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Bangai-O (Dreamcast) artwork

Bangai-O (Dreamcast) review

"Riki! Beat the Boss and Win! That's How You Play the Game!"

Bangai-O is a fantastic, classic-esque game that any gamer who loves blowing crap up, or classic Engrish lover, owes to themselves to play. Its simplistic enough that someone at any age could beat, however it is tricky enough that you WILL need to do every level more than once to complete, and there are a lot of levels (44 of them!). Game play will explain a bit more.

Bangai-O is a superb pick up and play game, and the first couple of levels is nearly perfect in how the difficulty ramps up slightly, and slightly, in order for you to slowly improve in your performance, as well as become acquainted with the different nuances of the game itself. Basically, all you do is fly around in your tiny (on screen) mech, and blow the living hell out of things! It plays somewhat like a traditional shooter in that you accrue bombs for every amount of objects you destroy; be it enemies, buildings, or projectiles (using the face buttons of the Dreamcast controller which allows you to shoot in eight directions, as opposed to other buttons that would only enable you to shoot in one direction or two).

And the bombs make for a truly awesome time, as when they are timed correctly, you will see nothing but a giant wave of destruction, that blows up EVERYTHING on screen; its a sight to behold, and it puts a great big smile on your face! At the end of the 44 levels, there is a boss that you must defeat (basically, you can fly through the whole level, and then face the boss without destroying anything), and while many bosses are,"Core" bosses (they just sit there for you to shoot at them), the rest are all different in their attack patterns and movement, etcetera. It makes for a lot of variety, and a very fun time! The story expands on the fun.

The Kosmo gang is a gang headed by a ruthless man named Gai, and they are wanted throughout the universe for fruit contraband, among other crimes. When they invade a planet known as Dan Star, home to many hot blooded teenagers who love to kill things, one of the teenagers, Riki, along with his sister, Mami, take control of a giant Mech known as Bangai-O, and try to put an end to the Kosmo gang once and for all. The translation was different depending on where the game was localised, but apart from being an interesting story, it is absolutely ridiculous and hilarious, and as a result, it makes for an awesome time when there are dialogue sequences. 0

Bangai-O has great graphics throughout, though the game is one of the very few Dreamcast games that cannot output VGA, thus we may not be seeing the game at its full potential. Regardless though, while the game is great graphically, some objects in the game, such as the mechs, and other enemies, are not detailed in the slightest, thus you can make out a little blob as the enemies/yourself; not cool. The backgrounds look superb though, and they have depth to them, in addition to many different colours and textures. Finally, the graphics when your bombs go off are simply stunning; to see that massive circle of missles fly out from around you is truly a sight to behold!

Like with any Treasure game, the soundtrack to Bangai-O is simply phenomenal, and ALL of the music tracks are memorable and catchy. They range from upbeat, heart pulsing tunes, to rhythmic, groovy themes, and the odd chill song is thrown in as well (not to mention the boss dialogue music is great!). The sounds are your usual fare of explosions and metal pieces being damaged, and each is different depending on what you destroy. Riki and Mami also have a little bit of dialogue here and there, for when they release bombs, or when they get hit. The sounds are far from a problem in Bangai-O, and they are arguably the highlight of the game.

While not super long, Bangai-O WILL take you some time to complete; again, there are 44 levels, and not all are a walk in the park, or overly simplistic, thus time must be invested to beat this game. Even when I decided to pick it back up again, it took me over a week to complete the final 37 levels; Bangai-O is a game that will test your mettle.

Bangai-O is simply a splendid affair, and I'm thankful that I was able to complete it after struggling with it at first. Between the shooting, the brilliant soundtrack, and the hilarious dialogue, it is no wonder why Treasure games such as this are so widely praised and valued. Do yourself a huge favour and pick up this game if you can, you will NEVER regret that decision!

truck_101's avatar
Community review by truck_101 (August 06, 2017)

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