 outside ships are easily dispatched, but the real prize is the orange orb in the centre. Shoot it and you'll have dual-fire, absolutely essential to progress. So make that your priority. Asteroids are indestructible, so don't waste your time on them. Come the challenge stages, you'll notice patterns to where the formations start from. Once you've figured out where they're coming from you'll have a good chance of clearing the stage with 100%, a great result and yielding another bonus. Note that on a regular stage, if you've got one finicky straggler you're having trouble shooting just wait him out and he'll eventually disappear, completing the level. I tend to stick to the bottom of the screen most of the time, letting the enemy come to me. And that's about it for Gyruss. It's highly original (though some used to consider it a mild rip-off of Tempest) and well worth re-aquainting yourself with. You'll find it in the Konami folder of MameGP32.

Reviewed by: Alyinsanfran


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