Shoot1Up (XBox 360 Indie Games)

by PaulEMoz in , , , , , ,

80 points.

80 Microsoft points.

How much is that, anyway? If you buy points from, that's 68 pence. Let's make it 70. Now let's convert it into the currency of the arcades... seven tens.

If Shoot1Up had been in the arcades when they were in their heyday, and if you could have got past the iffy name, you would have easily spent seven tens on it, and probably a fair bit more.

Shoot1Up is like a cross between TacScan, Terra Cresta and... oh, I don't know. Something else beginning with 'T'.  Truxton. That'll do. Something with a lot of bullets. You start the game with a fleet, nay, a phalanx of fighter planes. As you'd expect, alien hordes are in need of dispatching, and your boys are the ones given the task.

Here's the game mechanic. You start with a small fleet of ships. Holding the A button fires a stream of bullets. The trigger buttons will expand or contract your fleet of ships. If you contract, the ships fly "on top" of each other, so they only take up as much room as one ship. As a result, you only unleash a small stream of bullets. It also makes it easier to dodge enemy bullets and ships... but as a consequence, your scoring is reduced.

If, however, you expand the formation, then your ships' firepower links up to produce an awesome blast of laser death, far more destructive than when they're contracted. And as this is a riskier tactic and you're more prone to losing ships, you score more heavily.

You can't just stay expanded, though... at times it will be necessary to narrow your field just to stay alive. If you lose all your ships, it's game over. Luckily, though, you can obtain additional ships quite regularly, and they're instantly added to your fleet on the screen. Nothing is kept in reserve... it's all out, all of the time. The most ships I've had at a time is 18, but I think the maximum available is 30. Occasionally you can also pick up a Ghost, which puts a mirror of your fleet on screen for a limited time, for twice as much damage potential.

With only six levels, it's not hard to get to the end, although those six levels are bolstered by a choice of routes as you go. And although the graphics look charmingly old-school, the backgrounds repeat a bit too much, which is a wee bit of a shame but nowhere near a problem. I also hear talk of a problem where using the shield attack gives you an unbalanced multiplier, resulting in massively over-inflated scores. I wouldn't know, I've never used shield attack!

Even with those "issues", there's no way you can say this isn't worth the money, if you're an old-school arcade shmup fan. In fact, I'd happily pay more. I've played it a few times now, giving myself the good old claw hand from playing it a bit too intensely. And I certainly intend to go back to improve my score. Shoot1Up may not be as subtle as the likes of Leave Home, but it's a hell of a good time for your seven tens.