There's no content here, just pictures, sorry. Treasure, long a devco with devout fanboy hangers on, has delivered many fine games in their history. My favourite though is this one, the inimitable Bangaioh, released only for the Nintendo 64 and Sega's Dreamcast. It's a nutty romp through a nutty world, populated with bizarre bosses and microscopic sprites. There's often more missiles on a single screen in Bangaioh than you'll see during an entire game of Missile Command, and that's really something isn't it? More missiles than a game named after missiles. The nuttiness doesn't stop there, oh no!
Not unlike Robotron (inarguably the best game ever made) Bangaioh features movement on the d-pad, and shooting with the four buttons on the face of the Dreamcast pad, making it easy to run left while shooting right, or whatever. Blah blah, run, shoot, boom! There's no shortage of explosions, and they're colourful and suitably noisy. The levels are vaguely mazelike, but not often to the point you'll get more than momentarily lost or confused.... Unless it's the countless missiles and squeaking destructibles that discombobulate you - and there's a LOT of those. Parallax scrolling, pretty colours, plenty of things to shoot. Time for a screenshot!
There's not much variety in the structure of the levels. Shoot everything you feel like until you find a boss. Shoot the boss, and move to the next level. It doesn't sound like much, but Treasure knows their stuff - it's a cartload of fun, but perhaps best taken in small doses. It's the perfect short-time game, tear off a round or four before bed (or before breakfast) and when you come back it's still fresh cheese. If you wanted to end-to-end the whole game you'd probably be sick of it by 12th stage. What's that you say? Screenshot? Why sure!
The levels have a great visual variety, with luscious backgrounds and a wide variety of sprites and level elements. You're always fighting inside a space station of some sort, and you get to blast the living snot out of everything - including thousands of houses and buildings of the innocent bystanders in the station. Their screams and wails when their homes are shredded are audible joy! Kerpow - Augh! Heehee... There are doors too - red doors close when you go through them, and blue ones only open when you clear a certain goal, like killing all the baddies in a room. Whew, screenshot time:
There are actually two player robots, one that shoots lasers, and one that shoots missiles. The lasers will bounce, making it easier to hit targets in narrow passages. The missiles are seeker-types, and they'll hunt down and kill your enemies, but their turning radius isn't so hot. Both are rapid fire, and by holding down the buttons you can fill the screen with Mad Death! And you know you want to!! You can switch between the two different robots with the left trigger. I apologize for the quality of this text, it's sub-par.
There's a special weapon unleashed with the right trigger. Typically it launches forty missiles or lasers, but this number is based on your proximity to enemy bullets - if you're in danger of a serious spanking, you can launch up to four hundred (Yes, four and two zeroes) projectiles or beams at the same time. It's a nutty fun fun madhouse (etc) in Bangaioh land!!
Check out this mad collection of boss portraits.
And now some more fun screenshots! No, wait, have a look at this nutty image of an actual boss conversation. Normally there are words, but this was rather strange:
Yeah, bizarre. Now, screenshots:
I swear this was going to be just a gallery of screenies, but then I got a bad case of the verbal runs, and... well, here we are. Um, right: Fruits. In the N64 version you received fruit by killing the background houses, and you had to collect these to power up your secondary multi-missile weapon. In the Dreamcast version you don't have to collect them unless you want the points, your meter powers up just by killing things, and this results in a much more streamlined experience, without so much pointless collecting busy-work. Originally that said busty-work, but I fixed it. The downside to this change in gameplay is that you don't get the cool looking melons for blowing up cars (Which resulted in a large increase in secondary weapon power). Don't fret though, the dreamcast disc has a great big melon design, so they're not totally gone! Unless you have the US version, and then they are totally gone - but you get an English-language story which, it must be said, is totally fucking deranged.
Bangaioh: a melon-flavoured nutty fun time.
With my humblest apologies if you read all of this crap,